Open Banking and EU's Regulatory Landscape with Arturo Gonzalez | Curiosity Code 013
16 May, 2024
In this episode of the Curiosity Code podcast, host Alex delves into the transformative world of fintech with Arturo Gonzalez Mac Dowell, a pivotal figure in shaping the European fintech landscape. As the chairman of the Spanish Fintech Association, co-chair of ETPPA, and a veteran in high-tech financial services, Arturo shares insights from pioneering the first account information service in Europe to advocating for open banking frameworks. The conversation covers the evolution of fintech services, the challenges of innovation within large corporations versus smaller companies, and the impact of regulations across Europe. Arturo emphasizes the importance of adapting to technological advancements and societal readiness for innovative services, highlighting his journey with Eurobits technologies and its evolution amidst the fintech revolution. The discussion also touches on the concept of open banking, the potential for industry-wide transformation through API technologies, and the critical role of luck, talent, and dedication in navigating the fintech industry. Arturo's personal anecdotes, including his son's aspiring boxing career, add a unique perspective to the conversation, underscoring the importance of enjoying the journey in both professional and personal endeavors.

Alex: Hey, welcome to another episode of the Curiosity Code podcast. We're pleased to welcome Arturo Gonzalez Mac Dowell, a person driving transformation in the fintech world. As the chairman of the Spanish Fintech Association and co-chair of ETPPA and veteran of high-tech financial services, Arturo has spent more than two decades shaping the European fintech landscape, from pioneering the first account information service in Europe with Eurobits technologies to advocating for open banking frameworks. Arturo, glad to see you here today. Let's get into the details of the fintech market together.

Guest: It's my pleasure, Alex.

Alex: Hey, it's time for a short break. This episode is brought to you by product Terra, your fintech innovation partner. And this is why that matters. Over seven years ago, I created an agency to help fintech entrepreneurs create exceptional user experiences and cutting-edge software. And over the years, our team has expanded to over 30 experts in machine learning, engineering, and cloud architecture. We've guided our clients through all stages, from idea conception to multimillion dollars. Acquisition when it comes to secure fintech solutions, products era, easier choice. Now, back to the show. All right, Arturo, you launched some of the first fintech services in Europe, including electronic payments and mobile banking. What were the biggest challenges you faced in the early days, and how did you overcome them?

Guest: Well, let me separate my professional career in two different stages. So I've worked since 1989. That means that I'm older than I wish I were younger, but I've worked all my life in the intersection between technology, innovation, and financial services. But the first decade was in big corporations, IBM and Banco Santander. So the challenges there were significantly different than the challenges I found after I left IBM in 2000 to join smaller companies. So within IBM and to some extent, bank of Santander, you are framed in the decisions made by others. And the room or the leeway you have to do things is much smaller. So perhaps you have to be more creative to innovate within the room you're given. In the case of small companies, typically the sky is the limit, with budgetary restrictions, of course. So it's a completely different landscape. And so I worked in a number of smaller companies before I was hired to start Eurobits in March 2004. And I would tend to say that I lean towards the very front of innovation. So typically a place where the number of people that are, that are inclined to use the services that you're proposing is relatively small. So the challenge is to make things converge in the same point in space and time. And it takes some time for you to learn this. Technology is never the inhibitor unless you're a hardcore visionary dreaming of going to Mars and stuff like that. So technology allows you to do almost everything, but it takes a while until society is ready to use services that are based on innovation and technology. So the biggest challenge at Eurovitz, which has been most of my fintech life, well before even the fintech name was coined, was being able to survive, the market was getting ready for the services that we offered to them. So in a sense, we had to ride a long journey through the desert. Maybe you're too young for this, but in the early two thousands, whenever you delivered a presentation to a customer, you always had a number of slides at the beginning about the adoption of broadband and mobiles by individuals and how the percentage was expected to grow. So it was only a fraction of people in society that had access to the Internet. And even as it grew, people were very reluctant to use some kind of services because there was a risk of fraud. And in our particular case, we had to wait until the social network revolution so that people started losing the fear of interacting via the Internet for sensitive things. So in my presentations, I often use some pictures from Facebook, some really embarrassing pictures from Facebook. So if people are willing to share this kind of pictures over the Internet, why wouldn't they share their banking credentials to somebody that is trustworthy in order to obtain value added services? But we had to wait for this to happen. So before, I would say 2010. So social networks, more or less, you can say they started in 2008, it took some time for them to ramp up. So 2010, 2012, the things started changing significantly, but until then, it was quite a journey through the desert and it was a struggle to survive.

Alex: So, Yorubit, what was the initial offering to the consumers and how that evolved? Alongside with developing the social media technologies.

Guest: Mobile Internet, the offering didn't change significantly. So from the very beginning, and I would say even before Eurovid, in a company that I worked before that called Isoko, which was the contraction of intelligence over components, it was a company that was focused in AI. But at a time, I'm going to contradict myself slightly here. It's not that the market was not ready for artificial intelligence. In the case of artificial intelligence, the computing price was too high to leverage the algorithms and the data availability was too low. So if you look at the algorithms in most of the AI space today, they are decades old, so they're nothing new. But now it's really cheap to access vast computing power and you have petabytes of information available to use those algorithms on. Whereas 20 years ago, that was not the case. So in this company, we developed the first account migration software in Europe. So the concept of SaaS didn't exist. So nobody ever thought that you could have an application on the cloud, at least not practically. So what we saw was software that you installed on Prem, on a given customer. But everything that was embedded on the software, there's nothing that there is today that wasn't there. So we had account aggregation, we had PFM, we had alerts, we even had cross alerts, which is linking information from one site to another one to combine that information to trigger some very useful alerts. For instance, if you access your utility information, for instance, your electricity company, you know that you're going to be charged via direct debit a certain amount at a certain date. And since you're also accessing your bank account, you know if there's enough balance to pay that bill when it is due. And if the balance is not enough, then you could either send an alert warning the user, or you could automate a transfer from a different account to top up the one where the bill is going to be debited. So we had all that in 2001. So in terms of functionality, not much essentially new, maybe use cases, not the functionality itself, but use cases. For instance, we didn't envisage at the time that you could use account information for scoring purposes, which I think it's one of the best use cases today. So somebody that is willing to lend you money, let's say a consumer loan, is going to ask you permission to ask you to access your bank account, and based on your transaction history, they're going to be able to know whether you're credit worthy for the amount you're requesting or not. And this is very nice, because not only you get almost an instant response, but also the scoring is much better than it was before. Typically before these kind of technologies became widespread, you were asked, and you still asked in many cases, the copies of your last few payrolls, your tax income tax declaration, your Social Security history, whatnot. So that gives you an idea of how stable you are at work, and it gives you an idea of your income, but it doesn't give you any information whatsoever about your spending. So you might have a nice payroll, but you also may be addict to game, to pornography or whatnot. And then you may not be credit worthy even though your income is good. So with these use cases, you're getting almost an instant response. So in a matter of a couple of minutes, your loan is either approved or rejected, but also the company that's lending you money has a much lower risk of default. So it's very interesting. And there are other use cases like account checks, namecheck. Technically, functionally, everything was there 20 years ago, but we hadn't thought about those use cases. And I guess going down the road, as other industries also open up, we'll see much different use cases. I think basically we're leading to a space where industries will have to focus on, on their core strengths. And so you can think of value chains as Lego bricks. So you build a figure with a Lego brick, and each industry will provide only the Lego bricks that they're very good at and leaving the other bricks to other industries. Whereas currently, as an inheritance of the analog world, you deliver solutions with Lego bricks that you build yourself that are quite crappy because you're not good at them. But there are physical limitations that force you to create those Lego bricks. So let me give you an example, and it's a very simple and trivial one. So when you wanted a loan, say 1020 years ago, you went to a bank branch, you fill in a paper form. That paper form was put in an envelope, it was sent to central services, somebody opened it, studied, typed the data of the paper form in a computer, and it was either approved or rejected. And then, let's say a week, two weeks after you filled the loan request, somebody called you from the branch saying your loan has been approved or rejected. Nowadays, in most cases, you do exactly the same. Only instead of filling a paper form, you fill in an electronic form, in a web interface or a mobile banking interface. And instead of a clerk typing in the data, there's an algorithm that tells whether you're credit worthy or not. And maybe you get response in a minute. Like I mentioned before, in the use cases, one of the use cases of open banking, and maybe in a couple of minutes, you have your own approval money in your bank account. But what has happened is that you've digitized an analog value chain. So where we going is to a place where you will do things. And the example I want to put you now is not extremely creative. There are already companies doing this. It's just the tip of the iceberg. And I think much more innovative things will come down the road. You go to a car dealer, you select the car you like, and then the salesman gives you a tablet, you select your bank, you type in your user id and password, and then the scoring says you're worthy for 80% of the car value. And then you trigger a number of processes, and then your loan is approved, your car is insured, your registration plate is issued, and in a matter of five minutes you are driving out of the car dealer with a brand new car that's financed, that is insured, that has a registration plate and whatnot. And probably this example is obsolete because in a number of years people won't buy cars anymore, they would just as a service. But it gives you an idea of the sort of things that.

Alex: So that procedures will be powered back and will be powered by eurobits, right. Aggregating all the data and just spitting.

Guest: Out the results, not Eurobits, because Eurobits is probably going to cease to exist in a short while. So Eurovid was bought by Tink, which was subsequently bought by Visa. And Eurovitz platform has been integrated into the think platform which is probably going to be rebranded to visa, something in the near future. But let's say Eurovitz and its descendants would allow to power that. But although we made some, how should I say, we did go beyond finance, not too extensively. I think that what we're seeing in the financial world, what we call open finance, open banking, open payments will happen in other industries as well. So we're moving towards, towards an open data society where API technologies would allow to perform what I just described. So basically different industries will provide aggregators or in the nineties, we call them meta media, with building blocks to create a myriad of services. And these meta medias will be the ones that will really bring to the market innovative, customized services that we can't even dream of.

Alex: Before we move forward to open banking concepts, I have a couple questions. I want to step back because it's so exciting to speak to a person who've been through the whole evolution of fintech world in Europe from the time where we were setting up paper forms and now everything is in your mobile phone. Question I have is the regulations have changed significantly and Europe, I mean it's famous for a tough market to be in because you're dealing with so many different regulations. Every country has its own micro regulation than you have European Union. How did you manage to navigate that in the senior leadership roles? I think last five years, right, five years in Eurobit, you were a CEO of the company. How did that happen?

Guest: I think they say there's a saying that says the US innovates, China copies and Europe regulates. And I think that's a sad reality. I think Europe tends to be overprotectionism incumbents, and it's not a very good landscape for innovating. So I think open banking is a rare case, and it was only possible because it was not regulated. So open banking was possible in Europe before regulation because it stood on top of GDPR. So basically, well, the previous data protection laws before GDPR. So, basically, in a nutshell, the data protecting law said that your data is yours, it belongs to you regardless of where it sits, and you can do whatever you want. And that includes giving permission to a third party to access that data on your behalf and doing all sorts of things, of course, always with your permission. So it was not explicitly regulated. So that allowed us to do lots of things. Somebody thought that it would be a good idea to regulate it theoretically to foster innovation, competition, but the reality is that it has been quite the opposite. So, actually, one of the reasons I decided to sell Eurobates is because I thought, and seeing it in retrospective, I think I was very well right that PS two was going to hamper innovation. So work in a regulated industry in Europe is a very, very tough challenge. Very tough challenge. Regulation is complex, it's extensive, it's unclear, and it takes too many years to develop. PSD two started being negotiated, I think, in 2013. It only entered into full force in 2019. So that's six full years to create a piece of legislation. Then the regulation, extremely detailed, but extremely unclear. So there's a thing called the EBA Q and a tool, which is basically a place where you ask questions to the EBA, European Banking Authority, about the interpretation of the regulation. And when we reach, like 300 questions, the EBA decided to delete them and start all over again. And when they answered questions, typically every answer gave room to two or three additional questions, because the answers, just as the legislation itself, were never 100% clear. So the cost of uncertainty of that way of doing regulation, it's humongous. So I know anybody has thought about this. So it's really, really difficult to innovate in Europe, not just in the financial industry, but elsewhere. And the numbers are there. So how many fintech unicorns are there in the US? How many fintech unicorns are there in Europe? And there has to be a reason for that. It's not that we Europeans are number or have less money or whatnot. I think it's a matter of the way we regulate and the ecosystem that we create without regulation.

Alex: Do you have any leverage to impact this, as a chairman of spanish fintech association, or.

Guest: It's not about that we do, but people on the other side of the fence have much more leverage than we do. So basically, in this particular case, it's the incumbents, that is the traditional financial industry and the new entrants, the fintechs. And of course the traditional financial industry has more resources to lobby than the fintech industry has employees. And they've been doing this for decades and I think it's pretty clear that they do it better because the outcome is better for. I'm not saying it's good for the incumbents, but it's better for them than for the fintechs. And I think ultimately everybody loses because all this regulation in a way protects incumbents from being this intermediated, but at the same time it comes at a cost. So if you see the valuations of banks in Europe, so Bangkok, Santander, I can't put the exact date, but let's say ten years ago, 1015 years ago, Bang of Santander was the largest bank in the eurozone and it had a valuation similar to the largest american bank, which is bank of America. And now it's like ten times less or I don't know.

Alex: Mainly because of the regulations.

Guest: Mainly because of the regulation. I think Europe is over regulated actually if I'm not mistaken in the UK, the FSA, the FCA, sorry, financially, has agreed to give the financial industry a break in terms of regulation and to revisit where they stand and what direction they should be going. I mean every year you have to spend a ton of money in changing your systems to adapt to the irrigation and that doesn't make sense. And at least if it was simple, so you gave, you get this new piece of legislation, you have a license so your systems comply with the current regulation. There's this new piece of regulation, you ask check GBD, what should I do in my it, in my it and in my processes to comply with the new regulation. And if it's spat out, you have to do this module that does this, you have to do this other module that does that, then perfect. It has a cost but you know where you have to go. You can plan it, but it's not like that. It's crazy complex and you're never 100% sure if you're complying or not.

Alex: You would rather spend your R and D budget on building new innovative features.

Guest: Actually I'm not going to say what bank this is, but I spoke with a high level manager of one of the largest banks in the eurozone and he told me it's been already a number of years since we don't do anything of what we would like to do. All we do is what we're mandated to do. My regulation that's unfortunate.

Alex: Actually, I faced it myself firsthand when I moved to Portugal last year, and I was amazed how far behind the banking industry is here versus other countries where I lived before. It's like ten years behind technology wise. So now I get a better picture. Why? Speaking about open banking, open banking, it's a fascinating subject and I'd like to spend some time on that. So concept of open banking is essentially, technically speaking, is an API which can give you access to lots of information, financial transactions wise, about the customer. Is this correct understanding of the concept.

Guest: Without the API part? I would agree. So the API is one means to do that. There are others. So basically I will put it the following way. So the banking industry, it's one of the last, if not the last, industries that still vertically integrated, meaning that they manufacture products and they sell their own products. And in essence, I'm oversimplifying here, but in essence, that is inefficient. And remember what I was saying about building blocks. Your core is either doing good products or distributing good products, but you can't be extremely good at both. So in essence, what open banking is about is separating the distribution part from the manufacturing part so that other institutions can plug in in some way into the factory to distribute those products. So in an ideal world that would be through APIs. But until we get to that ideal world and there's resistance from the banks, there are other means to do that. So basically, the consumer or the customer is the owner, and he has already paid for his own data, the transaction capabilities, and he might want somebody else to trigger the execution of those transactions, and he might want somebody else to access that information on your behalf and store it elsewhere. Because. Because it will combine it with other information, maybe from other banks, maybe from other sources, some other functionalities, and give you a user experience that is much better than the one that your current bank is giving you. Like I said, if you combine that concept and you change open banking with OpenX, other industries, then the sky is the limit relative to what you can do with a combination of information and transactions from different industries.

Alex: Again, it's like I smell a bit of centralized authority in this whole concept, and probably at some point it will be so heavily regulated that it will be hard to operate on that.

Guest: Yes and no. So, I mean, the only thing that you can't predict is the future. Things change so rapidly that you make an assumption based on today's status quo, and then one, two years from now, the status quo has changed and your predictions fall apart. So that's why I'm not too fond of making predictions. But on one hand, there is a certain force towards concentration because there are huge economies of scale. So what's the difference between the back end system of Bank A, bank B? It's not significant. The difference between one bank and the other is mostly the perception, the branding, the user experience. The core systems are not that different. So the separation of the front end with the back end drives concentration on one hand, but at the same time, users are completely different and the front ends might be widely different. So there might be a segment of the population that wants their banking combined with their tuttle. Because I don't know. For whatever reason, younger people might rather do banking through their social network, but older people might want to combine banking with pension system. I don't know. So I foresee a very large number of different front end systems giving different flavors of services to the consumers, whereas on the backend there will be a strong tendency to concentrate.

Alex: Right. And I think we see that trend already happening in Asia where there are a bunch of mega apps where you can do pretty much everything from single application, like you can order food and send a payment and chat with friends and all in one place. So.

Guest: But I don't think the same super app can have beyond a certain size of the market, because I remember the case where in Spain there was a social network called 20 that was bought by Telefonica and that killed it, basically because you can't have a startup like that being controlled by a hundred years old company. It will just kill the innovation on the culture anyhow. But one of the key success factors of that network is that younger people, 20 and under did not want to be on the same social network as their parents, primarily Facebook. So people want to differentiate themselves. So although the super app concept has merits, and I understand that it's something that is very likely to succeed, you will have the white and the black super app at minimum, if not many shades of gray super apps.

Alex: That's a good point. That's a good point. All right. With your extensive experience in both management and technical roles, what future trends do you predict will be significant in fintech, and how should companies prepare to adapt?

Guest: That's a tough question. So I think, first, what is fintech? In my view, fintech is the use of technology and innovation to change significantly the way services, financial services are provided to customers, or to create significantly new services that did not exist before. So in order to be fintech, probably you can't even change at a fast enough pace so that you're a fintech for very long, let's say random for 20 years. After 20 years, you just a tech company. You're no longer a fintech company. If you come to think of it. Probably you can argue that companies like, well, many banks, Visa, Mastercard were fintechs, but 30, 40 years later, they're no longer fintechs. That's the norm. It's not something revolutionary, and it's very difficult. Once you have a bottom line and shareholders that you have to report to, it's very difficult to innovate significantly. So it's an innovator's dilemma, they call it. So one of the things is constant change. Be ready to reinvent yourself. My concerns, I'm going back to what I said before, is that Europe is not very friendly with that concept. So if you look at the Nasdaq or Wall street, how many of the top ten companies were in the top 1020? 30, 40 years ago? Whereas in Europe, it's more or less the same companies. So neither Facebook nor Apple nor Google nor Amazon, they didn't even exist. Well, in the case of Amazon and Google, yes, but they were not relevant companies 20 years ago.

Alex: Right.

Guest: So the challenge is you have to reinvent yourself and you can only do that to a certain point. So I'm stepping out outside of the fintech industry. But what Microsoft is doing is really outstanding. Once you get to a certain point and it's not going down in the tech industry, whether you have the surname of Finn or Bio or whatever or plaintech, it's very difficult to combat again. And it's very rare what Microsoft has done. You have plenty of examples. IBM for decades was a company with more patents, with people in the payroll that won Nobel prizes for what they did working for IBM. It's not that IBM hired them because they had a Nobel prize. And where is IBM now? So most young people don't even know what IBM is. So it's very difficult to come back up. So at some point, you need to start from scratch again.

Alex: So speaking of trends, let's focus on Europe. Outside of just following the regulations and catching up with the regulation train, anything comes on your mind that the financial service community should be keeping an eye on.

Guest: Maybe regulation has some advantages that you could leverage and go elsewhere. So let's say you are a european company doing crypto, for instance, which is something relatively big now being regulated in Europe. So that gives investors comfort that you regulated. You're in a very safe space, and then you move to Mexico to Turkey, you name it, countries with 100 plus million people. And maybe that's a big opportunity for european companies. Of course you have other challenges on top of that, which is cultural compatibility. So I'm not going to name nationalities here, but some nationalities go to Mexico and it's very relatively easy for them to have success and some others go there and crash wildly because the culture is so different. So there's some other aspects that need to be taken into account. But I think leveraging european regulation to go abroad might be a good thing because in Europe it's quite limiting.

Alex: I'm browsing through your LinkedIn profile and one thing that catches my eye is the following. It's a quote from your about section. My main goal in life is to enjoy the rights, which is something there is plenty of in managing eurobits.

Guest: I haven't updated that because my fun.

Alex: Is no longer Eurobiz but still enjoying the rides.

Guest: I'm still enjoying the ride. No longer Eurovision.

Alex: Is it a life philosophy or what is that? Let's chat about?

Guest: Yeah, but it comes naturally. It's not something I have deeply thought about, but at some point I. So you're. I'm not saying this is good or bad, but typically, let's say the anglo saxon culture dominates the world, at least the western part of the world, and you're constantly bombarded with messages that you need to have goals and a plan to achieve those goals, or where do you want to be five years from now, ten years from now? I never had that. And whenever I followed, I read either a self improvement book or a management book. It all sounded very good. But then when I tried to implement it, I said, I don't know where I want to be in five years. I have absolutely no idea. All I want to know is that I enjoy every single day. So basically, like 80% of the time you're awake, you're either working or thinking in something work related, so you might better enjoy that. And for me personally, I'm not saying this is good for anybody else. This is the way to go. Maybe I've been lucky because there's this. One of the big lessons that I have learned at Eurovid is that luck is the dominant factor for success. So you need simplifying, you need three elements. You need some talent, you need dedication. But I think luck is the most relevant factor. So without talent, dedication, luck has no role in professional life. It has a role if you buy a lottery ticket or whatnot. But so to put it, you might have a lot of talent. You might work very hard, but you happen, for whatever reasons, to be in the wrong industry or in the right industry, but at the wrong point in time. So I look retrospectively, I consider myself fortunate if you compare me to other people. You say, you could argue that I'm a loser, but there's a spanish saying that says that you're rich, not if you have a lot, but if you need little. That's wise. And I have more than I ever dreamt of and more than I will ever need. So in that regard, I consider myself fortunate. But I look retrospectively, and there are many things that are completely outside of my control that play favorable to me, and there's no way I could have conditioned them. So let me give you an example. Eurobit was founded by a number of banks. And one of the things I learned at Eurobits is that banks, I could generalize the concept. Incumbents are not very good investors for startups. So there's such a misalignment in the culture. You need for a startup to thrive on the culture that is imposed by your investors, that it's close to impossible to succeed. So every time I tried to do something new, or it was always obstacles, hurdles, etcetera. So sometimes I said, I'm really unlucky, I'm in the right place, but with wrong partners. But at the same time, remember I told you that we had a long journey through the deserts, to the desert. One of the reasons that we survived the journey through the desert is because we had those bad investors, because they would not give us the resources we needed to do new things. But at the same time, they would not let us die. So we arrived at the end of the desert, thanks to them. Not deliberately so. It's something very strange. So let me put you a concrete example, since the company no longer exists. So at one point, a largest shareholder was one of the largest spanish banks called Kahamadi. It no longer exists. It merged with six others to create mankia. And then it was absorbed by Keisha bank. So this bank, I'm not criticizing anything, it's how things work in these banks and in others. I'm just telling my personal experience. So they had this investment committee, and any relevant decision to our company had to go through that investment committee. And that investment committee took, at the time where Eurobiz existed, decisions such as to approve the largest airline merger in history, Iberia. So Kahmadi was the largest shareholder of Iberia and British Airways to create IAG. And it also made decisions such as going to a 6 billion capital raise for one big spanish tech company or selling their equity at the largest spanish utility companies for 30 billion? Who in the right mind would go there to ask for 100k for a capital raise for Euroviz to do business x, which made lot of sense for the company and for Kahamadri. But the individual that has to go there, they're going to shoot me for coming here for such banal and ridicule things. And the problem is that these companies don't have the right organization to manage companies that are so small as Eurobase. And we were no exception. So Hamadi had like 800 invested companies, most of which are random. Number 600 were our size. So it's impossible that you thrive in such an environment.

Alex: But somehow you managed to get to the end of the desert again.

Guest: It was pure luck. So when Bankia was created, remember the middle step with six other banks at that .1 of the six banks they merged with was Bangkaha, which was also a Yurovid shareholder. So they reached 49, by mere chance, 49.9% of eurobits capital. And just one year after that, they went broke. So they bailed out. They were rescued with public money and they were forced to sell those 600 companies or 800 companies, and Eurovision was one of them. So that gave me the opportunity to do an MBO again, something completely out of my control. And of course, you have to be there, you have to be prepared. I think it's Seneca. There's a saying from Seneca, the roman philosopher, something that luck is where preparation meets opportunity or something like that. So it's another way of saying what I said before. You need the talent, you need the dedication, so that when the luck comes in, you're ready. And I was ready, but without the luck, you might be ready, but nothing happens.

Alex: I want to wrap it up with something that we discussed before we hit the recording button. We're talking, how should I introduce Arturo? And you said, you can introduce me like that now, but hopefully in two years it will be something else. What's happening? What's happening now?

Guest: That's a dream. So my son has decided to become a professional boxer. He's pretty good at it. So he, against our advice, he left Spain and went to Ireland to a gym called Crumbling Boxing Club, where Conor McGregor started boxing. And they've created a number of world and european champions. The head coach is very well respected in the boxing world, a great guy called Philip Sutcliffe. And apparently I'm not an expert in boxing. I don't know where this came from because I never promoted boxing and I was never a boxing fan. But apparently he has loads of talent and he wants to make a living out of boxing and it looks promising from now. So I'm going to accompany him and my dream would be to be the father and manager of boxing world champion. If not, as long as he enjoys the ride as I did, I will be happy.

Alex: What a right, what a ride. Well, Arturo, thank you very much for taking the time. It was great. Thanks for sharing your details about your journey and I enjoyed it a lot. Hopefully all listeners will enjoy it as well.

Guest: Thank you very much, Alex. It was my pleasure. It's always great to share experiences with other people, particularly when there's somebody so interesting at the other side. So it was my pleasure. Thank you very much, Alex.

Alex: Thank you. And that was another episode of the Gracie Code podcast. Don't forget to subscribe and hit the like button and see you next time.