Luigi Wewege

Senior Vice President at Caye International Bank

Luigi Wewege is the Senior Vice President, and Head of Private Banking at Caye International Bank. Outside of the bank he serves as an Instructor at the FinTech School which provides online training courses on the latest technological and innovation developments within the financial services industry. Luigi is also the published author of: The Digital Banking Revolution which is available in audio, kindle and paperback formats throughout all major international online bookstores and is now in its third edition. Previously Luigi was the CEO of Vivier & Co a boutique financial services firm, the Commercial Manager of publicly listed Investment Research Group a financial advisory company where he led their media division, and was a Senior Consultant at The Braintrust Network which was a bespoke management consultancy. Notably, while Luigi was completing his undergraduate degree he executed a pilot study for the Federal Trade Commission during one of the most serious financial times for the American economy. The primary focus of the study was to examine and determine the accuracy of credit bureau information, with the research he conducted ultimately providing the impetus for a report which was presented before the United States Congress under Section 319 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. Luigi holds a Master of Business Administration with a major in international business from the MIB School of Management. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a triple major in finance, international business and management - cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). Whilst at university Luigi was a multiple recipient of the Dean’s list, Coaches and Athletic Director honor rolls, as well as being a recipient of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Academic All-Conference honors. Other academic achievements for him include: being formally inducted into the Financial Management Association - National Honor Society, and the Epsilon Eta Pi - International Business Honor Society. More recently, he was the honored recipient of the Salute to Business Achievement Award which recognizes outstanding UMSL business alumni and the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, which is given annually to a recent graduate of UMSL for significant early professional achievements that inspire other alumni and bring honor to the university. One of Luigi’s passions is to create development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change, and this has led him to starting his own Foundation which provides an annual academic scholarship to a deserving American student. Previously he served as a Director and Trustee of Doing Good Fellows a pioneering non-profit which uses technology to facilitate an ecosystem where accomplished professionals use their skills, and networks to deliver global social impact. Luigi is also the past President of Junior Chamber International (JCI) - Metro, which is a worldwide youth service organization with members in over 120 countries, and consultative status with the Council of Europe, the United Nations and UNESCO. The primary focus of Luigi’s presidency was to create innovative fundraising initiatives to assist JCI’s partnership with the United Nations Foundation and Nothing But Nets campaign, which helps prevent malaria deaths by purchasing, distributing and teaching the proper use of mosquito bed nets throughout Southern Africa. Outside of work Luigi enjoys participating in a variety of sports and has competed in several at a high level. Select athletic achievements for him include: being a former national junior champion in swimming, and a National Collegiate Athletic Association golfer on university scholarship.
1. Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.) I consider Elon Musk as my hero because of his business philosophy. He has taken on the most pressing possible causes to give humanity the best chance of a good future through commercial ventures. His visionary ideas have been the subject of much skepticism and at times, he has faced great adversity, but he has proved the naysayers wrong and prevailed every time. 2. What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why? To always seek input from others to aid you in reaching the best possible decision for your business/startup. For the most part, entrepreneurship is about taking calculated risks. You will always create better strategies if more facts and information go into the decision-making process. 3. What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too? During the initial startup phase, I made the mistake of thinking that there wasn’t a need for scheduled meetings because the team was so small. What soon became apparent was a significant uptake in email correspondence and Skype calls. Team members would check in with me the moment a question arose. I overcame this by scheduling regular meetings, which allowed staff to group questions and discuss all issues with me at one time. 4. What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why? I’m predominantly a night owl, so I always start my morning with a coffee. After, I review all emails I have received overnight from staff in international offices. This helps me plan my day by identifying which areas I need to focus on first as well as helping cut down email traffic. Often I am able to respond in the email thread rather than in each individual chat. 5. What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started? Continue to vet a potential investor, even after the initial checks have been done. After the initial due diligence is completed, I normally have a one-on-one meeting with the investor where I discuss the deal in depth — its financial terms, the underlying motivation behind it and our company philosophy. This allows me to make certain we are a good fit and I can clarify any potential misunderstandings before moving forward. 6. Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level? This is going to sound overly simplistic, but take the time to step away every so often. Even if it is a 30-minute walk, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can think through while being disconnected from work. 7. What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business? Success to me means having grown my business internationally to where we are operating on virtually every continent and generating solid returns in each region. When I receive my first offer of acquisition from a bigger player in my industry, I will consider myself successful. I believe that the moment when someone tries to acquire you is an indication that you are succeeding — someone views you as a threat to their bottom line.