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Jeremy Gutsche Retires From Capital One

 - Mar 19, 2008
After four amazing years at Capital One Canada, I will be retiring from my post as Director of the Upmarket business (low rate, rewards and line of credit). I am very excited to be pursuing Trend Hunter and my speaking engagements full time. However, I am also very nostalgic. If I were staying in the corporate world, I would remain at Capital One Canada because of its entrepreneurial culture and great people.

My final date will be April 17th.

Four years ago, I left management consulting to join Capital One. Near the end of 2005, I began to lead Upmarket and I launched our Competitive Strategy and Innovation team (CSI). In that period, Upmarket went from one product in one marketing channel to 9 products in multiple channels. We pushed our limits of comfort, obsessed about our customers, and grew a billion dollar portfolio of market leading products.

Everything that I learned and achieved at Capital One was due to the remarkable people. There are many people to note, but to keep things simple, I will specifically thank the current and past Upmarket comprehensive team members, in no particular order: Kukumina, Eyal, Amna, Patrick, Peter, Jackie, Jacob, Akif, Milan, Jarek, Rohit, Navin, Amber, Oscar, Rose, Hershi, Jonathan, Mathieu, Kevin, Kamal, Kaylie and Elan. Also, special thanks to my mentors
Stephen, Brent, and Rob; and to my immediate peers Nitin, Simon and (formerly) Geoff for everything they taught me.

Memorable Moments:

The Prime +0.9 Card â€" Lowest Rate in Canada - I am most proud of the products we created, including the P+0.9 card. For context, the Canadian market is dominated by 5 large banks. They lend at very high rates, whereas my team's no annual fee Prime+0.9 card is sensational. You might recognize it from the Hands in My Pocket Ads, You've Got Bankers Campaign, or more recently the Capital One Rocket Ads. BONUS: It's also very sexy in black and chrome.

BLITZ - The most educational and rewarding memories come from our team's adventure into a new future of marketing. Specifically, we began developing more innovative forms of city 'blitzing', including domination of traditional media, publicity stunts and local presence. The first picture shows me inside a glass box from the day we worked the kiosks to meet our customers (but not inside the box). The project was a great experience and eventually resulted in our team winning an award from our global CEO.

The Upmarket Gingerbread House - A true testament to my team's enthusiasm, the Upmarket Gingerbread house is the only gingerbread house I'd ever want to live in (if I was a gingerbread man). The picture doesn't reflect the intensity of 20 perfectionists energetically hovering around its creation. Accordingly, it remains intact THREE months later on a table next to my desk. My parting advice is to no longer eat the marshmallows.

$18,000 Head Shave for the Red Cross - Philanthropy is a very big part of Capital One, which for me, meant building houses for Habitat for Humanity, and shaving my head for the red cross. The handful of us who shaved raised 18,000 in donations.

I'll miss Capital One, but I'm very excited for the future of Trend Hunter... More on that later...