Zach Perret is an American businessman and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of the fintech startup Plaid. He's a young entrepreneur who has been in the news recently for an attempted acquisition deal that went south. He is an example of how the younger generation is stepping up to the plate and taking their careers to new levels in record time. Perret has had an interesting journey in the world of business and it's just getting started. Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about Zach Perret that might provide you with some insights into how business success can be yours.
1. He is a graduate of Duke University
According to his LinkedIn page, Zach graduated from high school then went on to pursue his education. He was accepted at the prestigious educational institution Duke University. He studied physics, chemistry, and biology. He earned his bachelor's of science degree from Duke. While there, he participated in extra-curricular activities to balance his social and academic endeavors. He served as president of the Duke Student Union. This showed that he possessed leadership abilities.
2. Zach was a research fellow at Duke
While at Duke, Zach Perret served as a research fellow. He began his employment in 2006 engaging in the use of software control systems for optical microscopy. The purpose of the research was to shoot lasers at cancer to record the efficiency of removing the cells. He stayed at this post for 4 years, leaving in 2010.
3. He served on the Duke Board of Trustees
Zach became a member of the Duke Board of Trustees in 2008. He served on the board for two years, leaving the position in 2010. The Board of Trustees is the fiduciary for the university. It serves as the governing body for the institution. This important position provided Perret with experience overseeing strategic planning for the organization. The board of trustees also oversees operations, finances, the long-term health of the institution, and educational policies to ensure alignment with the overarching mission of the school.
4. Zach took a job with Bain
Before founding Plaid, Zach Perret accepted a job with the Boston, Massachusetts global consultancy firm Bain & Company. He was hired by an international firm that provides digital innovations and insights for organizations seeking to achieve the highest potential. He served as a consultant at Bain & Company from 2010 to 2011. He left to focus on the development of Plaid.
5. Zach co-founded Plaid in 2012
Perret founded Plaid with a partner in 2012. Since that time he serves as the chief executive officer, leading the firm in its forward movement and successful expansion. He has been with Plaid for the past 9 years. Plaid is a fintech firm that provides connectivity solutions for more than 11,000 financial companies throughout Europe, the United States, and Canada. Clients include Venmo, Microsoft, Expensify, and Betterment. The goal of the company is to build more inclusive and inefficient financial structures.
6. He has a firm grasp on changing market conditions in fintech
Perret granted an interview with CNBC, to discuss a recent failed acquisition attempt. A $5.3 billion deal that he engaged in to acquire VISA fell through recently. He was asked about the situation and what this means for Plaid. Zach evidenced a working knowledge of the changing market conditions. They're completely different than just 12 months ago. This is what prompted Plaid and VISA to pull the plug on their proposed acquisition as it would not have been a mutually beneficial situation given the current market conditions. Zach does not make knee-jerk decisions. He weighs the pros and cons and takes actions that are in his firm's best interests.
7. Perret is also an active venture capital investor
According to Crunchbase, Zach Perret keeps his eye out for new startups that have a high likelihood of becoming successful. He joined other investors and financially backed a new startup called TryNow in a Series A investment round. On March 22, 2021, he invested a total of $12 million in the new business. So far, this is the only company listed in his investment portfolio, but it represents a substantial investment in the company's future.
8. Zach Perret is a regular guest speaker at tech events
Perret has gained insight into the market and how fintech firms can overcome the ups and downs of an unstable market. He's been asked to speak at national and international events to share his opinions and offers advice for new fintech startups. In March of 2017, he was a speaker at the Lendit USA 2017 event held in New York. In October of 2017, he spoke at Money 20/20 2017 held in Las Vegas, followed by the Lendit Fintech USA 2018 event in San Francisco.
9. Zach stays busy with leadership and international guest speaking
While remaining at the helm as CEO of Plaid, Zach knows how to juggle a busy schedule. He makes time to speak at fintech industry events. This helps him stay in the loop on current happenings. He is invited to share his wisdom with others in the industry. In March of 2019, he spoke at the San Jose SaaStr Annual conference, followed by a guest appearance at the June 19, Fortune Brainstorm Finance 2019 in Montauk, New York. Zach spoke at the Web Summit Lisbon 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal, at Slush Helsinki 2019 in Helsinki, Southern Finland, and TechCrunchDisrupt 2020.
10. Zach Perret has received his share of accolades
According to Fortune, Perret and his partner William Hockey have created a firm that has become a major disruptor in the fintech arena. Through Plaid, they've improved the functioning of some of the largest financial companies in the world including Venmo, Robinhood, Microsoft, Shopify, and more. Their technology powers these mega-giants in the industry and they've reaped the benefits. Even though VISA decided not to follow through with the acquisition of Plaid for $5.3 billion, they're in good shape. The two co-founders are among the youngest and richest celebrities in the fintech industry. Perret has earned the distinction of making it to Forbes' recognition of powerful entrepreneurs in the 40 under 40 list.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee