Tom Coombs, Product Manager in Tokyo, Japan
Tom is available for hire
Hire Tom

Tom Coombs

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Tokyo, Japan
Toptal Member Since
June 12, 2019

Tom has 20 years of experience across finance/fintech, travel, people ops, and telecoms, in company sizes ranging from seed stage through to Xerox and Goldman Sachs. He co-founded and built a US fintech lending company where he led product and has also built consulting businesses and served clients across Europe, the US, and Japan. He has deep expertise in UX and a strong sense for design, having worked in design agencies and led designers.

Project Highlights

LendStreet Loan Origination System
Led the strategy, design, and build of LendStreet's proprietary loan origination system.
Data Reporting Platform
Designed and built a data ingestion and reporting platform.
Sales Acquisition Funnel for Senior Healthcare Direct (US Health Insurance)
Led the product development of an acquisition funnel, including CDP and Salesforce integrations.


Work Experience

Technical Product Manager

2021 - 2022
Pocketmade (Agency Clients)
  • Managed strategy for the new implementation of a CDP (Blueshift), including journey definition and data modeling.
  • Handled product management for the martech stack, which ran from ad platforms to Salesforce.
  • Managed the build of a new site and blog in React with a Contentful (headless CMS) back end.
  • Managed the delivery of the new corporate website.
  • Managed the consumer E-comm sites running A/B testing optimization, and product strategy, among other responsibilities.

Data Analytics and Visualization

2020 - 2020
Tokyo Dev
  • Performed data analytics using Python, Pandas (analysis), Matplotlib, and Seaborn (visualization).
  • Designed and built the data visualizations in D3.js. See
  • Supported deployment and maintenance activities for the site.

Co-founder | Head of Product

2011 - 2020
  • Built a lending platform from scratch, acting as a product manager and handling the roadmap and backlog.
  • Established the design process and user research/engagement protocol.
  • Implemented the data warehousing and business intelligence capability (using Redshift/Panoply/Tableau).
  • Handled various regulatory issues, such as truth in lending disclosures, OFAC checks, etc.
  • Built the company from scratch, including processes, business toolkits, and more. Hired and led the design, product, and data teams. Oversaw engineering.
  • Handled pitching and communication with existing investors and the board.
  • Created data visualizations for data ranging from operations to financial modeling.
  • Managed third parties, external stakeholders, service providers, and software integrations with data/process partners.
  • Created digital marketing campaigns, including setting up the infrastructure with automated ad generation, landing pages, and JavaScript event tracking.
  • Originated and evaluated new product concepts to serve existing customers/partners.

Founder | Lead Consultant

2004 - 2015
Man Woman and Child Ltd
  • Created digital strategies for clients ranging from seed-stage startups to government departments.
  • Planned and led user research engagements on three continents.
  • Created designs for websites and native mobile apps.
  • Worked as an embedded consultant, leading teams, and as an international outpost for agencies' foreign clients.
  • Managed processes from early-stage strategy through to development and QA cycles.

Digital and Brand Strategist

2005 - 2008
Moving Brands
  • Led the Information architecture for the Nokia website, which launched in 55 countries.
  • Led the brand strategy research and online information architecture for Swisscom (the Swiss national Telco).
  • Led user research, digital strategy, and information architecture for numerous clients (Nokia, Swisscom, etc.) across Europe and the US.

UX Designer | Information Architect

2004 - 2006
  • Designed customer service center admin portal for this online travel/leisure company.
  • Conducted lab-based user research on a variety of products/features.
  • Designed and worked closely with the engineering team on design for new hotel booking system.
  • Researched and designed UX for hotels and lodgings products.

Analyst | Programmer

1997 - 2001
Goldman Sachs
  • Developed software for internal proprietary systems (trade booking and equity research).
  • Performed database architecture and optimization for a high-volume trade settlement system.
  • Conducted user research with the equities trading desk and back-office settlement team users.

LendStreet Loan Origination System

Led the strategy, design, and build of LendStreet's proprietary loan origination system.

As Co-founder and Head of Product, I played numerous roles in building the company and the loan origination system.

• Led the product to create a loan underwriting and origination system from the ground up.
• Created strategies for handling data from multiple sources for underwriting decisions.
• Handled requirements for regulatory compliance, e.g., the Truth in Lending Act and the US state-by-state legislation requirements.
• Created workflow processes and sourced tools for design and product management functions.
• Built a product management automation tool akin to a front-end testing tool (using Selenium and Ruby).

Zuman People Ops Employee Mobile App

Led the design of an employee app for Zuman's clients' employees.

Zuman is a people operations outsourcing company supporting mid-sized companies with their people operations functions. Their mission is to supply a high-end level of service. The apps needed to honor that.

I led a team of UX and visual designers to deliver the design for this iOS/Android app from scratch. The product had to handle several interactions involving high data density. We created some innovative solutions to address these.

Data Reporting Platform

Designed and built a data ingestion and reporting platform.

The platform used a suite of tools (Python, Selenium, SQL, RedShift, Google Sheets, and Tableau) to extract data from various source APIs and websites, then deliver via data pathways to RedShift. The final dashboard presentation of data to the lending operations team was done in Tableau and Google Sheets and delivered in Slack.

Sales Acquisition Funnel for Senior Healthcare Direct (US Health Insurance)

Led the product development of an acquisition funnel, including CDP and Salesforce integrations.

Managed the roadmap and feature development for the acquisition funnel, encompassing paid media, WordPress and React landing pages, lead scoring, and Salesforce CRM integration. Handled the strategy for the implementation of the Blueshift CDP.

eCommerce Platform for Ayr (US)

Managed the eCommerce platform retailing across multiple US states.

Ayr retails across multiple states under multiple consumer-facing brands. I worked on extending the common eCommerce platform, including implementing A/B testing, embedded user feedback, delivery trials, and mobile offerings.

Hotel Booking System

Headed the product for the renewal of a hotel booking platform for Opodo, a European travel aggregator.

Opodo launched its hotel aggregation product across all its European sites. As a product manager for the relaunch project, I addressed the overall build and specific resolutions for critical challenges. It included resolving UX issues derived from heterogeneous listing content and handling the complexity surrounding the amendment to single products in discount bundle bookings.

Learning Management System Rebuild Strategy

Led the strategic project for the rebuild of UNSW's learning management system.

UNSW business school had piloted a learning management system and was planning a rebuild and a rollout. This project was to assess all the learnings from the pilot and plan the rebuild phase of the project.
2002 - 2003

Master's Degree in Ergonomics

Loughborough University - United Kingdom

1993 - 1996

Bachelor's Degree in Human Sciences

University of Oxford - UK


Financial Data, Pivotal Tracker, Sketch, Adobe Illustrator, Trello, ETL, After Effects CC, Tableau, Board Reporting, Google Analytics, Basecamp, Jira, Confluence, Seaborn

Industry Expertise

Consumer Finance, Banking & Finance, Financial Services, Digital Banking, Education Technology (Edtech)


Agile Product Management, Agile UX, Key Performance Metrics, Requirements Analysis, Data-driven Design, Pay-per-Click (PPC), Digital Marketing Best Practices, Agile Project Management, Data Product Management, Agile, Design Thinking, User Testing, Usability Testing, B2B2C, Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C)


Digital Advertising Platforms


Business Requirements, Stakeholder Management, Product Owner, Finance, Startups, Startup Funding, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Branding, User Stories, Fintech, UX Research, UX Process, Team Management, Information Architecture (IA), User Journeys, Product Management, User Experience (UX), User Research, Customer Journeys, Customer Discovery, Customer Interviews, Feature Planning, Business Analysis, Requirements, Product Strategy, Product Roadmaps, Business Models, Innovation, Product Ownership, Product Discovery, Data Visualization, Backlog Grooming, Backlog Management, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Feature Backlog Prioritization, Excel 365, Cross-functional Collaboration, Technical Product Management, Roadmaps, MVP Design, Feature Prioritization, Product Requirements Documentation (PRD), Direct to Consumer (D2C), eCommerce, Feature Roadmaps, Strategy, Technical Requirements, Scope Management, User Personas, Digital Product Management, eCommerce UX, Early-stage Startups, Websites, Qualitative Research, Commercial Lending, Sprint Planning, UX Specifications, Pitch Decks, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), Product Leadership, UX Design, Web UX, Mentorship & Coaching, Team Mentoring, Third-party Management, User Interface (UI), APIs, New Product Development, Experimental Research, Investor Relations, Fundraising, Business Intelligence (BI), SQL, Prototyping, Survey Development & Analysis, Product Frameworks, Data Analytics, Data Analysis, Data Queries, Paid Media, Paid Search, Landing Page Optimization, Ad Campaigns, Digital Campaigns, Google AdSense, Travel, New Products & Services, Travel & Leisure, Marketing Technology (MarTech), Analytics, Data-driven Marketing, Data Product Manager, Ideation, Reporting, Conceptualization, Funnel Analysis, Marketing, Market Research & Analysis, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Automation Tools, Conversion Rate, Onboarding, User Onboarding, Digital Marketing Strategy, WordPress, Project Timelines, Dashboard Design, End-to-end Implementation (E2E), Discovery Workshops, Task Management, Growth, Product Descriptions, Market Research, Booking Systems, Web App Development, Data, Specs, User Feedback, A/B Testing, Consumer Technology, Vendor Management, Early-stage Funding, Python, Growth Strategy, Digital Marketing, JavaScript, Databases, Go-to-market Plans, Product Marketing, Dashboards, Facebook Ads, Google Tag Manager, REST APIs, Event Tracking, Leads, Vendor Selection, Project Management, Product Coach, API Integration, Data Warehousing, Software Development, Scrum Product Owner, Scrum Product Owner Contractor, Technical Leadership, Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Digital Marketing Product Manager, Statistical Data Analysis, Go-to-market Strategy, Product Launch, Discovery, Apps, Technical Project Management, Hotels & Lodging, Quantitative Analysis, Design Systems, Pandas, D3.js, Matplotlib, Mobile Applications, SaaS, Budgeting, Salesforce, Product Analytics, Redshift, Data Pipelines, Regulations, Product Consultant, Architecture, Website Redesign, Edtech Design

Collaboration That Works

How to Work with Toptal

Toptal matches you directly with global industry experts from our network in hours—not weeks or months.


Share your needs

Discuss your requirements and refine your scope in a call with a Toptal domain expert.

Choose your talent

Get a short list of expertly matched talent within 24 hours to review, interview, and choose from.

Start your risk-free talent trial

Work with your chosen talent on a trial basis for up to two weeks. Pay only if you decide to hire them.

Top talent is in high demand.

Start hiring