Chris Looby started at Financial Recovery Technologies 10 years ago as an intern while getting his MBA at Boston University. Today, he is the Director of Operations where he oversees many of the workflows related to service delivery for our 800+ clients.
1. What are your top priorities and biggest challenges?
As Director of Operations, my role is largely focused on managing service delivery at FRT. I am responsible for ensuring that processes are properly designed and are always operating effectively. Also, when non-standard events arise, I am responsible for designing and implementing solutions that enable FRT to handle them.
Non-standard events often present our greatest challenges, but also the best opportunities for FRT to distinguish itself. Examples include the recent series of ADR FX Fee settlements, as well as the ongoing benchmark rate manipulation antitrust settlements. I have played a role in planning, designing, building and implementing FRT’s solutions to these and many other similarly challenging recovery events.
I am constantly asking myself: How do we give our clients a world-class service experience with FRT? How do we deliver a service that is both robust and flexible? And how do we drive projects forward to continually improve the quality of the client’s experience?
2. What does your typical day look like?
I start my day by reviewing anything that comes in from our foreign offices overnight to make sure their questions are handled in a timely manner. Given the time differences, it is important to address such inquiries as quickly as possible.
Then I review the projects and outstanding tasks for which my team and I are responsible. I try to make sure tasks are appropriately prioritized and that expectations are clear.
I like to work on process design and application building projects in the morning whenever possible because that’s when many of our client-related questions have not surfaced yet. By the afternoon, inquiries have commonly come in, so I dedicate my time to supporting our client services and sales teams. I also work with the technology development and business analyst teams to provide support and guidance on business rules for how I think our technology should work.
3. What is FRT doing to ensure they are adapting to the changing landscape of the class action industry while continuing to meet the needs of current and future clients?
The class action industry has shifted such that shareholder litigation is no longer being treated as a commodity, but rather as an asset (and potentially a risk) that needs to be managed thoughtfully. For most asset owners and managers, it is no longer enough to simply file claims and get your money back. Investors are making challenging decisions; they are designing their own best strategies for handling shareholder recovery opportunities, and FRT has been building the technology and expertise over the past several years to help its clients do just that. I think we are at the forefront in our industry when it comes to treating shareholder litigation this way.
4. What brought you to FRT and what keeps you here?
I came to FRT because I wanted to work for a company with an entrepreneurial spirit. I wanted a chance to help build something and feel like my contributions were influencing a world-class enterprise. When I met with the team members back in 2009, I instantly recognized that FRT was an incredibly smart group of people with a great idea. Although I’d never had any exposure to the shareholder litigation industry, as soon as I heard what it was and where they wanted to take the company, I saw the potential to learn, grow, develop and ultimately be successful with these people. Now, ten years later, we have over 100 employees and over 800 clients. I can look back and be incredibly proud and pleased that I made that decision so long ago. Also, I feel that the same qualities that drew me here ten years ago are still present, even with all of the growth we’ve experienced during that time.
Regarding what has kept me here for so long: it has been the continuous trust and responsibility I’ve been consistently given. Even as an intern, I was given substantial research projects, the results of which were taken seriously and acted-on by senior management. For example, what ultimately became FRT’s group litigation product started as one of my first research projects. When I presented my findings about non-U.S. shareholder recovery opportunities to the president of the company, he quickly detected value in it for our clients and committed resources to productizing it. The fact that I was able to have that kind of impact on a company at the get-go, and for anyone who comes here to know that they can have a similar experience to impact the business in a meaningful way, is very rewarding.
5. What is your biggest achievement to date at FRT?
I am most proud of FRT’s response to the challenges of processing the ongoing rate-manipulation antitrust settlements. When these settlements first started appearing in the market, they required a lot of new technology, new processes, and project management to make sure that all our clients were properly notified, that we got all the right data, and that when we got the data, we were handling it correctly.
Doing so required me to coordinate between the operations, technology development, sales and client services teams to handle a large number of new complexities. So, I would say I’m most proud of enabling FRT to pivot their focus and successfully work together to file well over 100,000 claims in a way that wouldn’t have been possible before. There are a lot of organizations where such a major pivot just wouldn’t have been possible and it’s because we’ve got a thoughtful team of people who deeply care about doing the right thing for our clients.
6. What advice do you have for someone considering a career at FRT?
Listen, react and learn from your peers. Don’t limit yourself to just your area of focus. The more you understand the larger context for our business, our industry in general, and understand what it is we do and why we sell our products, the more you’ll feel like you’re integrated into a team that is very special, talented and committed.
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Founded in 2008, Financial Recovery Technologies (FRT) is the leading technology-based services firm that helps the investment community identify eligibility, file claims and collect funds made available in securities and other class action settlements. Offering the most comprehensive range of claim filing and monitoring services available, we provide best-in-class eligibility analysis, disbursement auditing and client reporting, and deliver the highest level of accuracy, accountability and transparency available. For more information, go to www.frtservices.com.
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