LFP202 – Fintech Corporate Finance w/Aman Behzad Managing Partner Royal Park Partners

The fact that today we are talking to Aman, the co-founder of specialist Fintech Corporate Finance boutique Royal Park Partners which has done over 30 transactions is a great sign of the maturation of the Fintech market. In this episode we discuss the origins of Fintech Corporate Finance in Europe – not that long ago it didn’t exist as A Thing and how it is similar to MegaBank CorpFin and how it differs.

I was fascinated to see that whilst Fintech is one of the hottest, newest, trendiest sectors in the world the boutique CorpFin model is way more similar to oldskool, pre-Big Bang CorpFin models – in particular in it’s principal focus on integrity and long term client relationships rather than product pushing. In other words the oldskool model was more advisory and the modern MegaBank model more transactional.

In this context we also discuss how the Corporate Finance market itself has changed over the decades as well as the vital question of when a Fintech should move away from the DIY model to fund raising et al and move on from using the lawyers or accountants to support such processes and when they should use a professional CorpFin house whether of a MegaBank or a boutique.

Topics discussed include:

  • clients include Thought Machine, Habito and TransferGo, staff of about 20 people offices in London and New York with a satellite office in Shanghai
  • growing up in Sudan in civil war times along with another 8 African countries
  • Aman’s linguistic prowess as a result
  • what images come to mind for Aman of his childhood
  • Aman’s career journey
  • the origins of Fintech CorpFin – what was it/where was it situated organisationally before it existed
  • what timelines did Aman see re the market emerging frm the mist as A Thing in itself – Fintechs 1.0 and 2.0
  • no VC funds in Europe in this area pre-2010 and none made money pre-2017
  • when should a Fintech use a specialist CorpFin house?
  • what are the structure and range of fees?
  • what I saw as the real skillset of Corporate Financiers back in the day
  • three core products are similar the world over and across sectors
    • capital raising
    • IPO
    • M&A
  • MegaBank CorpFin compared to boutique and Fintech
  • what is required in specialist CorpFin – and note the many subsectors within Fintech
  • how CorpFin changed over time from relationship-driven to transaction-difference
  • what factors drove this and why is Fintech seeing this trend reversed?
  • key factors in successful boutique CorpFin as well as relationship focus
  • percentage of mandates that Royal Park has to pitch for as a competitive mandate
  • working practices in CorpFin
  • expectations of modern folk in terms of what they want from work – the limitation of the “just pay more” model
  • how the increase in competition in CorpFin in London after the Big Bang led to fees going through the roof not being lower
  • how much time and what level of CorpFin-er is dedicated to marketing rather than advice/transactions – and the impact of this
  • how the job market in CorpFin in changing
  • fees in M&A and the reasons for “market failure” in those
  • how CorpFin handles “a client” when the “client” is actually a Board (and behind that diverse shareholders) with many people coming from many directions with differing priorities
  • Aman’s experience and advice in re
  • a Case Study of “The Rockley Principle” and its relevance to arriving at mutually-agreed decisions
  • where the Fintech CorpFin market place is going
  • what it takes to do well over time
  • why Royal Park has its name
  • their positioning as the premier advisory CorpFin boutique in EMEA Fintech
  • how to market across a vast region
  • where Fintech is concentrated in Africa

And much much more 🙂

Share and enjoy!