Darragh Hayes is the CEO and founder of LEI Worldwide, a home-grown Irish company formed in 2017. LEI Worldwide was founded with the aim to assist entities in the process of obtaining an LEI number or a Legal Entity Identifier, and to help organisations to meet their regulatory requirements. LEI Worldwide cater for companies across the globe, and are multi-award winning RegTech company.
As part of our Member Series, we caught up with Darragh to learn more about LEI Worldwide, his decision to set up his own business, and why he felt Iconic was the right fit for him. The Garrison is one of our carefully restored Georgian buildings, located on Leeson Street Lower. With two fully equipped meeting rooms, state of the art facilities and five star service, Darragh felt as though The Garrison was the perfect HQ for his business.
Tell us a bit about LEI Worldwide?
LEI Worldwide is an award-winning RegTech that has created an API-tech driven solution called RAMP which centralises the management of Legal Entity Identifiers (LEIs). A homegrown Irish company founded in 2017 and headquartered in Dublin, LEI Worldwide provides a suite of LEI solutions to retail and institutional organisations that require the LEI for regulatory purposes as mandated by over 116 pieces of financial legislation globally.
LEI Worldwide facilitate entity identification in the global financial system, capital markets and private sector. We make it easier for firms to meet their LEI regulatory obligations by providing LEI codes quickly and reducing the risk of having a lapsed or expired LEI.
The refreshed branding and proprietary state-of-the-art tech solution known as RAMP (Registration Agent Management Platform) was released in January 2022 and is trusted by some of the world’s most well-known brands to manage, renew and maintain their LEI codes. RAMP allows multi-national companies who have a generally fragmented approach to LEI management to centralise the management of their entire global LEI portfolio, thus reducing risk and saving time and resources.
What set you on the road to wanting to start your own business?
I come from an entrepreneurial family and growing up I was always encouraged to look at problems and figure them out for myself. This mindset, combined with many years of playing team sports, gave me a good set of basic skills to approach problems with self-reliance but also a love of working within a team, so having my own business allows me to exercise them both.
Why is an office space important to you?
We are a tech-first company which means our team can work remotely. We have team members in Limerick, Wicklow, Cork, Cavan and Leitrim. COVID has shown us that we can work effectively as a unit without the need to all be in the same room all the time.
However, I think it is very important for us to have a place that we can call our home, where team members can come to work and meet clients, and essentially serve as our HQ. The office space is very professional, has all the amenities a tech company would possibly need, and has very nice meeting spaces and friendly welcoming staff. The office is somewhere we can bring clients and be confident in the knowledge everything is looked after to the highest possible standards.
Why did you feel Iconic Offices was the right fit for your business?
Iconic Offices have many locations throughout Dublin, and The Garrison is perfectly located on Leeson Street in the heart of the city. The good location combined with the high level of professionalism meant it was high on my list when we were searching for a new HQ. When I visited initially, I was shown all of the meeting spaces and expressed my interest straight away. When we got an offer of a space, I took it immediately and so far it has served us very well.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
One of the best pieces of advice I have received, and something I have been guilty of in the early days, is to not try to do everything yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If you can surround yourself with supportive and successful people, you will always be able to figure things out as a team. If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go as a team. And besides, doing things as part of a team is much more fun!
What’s a moment in your career that you’re particularly proud of?
We have been working behind the scenes for a long time on our newest service called RAMP. A lot of effort and technical skill went into engineering a one of a kind LEI management tool, combining years of experience working with outdated methods and listening to customer desires and feedback helped us customise a tailored solution.
RAMP got some well-deserved recognition when it was awarded the FinTech Factor by the Irish Funds community-based vote, which earned us an exhibition spot at the Irish Funds Global Conference. We also recently won the award for the most innovative RegTech solution in the FinTech Awards hosted by Wealth & Finance International magazine.
So seeing the culmination of hard work and efforts of a lot of people pulled together to get recognition was very satisfying.
What’s something outside of work that you’re really passionate about?
I am an amateur boxer out of Drimnagh Boxing Club which is run by Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Carruth. I spend a lot of time training down there and competing, having won a few boxing competitions including the Dublin’s and Celtic Box Cup and even getting the opportunity to fight over in Pittsburgh, USA on St. Patricks Day.
What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
I think everybody should try out some form of boxing training and even go the extra mile and compete in a White Collar event or novice competition. You will learn about yourself in the ring, and even though it may be nerve-wracking you will probably realise afterwards that you are a lot tougher than you give yourself credit for!
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