“The key to success is to build your team with people who have equal amounts of experience, intelligence, and passion, and the rest will take care of itself.” –Michael Levine, CFO, Payoneer
Start early, stay late, be prepared, and don’t shy away from the street-fight environments surrounding start-up companies. These methods have helped Michael Levine to bound up an unconventional leadership ladder en route to the CFO office of Payoneer, the global B2B digital commerce company that he helped to take public in June of this year via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). According to Levine, Payoneer’s decision to go with a SPAC rather than a traditional IPO was influenced by his ability to share forecasts with prospective investors amid the pandemic’s digital commerce boom.Read More
Levine followed an untraditional path to the CFO office, from his start as an investment banker to his swift rise up through the ranks in the commercial banking, telecommunications, and healthcare software sectors. Fresh from Wharton, Levine recalls, he would wait at the end of the line queued up outside the vice chairman’s office each evening in hope of a brief audience. On occasion, he might eventually snag a precious few minutes after 8:00 p.m. to chat with the senior leader about his day and the investment bank itself.
Now, a decade after joining Payoneer, Levine starts his work at [5:30] each morning with a breakfast of payments volumes, fee revenue, take rates, customer acquisition costs, and other KPIs. Thanks in part to his long days, rigorous preparation, and “beyond what?” focus on why the numbers are what they are, Payoneer has grown from 100 employees and $13 million in revenue in 2011 to approximately 2,600 employees and revenue north of $345 million today.
Before each board meeting, Levine preps by asking and answering every question that the board might ask. His hard work lets him skate to where the puck is going to be, which his board appreciates: At times, they’ve asked Levine to help CFOs at their other companies to sharpen their board communications skills.
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CFOTL: Tell us about Payoneer … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Levine: Payoneer is a global payments and commerce enablement business that helps B2B or, basically, global trade businesses to sell and receive funds from other businesses and marketplaces. We really ease a lot of the friction. When you think about it, the world has changed so much. I’m celebrating my 10-year anniversary this week at Payoneer. I came into what was a relatively small company, and we’ve grown dramatically in this time. I’ve gotten to see the industry change, as well as our specific company.Read More
We serve the business-to-business customer, who runs the gamut from the largest enterprises out there to the small SMEs throughout the world. When you follow the money, what you generally see in global trade is transactions happening where cheap and efficient labor is generating products and solutions for more established markets. This means that emerging economies are selling into developed economies. We’re in more than 190 countries and territories around the world, so basically we cover the entire planet Earth. As trade grows, we grow.
Payoneer | www.payoneer.com | New York, NY