Exclusive: ‘Going In For The Thrill’ – Lisa “Balls of Steel” Violet, Varo Bank in “Buckaroos 2022”
Varo Bank will go down in history as America’s first ever nationally-chartered bank. Somehow, despite the global pandemic, far-reaching recession and political carnage the team managed to burst out from beta status and power into an official launch. And it never have happened without the sterling work of Lisa “Balls of Steel” Violet. Go Violet!
Overcoming exceptional challenges
Violet joined the team at Varo in 2019, to help the bank open for business. After half a decade of planning, 2020 was going to be the year that the bank finally cut the ribbon and welcomed customers. Anyone who’s interested in fintech – so basically everyone who reads this magazine, you absolute legends – knows this journey is crazy difficult. And for Violet it was even more of a challenge because this buckaroo was responsible for all things risk.
All things risk… for a newly launching bank, in the middle of a global-pandemic-fuelled recession and poltical anarchy. Most of us would have run screaming for the hills. When we asked Violet why she decided to take on this insane task, cool as a cucumber she replied, “I firmly believe technology is one of the greatest equalizers. Banking needed a transformation to better serve the needs of the modern consumer”.
But we are not done. Oh no sir. Because in addition to shouldering this earth-shattering risk, Violet was also responsible for securing a charter for the bank. Not any old charter. Only the first of its bloody kind in the whole of America. Like for real you guys. This is too much.
Being an insanely nice professional…
We’re going to level with you. Interviews don’t always go as planned. We do a lot of them, and let’s just say sometimes it’s a struggle. But Violet made the process easy. She replied straight away, super polite, uber professional… And to top it off she came back with some absolutely BANGING quotes. We asked about the best lesson Violet had learned in fintech so far, and we really fell for her logical approach. “Always think and act tech forward while informed
by the data”, she explained. “Disruptors do get disrupted. The pace of innovation is intense. Making business decisions based on the
best prevailing data is competitive advantage”.
…But also secretly badass
“I’ve travelled every continent in the world, have been to 32 countries, lived in five, and am only just getting started”, Violet begins. We buckle in. “The world with all its cultures is for me the richest of pleasures”, she continues. “I hope civilian space travel comes within my reach. I’ve sky dived a few times. Each time I’ve gotten a fresh perspective on things after jumping out of the airplane and looking at the horizon”…
Does anything get this Buckaroo flustered? Like, seriously? Launching a bank? Jumping out of a plane? Welcome to the gang Lisa “Balls of Steel” Violet!