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Fintech foundations lie with both financial and technology people

I was talking to a Securitisation conference the other day. Securitisation? What’s that?

Well, I could explain but if you don’t know google it and you’ll find it’s one of those areas of financial markets that destroyed economies a decade ago and left us all with a huge debt. Well, not all. Just the sovereign nations of Europe. There ya’ go.

Anyways, why would FinTech be of interest to a securitisation audience? I guess for the same reason that it’s of interest to any audience. Because it’s changing the game.

The game is to win. The game is trading, investing, lending, borrowing, transacting, insuring, managing and dealing with any aspect of finance, commerce, money and trade. Within this game are huge gorilla beasts who have dominated markets for years. They grow bigger and bigger every year, until a big destabilising moment happens like the collateralised debt implosion of 2008.

That implosion was the springboard for many disillusioned financial people to start new companies. That is why so many of the 12,000 or more FinTech startups are founded by sacked bankers. Their financial firms failed so they start a FinTech firm to succeed.

Interestingly, and not a lot of people may have spotted this, there are many financial failures who are succeeding in FinTech. For example Nikolay Storonsky, CEO and founder of Revolut, was working for Lehmans in September 2008 when the implosion happened. Anne Boden, CEO and founder of Starling Bank, worked her whole life in banking. Mark Mullen, CEO and co-founder of Atom Bank, used to be with First Direct. Peter Randall, President and founder of SETL, used to be COO of Instinet. Antony Jenkins, the former CEO of Barclays Bank, founded 10x.

The list goes on.

And it is every part of financial services, not just in retail banking and payments. Every part of financial services is being transformed by technologists who are specialising in just one area of finance. An area they know well, and that they know needs to be transformed. In fact, efinancial careers posted their list the other day of top bankers working in FinTech. Their list includes:

  • Ronnie Mateo, CEO of Trumid Financial, a former Salomon Smith Barney VP
  • Susan Estes, president/CEO of OpenDoor Trading, formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley
  • Tammer Kamel, co-founder/CEO of Quandl, a former senior engineer at Citi
  • Brad Katsuyama, co-founder/CEO of IEX Group, former MD and head of global electronic sales and trading and the co-founder/president/CEO of the anti-HFT stock exchange IEX Group
  • Eric Poirier, CEO of Addepar, worked on the fixed income analytics desk at Lehman Brothers
  • Catherine Flax, CEO of Pefin, former CEO of global commodities for EMEA and CMO and of J.P. Morgan
  • Vikas Srivastava, CRO of Integral, and former head of currency risk management at Barclays Global Investors
  • Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, the former J.P. Morgan banker who spearheaded innovation in complex derivatives
  • Vikram Pandit, co-founder of The Orogen Group, the ex-Citi CEO
  • Hans Morris, managing partner of Nyca Partners, the ex-CFO and head of finance, technology and operations at Citi
  • Kerril Burke, CEO of Meritsoft, formerly of Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse
  • Spencer Lake, vice-chairman of Fenergo, the former head of global capital financing and vice-chairman of global banking and markets at HSBC
  • Monica Kalia, Ezechi Britton and Martin Ijaha, co-founders of Neyber, formerly of Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse
  • Tanmai Sharma, founder/CEO of Canopy Pte. Ltd, former MD at Deutsche Bank
  • Glenn Havlicek, co-founder/CEO of GLMX, former MD of global liquidity management at J.P. Morgan
  • Dominic Gamble, founder of Findawealthmanager.com, and previously of Credit Suisse

Now, I’ve made this point before, but if you look at the landscape of FinTech, not all of it is dominated by young entrepreneurs. In fact, in the more complex areas of trading, derivatives, structured finance, trade finance, supply chain and more, you are finding many disappointed, disillusioned or just excited and visionary bankers, creating new ways of doing business with technology, because they can

Now, isn’t that exciting?



About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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