From Media to Media Relations: 3Points Welcomes Spencer Doar as Our New Content Strategist
The financial industry is, admittedly, not always the easiest space to understand. The technology is leading edge, the ecosystem is vast and complex, and regulation is constantly changing. 3Points has been working at the intersection of trading and technology since our founding nearly a decade ago, but we’re the first to admit we are still in a constant state of learning.
That is just one of the many reasons we are excited to announce our latest hire, Spencer Doar. We’ve known Spencer for years as an accomplished journalist at John Lothian News, one of our favorite media outlets for the financial industry. With his capital markets knowledge, his journalistic background, and his team-first attitude, we already know he will be a difference-maker for 3Points. Get to know him a little better below!
You had a great run at John Lothian News — what were the key things you learned there?
It’s a simple phrase, but one whose importance resonates with me in life, not just trading: dictum meum pactum, or, my word is my bond. While it could be said of any endeavor, trust in this industry is of the utmost importance. After all, the almighty dollar is at risk! It still boggles my mind that for decades of open outcry trading the word of a trader was (and still is) his bond. It worked and it worked well. Remarkable. Could other industries of similar import have thrived on such a venerable principle? I’m not sure.
Bottom line, the way you treat others matters and it matters for the long term. The financial services world is huge, yet it can feel like a small club where familiar faces abound. Since the revolving door principle is indeed a truism in the derivatives space, your reputation will follow you. So it better be in decent shape.
As for the book learning side of things, it is hard to impart the sheer volume of market history and color commentary I absorbed from just sitting by John and the team on a day-to-day basis. It was an excellent place to be a sponge. From exchange politics to contract spec minutiae to the plight of the modern liquidity provider, conversations truly ran the gamut. Also, I was told to never get involved with pork bellies. I don’t really know the reason why — and it’s not even a tradable futures contract anymore — but it stuck with me.
What are you most excited about as you step into PR? And how do you think your journalism experience will help you?
I like figuring out how the sausage is made. (I read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle at perhaps too early an age…) But learning your way around a new neck of the woods on its own isn’t enough — it has to be with the right people. I’m happy to say this team provides the right circumstances. PR, unlike some fields, does not require a license or whatnot to practice — so knowing I’m with the good ones with the right values adds to my excitement. I can say this with confidence as I met Drew and the 3Points team pretty early on in my financial journalism days.
As for prior experience, I come in knowing what does and does not resonate with the media, as I’ve seen it from the other side for so long. Plus, my time with JLN gave me a wealth of opportunities to build a network of smart, driven people whose expertise I can draw upon.
What do you enjoy about the fintech industry?
I like the pace of change. With market microstructure ever evolving and regulatory catalysts always looming, fintech is the bleeding edge. Moreover, it’s those aforementioned smart, driven people who populate the field that add much of the allure — as they say, you are the company you keep.
What do you think are the key trends to look out for in fintech over the next year or two?
Over the next few years I expect the “focus on what you do best” trend to continue. While firms have slowly stepped away from the “all we want to do is cut costs” mentality that subsumed financial services in the wake of ’08, the fact of the matter is that a lesson has been learned from that: there is no need to handle any and all projects internally. So I fully expect tech vendors to continue providing operational boons that help the bottom line. Of course, now that firms are back to a more growth-oriented mode, the world of pain points that fintech vendors can address is much larger than when we lived in the “all we want to do is cut costs” era. Oh, and this DLT stuff isn’t going to disappear. Notice how I didn’t say “innovation” once in any of these answers?
It’s football season, and we know you’re a Bears fan. If you had to compare members of the Bears lineup to Chicago fintech firms, which ones would you say are parallels and why?
I would have answered this question differently before the Bears’ putrid performance in the season opener against the Pack. That being said, here goes:
- Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith = Citadel — This is a performance comparison. The rest of the team (hedge funds) might not always be doing great, but at least we can count on these guys’ consistency.
- Eddy Pineiro = TopStepTrader — One of the legends is that in his college days, Pineiro beat out hundreds of other kickers during an Alabama tryout. (Side note: Pineiro didn’t even end up taking the ‘Bama scholarship and went to Florida instead.) The same goes for the Bears: Eddy earned his spot as kicker in camp by proving himself, just like a hungry trader with a chip on his shoulder might prove himself with TopStep in order to join a team (get funding).
- Trey Burton = MillerCoors (okay, not a fintech, but has a Chicago HQ) — For me he kind of embodies the motto ”great taste, less filling.” People are high on him (great taste), but what with injuries he never quite produces to my expectations (less filling). No wonder Chicago is drinking more Modelo…
- Mitch Trubisky = any fresh faced startup — We think there’s something good here, we’re just not sure how it’s going to work out. Let’s see what revenues are like this year after a bit more seed funding, shall we?