Meet Cake: this is Olivier

By Davy Kestens

We’re a fully remote team of about 20 people spread across 3 countries, all working together to build Cake and improve the financial well-being of every consumer. Meet the people behind Cake in this new blog series. Because it is his birthday today, we kick off with Olivier.

Name: Olivier Voordeckers
Age: 28, since today, woeha! 🎂🎉🥳
Role: Compliance officer
Making Cake since: October 2019
Location: Alken, Belgium or Luxembourg City, Luxemburg

Tell us about your work space photo

Usually I work from home which can either be Luxembourg City or Alken, near Hasselt, depending where I need to be for professional or family reasons.
This is a photo of my usual workspace in Alken, it’s not my usual way of working though. 

At Cake we have a bi-weekly conference call with the entire team in which everybody gets updated about everything that’s going on in the company. This picture was taken during one of those calls in the third week of the Corona measures in Belgium. Because of the measures, Davy, our CEO, had this idea to turn the meeting into a Friday-after-work-drinks-call and to organize a dress-up contest.  The best-dressed team member received a free gift box from Foodmaker, one of Cake’s commercial partners.

I decided to take this contest very seriously so I dressed up and even decorated my office into a beach setting.🏖 I won the contest.😎

What do you do at Cake?

As a Compliance Officer I assure that Cake complies with all the regulatory requirements. These can be financial requirements (such as capital requirements enforced by the National Bank of Belgium) but these can also be corporate governance requirements to make sure that Cake is managed in a sound manner. Other requirements are the anti money laundering requirements to prevent users from using our app to launder dirty money. An additional domain of compliance is GDPR.
An important part of my job is making sure that the privacy rights of the Cake users are being respected. 

I usually start my working day at 9 in the morning. I start by reading my emails and checking my Slack notifications. Once that is done I go through my daily to-do list. Since I’m a compliance officer, there is a compliance plan that needs to be done almost on a weekly basis. 

Why Cake and not another company?

After finishing my PhD in banking law I was very eager to finally get some practical experience. I had been studying law for a total of 9 years, and specialised in banking law for the last 4 years. It became time to put all that theory into practice. 

My brother Frederik, one of the developers who joined Cake in the very early days, told me about Cake when they were still in the process of obtaining a license as a financial institution. He told me about the business model and about the fact that they were looking for a Compliance Officer. I got quite interested from the start. It sounded like an opportunity to do something out of the box, to combine professional banking law with some creativity. 

It felt like a challenging experience to ensure that a complete new type of financial institution with a very non-traditional business model, complies with all those very stringent requirements.

I started talking to Yves Bovin, Cake’s Head of Legal. About one week later, we met up for a coffee in Hasselt. At this very moment Cake was not yet in the process of hiring someone on compliance, so it took a few months before I got contacted again to have another meeting with Yves, this time together with the other founders of Cake. Three days later, I got hired.

I’m still convinced I made the right decision. As a lawyer in a quite technical field, I’ve been able to do a great deal of creative work as well and that was exactly what I was looking and hoping for. 

What’s your most memorable Cake moment?

That would be the second team building in which I participated. At Cake we have a tradition that at random times, unexpecting team members are suddenly selected to give a speech to the entire group without any preparation. So you’re suddenly called out and you have to tell a story to the entire group. It’s basically an improvising exercise that you need to do. When it was my turn during that teambuilding, we were at a restaurant and I had to make up a story and had no clue what to say. But in the end it became a rather hilarious moment.🙈

How do you experience working at Cake while living abroad?

We have a lot of flexibility in planning our working hours. Of course there are many deadlines and work needs to be done but we have the freedom to decide for ourselves how we plan our working time. Since we don’t have an office, we can work from wherever we want which is very convenient if you live abroad or in 2 different countries like me. Thanks to this I can reconcile my work and my commutes. The flexibility at Cake was also one of the reasons why I was very interested in working here. 

What’s your favorite cake?

I would say a birthday cake.😋 If I have to make a choice I would say a petit beurre cake, probably because it contains cognac.

Any topping on the Cake?

I would like to use this occasion to say thank you to all my amazing colleagues because we don’t get to see each other in person very often. Especially not during these weird times we’re living in right now. It has been an amazing adventure so far and I’m convinced it is because of this great group of people!