Tag Archives: London

LFP177 – Fintech’s Success: Past, Present (esp re Kalifa Report) and Future w/Nigel Verdon Thrice Fintech Founder

The recent report by Ron Kalifa, for the UK Govt to identify priority areas to support the UK’s Fintech sector and maintain the UK’s global reputation in re, gives us an excellent opportunity to zoom out from that to discuss The Past: why Fintech so successfully started in the UK; The Present: how well the Kalifa Report advances UK Fintech and move on to The Future: what will make UK Fintech successful going forwards.

There is perhaps no one better to discuss this long view with that Nigel Verdon who was at the centre of the digitisation of mainstream  blue-chip FS in the 1990s and subsequently founded three UK Fintechs (Evolution 1997; Currency Cloud 2007, Railsbank 2016).

In all of this sectoral focus however we should not forget that all sectors are part of an economy as a whole and a Government balance sheet. Huge increases in deficits and expansion of money supply is unlikely unless addressed to promote a strong and stable country as a backdrop to Fintech activity and this remains by far the biggest risk to all UK citizens into the future. In terms of the current Kalifa report however, unsurprisingly he wasn’t asked to come up with a fiscal and monetary approach but more bottom-up measures.

Covering such a wide canvas of UK FS over decades this is more of a conversation than something to be precised. However major topics include: Continue reading

LFP172 – The Multiple Dimensions of the Challenges of Digital for Incumbent FS Projects w/Tony Clark CEO NextWave

Little more than a couple of decades ago IT was a very back office function in large FS organisations. Now it has completely inverted to become centre-stage in roughly every dimension of being in business, FS included.

Tony Clark, serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO of NextWave Consulting has over thirty years experience of large City  FS projects and takes us on a tour of the all-encompassing challenges facing all large incumbent FS players in not just reacting to but in leveraging the digital technologies and digital ecosystem to ensure they are at the leading edge not the trailing edge of the 21stC digital revolution so changing business right now.

Tony’s premise is that FS institutions need a phase change of approach to successfully leverage change. Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP171 – The Past, Present and Future of Venture Capital w/Josh Bell Dawn Capital

Venture Capital is nigh-on essential for many ambitious, big-build, fast-scaling Fintechs and Techs in general. Fund raising is essential. Thus how the VC market is evolving is of the utmost importance to ambitious firms and founders.

In this episode Josh Bell one of the founding partners of leading London-based European-wide VCs Dawn Capital who have raised over a billion to invest in growing businesses joins us to look back, look around now and look into the future. How can you best raise funds? Plenty of learn…

Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP165 – Relationship Banking – the Surprising Answer to the Needs of Growing Techs? Tom Butterworth MD Silicon Valley Bank

In a world ever-more focused on transactions and digitisation what place is there for relationship-banking? Apparently not a lot, yet the market-leader – SVB – wholly embraces this approach over the whole journey from Startup to FTSE. In this show we discuss what relationship banking means in the 21stC for one of the hottest sectors in the market.

SVB is the commercial bank for high growth companies and the biggest banker for PE/VC firms. In the UK they have 4,000 clients, over one thousand of which are pre-series A. As we heard in LFP163 SVB are also the world leaders in Venture Debt.

Tom Butterworth is the Head of Early Stage at SVB in London and joins us today to talk about the importance of relationship-banking, of looking after the customer and of viewing the financial aspect of the relationship across the whole life cycle of high growth companies.

We discuss how serving a vertical can enhance the clients in many ways as well as produce the deal flow to make the approach commercially viable – knowing a single sector in great depth leading to, inter alia, a much deeper understanding of credit-risk than simply putting numbers in a spreadsheet.

Topics discussed in this show include: Continue reading

LFP148 – Special Episode! The Lord Mayor Of London: The City, Promoting US-UK Fintech Ties & Regional Fintech

Do you known that William Russell’s – the 692nd Lord Mayor of London – first trip was to the US to promote Fintech and that he is perhaps the first Lord Mayor of London to have visited all the regions and is well up-to-speed on regional Fintech? No me neither before we spoke. However his mayoral theme is “Global UK – Trade, Innovation and Culture” which is super-important in this Brexited year.

What actually is The City – a phrase we all use? What is the Lord Mayor and what is his role?

How does the geographic district relate to FS as a whole – much of which is in Canary Wharf and spread around the UK?

How does the CIty’s soft power work and what have some Fintech’s already found out about the influence it can bring? What is US investors’ attitude to UK Fintech at present?

Also a small prize for spotting a splendid ancient Clock chiming away in the background of this recording in Mansion House 🙂

All these topics and more are discussed in this episode including: Continue reading

LFP145 – New Year Special! 2020 Hindsight – A Decade In Fintech

In this show we review a decade in Fintech. Although the earliest Fintechs were formed around 2004/5 (WorldFirst, Zopa) many big names formed around 2010 (Funding Circle, Ratesetter, MarketInvoice). The LFP formed started covering the scene in mid-2014, the year of the first London Fintech week and the year that the Fintech word first hit the broadsheets. Using the shownotes at the time as a diary I trace the evolution of the promises, the hopes, the disappointments, the old innovations and the new innovations. Where did it all go?

No long show notes this week – it is a podcast podcast and in listening you can draw your own conclusions – indeed that’s the point of using dozens of real world examples as seen at the time not as seen through the dark glass of memory.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the London Fintech scene and wider UK Fintech scene and to all listeners. Want to know what the next decade might hold? Check out the previous decade and join the dots…!

LFP142 – Capital Markets Fintech & “Grown-Up” Digital FS w/ Martin Boyd FIS

Capital Markets is the beating heart of FS – far higher tech and far more hardcore than just bank accounts and it is by definition the most complex area. What can we and Fintech learn from the super-big boys working in this world?

FIS systems process an astonishing amount of $9 trillion moved around the world per annum. They acquired the super-well known FS systems vendor Sunguard systems at the end of 2015

Martin Boyd is President of Capital Markets at FIS and is thus well-placed to give us the view on FS and “digital” from the most hardcore high volume end of the industry spectrum.

Indeed as we all regularly gloss “digital” as being “interweb + smartphone” what does digital actually mean when we are talking about wholesale markets for megabanks – I assume it isn’t “interweb + smartphone” – what does it mean in this context?

What we can learn, the view from the top of the mountain and much more are discussed. Topics include: Continue reading

LFP133 – The Market For Talent & Getting A Job In Tech w/Ellis Seder CEO Santa Monica Talent

This week’s topic is all about getting jobs whatever your age or stage. Maybe you are in a Tech firm of some sort – if so how long are you likely to stay where you are and what’s the best way of getting your next gig? If you are not in it and wish to get in it how do you do that?

Santa Monica Talent help Startups scale-up in many tech sectors. One of the feathers in their cap is helping super-well known digital marketing and social media superstar Gary Veynerchuk build out Veynermedia in London.

CEO Ellis Seder has spent many years in Asia in the investment banking recruitment world before moving to London to work in the Startup world.

Thus he speaks from deep experience of knowing how recruitment works in the oldskool and newer tech ways.

Many of his suggestions apply to all our careers.

Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP130 – Equity Crowdfunding – Past, Present and Future Innovations w/Jeff Lynn Exec Chairman Seedrs

Ten years ago Jeff and his co-founder came up with the idea for Equity Crowdfunding and seven years ago Seedrs became the UK’s (world’s?) first regulated Equity Crowdfunder. In this episode we revisit the origins of the concept, what it was thought to be then and how it has evolved with the person who can surely lay claim to be the father of UK equity crowdfunding.

As often everything takes time to evolve and build out. But ten years in much has been achieved – and not only much for Seedrs but importantly for the hundreds of companies who have raised vital capital on the platform. In the world of the now much forgotten “supply-side reforms” there is arguably nothing better that can be done for SmallCos than to have such an effective conduit to raising funds.

One thing that has taken time to evolve is for the rest of the world to catch-up with the UK’s lead. However as we shall hear there are promises that Equity Crowdfunding will finally become a Thing across Europe so plenty of exciting times ahead as well as behind.

These topics and much more are discussed in the show: Continue reading

LFP129 – IPO-ing & Patient VC Capital Via Closed-End Funds? w/Tim Levene CEO Augmentum

Today we merge two fascinating topics – the Gold Medal for a startup – the Public Listing and innovating in Venture Capital to provide more patient capital. Our guest who connects these two is super-serial entrepreneur Tim Levene who listed Augmentum last year and is a real Fintech insider being on the Boards of Iwoca, Zopa, Seedrs, amongst others.

Tim’s career is most impressive, as we shall hear in the show – did you know he founded London’s juice bars called Crussh.

Before we turn to weaving in the Augmentum model of venture capital provided not from a limited lifetime fund but from a “permanent capital” closed-end investment trust let’s turn to listing which is something Augmentum have been through themselves

When you are a NewCo or Startup it seems inconceivable (even if you go round proclaiming the opposite) that one day you might be listed on the LSE. It can seem like starting some sport tomorrow and ending up being selected to run for your country. So there is quite some sense of achievement for the founder in doing so.

However wiser older owls realise that listing is no nirvana – ask Funding Circle who listed at 440p at the end of September and were trading seven months later at little over half this price at 250p.

Topics discussed on the show include: Continue reading