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Meet Certua's Group Operations Director, Charles Fryer

Jessie Wang

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your background, what you do at Certua and outside of Certua

Hi, I’m Charles and I am the Group Operations Director at Certua. I have spent ten years in innovative tech start-up businesses bridging both software and hardware product development. With an initial focus on embedding Programme Management disciplines my role now encompass the programmes, projects and processes within the Group Operations department at Certua. I am a keen snowboarder, house doer-upper and music enthusiast.

2. Scaling up a business, you have to be prepared to take on many roles at one time, what is it like filling multiple shoes?

A great advantage of being involved in early stage, start-up or scaling businesses is that no day is the same and you have a real opportunity to make impactful change to the business. The Group Operations department covers a number of key functions that all have different requirements and time commitments. Splitting my time between these functions is key to ensuring all areas are appropriately functioning and deliverables are planned and executed. Any given day could be split between product priority sessions to cashflow planning and team member onboarding. Although careful planning is required, being involved in a department that sits across functions provides the insights and tools to manage all operational aspects of the business.  

3. What does your role entail?

Being in a role that is cross functional I am fortunate to see and work with many areas of the operational business. The Group Operations Department encompasses Programme Management, HR, Finance, Compliance, Legal and Customer Support. My role is therefore very varied and can entail many different deliverables from Roadmap planning to FCA reporting.

4. Certua is a FCA regulated company, what are the measurements we have in place to stay compliant?

Our Insurance and Open Banking product lines are FCA registered, which allows us to build fully regulated products and services. We are an FCA registered Account Information Services Provider for Open Banking and are listed on the Open Banking directory. For Insurance we are an FCA registered insurance intermediary allowing us to facilitate administration and distribution of insurance products.

With an ever changing regulatory landscape we have in place a centralised risk management system that tracks the requirements relating to applicable regulations, standards and laws. The system holds key information and requirements in relation to areas such as GDPR/ICO, FCA regulations, ISO, OBIE and many more. This risk management system enables us to have controls in place to remain compliant and to track changes in regulations to ensure we are adaptive and on the front foot when it comes to any new regulatory requirements.

The Certua Group is ISO 27001 and 22301 certificated ensuring our controls and commitments to IT security and business continuity planning are paramount to our operational processes.  

5. As a key leader in HR at Certua, how would you describe Certua's culture?

Certua aims to foster a culture of accountability and flexibility. We take an open approach to our working practices and collectively review and discuss our ways of working as a team to ensure we are building a collaborative culture. We are a remote first business with office hubs in London and Poprad for team members to meet, collaborate and work together. With no requirement to be in the office, all team members are set up with the tools and equipment they need to work fully remotely.

To ensure the team regularly come together our all company team meetings at the end of each sprint gives us the opportunity to review our roadmap, demo new software and give shout outs for team members hard work in the sprint.

With a flexible approach to working practices we strive to build a team that has a healthy working lifestyle and is able to work autonomously and with full accountability.

6. Please describe Certua in 3 words.

  • Inclusive
  • Innovative
  • Disciplined  

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