Fame, fortune, and scandals crown the life of the Silicon Valley fin-tech company founder, Mike Cagney. You might know Mike from the corporate world, but there is more to Mike's life than that. He takes credit for taking center stage in the formation of fin-tech company SoFi, where he has been the Chief Executive Officer as well as Chairman. Similarly, he has held quite prestigious positions in various companies in his career. Much of Mike's life known to people is about his enterprising nature, but that is only a snippet of his life. Here are some things you likely do not know about Mr. Cagney.
1. His academic achievements
It goes without question that Cagney took his education seriously as exhibited by his qualifications. He is an alumnus of the University of California Santa Cruz, which he attended for both his undergraduate and master's degree in economics. He was so focused on getting a quality foundation that even before he had graduated with honors, he had already started the master's program in his senior year. He holds a Master's degree in Science from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. It is during his time at Stanford that he and his colleagues came up with the idea of SoFi.
2. Listed among prominent Sloan Fellow alumni
Sloan fellowship is a program that aims at stimulating fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. Mike's eligibility enabled him to undertake a Sloan fellowship while studying at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. It is here that he developed his leadership and management capabilities as an experienced executive. As maintained by Crunchbase, his managerial tactics are quite admirable, from daily interaction with So-Fi members during his tenure as Chief Executive Officer to reading and responding to member feedback. He also hosts members at his home to know the customer's financial goals and needs.
3. He prioritizes health and fitness
As a successful fin-tech company founder, anybody would be more than eager to know any tips that have propelled him to such great heights. Contrary to your expectation, Mike's simple life hack has nothing to do with finances; instead, it is all about healthy living. In his interview with Thrive Global, he talks about his discovering that routine running exercises resulted in his lean muscles and deposit of fats. He also switched to cycling and weights, a habit that led to great results.
4. Mike's revitalizing novel
We all do have books that influence our lives in one way or the other. For Mike Cagney, the book happens to be "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson. It is an award-winning cyberpunk novel that is highly classical in envisioning the future. The story played a compelling role in Mike's inclination towards technology. It does a better justification for his shift from the banking industry to the technology niche.
5. He launched Figure
After his departure from SoFi, Mike began a consumer financial solution company powered by blockchain. It falls under the home equity line of credit based on the services it offers its clients. The startup has grown to a valuation of staggering 1.2 billion US dollars, and Mike is responsible for the company's equity and debt capital markets as well as other areas.
6. He stepped down as CEO of SoFi over sexual harassment allegations.
Mike Cagney had a series of sexual harassment allegations against him. Laura Munoz, an executive assistant at the organization, accused him of sending sexually explicit and flirtatious messages. After finding out that there was no sexual relationship between the two, the board paid $75,000 to Laura for her to leave the firm. Unfortunately, that was only the first of many sexual harassment allegations that would plague the executive since he even bragged about his sexual conquests. Consequently, it was only a matter of time before the board threw him out.
7. His wife stepped down from So-Fi
Mike's wife, June Ou, followed her husband's out the door after he was ousted as the CEO. Her departure came after fellow top executives quit, too, as the company continued to deal with scandals caused by the sexual abuse claims. June, however, did not publicly declare the reason for her departure. Perhaps it was her way of showing her support to Mike.
8. His favorite quote is from Henry Ford
Mike shared a quote he loves. "If I asked people what they wanted, they would say faster horses." Cagney finds this statement to carry a lot of weight, thus views it as his pillar towards building a devoted client base. He is confident that focus on excellent customer experience is the driving force for a successful organization. It is evident throughout Mike's career that his managerial approach is customer-oriented. After all, he goes to the extent of inviting clients to his home for dinner in an attempt to understand customer needs.
9. He does not tolerate phones in meetings
What would you do if Mike Cagney invited you to a business meeting? If you are not aware of his no phone policy in meetings, there is a high chance you would ruin a possible investment opportunity. Mike loathes the distraction caused by phones, especially in company meetings. Moreover, it so not just in the office that he does not keep checking his phone; unlike most people who will sleep with their phones under their pillows, Mike will have it close by but disable any notifications.
10. He worked in multiple companies before So-Fi
Before serving as Chief Executive Officer, he got involved with various companies in different capacities. He is a founder and a managing partner at the Cabezon investment group. Mike also At Wells Fargo, he was the company's vice president and headed the department of proprietary trading and financial products. He also was the co-founder and CEO of Finaplex, where he stayed at the helm for five years and six months.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee