Getting to Know Cody Owens of Equabli

The “Getting to Know” series is sponsored by Applied Innovation. Applied Innovation is helping to shape the future of accounts receivable management. Product development is driven by customer feedback, agency profitability and compliance and includes platforms addressing client portal access, document management, payment negotiation, Regulation E focused electronic payment authorizations and TCPA communication authorization platforms. Partner with a company who understands your business challenges and evolves to provide cutting edge technology to overcome those challenges and achieve success.

Cody Owens is bringing the enthusiasm and passion of building a start-up to the accounts receivable management industry, which has not happened that often in recent memory. It’s easy to read his answers and feel how genuinely excited he is for building his company and the difference it can make. Read on to learn more about Cody, how walks around his neighborhood keep him focused, and his thoughts on why leadership and ego are definitely not one and the same.

Name: Cody Owens
Current Role/Job Title: President & CEO
Company: Equabli, Inc.
Length of time at current company: 1.5 years
Length of time in industry: 20 years in consumer financial services, 14 in debt management

How did you get your start in the industry?
I started in retail banking at Wells Fargo. After a few years, I joined HSBC to help build an auto-refinance product. In 2008, I joined Encore Capital Group where I spent 12 years in various capacities, but the majority of my time was spent optimizing international business that Encore had acquired. I lived in LatAm and Europe for the better part of a decade doing just that. In 2020, myself and four other industry execs decided to found and build Equabli… and here I am.

What is your career highlight so far?
There are two distinct highlights: 1) living abroad and optimizing businesses in a second language, and in distinct cultures was an extremely challenging but rewarding experience. 2) starting and building Equabli has been a unique challenge and an incredible learning experience. Seeing what we have built and the momentum we have generated after a year is extremely rewarding, and being able to work with our amazing team is no doubt a highlight of my career.

When or how are you most productive?
I am most productive in the early morning and late evening – no distractions, just in the zone. Early morning is typically when I focus on the things that move the business forward. Late evenings, is generally a lot of catch up. The time in between is generally filled with meetings. Most are done via teams or zoom, but for my one-on-ones and strategy-based sessions, I am most sharp and focused while walking around my neighborhood (my team may or may not agree with that 😊 )

Which industry professional do you admire most?
I have a long history with my co-founders Paul Grinberg, Brandon Black, Manu Rikhye, and Blake Hogan, and I have admired each of them for many years. They are brilliant and supportive, but more importantly, they are great people to the core and collectively, a consistent north star for me.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
This will sound strange, but I am proud to be a low-ego leader. I build great teams, and I try my best to get out of their way.

What do you like most about this industry?
It is ripe for innovation.

The Getting to Know Series is Sponsored By:

What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
Generally speaking, the industry remains relatively antiquated and fragmented – Equabli was founded to solve that.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Twenty years ago, I would be touring with my rock band from university. Today, probably helping optimize and scale an innovative start-up solving unique problems that help people.

Describe a typical work day.
I get up at 5am and do 1-2 hours of solid work, focusing on strategy and things that move the business forward. I then try and have breakfast with my wife and son. I’ll work out after that, and then get back to work around 9am until 6 or 7pm. During that time, I meet with my team (we have a regular cadence), and with existing and prospective clients. Some more time with family after that, and then I’ll work a bit more, catching up, and preparing for the day ahead. On a weekly basis, I do try and front load my meetings on Mondays and Thursdays, and leave Fridays open for production work.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I like dining out and traveling with my family.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Only focus on what you can control.

What are you currently reading?
Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I am a change agent, and serial optimizer, always aimed at improving the outcomes for client and consumer.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Dara Tarkowski

The “Getting to Know” series is sponsored by Applied Innovation. Applied Innovation is helping to shape the future of accounts receivable management. Product development is driven by customer feedback, agency profitability and compliance and includes platforms addressing client portal access, document management, payment negotiation, Regulation E focused electronic payment authorizations and TCPA communication authorization platforms. Partner with a company who understands your business challenges and evolves to provide cutting edge technology to overcome those challenges and achieve success

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