Fortnightly FinTech Fuse – Going Global

One of the key objectives for FinTech Scotland is to contribute to putting the country on the global fintech map and this last two weeks has given us the opportunity to build a presence on the international stage.

Collaboration is key when going on the global stage and this is very much reinforced by the fact that Avaloq are one of the founding private sector partners of Fintech Scotland.

With the one hundred strong research and development team based in Edinburgh, Avaloq has built a tremendous reputation as a leading international fintech firm adopting a global footprint and mindset to drive innovation in the financial services sector.

Global Collaboration

Last week we had the opportunity to share Scotland’s global credentials and aspirations with two sets of guests from the Far East.

On Wednesday we met with four very innovative fintech enterprises from Hong Kong who had expressed an interest in expanding in the West and learning about Scotland’s fintech landscape which we were delighted to go into a great amount of depth on.

Then on Friday, with the excellent Graham Hatton and the brilliant Shirin Pang from Scottish Development International, we met with Sopnendu Mohanty, the Chief Fintech Officer from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and his team.

There was much to learn from these meetings and what particularly struck me was the fact the we were very much aligned in emphasising the importance of collaboration and inclusion in our fintech agendas.

Global Events

Earlier in the week Mickael and I had spent a couple of days in London at the Innovation Finance Global Summit sharing Scotland’s fintech strengths with our counterparts from international centres from around the globe, from Bahrain to Holland to USA to China to Africa.

Building these worldwide connections is going to valuable as we seek to encourage more fintech firms to consider Scotland as an ideal place for their international expansion as well as potentially opening doors to our home grown fintech enterprises to expand on the global stage.

The Summit gave us the opportunity to also catch up with Julian Wells and the team from FinTech North, our neighbours from across the border, who are doing a fabulous job in building the profile of the exciting fintech developments across Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool.
We are delighted we will have the opportunity to share the conference platform with the FinTech North team at their Spring events as we look to collaborate on future initiatives .

A big thank you to Kent Mackenzie and the Deloitte team for facilitating our various engagements at the Summit. One of the highlights being of the Summit was to hear Louise Brett give one of the best presentations on the role of fintech as a progressive force for good, especially in improving diversity in the sector.

The value of diversity and inclusion was the key theme for our third Fintech Scotland symposium on Tuesday evening.

Awesome personal leadership stories were told by Jackie Waring of Investing Women, Loral Quinn of Sustainably, June Cook of ShareIn and Yvonne Dunn of Pinsent Masons, all made more special as the session was live streamed around the globe for those who could not join us in Edinburgh

A huge thanks to Yvonne, Hollie and the Pinsent Mason team for their fabulous hospitality for the event

Global Data

On the subject of events, the really big event in the last fortnight was, of course, DataFest which was a wonderful demonstration of how Scotland’s data driven innovation very much shines on the global stage across all sectors of the economy and society.

Thanks to Pardeep Cassells of BNP Paribus and Raymond Wales of Scottish Investment Operations, I had the opportunity to share thoughts on all things fintech and data driven innovation with a broad section of people from the international asset management sector in Scotland

We had a great conversation on the fintech issues ranging from collaboration to skills development and I am looking forward progressing these further in the coming months.

What a spectacular series of DataFest activities and events across the whole of the country over the week that the truly amazing Gillian Docherty and the DataLab team put on. What an inspiring role model leadership team DataLab are for all of us.

Later that week, meeting with the Sean Harkin to discuss how we can help his new data driven fintech enterprise, Symmetry Analytics, further demonstrated to me very clearly that we have the expertise and leaders in Scotland to use the data explosion in our lives to make a positive difference through value add innovation.

Global Leaders

Talking of global leaders, I’ve had the opportunity in recent weeks to meet with some brilliant people who are helping me think about how Scotland really does put itself on the global map for fintech.
Such as Paul Kiernan who has been terrific to work alongside connecting us with Australian fintech firms who are looking to establish themselves in Europe and Scotland. Thanks Paul you are a star player in the fintech world.

Then, it was absolutely fantastic to meet up last week with the truly inspiring Promilla Caughy from the EY Foundation who was recently recognized on the international stage as an ‘Inspirational Role Model’.
Promilla is very much my international role model with her deep experience of international engagement and cultures as well her people based can do mindset on global collaboration and inclusion.

Then on Monday evening, I was fortunate to have dinner with Parveen Kaur who is responsible for some of RBS major operations in India.

Learning about the huge leaps India is taking in the fintech world from Parveen was very thought provoking and I am hoping we can benefit from Parveen’s expertise as one of our international ambassadors going forward. Thanks Lou Smith for such a super evening of fintech discussion

Great to hear that one of our very own fintech leaders James Varga, chief executive of The ID Co has been selected to go on a trade mission to the USA next month to showcase the firm’s expertise and engage with senior stakeholders.

Global Running

The global theme is going to run on as I have been invited to go to New York to share Scotland’s fintech progress at events next week in the Big Apple. More on this in my next Fuse blog!

In between the various fintech commitments, the trip across the Atlantic will give me the opportunity to join an inspiring global friend of mine, Paul Skinner, for an early morning 6 mile run around Central Park and maybe a longer run at Flushing Meadows!

Before I embark on this global running treat I hope my planned ten mile race at Strathclyde Country Park on Sunday beats the weather and allows me to test out how much pace I have in my legs for the global excursions!