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Spotlight with Mark Brown, Regional Vice President of Sales, APAC

Cambridge Global Payments January 10, 2019

Tell me about your role?

I was recently appointed Regional Vice President of Sales for the APAC region and in this role, I look after new business sales and manage the National Business Development Managers and Business Development Associates to generate and acquire new business.

 How does your role support Cambridge’s mission?

I’ve been here four years and it’s been a great journey. The organisation’s strategy has been really clear since the beginning – grow the APAC region. The staff that has been here for the last number of years have built a strong customer base and have also developed long term partnerships that have helped us grow and support Cambridge.

 How long have you’ve been at Cambridge?

I’ve been here for over four years. I started at our Sydney APAC HQ and moved to Melbourne 18 months ago. We also just moved to a new office in Melbourne due to our continued growth and long term strategy in our region.

Have you always known that you wanted to work in your field?

Probably not, but I’ve been doing this for 13 years and I love it the same today as I did 13 years ago. It’s an addictive vertical to be in and you get to meet an array of different organisations and people. One day you are talking to a clothing brand, the next day you are talking to a timber organisation. I love that there is always something new and challenging with the people that I work with. It’s always something different and we have to tailor our solution to their unique needs.

 What do you enjoy the most about your job?

The people that I work with. I love working with the team at Cambridge Australia. So many personalities — and it’s always great when you have won or maintained an account and you see the joy and elation from a staff member after all the hard work they have done – it’s really satisfying.

 What do you find most challenging about your job?

I think the most challenging part is the ebbs and flows. When you have worked on an account for a long time trying to win it and then the account decides to go somewhere else… you see your teammate take a downswing. You must be there to support them and help them get back up to work the next account. It’s important to manage expectations — realising that you don’t win them all.

Also, one of the most challenging aspects of managing people is working with the wide range of personalities. It’s a fine line — being the manager and letting them know you have their backs and seeing them as people and not just numbers.

 What are some career lessons you have learned thus far?

The lesson I’ve learned is to never give up. You’re always going to have challenges in front of you. Today’s problem is tomorrow’s memory. Own your number, if you say you are going to deliver on something, make sure you deliver on that promise. Treat people with respect and integrity. You do not have all the answers or get it right all the time. Learn and develop from the past and have a high degree of respect for the people around you.

 What is your philosophy on life?

I’m a big believer in my family and spending quality time with them. We work all week and I look forward to spending time with my wife and children on the weekends.

 Before working at Cambridge, what was the most unusual job you had?

I was a waiter in London, UK and lived there for many years. It was like watching an episode of Fawlty Towers. It was fast-paced and fun and I was surrounded by some amazing fun people, and it was non-stop laughter. I was the most horrible waiter, but they kept me because I could make customers laugh.

 Do you have any passion projects?

My passion is the Australian Football League, (AFL). It’s played for six months of the year, from March to September and my wife knows that during this time every event is scheduled around when my team plays.

Even my kids have been brainwashed to follow the Hawthorn Football Club, aka the Hawks. It’s great getting everyone around the TV or attend a match as a family.

What does true leadership mean to you?

Leadership to me is about being authentic. I’ve seen people transition into leadership roles and often forget where they came from and what helped them get there. I believe you should stay true to who you are. To me, you should be the same person in and outside of work.

 What is the best vacation you’ve been on and why?

Travelled around Europe in a dodgy van and visited every Western European country with my wife over several months. We did it because it was there to be seen.

What advice would you give to someone looking to work in your field?

It’s hard. Working in this field- corporate FX –   is difficult and you have to be resilient. You can’t take a customer or prospect saying no to you personally. You have to move on and you have to adapt to the ever-changing environment that is the FX market.