Bite recently welcomed Mark Jennings to the senior leadership team as Head of Partnerships. Having joined from VCP Apex, Mark brings over 20 years of industry experience. He previously held positions in capital raising, high net worth client advisory, portfolio management and trading at Morgan Stanley, LOM Securities (Bermuda) Limited, The Blackstone Group / GSO Capital and Alliance Bernstein, Highbridge Capital Management, Wilmington Capital, Bank of New York, and Prudential.
1. What attracted you to Bite?
MJ: What attracted me to Bite was the global, diverse, and dynamic team of investment banking veterans and technologists working under one roof. It was an opportunity to be involved in a very exciting, rapidly growing industry, alongside these impressive individuals.
2. Tell us a bit about your background: what have you done in your past roles?
MJ: I have over 20 years of experience within the industry, having held positions in capital raising, high net worth client advisory, portfolio management and trading. As such, my key differentiator is the extensive list of contacts that I’ve developed over the years, which I look forward to sharing with the team at Bite. Specifically, prior to this role, I was working for VCP Apex, who originally incubated and seeded Bite.
3. What do you see as the biggest challenge with digitising private markets?
MJ: The investment industry is constantly changing, and tech is a crucial tool to help support investors and those working within the industry to adapt to these changes. However, digitalising the private market industry is not an easy task, the biggest challenge being to adopt and work with technology one might not be accustomed to. Big firms are much further along in terms of digital adoption and expectation. This means that smaller firms can still capitalise on a first-mover advantage. Cloud/Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will have the largest impact on how private equity firms operate over the next ten years.
4. What is the first thing companies should look at when it comes to digital transformation?
MJ: For those that have not yet fully embarked on this digitalization journey, it is necessary that they carry out end-to-end reviews of their operations and look for ways to improve data capture and management, migrate from sub-optimal legacy systems and enhance the quality of services provided to their valued investors.
5. What are you hoping to contribute with at Bite?
MJ: By being responsible for partnerships, I’m hoping to drive business growth to accelerate Bite’s mission in changing the face of wealth management and digitalising alternative investments. This will come from my extensive institutional and retail experience, both internationally and domestically, having worked with and at, some of the largest wire house teams, RIA’s, broker dealers and multifamily offices as well as from the relationships I have at some of the largest firms in asset management, hedge funds, and private equity funds. I believe all of this can help scale our existing business and relationships, and the ones we plan on developing in the future.
6. Any last words of advice to companies interested in partnerships to digitalise their fund operations?
MJ: As digitisation accelerates, fund managers will have to adapt to continuous tech evolution. Our mission at Bite Investments opens possibilities in alternative investment markets with digitisation, and a new forward-thinking approach, enabling firms to configure their own digital platform to improve the experience for existing and prospective investors and limited partners.
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