Meet the team – Introducing Carl McNeice, Chief Operating Officer

So Carl, tell us a bit about yourself:

I started off in science but decided that what I found most rewarding was working with, and meeting new people and that is somewhat limited as an academic scientis! So I joined an industry which has offered me great opportunities for different experiences and environments.

I spent 25 years with HSBC before joining Oxbury in September 2020.

I recently relocated to Chester from Kent which was the twelfth change of residence in my working career.

Outside of work I like to rock climb and spend a lot of time hanging out at climbing walls throughout the country and overseas with my daughter who climbs for the GB climbing team.

What is your role in Oxbury and when did you join?

I am the Chief Operating Officer so it's my job to ensure that things run as efficiently as possible, and we have appropriate controls and oversight in place to identify when this is not happening. I joined a few months before we went live so have had the privilege to see Oxbury grow from a concept to a fully-fledged and successful business.

Tell us about your background and how that has led to you working at Oxbury and the role that you are in?

I come from a different background to a number of Oxbury employees in that I did not have a specific farming background. I did bring 25 years of banking experience though, having worked for HSBC in a variety of frontline and back-office roles across lots of geographies, notably as the Head of Commercial Banking for Malaysia and the Global Head of Governance for Commercial Banking (yes that is as exciting as it sounds!)

As a member of our executive team, how would you describe Oxbury, and compare it to other banks in the market?

I genuinely believe that we have created an excellent culture which is focused on the customer and how we make Oxbury a meaningful player in our target market. Arguably we have already achieved this, but we have so much more we want to do!

The structure at Oxbury is intentionally flat so staff have unprecedented access to senior and executive level management. We value input from all staff so hopefully everyone feels like they have a role in developing and progressing the bank.

Since it has been 3 years since Oxbury obtained its banking licence, what is your proudest moment?

There are so many, as a collective I would say the resilience we showed to launch a bank through coronavirus (parts 1 and 2), the war in Ukraine, a multitude of new regulation and some bank failures thrown in for good measure. Throughout this the positivity and moral has been incredible.

As a people manager it is always great to see staff progressing within the bank and we have lots of great examples of that.

If I was to pick a single point for me personally, having never been involved in a start-up business, it was the moment we realised we had hit operational profitability and the business could support itself, that was hugely uplifting and rewarding to have the vision ratified.

Where would you like Oxbury to be in another 3 years?

I would love to see Oxbury fully established as the primary player in the Agricultural sector within the UK, and looking to other geographies where the model could work

Given we own our technology it would also hope we are progressing SaaS sales.

What is the most challenging part of your job as an executive member?

There are always more balls to juggle than you can handle, so there is a constant need to prioritise, delegate, and trust in colleagues to undertake their tasks.

How do your colleagues describe you in 3 words? 

Depends on the person but in general:

  • Pragmatic
  • Approachable
  • Knowledgeable

Do you have a funny moment you can share that has happened to you at work?

When I was a Relationship Manager working in Hong Kong, I ran into the office for an early morning meeting with a client. Upon arrival I realised I had no work socks, and the neon yellow running socks I did have did not go well with my pin stripe suit. Hong Kong stays open late but does not open early so I had no way of purchasing new socks. The only other person in the office was my boss (of about three weeks). Having exhausted my options, and the client being shown to the meeting room, I explained the position to my boss and he duly took of his shoes and gave me his socks. He has been a great mentor and friend since.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself or an interesting, yet unhelpful fact that you know?

I have a doctorate in Parasite Immunology so know lots of interesting facts about certain parasites. These are only helpful in certain locations and I have never used them in anything other than my thesis.