Even to digital natives, the constellation of concepts, technologies and entities that make up Web3 can be difficult to understand. Consensus is that blockchain is an enormously important and potentially a very lucrative area in which to invest. Beyond that, popular understanding of the subject quickly becomes murky.
Enter Fortress Trust — a company building financial, regulatory and e-payments infrastructure for the rapidly emerging Web3 space.
“At Fortress, we take an entirely different approach to Web3 and blockchain technology in that we aim to meet traditional Web2.0 companies where they are,” Shane Hansen, operations, said. “We abstract away the jargon and technical complexities of blockchain and Web3, so our clients can focus on providing a better experience for their users.”
At Fortress, Hansen’s responsibilities include trade operations and exchange vendor management, custody controls, as well as financial operations and banking reconciliation. In his role, Hansen has enjoyed the chance to shape the company’s operations department.
“I’ve had the unique opportunity to craft our operational processes from scratch as one of the first company-wide operational hires,” Hansen said. “This includes crafting daily workflows and routines along with creating standard operating procedures and outlining best practices for everything we do.”
One of the ways in which Hansen and his colleagues have built out those standards and practices is through a pervasive sense of openness. From the top down, Hansen noted, a willingness to listen to different opinions and to entertain the best solutions is an important differentiator for the company.
“Our workplace is extremely open and collaborative as compared to other places I’ve worked,” Hansen said. “Ideas are welcomed from all levels of the organization and from any individual regardless of tenure or department. I always want members of my team to be open to giving and receiving feedback about ways we could improve our products and services and how I could improve as a leader.”
Learn more about Fortress, its culture and how you can join the team below.
How do you build team culture? What does that look like at Fortress Trust?
One way we build team culture at Fortress is through team outings and lunches. Sitting down with my colleagues and teammates allows me to get to know them better. That open dialogue and those personal relationships help foster a more productive and collaborative work environment.
These conversations allow me to gain insights into everyone's individual strengths and work styles. That then makes it easier for me to know who to work with on the next project or initiative we have and shows me how I can add value to the team.
“We’re consistently creating products and services that not only serve customers across a variety of different industries but disrupt the way business is traditionally done in these industries.”
How do you keep team members motivated and aligned throughout the product development process?
Throughout the process, we regularly have team outings and syncs to refocus everyone on our mission and North Star. A common goal of improving not only business margins but end-user experiences drives us forward.
What are some of the milestones that you and your team have celebrated during your tenure with Fortress Trust? What obstacles did you encounter along the way?
We exceeded our sales target for year end 2022, were able to relocate to our own private office in Austin and enabled our clients to place some of their first API-enabled trades.
We inevitably encounter obstacles when we attempt to disrupt the “old ways” of doing things in any industry. These present themselves as client reluctance to change processes and onboard with a crypto-forward firm. We overcome these obstacles through client education and information sessions without a sales focus.
What is the employee value proposition for those thinking about joining Fortress Trust — in operations and in general?
The value proposition starts with getting to work on something new and exciting that no other companies are going to market with right now. We’re consistently creating products and services that not only serve customers across a variety of different industries but disrupt the way business is traditionally done in these industries.
A career here is an invaluable learning experience for anyone regardless of tenure in their current position. Working at Fortress will get you in front of industry leaders beyond financial services and gives you a platform through which to share innovative ideas and your own unique perspective.