Fortnightly FinTech Fuse – The Energy Fueling FinTech!

There has been a frenzy of energetic fintech activity over the last few weeks even with the interruption of a sunny Easter break.

I’ve seen this energy fuel innovation and collaboration across a diverse range of engaged fintech participants and it is really exciting to be in amongst the activity.

For example, a couple of weeks ago I had the privilege to judge to the fintech innovation pitches by the University of Edinburgh entrepreneurship students along with David McLeay from Scottish Widows.

I was blown away by the students creative and imaginative new business models to reinvent financial services, many of which could complement propositions being developed by Scottish fintech firms.

Congratulations to Ben Spigel, the Chancellor’s Fellow at the Business School, for leading such a talented group of students. Many of whom I am sure we will hear about in the fintech community in the future.


Energetic Talent

Another example of this energetic fintech talent was catching up with Elisabetta Trasatti and Andrea, the very inspiring President and Vice President of the University of Glasgow Student FinTech Society

Absolutely fantastic to hear about their plans for the year for the Society, recognized as one of the largest student fintech student groups in Europe, and how they are engaging with the fintech sector.

Excited about working with the team, especially looking forward to an energy charged evening with Jazz band and more at the Society’s pitch final competition later this year!

My meetings with the brilliant team at University of Strathclyde have further demonstrated how much terrific energy is going in to develop the fintech talent for the future.

I am very excited to be working with the fabulous Martin Hughes, Daniel Broby, Devraj Basu and Tim Bedford in shaping the emerging fintech cluster in Glasgow and connecting with the financial services sector.

Similarly, working with Ksenia Siedlecka and the University of Edinburgh team on the development of the newly launched European FinTech Digital Office focused on new research areas and investing in new enterprises.

There’s a huge amount of interest in the fintech collaboration event being planned for June and it is great to be working with our European colleagues and fintech firms such as on this initiative.

On Tuesday it was great to catch up with the fabulous Michael Young whose energetic MBN Solutions team do so much in supporting development of talent for the sector.

Michael and the team bring a huge amount of energy to the collaboration initiatives across Scotland, especially through their very successful meet up programme.


Energetic City Collaboration

Later that evening on Tuesday, Michael as well as Elisabetta joined me at the Glasgow Economic Leadership meeting where skills development and collaboration were a key part of the discussion.

I very much appreciated the engagement of the group on how we further develop fintech collaboration across the City and thank you to Mark Napier, and JP Morgan for hosting the session.

This energetic city collaboration was also very much in evident when I was invited to present at the FinTech North conference in Manchester a couple of weeks ago.

A wonderful atmosphere generated by a diverse audience and terrific fintech entrepreneurs sharing their innovative propositions to a very engaged audience.

For me it was also special to meet up with some great entrepreneurs such as Adam Bickell of Jamtoday and David Smith a wonderful colleague from 20 years ago, who gave an awesome presentation explaining the Uinsure proposition

The FinTech North conference captured everything that is so special and energetic about the fintech movement and it was a real privilege to be part of it.

Huge thanks to the inspiring leaders Chris Sier and Julian Wells along with the whole FinTech North and Whitecap Consulting team for delivering such an innovative community driven occasion.

I was given the opportunity in Manchester to share the stage as well as catch up with the terrific Charlotte Crosswell, chief executive of Innovate Finance

It was a recognition of our shared values for the ambition for the fintech movement and the mutual opportunities that prompted us to agree to more formally collaborate going forward.

Hence the announcement on Monday this week of a new Fintech National Network to provide collective support for FinTech Scotland, FinTech North and Innovate Finance fintech communities.

Our aim is to see our collaboration activities and engagements provide more support and we are looking forward also to FinTech Wales and FinTech Wales joining with us in the coming months.

The new Network was announced at the Innovate Finance Global Summit in London which a number of the Scottish fintech community attended.

Including Professor Jane Lewis from Womens Coin, a newer member of the Scottish community, who was invited to share how the exciting developments were taking shape in Scotland. Big thanks to Jane.

The week before was another global event, EIE 2019, with many Scottish fintech firms taking centre stage to share their propositions to an international investor audience. A huge accolade must go to Steve Ewing and the team for a fabulous occasion

Big congratulations to everyone who participated, and a special mention to Callum Murray of Amiqus for winning ‘pitch presentation of the day.


Global Energy

Scotland’s fintech activity is certainly attracting global energy, for example it was terrific to welcome the delegation of Hong King and Singapore fintech innovators to Edinburgh on Thursday.

It was great to share the Scottish fintech developments with a diverse range of firms in the morning with Graham Hatton from Scottish Development International.

Then in the afternoon, to have an engaging session in the afternoon with our friends from the Far East with a fantastic mix of people from Scotland’s fintech community, considering collaboration opportunities.

Great to meet Bettina Wong and Charles Lam of Cybersport and Avere Hill of Cynopsis, Ivy Tse of FreightAmigo as well see Joel Ko, again who has exciting fintech plans for Edinburgh

All brilliantly hosted by the fabulous Kent Mackenzie, Chris Brown and the Deloitte team who are doing so much to develop the global fintech collaboration and energy.

The event with a global diversity was wonderful to be part and embodies everything that Scotland’s fintech is all about. All fantastically organized by Karen Craib and Mandy Cooper from Scottish Enterprise.

Sandwiched in between the two events I was given the opportunity to talk about embracing diversity through fintech at the Women in Banking and Finance conference on Thursday.

An absolute privilege to be on the stage in front of a big audience with the inspiring Sue Liburd, Wincie Wong of RBS and Maggie Craig of FCA.

All expertly hosted by the fabulous Andy Nicol, chief executive of Abstract, who do terrific people leadership work in this space.

Many thanks to Niamh Sims and Nomi Puri for inviting me to join you and for a terrific event and energetic atmosphere.

Scotland is certainly contributing to the positive global energy, for example, it was great to catch up with Chris Tait and Omar Shaikh to discuss the fintech participation in their Global Ethical Finance conference

Delighted we are working together on this global exciting event in October which very much reinforces Scotland’s leadership role in sustainable finance as well as fintech.

Also, on the global energy theme it was a pleasure to catch up this week with Gurjit Singh Lalli, the curator of TEDx for Glasgow, about the amazing event planned for June and future role for the fintech community.

I am hugely excited about the global energy being generated by the planned fintech festival for Scotland in September which Mickael is working hard on.

Excellent strategy meeting with the terrific Rory Archibald of Visit Scotland and Karen Craib of Scottish Enterprise who are doing such fantastic work to help us prepare for the festival later this year.

Talking about how we build on this global energy with developing the strategic international opportunities for Scottish fintechs was the key part of the valuable discussion with Lorraine Mallon and Andrea McLeish from SDI this week.


Strategic Energy

Sharing the strategic energy behind the fintech developments in Scotland is always a key role and there have been so many interactions over this last few weeks to do this

For example, we very much valued the opportunity to present to the team at the Financial Conduct Authority and great to meet the teams shaping the regulatory landscape for future fintech progress and good consumer outcomes.

Thank you to Ed Smith and the team for arranging with Nicola for this. We followed this up with a great conversation with Tom Kegode and the innovation team at Lloyds Bank who are leading some terrific strategic fintech collaboration initiatives

Over this last few weeks I have also had the opportunity to discuss the strategic developments with other major financial groups

For example, very enjoyable and constructive conversations with Ali Law of Royal London, Peter Bole of CYBG and Bob Hair of Cazenove.

Along with exploring strategic fintech collaboration opportunities with Jim McCumesty of SAS, Neil Delany of Contis and Kirsty Irvine of JCCA. Brilliant to have their engagement win working with the Scottish fintech community.

On Monday, I had the opportunity to share FinTech Scotland future plans with a broader engaged audience at the FiSAB (Financial Services Advisory Board) quarterly meeting chaired by the First Minister and Jim Pettigrew of CYBG.

It was great to have fintech on the agenda along with the terrific work being led by Barry Connolly of RBS on skills and Helen Page of CYBG on the social impact of financial services.

Both significant pieces of work align with the fintech developments on skills and inclusion and it was great to continue the conversation on these at the Scottish Financial Enterprise AGM on Thursday evening all expertly organized by the magnificent SFE team.

Thank you, Graeme Jones for the FinTech Scotland progress shout out great to be there with the SFE members. Many congratulations to the awesome Sue Dawe for being elected to the SFE Board


Energetic Running

After an eight week injury lay off, I am back out running energetically and what a really amazing feeling in so many ways.

This included a return to the race circuit with the Stirling half marathon last Sunday which was just wonderful.

Coming up are races in Coatbridge, Dalkeith and Balerno as well as a few Saturday morning Park Runs, all before the Edinburgh marathon at the end of May.

Although I’m having to control my running energy at the moment, so I don’t pick up another injury but despite this I have fallen in love with running event more!! Until next time