Print
Banking & Finance

NCino CEO Details 'unicorn's' Growth, Keys To Success

By Jenny Callison, posted Mar 27, 2019
Pierre Naudé, CEO of banking software company nCino, speaks during the WilmingtonBiz Conference and Expo on Wednesday at the Wilmington Convention Center. (Photo by Michael Cline Spencer)
Pierre Naudé, CEO of banking software company nCino, gave his audience some behind-the-scenes insights about the company's rapid rise to becoming what some have called Wilmington's unicorn. The term "unicorn," as it applies to the business world, refers to a privately held company that is valued at $1 billion or more.
 
Naudé spoke Wednesday to a sold-out luncheon crowd of more than 500 at the WilmingtonBiz Conference and Expo, presented by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.
 
As a 2012 spin-off from Live Oak Bank, Naudé said, the software seedling had the access to capital it needed to take its Salesforce-based software to a much more extensive market. He emphasized the importance of nCino's reaching a critical presence in that first market before expanding into others.
 
That expansion is happening now. Naudé spoke about nCino's two strategic initiatives: to expand internationally and to expand its software from supporting commercial lending only to streamlining retail banking functions and, most recently, customer onboarding processes. 
 
"All customer onboarding used to involve cumbersome processes. Now, with the cloud, they can be fluid," Naudé said.
 
nCino's international growth is supported by offices it has established in London, England, Sydney, Australia, and Toronto, Canada. From those bases, the company is expanding its reach throughout Europe, the Asia Pacific region and North America, respectively. He detailed the work entailed in providing software that navigates 47 languages, a variety of currencies, and a number of regulatory frameworks.
 
That job just might get more complex.
 
"We're studying an entry into Japan," the CEO said.
 
Asked if Brexit difficulties could have an impact on nCino's operations and growth in the U.K. and Europe, Naudé responded that the lengthy Brexit debate and associated uncertainties have been "frustrating," but that he believes there's a large enough market in the U.K. to support nCino's ongoing business there. But if a continued headquarters in London proves too problematic, an option would be to move nCino's European office to Amsterdam.
 
"The Dutch are flexible," he said, citing the Netherlands' cultural and business connections with many of its neighbors.
 
Asked if nCino hopes to become the banking software of choice in the SunTrust-BB&T merger, Naudé responded, "You always hope you're on the winning side of a merger."
 
Since SunTrust is already an nCino customer, the company hopes that the merged entity will continue to use that technology, he added.
 
One of Naudé's principal themes is nCino's people-centric culture. For the past several years, the company has ranked as one of the top technology firms to work for.
 
In his remarks Wednesday, he spoke about nCino's egalitarian mindset, encouraging each of its employees to think freely and creatively to solve problems and advance the company's success.  The three groups of people nCino focuses on, Naudé said, are 1) its employees, 2) its shareholders and 3) its customers.
 
"If you take care of numbers 1 and 3, number 2 will be happy," he explained.

nCino's location in Wilmington has been a contributing factor to its success, according to its CEO.
 
"This community has been fantastic to us," Naudé said. "The most pleasant surprise has been the quality and level of people we have found here. We now get about 1,500 resumes every quarter and hire 150 to 200 people each year." He added that, of nCino's roughly 600 employees, more than 200 have come from UNCW.
 
Asked what challenges exist in attracting potential hires to Wilmington, Naudé said some candidates want to know what other tech employers exist in the area, should a job with nCino not work out. They also want to know if there is employment for their spouse.
 
"We have a fairly large number of couples working in our company," he said.
 
nCino's recruiting function resides in its marketing unit because the company sells the Wilmington area's amenities and quality of life as part of its recruitment efforts, Naudé explained.
 
When he was asked to explain the presence of many alligators in the nCino workplace, Naudé recounted a hunting expedition that had landed an alligator head in the headquarters building. He told customers that the head symbolized nCino's ability to eat the competition.
 
Several more alligator heads and tiny replicas later, the CEO stands by his metaphor.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Dallas headshot 300x300

Realistic Timelines

Dallas Romanowski - Cornerstone Business Advisors
Michaelhiggins 41019104338

Unique Ways To Always Remember Loved Ones

Michael Higgins - Dignity Memorial
Chris coudriet

New Hanover County Offers Expertise And Resources For Safe Reopening

Chris Coudriet - New Hanover County Government

Trending News

Downtown Wilmington Restaurant Closes Permanently

Jessica Maurer - Jun 3, 2020

Joint Venture Buys Private Marine Terminal In Wilmington

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 4, 2020

Flying Machine Brewing Co. Expanding To Wrightsville Beach

Jessica Maurer - Jun 3, 2020

Oak Island Publix: One Of Two New Stores To Open Since Chain's Virus Decision

Cece Nunn - Jun 3, 2020

California-based Tech Company Opens An Office In Wilmington

Johanna Cano - Jun 4, 2020

In The Current Issue

Survey Shows Downtown Economic Loss

A recently released economic study conducted by Wilmington Downtown Inc. shows more significant job and sales losses for some downtown busin...


Addressing Chronic Illnesses Online

Chronic diseases continue to be a focus for the YMCA of Southeastern North Caroli­na, which recently re­structured its evidence-based health...


Major Projects Move Forward

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, work has continued on many major projects in the Wilmington area, from construction to planning phases....

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2020 Leadership Accelerator: Virtual Workshops for Real Leaders
2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`