Adam Toop, CEO of Code Technology Ltd, Revolutionising Telecom Solutions for the Financial Sector

12th April 2023

In this exclusive edition of our Top 100 Most Influential interview series, we are excited to present our conversation with Adam Toop, Founder and CEO of Code Technology Ltd, a company that is redefining the telecommunications sector for the Financial Sector. Adam shares his experiences, challenges, and insights into how Code Technology has disrupted the market with its innovative solutions and customer-centric approach. As we continue to shed light on the key players and thought leaders within the alternative investment industry, we hope this conversation offers valuable insights and a deeper understanding of the evolving landscape.

Can you describe the biggest challenge that your company has faced in delivering managed services to hedge funds, private equity firms, and family offices?

While some organisations we serve in the alternative investment space are substantial in size, many more have modest headcounts that belie the substantial AUM values found in their annual reports. Whether a discrete family office or weighty Sovereign fund, the non-negotiable headline requirement is always one of service excellence, confidently and reliably delivered.

A key historical challenge was to engage with the carriers to help them understand the distinct client sectors we serve and, in turn, accept that standard SLAs, while fine for the generality of vendors and their users, were simply not adequate for our purposes.

Over three decades later, broad and deep relationships at all points in the supply chain enable us to deliver far more than simply answering support calls out of normal working hours and issuing ‘blunt’ support tickets. Instead, our focus is always on swiftly delivering full remedies.

How has your company adapted to changing client demands in recent years?

The global pandemic required many organisations to swiftly implement change. However, from a mobile communications perspective, long, binding agreements too often strangled flexibility and freedom of choice while benefiting only the vendor. Organisations were typically faced with punitive penalty charges to reduce the size of their mobile estate - all at a time when they reasonably needed to reduce costs.

While broadly accepted as the norm by customers negotiating business grade tariffs and service level agreements, we have always maintained that lengthy contracts have no place in today’s marketplace.

Our Liberty mobile agreement offers the flexibility of terms as short as rolling 90 days, dramatically reducing financial commitments and contractual entanglement while upholding the highest levels of service.

Customers can flex the size of their wireless estates at will without incurring penalties or fees. This approach also gives us the freedom to proactively offer new tariffs as and when they become available without having to wait until formal contract renewal.

If one accepts that there is no better guarantee of satisfaction than a motivated vendor, a supplementary benefit of such short agreements is that they represent a tangible commitment to service excellence, consciously weighing the balance of choice very much in favour of the customer.

Can you share any lessons learned or best practices that you have established over the years in delivering managed services to this sector?

The unique demands of this sector are best served by attracting and retaining the most experienced and proven team members.

Experience, continuity and empowered service delivery from a select few will always outperform that offered by larger, less experienced and perhaps less accountable teams.

Against this backdrop and the value I place in them, it was a conscious decision from the outset that the earliest team members of Code would hold a minimum of 50% of the equity in the business.

Which recent partnerships or collaborations that have helped to enhance your managed services offerings?

We have worked closely and established trusted relationships with the leading MSPs in the sector for over three decades. While technology, infrastructure, systems and security are in a permanent state of change, the need for carefully deployed and supported wireless connectivity has remained a constant.

Post-pandemic, many MSPs have embraced wireless connectivity as the primary means of connecting home offices. Smart wireless connectivity delivers improved reliability, speed, flexibility and reduced costs with no reliance on elderly exchanges, street cabinets, ducts or cabling liable to failure or damage.

In addition to uncontended and, therefore, predictably impressive speeds over 5G, intelligent wireless connectivity can be remotely supported, with real real-time control over SIMs rather than the extended lead times to remedy faults with fixed line alternatives. With no need to send engineers to site, we can also deploy new wireless installations within a day.

Can you describe a challenge that you faced in your career and how you turned it into a positive opportunity?

I passed the entrance exams for Cambridge and then proceeded to spectacularly fail the interview. In that order. My disappointed father cut me off financially just two days later and declined to declare his income for the purposes of me obtaining a grant.

In response, I started a telecommunications company in the bedroom of my parent’s house at the age of 21 - a business that I went on to own and manage for over 30 years. Code Technology Ltd is, therefore, just the second entry on my somewhat brief two-line CV.

If you could design a new managed service offering for the alternative investment sector from scratch, what would it look like?

Code was founded in January 2022 under the banner’ Telecommunications. Reimagined’.

Uniting a team with demonstrable sector experience and with no technical legacy to blunt aspirations, Code was built from the ground up to meet the needs of the alternative investment sector.

In addition to unrivalled contractual flexibility, the Code portal is both a powerful tool and graphical user interface that provides all the controls, metrics and status information required to manage mobile and selected fixed-line connectivity effectively. Information is brought together from multiple sources and displayed as a comprehensive overview.

Customers of Code enjoy near identical portal access privileges to those made available to our staff. By sharing the same data, reporting features and tools, the working relationship between the customer and vendor is transformed. Informed decision-making is also dramatically accelerated through the transparency afforded by such an approach.

Can you discuss any recent advancements or initiatives that have had a significant impact on the company?

Organisations well versed in deploying resilient technology infrastructure rarely consider applying these proven practices to mobile devices. Even their most important users, when travelling and therefore dependent on stable connectivity, typically rely upon just a single mobile network operator. Loss of service can occur under all manner of circumstances: technical outages, gaps in coverage at specific locations; perhaps a critical capacity issue at a major event.

Our company has enjoyed considerable success with services such as Code Dual. Leveraging the speed of deployment and flexibility of eSIMs, these popular services can be set up remotely, over the air, within minutes, providing key users with a secondary line on a different network to their primary number. Both services are active simultaneously, and devices are configured to automatically select the secondary network in circumstances where the primary fails or becomes unavailable.

For users where high availability is paramount, Code Dual+ leverages the advantages of ‘unsteered’ eSIMs. Unlike a ‘steered’ alternative, in this case, the eSIM is not configured to default to a particular network even if the signal isn’t the best - a home network or perhaps one with the lowest cost. Instead, it allows the device to always identify the strongest signal and remain connected to it.

What is your company’s approach to innovation and how it keeps pace with the rapidly evolving technology landscape?

Technology continues to evolve exponentially. Some consider that pace of change to be uncomfortably demanding. I have always considered it exciting. Both as a challenge and the benefits it can bring by applying it to businesses and people’s lives.

We craft powerful, innovative, resilient solutions that leverage and unite the best products and services from the leading carriers, networks, and platforms. Final solutions are far more powerful than the sum of their individual parts, yet managed centrally and under a single master services agreement.

Our approach enables us to continuously evaluate, adopt and integrate new and improved service elements as they become available, based solely on merit and in the absence of bias. Solutions, therefore, remain relevant long after being initially deployed.