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10 Things You Didn't Know about David Velez

David Velez

What do you know about David Velez, the founder and CEO of Nubank? You may not be terribly familiar with the name, but there is a better than average chance that you've at least heard of the company that he directs. The truth is, he is a truly interesting individual who doesn't approach business in the same way that many other people do. Below are 10 of the more interesting things about him. As you're reading through the list, perhaps one or two of these things will resonate with you.

1. He wanted his company to be more than just another bank

One of the things that he was very insistent on was that Nubank not be the same as all of the other banks out there. As a matter of fact, he insisted on differences from the start on everything ranging from the fees charged to consumers to the types of services provided. As such, he worked diligently to trim down fees so that customers weren't paying the lion's share of the operating costs for the bank like they do with most other big corporations. When it comes to services offered, the bank operates on a digital basis, giving customers access to credit cards, checking accounts and even life insurance policies.

2. He doesn’t like seeing people being taken advantage of

One of the reasons that he decided to create his own digital bank was because he saw people being taken advantage of and it drove him crazy. He realized that in Brazil, 80% of the banks were controlling virtually everything and that meant they could do almost anything they wanted. As such, they had a habit of charging exorbitant fees and basically holding their customers hostage over things that were very basic and should have been provided at no charge whatsoever. He has never liked seeing others being taken advantage of, so he decided to do something about it and create a better product. Since that time, over 35 million people have decided to bank with his company.

3. He and his family had to flee to a different city when he was a child

He was originally born in Colombia but when he was only nine years old, he and his entire family were forced to flee the area because drug cartels in that region were fighting so severely that it was no longer safe to stay there. As a result, he and his family ended up in Brazil, where he grew up.

4. He believes in the power of education

This belief was instilled in him from an early age. He was always taught that with a good education, as well as a good dose of determination and hard work, anything was possible. As a result, he traveled to the United States and got a Bachelor of Science degree from Stanford University. After that, he went to that college's School of Business and obtained a Master's degree in Business. Clearly, his efforts have paid off. He has been able to accomplish things that most people can only dream of and he is still going strong.

5. He’s a family man

Again, family is something that was instilled in him from an early age. When he had to flee his native Colombia, he never felt entirely unsafe because he was with people that he knew would love and protect him, no matter what. That helped set the stage for his own desire to become a family man and provide that same level of protection and comfort to someone else.

6. He’s always had the spirit of an entrepreneur

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, as most people who are capable of thinking outside the box and making money in the process have something of an entrepreneurial spirit about them. He's definitely no exception. In fact, he says that he’s always had a strong desire to be an entrepreneur and see what he could really do if given the opportunity. In addition, he's never been one to let a lack of resources stop him from achieving his goals. Whether he had a lot of opportunities in front of him or not, he has had a habit of finding a way to create his own path. If he didn't have money to do something he wanted to do, he would find a way to make it. For him, it's all about the challenge of finding a way around an obstacle in order to achieve something that others might have previously thought impossible.

7. He found a rather unique way to pay for college

When he was twelve years old, he was given a cow for his birthday. He took that cow and sold it in order to buy two more. Eventually, he started a makeshift breeding program and ended up with six cows, along with additional money that he made from working virtually any summer job he could get his hands on. When it was time to go to college, his parents couldn't afford to send him so he took the money he had saved up from working all of those summer jobs and sold the six cows. That gave him enough money to get to the United States and pay for his first year of tuition at Stanford. It may not be a typical method of paying for tuition, but it was certainly effective.

8. He actually schedules time to sit and think

He says that the most important thing for him personally is the ability to think creatively. As such, he schedules a specific time each day that allows him to sit quietly and think, without interruption. Perhaps more people should follow his lead.

9. He doesn’t really like being in the public eye

He prefers to live the majority of his life privately as opposed to being in the spotlight. As a matter of fact, he has a tendency to refrain from commenting when people ask him questions about his net worth or anything else that he deems too personal.

10. He would rather donate his millions

He prefers to donate the majority of his money. As far as he’s concerned, he doesn’t need a great deal of money to live comfortably. Therefore, he would rather give that money to people who are living in abject poverty instead of keeping it.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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