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Vice President of Engineering

Background            

Ascent is a team of compliance officers, lawyers, data scientists, and technologists united by the goal of helping businesses save enormous amounts of time and money and reduce risk while navigating the complex world of regulation.

We are a new type of company focused on regulatory technology, or “RegTech.” Our economic model is Intelligence-as-a-Service (InTaas), a paradigm shift in how services are productized, and an exciting opportunity to build new business models with higher gross margins than legacy SaaS companies. We use modern techniques like machine learning and predictive analytics to take the tough work out of compliance.  Our software breaks down complex regulations into data points, extracts information from those data points and re-combines them to create a platform which makes compliance teams effective and efficient.

Since 2008, the banking sector alone has spent more than $321 billion on settlement, enforcement action and fines.  Those same companies spend almost $270 billion a year on compliance related costs.  The Ascent platform makes it easy for compliance officers in regulated industries like, but not limited to, banking to see exactly what is expected of them, then track and report on the steps they’re taking to stay compliant. The intelligence and tracking system we have created allows our customers fulfill their obligations in an exponentially more efficient manner so they can focus on creating value for their customers.

Since we hired our first full time employee two and a half years ago we have grown to a team of over 50 and plan to significantly increase that number over the next year.  With this growth we are looking for a VP of Engineering.  This individual will be a member of our Leadership team and help ensure our organization can effectively scale as we enter a period of rapid growth.

When will I start?

ASAP.  If we meet the right person today, we are ready to bring them on-board.

Who will report to me?

This individual will initially manage a team of ten that we expect to grow to a team of eighteen to twenty in the next 6 to 9 months. 

What will I Do?

This is a new position for the team at Ascent – our CTO has been with us since our company was founded and is now focusing his time on long term R&D and systems architecture.  We expect this person to be a partner to the CTO but the core of their role will be leading our development teams and partnering with senior leadership to understand business objectives, interface closely with Product to deliver customer projects, and strategic leadership of our development capabilities efficiently and effectively  .  There are three core areas that this person will focus on over their first year:

First, we expect a significant part of this person’s time to be focused on team building.  Hiring is a top priority over the next twelve months.  This person will work with internal teams and external partners to oversee the expansion of the team which will double the size of the existing group.  We are looking for someone with a strong network and a great reputation who will be able to hire great engineers at all levels.  As they build the team, they will work in the group to establish trust and respect through a supportive, hands on relationship and management style.  We have gone through major team changes over the last six months and truly want this individual to communicate what is needed to build a great engineering culture and invest in a roadmap that will get us there.  It is important to note that we are very open to different strategies for growing the team – this person should explore all avenues which may include outsourcing or buying technology rather than building from scratch. 

Second, over the first few months we would like to see this individual become an established leader on the Executive Team.  This will primarily be accomplished by working to build a clear development strategy and implementation plan.  Ultimately, this VP should see the Executive Team as their “first” team.  We are a well aligned group of leaders and have seen too many other growth companies fall into the trap of creating an “us vs. them” engineering culture.  We want to keep alignment strong as we scale – we believe this will make us more effective and, frankly, ensure that we love coming into work every day.  This individual should spend a good amount of time explaining business goals to their team to ensure they understand the “Why?” behind their effort and align individual goals to the business objectives. We have learned that this is a key motivator for our employees   Conversely, this person should make time to articulate the value of engineering effort to the rest of the business.  We want the whole company to understand the challenges of the engineering group and celebrate their successes.

Last, and perhaps most important, this person will spend much of their time ensuring team is spending their time wisely and that their deliverables are predictable and reliable.  There are always tradeoffs that need to be made when growing quickly (balancing solution prototypes vs. high-quality code, the need to architect vs. firefighting, etc.).  This person will be trusted to make these decisions.  We would like to see them to establish a track record of making the right tradeoffs and clearly communicating their reasoning to the Executive and engineering teams.  

What will I Make?  What are the benefits?

Ascent offers a highly competitive base salary.  As a member of the Executive team this individual will also receive an equity package and access to all of our benefits package including health care coverage (medical, vision, dental) for individuals and families, 401(k) retirement plan and life insurance.  We are happy to discuss details about the above with qualified candidates during the first interview.

What are the requirements?

It’s not a short list but we want to get it right.  From a cultural perspective, the right candidate will:

  • Have contributed to strategic decision-making outside of their functional area and be comfortable challenging leaders in a constructive manner to make a business better.

  • Have shown that they can avoid creating a silo around their function.  They should have a proven background working with an Executive team to communicate their team needs while keeping the rest of the organization in mind.

  • Have a track record of hiring and developing passionate, high-performing, team members.  They will be someone that people want to follow to their next job.

  • Be intellectually curious and flexible, understanding the challenges of managing continuous improvement in fast growing company.  The right person will have a background in improving an organization without neglecting core obligations.

  • Truly value diversity and inclusion.  This is a deal breaker for us.  We believe in the power of D&I and have purposefully built our team to reflect that.  This individual should be able to articulate the importance of D&I and understand the true business value of having a diverse team.

  • Be comfortable being disruptive – has the experience and confidence to make their voice hear and be credible when advising executives. 

From a technical and leadership perspective, the right candidate will:

  • Be interested in the challenges we face on the development side with hands on technical experience relevant to Ascent including:  Azure, AWS, Elastic search, React, Ruby on Rails, Python, AWS, Azure, neo4j.

  • Have made a clear impact at previous companies and known for establishing a “best practices” engineering environment.

  • Be able to work with Sales, Product, Tech and Leadership organization to model out different scenarios and set realistic goals for what is possible now and in the future.

  • Have demonstrated the ability to balance and appropriately prioritize tech debt and feature development.

  • Have experience successfully managing and growing a high performing dev ops team.

  • Have proven track record in developing multi-faceted engineering scaling strategies including outsourcing or buy vs. build strategies.

  • Has a growth mindset.  Thinks about what their company will look like 1, 2 and 3 years out and what the engineering team will need to do to ensure it can get there.

  • Has a track record of setting clear goals and holding others accountable – believes in and has a strong track record in Agile/SCRUM framework and processes.

  • Has experience in establishing strong QA practices and data driven monitoring and assessment of engineering deliverables.

What else?

Ascent is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability status.

How do I get in touch?

Interested candidates should reach out to Grant Zallis at grant@consultiar.com.