LFP012 – Gluing Fin & Tech Together, Next Gen Consultancy with Farid Tejani of Ignitr

Ignitr bannerLike a huge boulder dropped into the middle of a pond the ripples from Fintech spread far and wide and have plenty of implications, opportunities and threats for surrounding professions. Consultancy is one of these – many have become “too like” the “Old FS” sector they serve. Re-inventing this is a major opportunity.

I am delighted to be joined today by Farid Tejani founder of Ignitr to discuss this and how Ignitr are going about “Innovation Software Engineering” – he has a whole career’s worth of relevant experience.  Ignitr serves the whole FS waterfront – from mentoring startups at accelerators to working with Tier 1 banks – this is certainly a unique perspective in line with the LFP’s mission of “bridging the worlds of suits and t-shirts”.

Before we get into Ignitr we discuss the fascinating question – one which has resonated down the ages – of gluing together “Fin” and “Tech”.  One hears the phrase Fintech so often it’s easy to forget that its comprised of two separate things even if the overly excited pronounce that they are converging. Just for clarity Fin – is a social (or perhaps at worst antisocial) activity between human beings and the Tech – is the method of recording and transacting.

These are old concepts. Some of the first accounting entries (the Fin) were chiselled thousands of years ago in stone (the Tech). Bankrupt (definitely a Fin concept in recent decades) comes from the custom of breaking the bench (the Tech) of an insolvent medieval italian moneylender. Reuters got the jump on stock exchange information by utilising the first telegraph wires.

Farid discusses examples from the first ATM (anyone know where that was?) and the first trading systems onwards as background to this interesting and vital dimension.  This leads into the different challenges that arise along the new FS waterfront and how to inspire and transform the “old FS” whilst at the same time getting over to “new FS” the need for stability and solidity (without which the majority of the market will never trust you). At the same time all of the waterfront is dealing with customers whose expectations are changing rapidly and where the traditional “information asymmetry” between the customer and the Big Bank (over rates etc) has disappeared.

Interesting times!