Written by Rosie Neill

Product Marketing Manager

For any team to be successful, there are a few things that need to happen. First of all, you need to have a great leader. Second, that leader needs to have a clear vision in mind of the change they want to make and be able to clearly communicate that North Star with their team to bring change into reality.

Since Blackbullion was started five and a half years ago, Vivi has been leading everything we do at Blackbullion, with clear goals in mind of what she wants to achieve. 

Learn more about Vivi and her vision for the company, plus lots more, in this fifth instalment in our ‘Building Blackbullion’ series.

Please introduce yourself to those who might not know you.

Hi there! I’m Vivi, the founder of Blackbullion – I’m the one that talks too fast, smiles too much and believes that if you want it badly enough (and are prepared to work for it) you can literally change the world!

After almost 10 years in wealth management for high net worth families and individuals, I set up Blackbullion with the aim of helping millions of students around the world get their money sorted, not just while studying but beyond. It’s a huge goal but I’m convinced it’s what I am meant to be doing. Young people aren’t amassing much wealth and they’re sinking deeper into debt. We need to change that. It’s why I set up the company.

What does your day-to-day look like at Blackbullion?

The only consistency in my day is loads of meetings and loads of coffee and the 30 minutes I read each morning before starting the day. There is no predictability to my day otherwise – and I love that! 

My day is kinda split between regular work that needs to be done (operational stuff that’s boring but absolutely essential – like paying bills and dealing with lawyers), speaking with partners and students to understand how we can best serve them and lots of time spent with my team (everything from helping them to develop their skills to working together to solve all sorts of challenges). Then there’s looking at how we grow, who we work with and a million other things too.

The life of a founder is never boring!

What is your ultimate vision for Blackbullion?

I want Blackbullion to be the leading financial wellbeing company for students.

There has been an explosion in fintech services but most of them have been designed to help young people spend their money more “efficiently” or trade recklessly

There is no real facility for supporting young people to build wealth and assets for the future. This is exacerbating inequality, social immobility, the struggle for independence and all sorts of things – if Blackbullion can play a role in changing that then I will consider the business a success!

What’s the best piece of money advice you’ve ever received?

Start small, start early and never stop learning.

I made my first stock market investment when I was 15 (well, my mum had to put it through!) and though it was a small amount of money, I was totally hooked on the market. The idea that I could purchase an asset and that it would work while I was sleeping was really seductive. 

Tell us one interesting fact about yourself.

I was in business from a very young age. I started my first business when I was 6. It was a school (so in a sense I’ve come full circle!) where I, together with my best friend, taught 5-year-olds maths in the basement of the building I grew up in.

We ran it for a year (for free! I could have been a millionaire before my teens!) but then the business folded because a sheet of stickers went missing – the friendship busted and, alongside it, the school!

I set up my second enterprise when I was 8 selling sweets and crisps but didn’t yet understand profit so I was undercutting my supplier. Suffice to say that business didn’t last long.

What’s your favourite thing about Blackbullion?

I work with crazy talented and passionate people and we are building something that I genuinely believe will make the world a better place

If we can achieve 10% of what we hope for, millions of young people all over the world will be financially better off and there will be concentric circles of influence; one person who thinks of themselves as an asset and values their time and ability will influence others to do the same.

I truly believe that 1+1+1 = a million and that the team I am humbled to lead can really make this happen!

The goals Vivi has set for Blackbullion are huge, but they also have the power to do a lot of good in the world. Here’s Vivi’s Twitter, if you would like to hear more from her.

Check out our Marketing, Customer Success, Product and Design team instalments to learn more about how we work at Blackbullion, what each of our teams does every day and to get an insight into some of our team members, including their best pieces of financial advice.

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