When Mike Baker touches down in Wollongong, it is as if he hasn't left his home in London.
The grey skies and on and off rain make the Illawarra indistinguishable from Islington, but for the newly appointed managing director of Wollongong and Jamberoo-based financial services firm Finocomp, the connection goes deeper than just the weather.
Finocomp creates software utilised by UK-asset fund managers for the UK wealth market.
Founded by Ray Tubman in 2015, Finocomp has grown to employ software engineers and developers across its two sites in Wollongong and Jamberoo, and Mr Baker said there were no plans to change this.
"There are reasons why businesses are successful and it's going to be the people that work for them."
Indeed, as the company has grown, it was listed on Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 companies in Australia, the locations in Jamberoo and Wollongong have been a draw card to attract talent.
New hires located in the UK, South Africa, Hong Kong and Argentina have decided to move to Wollongong not only because of the job, many can work remotely, but because of the lifestyle that it offers.
With this base of talent in play, Mr Baker said the company plans to expand its target market to cover wealth management not only in the UK but Europe and South Africa.
This growth will undoubtedly extend the business, but Mr Baker said that working together in a face-to-face manner will still be a core part of the way the business works.
"When you're around a whiteboard, it comes out. We'll find better solutions to the same problem."
Leanne Isabella, HR manager at the business, said that while working remotely, a focus for the business has been to create social connections between staff, even those working remotely.
"We doubled during COVID, from 35 to 70 people so it was really important to have that cultural immersion into our company," Ms Isabella said.
Under Mr Tubman, one of the unique aspects of the company was that each staff member chose a superhero to be associated with from a book of thousands of characters. In the Wollongong office there are even lifesize figures in between work desks.
Mr Baker is known as Stick, and said that the result was unsprurising.
"A tall greyish character with a very long stick," Mr Baker said. "No word of a lie, I put the book down and opened it and there was just an old, greyish looking man with a stick."
With Finocomp expected to expand further, it seems some things will not change.
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