Euclid, OpenGamma and Duco profiled in the FN Fintech 40

There’s a new dawn breaking in finance. That’s the hope that’s fuelling the groundswell of interest in financial technology, with companies being founded almost daily that aim to overhaul the way financial institutions and their clients operate. Perhaps with an eye to how other sectors have been shaken to their foundations by technology, big financial firms are taking a closer look at these upstarts, increasingly turning to start-ups to resolve regulatory requirements, security concerns, big data conundrums and rapidly changing customer demands.The sector has attracted increasing interest from investors. Global investment in fintech ventures has more than tripled during the past five years, from less than $930 million in 2008 to more than $2.97 billion in 2013, according to research from Accenture. In the UK and Ireland alone, deal volume has risen 74% over the same period.

Against this backdrop, today Financial News launches its first FinTech 40 power list highlighting the key people in the sector. The aim was to find the most important 40 people based in the region who display influence or innovation in the emerging financial technology ecosystem. They had to be operating in, or have potential to impact, European capital markets and Financial News. The long list of more than 100 people ranged from visionary entrepreneurs, to savvy investors, community organisers or technology buyers at the world’s largest financial institutions. The names were then assessed on their technological innovation in European capital markets and achievements to date; their potential to shape and influence their sector; the assets or resources at their disposal; and their broader contribution to improving efficiency. We then, finally, after much debate, whittled down the list to the final 40.

There were many tough choices. We’ve had to pass over some of the best-known fintech start-ups that operate purely in a consumer environment because it’s not yet clear that they will impact wholesale finance. In some firms there is a slew of influential individuals. We’ve decided to select only one name per company. And some individuals have influence broadly in the tech or start-up scene. We’ve tried to focus the list on the names with a clear focus on fintech. The final 40 come from across the region, with representatives from Frankfurt, Geneva, Paris, Brussels, Stockholm and Tel Aviv. But as the list was whittled down it became increasingly concentrated on London, reflecting the city’s dominant position as Europe’s leading fintech cluster.

Most of the individuals are entrepreneurs whose young companies are making waves in the industry, while others are consultants, accelerators, community organisers and representatives from financial institutions who have demonstrated a concrete engagement with the emerging fintech ecosystem.The biggest group is from the start-ups themselves, who make up 17 of the 40, although the sheer number of fintech start-ups mean it would have been easy to fill the list with 40 start-ups alone. Investors, a crucial part of the movement, make up seven. Large financial institutions take four places, showing how many progressive firms are spurring the development of fintech start-ups, even though these start-ups might trigger disruption and threaten internal fiefdoms. The rest of the list is made up of lawyers, accelerators, and people organising and supporting the growing community.

The FN Fintech 40

Yoni Assia

Co-founder and chief executive, eToro, Tel Aviv

Assia, 33, is the co-founder and chief executive of social trading platform eToro, which has more than 3.5 million users worldwide. One of the leaders in this emerging fintech phenomenon, eToro is catching the attention of large financial institutions and banks. Denmark’s Saxo Bank, for example, launched its own social trading platform in January 2014, and is planning a white-label version for institutional fund management clients.

Founded in 2007, eToro enables retail traders to invest and share information about their trades, performance and strategies. The online social trading platform, which has raised $31.5 million from various investors including Spark Capital and BRM Capital, is setting the standard for this emerging sector. Assia hopes eToro can ultimately bridge the information gap between retail and institutional traders. He previously founded CDRide, an on-ride video technology company that was sold to Kodak, and is involved in Colored Coins, which aims to use bitcoin infrastructure to exchange other assets.

Mark Beeston

Chief executive and founder, Illuminate Financial Management, London

After more than four years running the post-trade business of interdealer broker ICAP, and a career in credit trading and swaps processing, Beeston in 2014 launched his own fintech-focused advisory and venture fund. Beeston, 42, was instrumental in creating ICAP’s increasingly influential market structure-focused seed funding and acceleration platform, Euclid Opportunities. He now hopes to use his fintech advisory experience and banking connections to capitalise on sweeping financial reforms and industry-wide deleveraging. His FinTech Opportunities fund, which is close to securing initial seed funding from a UK-based family office, will focus on disruptive technologies that impact cost, control, capital, compliance or execution in capital markets. Beeston is working on sourcing its first set of investments.

After 13 years at Deutsche Bank, including as chief operating officer of its global rates business and global credit trading business, Beeston in 2005 set up T-Zero, a credit default swap processing platform, which was acquired three years later by Intercontinental Exchange. He continues to sit on the executive board of two technology firms in which Euclid invested – risk management firm OpenGamma and a data analysis service provider Duco.

Oliver Bussmann

Group chief information officer, UBS, Zurich

German-born Bussmann, 48, is one of the most vocal supporters of technology innovation in the European banking industry. He joined UBS as chief information officer in 2013, and has played a critical role in helping the Swiss bank reshape its innovation strategy and increase its collaboration with venture capitalists and fintech start-ups. He is leading the creation of internal working groups, with dedicated budgets to develop innovative technology projects across the bank, which will involve UBS business and IT staff, and experts from the fintech sector. In 2012, Bussmann was dubbed the “most social” chief information officer of a Fortune 250 company by software provider – he is an active tweeter with more than 10,000 followers, is on Facebook, LinkedIn and has his own website.

As global CIO of technology company SAP for four years, Bussmann increased mobility and collaboration as well as the use of big data technology and business-building social media strategies at the firm. He cites the development of an enterprise mobile app store giving SAP employees access to more than 100 business apps among his many achievements. He has also previously worked at Allianz Group, Deutsche Bank and IBM.

Claire Calmejane

Head of Digital Centre of Excellence, Innovation and Partnerships, Lloyds Banking Group, London

Computer engineer and French-born Calmejane, 31, is charged with leading the UK’s Lloyds Banking Group into the digital age. She took on the initiative in February 2014 to develop Lloyds’ external and internal digital strategy across its commercial, wealth, retail and insurance businesses. Calmejane continues to gain influence in the wider fintech sector. She was the driving force behind Lloyds’ backing of London’s latest fintech accelerator programme Startupbootcamp FinTech, where she is a board member and mentor. Calmejane was voted a rising star in digital banking in Europe in 2014 by the mobile and online financial services community Digital Banking Club and was a visiting scientist at MIT Center for Digital Business, working on digital transformation in 2011.

At Capgemini Consulting, Calmejane advised banks and large corporates before heading delivery of Lloyds’ online services, managing a 250-strong team and a multimillion-pound budget to create products. She is a self-confessed geek who enjoys swimming, travelling and hiking.

Neil Costigan

Chief executive, BehavioSec, Luleå, Sweden

A 17-year financial technology veteran, Costigan, 46, first advised the co-founders of Swedish biometric technology platform BehavioSec before joining the firm as chief executive three years later in 2011. Launched by Olov Renberg, Kristofer Nygren and Peder Nordström in 2007 as a spin-off from their research as students, the firm verifies users’ identities by analysing unique patterns in their interaction with technology, such as how they type on their computers or mobiles.

Under Costigan’s tutelage, and with €1.2 million of seed funding from venture capital investors including Conor Venture Partners and Partner Invest Norr, BehavioSec is emerging as an important security service provider to large financial institutions. Clients include Denmark’s Danske Bank, which uses BehavioSec’s anti-fraud technology to secure its internet banking operations. BehavioSec secured a place as one of seven companies on Accenture’s first FinTech Innovation Lab in 2013. It hopes to raise €4.5 million from UK investors to expand and integrate BehavioSec’s software into mobiles, as banks’ use of mobile transaction banking and trading services increases.

Nicolas Debock

Senior investment manager, XAnge Private Equity, Paris

Debock, 36, spearheads the Paris-based private equity and venture capital firm’s investments in fintech venture and growth firms across Europe. XAnge, which has a total of €375 million of assets under management, has backed several fintech firms, including payments start-up The Currency Cloud, German online bank Fidor Bank and French crowdfunding platform KissKissBankBank. Before joining XAnge in 2011, Debock worked in the innovation and strategy department of French postal service Groupe La Poste, engaging with start-ups, venture capitalists and investors to gain insight into new trends that could affect the firm’s businesses.

Debock was one of the founders of BarCampBank, a community that organises events on the future of banking and disruptions related to finance, and, in 2013, he organised Hack The Bank Paris, the first French fintech hackathon. Debock, who collects jazz vinyl records, enjoys cycling and playing rugby.

Samir Desai

Chief executive and co-founder, Funding Circle, London

Desai’s online lending platform, which he launched in 2010 with James Meekings and Andrew Mullinger, is building momentum and attracting the attention of institutional investors. More than £290 million has been lent through Funding Circle to over 4,500 businesses across the UK. Some 30,000 retail investors, eight UK local councils, a university and the UK government have also lent through the platform. European hedge fund Marshall Wace is set to invest in Funding Circle loans through its peer-to-peer Global Investment fund. The firm says investors on its platform have made an average of 6.1% return after fees and bad debts.

Desai, 31, who set up Funding Circle in the US in 2013, gained backing from venture capital firms including Index Ventures, Accel Partners and New York-based Union Square Ventures, as well as angel investors including Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone and Jon Moulton of Better Capital. Desai previously worked as a management consultant at BCG.

Clare Flynn Levy

Founder and chief executive, Essentia Analytics, London

US-born Flynn Levy’s fintech start-up, Essentia Analytics, uses behavioural data analytics to help investment managers improve their performance. Founded in April 2013, it already boasts an impressive list of clients, including fund manager Artemis and hedge fund GLG Partners, which is owned by Man Group. Essentia’s cloud-based platform analyses historical trade and biometric data to reveal fund managers’ strengths and weaknesses. It uses decision-support software, data scientists and coaching partners as part of its services.

Former fund manager Flynn Levy, 40, wanted to develop a tool to help the fund management industry do its job better and prove its skills to investors. After university Flynn Levy spent five years at Deutsche Bank-owned Morgan Grenfell Asset Management, rising through the ranks to manage more than $1 billion of UK balanced and specialist segregated pension fund assets. She later joined hedge fund software provider Beauchamp Financial Technology, where she was president responsible for Europe, the Middle East and Africa sales and operations. She is involved in several networks for women in senior roles and cites businesswoman Dame Stephanie Shirley as inspirational.

Eddie George

Founder and chief executive, NewFinance, London

George, 48, founded technology network NewFinance in July 2011 as a meet-up in an east London pub. Today NewFinance has more than 2,000 professionals involved in innovating financial services through technology as members, including entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, academics and students.

It hosts events and seminars in London and the US covering fintech issues such as analytics and big data, cryptocurrencies and regulation, and aims to bring together and promote fintech innovators in London, San Francisco and New York.

It has a core team of seven, has held more than 54 events and also provides research and advisory services to large corporates. George secured sponsorship from five firms including software company Iress, insurer Aviva and Allianz Digital Accelerator – he charges established businesses, but operates on a non-profit basis for start-ups. George, who built a career in IT including at Citigroup and Commerzbank, owns two vintage Jaguars and plays in a rock band.

Steve Gibson

Managing director, Euclid Opportunities, London

A 20-year financial technology veteran, Gibson, 42, worked at software companies Siebel, Ipreo and Calypso Technology, before joining the world’s largest interdealer broker ICAP in January 2011. In March that year, with Mark Beeston, he helped establish and run Euclid Opportunities, ICAP’s market structure-focused seed funding and acceleration platform for fintech start-ups, building on the broker’s track record of investing in fledgling post-trade risk management technology firms.

Through Euclid, Gibson has considered over 400 applications from early-stage middle office-focused fintech firms. He played a key role selecting three for investment: open-source risk management software vendor OpenGamma, Duco, a data analysis service provider, and Enso Financial Management, an analytics company. ICAP is also working on joint services with several other start-ups. Gibson was a driving force behind an early technology that went on to become part of Calypso, one of the best-known derivatives trading and risk management technology platforms. He sits on the board of AcadiaSoft, an OTC derivatives technology provider, and mentors as part of the FinTech Innovation Lab in London.

Richard Goold

Corporate partner, Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, London

Goold, 36, is fast establishing himself as a leading legal influence in the technology sector. He specialises in international mergers and acquisitions, and private equity with a focus on technology. Fintech is a significant part of Goold’s work, which ranges from large buyouts to growth capital and venture capital financing, and includes advising on investment and regulation. He also co-chairs the firm’s technology sector group of 115 lawyers.

As well as helping firms on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies regulatory issues, Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co advised payment services provider TransferGo on Financial Conduct Authority’s approval to operate in the UK. It also works with larger financial firms, including HSBC and Euroclear.

Goold, who started his career at Wragge in 2001, becoming a partner in 2012, is a mentor at UK accelerator space Level39. He also visits tech hubs in the US, where he acted for venture capital firm Greycroft Partners on its investment in money transfer company Azimo, and advised new equities exchange IEX and financial services software start-up OpenFin.

Ian Green

Co-founder and chief executive, eCo Financial Technology, London

Green, 50, left his role as global head of fixed income ecommerce at Credit Suisse in January 2013 to develop a new marketplace for banks and financial institutions to buy and sell proprietary software in source code form.

Together with former Credit Suisse colleagues Tosha Ellison and Gavin Warren, he launched eCo Financial Technology in January 2014. The platform assesses banks’ software for quality and compatibility with other institutions’ systems – enabling financial firms to commercialise the vast pools of technology they have built over the years. Backed by Credit Suisse, which is expected to become an early seed investor, eCo aims to improve transparency in the financial technology market.

Mathematician Green spent over a decade at Credit Suisse in trading and IT, including as global head of eFX trading and global head of derivatives IT. The keen cyclist, who has kept a list of the last 320 books he has read, previously worked for software companies, including SunGard and Softbridge Capital Markets.

Manu Gupta

General partner, Lakestar, Zurich

Former Goldman Sachs technology banker Gupta, 35, spearheads the fintech investments of Zurich-based technology venture capital firm Lakestar, which he helped launch in 2012 with venture capitalist Klaus Hommels.

Gupta’s portfolio includes Algomi, a fintech start-up that helps financial institutions match bond orders; cloud-based invoice and payment systems provider Taulia; and bitcoin information network CoinDesk. He began his career as a programmer and product manager at software giant Oracle. Having completed an MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Gupta joined Goldman Sachs in San Francisco in 2006 and later led its European internet coverage, advising on technology mergers and acquisitions and IPOs in London.

Lakestar partners Hommels, Michael Stuenkel, Mark Schmitz and Oliver Heimes built a strong record in technology start-ups as early investors in Spotify, AngelList, Airbnb, Skype and Facebook. Before Lakestar, they also invested in some fintech, including online investment management start-up Nutmeg and mobile payment company SumUp.

Jan Hammer

Partner, Index Ventures, London

Former investment banker Hammer, 37, focuses on growth-stage investments and leads technology venture capital firm Index Venture’s fintech efforts from London. It has invested in 24 companies globally in the financial services technology market since launching in London in 2002, including Adyen, an Amsterdam-based payments firm, and Novus, a US portfolio analytics platform.

Hammer, who joined Index in 2010 from venture capital firm General Atlantic, led the fund’s investment in BitPay, a US bitcoin payment service provider, which also attracted capital from Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson and Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!.

Index has also invested in UK peer-to-peer currency transfer start-up TransferWise, online retail foreign exchange trading platform Oanda and peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle. Czech-born Hammer, who sits on the boards of BitPay, Adyen and Novus, was previously a banker at Morgan Stanley in London and New York. He graduated from Oxford University, and holds an MBA with distinction from Insead.

Taavet Hinrikus

Chief executive and co-founder, TransferWise, London

An active angel investor, Hinrikus, 33, is chief executive of TransferWise, an international money transfer start-up, which he launched with fellow Estonian Kristo Käärmann in 2011. TransferWise’s technology is shaking up the payments industry, making it easier, faster and cheaper for individuals and businesses to make international money transfers. It has transferred more than £1 billion of customers’ money, and claims to have saved them over £45 million in banking fees. Hinrikus hopes to make the essentially retail offering more attractive to corporates and lure more transactions away from the large banks.

TransferWise recently raised $25 million from high-profile investors, including Richard Branson and Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal. Venture capital firm Index Ventures, Betfair’s former chief David Yu, and Le Monde owner Xavier Niel have also invested.

Hinrikus was Skype’s first employee, and its director of strategy until 2008. He has also advised, and invested in technology start- ups, including social media platform TweetDeck, which was acquired by Twitter, and Coinfloor, a bitcoin exchange targeting institutional investors. Hinrikus recently ran a marathon in Sierra Leone.

John Matthew Holt

Chief technology officer and co-founder, Waratek, Dublin

Holt’s Dublin-based Waratek has developed patented technology making it easier for banks to virtualise their Java applications. The process involves separating applications from the hardware and the operating system and moving them, for example, to the cloud, without disrupting other systems they interact with.

As many as half of all applications used by banks run on programming language Java, which is complicated to virtualise. Waratek’s technology, which was developed through years of research spearheaded by Holt, simplifies that process, by allowing “virtualisation” without changes to the code. It also adds an additional level of security to applications.

Holt, 33, co-founded Waratek with his father. It was one of the start-ups in Accenture’s accelerator programme, and also won the global start-up competition held in 2013 by Innotribe, the innovation arm of payments giant Swift. Australian-born Holt leads a team of developers in Dublin, London and New York. He enjoys cooking paella and plays the violin.

Nick Hungerford

Co-founder and chief executive, Nutmeg, London

The founder of the UK’s first online discretionary investment management company has been passionate about investing since he was a boy. Hungerford, 34, wants to shake up the wealth management industry with user-friendly technology that provides transparent investing to the new generation of investors, who may have as little as £1,000 but who could become tomorrow’s high net worth investors.

Nutmeg creates a diversified portfolio in under 10 minutes, investing primarily in exchange-traded funds. It manages and rebalances portfolios based on an investor’s goals, risk appetite and investment time horizons, charging a single fee of between 0.3% and 1%. Nutmeg’s assets and customers have grown 10% month on month since launch in 2012, says the former Barclays wealth manager and at that time Brewin Dolphin’s youngest director. Hungerford has influential support, including venture capitalists Klaus Hommels, Tim Draper and Daniel Aegerter as financial backers, and economist John Kay and former T Rowe Price president Todd Ruppert on his advisory and management teams. Nutmeg was first conceived by tennis-loving Hungerford during his MBA studies at Stanford.

Damian Kimmelman

Founder and chief executive, DueDil, London

Just three years after its launch, Kimmelman has created the largest source of private company information in the UK and Ireland, and a popular tool for businesses including financial and professional services firms.

By aggregating and analysing information from multiple reliable public sources, including Companies House, DueDil’s users can access digestible information on performance trends and more than two decades of digitised business, accounting and director information on private companies. It has a free version and subscription offering additional features. Users can stream information on more than 10 million companies and 13 million directors in the UK & Ireland, along with extra coverage of other 20 European markets. Kimmelman, 31, secured backing from several venture capital firms including Notion Capital, Passion Capital and Oak Investment Partners as well as notable angel investors including Sherry Coutu and Tom Hulme.

American-born Kimmelman previously set up two businesses: a peer-to-peer Chinese gaming platform and a London-based digital agency whose clients included the BBC, Virgin and General Motors.

Mike Laven

Chief executive, The Currency Cloud, London

Laven, 65, has been helping fintech start-ups get off the ground since 1996, most recently as chief executive of secure international payments service The Currency Cloud. In 2012, he helped it raise $8 million from venture capital and private equity firms including Atlas Venture, Notion Capital, Anthemis and XAnge.

In 2014, a second fundraising secured $10 million. The company employs 50 people and processes $4 billion in payments globally, providing the platform to 125 firms, including international money transfer start-up TransferWise and business foreign currency exchange Kantox. It counts banks that serve corporate clients as its main competitors, and targets large payments and reconciliation of small to medium companies.

As chief executive of risk management technology provider Infinity Financial Technology, Laven oversaw its listing on Nasdaq in 1996 and sale to US software provider SunGard for $390 million in 1997. He worked at post-trade processing firm Traiana for six years, playing a key role in its acquisition by broker dealer ICAP in 2007, and spent five years advising fintech companies in Silicon Valley.

Julian Lee

Chief executive, Erudine, London

Having spent the early part of his career building front-office technology at Gartmore Investment Management and then as global head of business architecture at ABN Amro, Lee realised that firms struggle to adapt their financial IT systems in response to regulatory changes.

In early 2013, he launched Erudine and has since attracted £1 million of backing from influential institutional senior executives, including Mike Powell, former global head of markets at HSBC; Tom Kozlowski, owner of software vendor First Derivatives; and Andrew Fleming, former chief executive of Aegon Asset Management. Erudine’s software enables firms to automate compliance processes and is best suited to rules requiring transaction reporting, including the US Dodd-Frank Act and the European Market Infrastructure Regulation. It determines how trades can be processed to be consistently compliant and applies it to all future transactions. Lee, 43, believes Erudine is the first to take this approach to regulatory compliance.

In March, the business was selected for Accenture’s second annual FinTech Innovation Lab in London, which offers start-ups mentoring and networking opportunities.

Nektarios Liolios

Managing director, Startupbootcamp FinTech, London

Liolios, 47, is head of one of London’s newest fintech accelerators. Its first three-month programme, which goes live in mid-August, aims to mirror Startupbootcamp’s success in Europe and the Middle East, where, on average, 70% of start-ups have raised additional angel investor and venture capital funding after completing the programme. The London version, focused exclusively on fintech, will give 10 early-stage businesses investment and mentorship from entrepreneurs, investors and corporate partners, including Lloyds, Rabobank and MasterCard. The programme includes €15,000 and three months’ free office space at London’s St Katharine Dock, in return for 8% equity.

Liolios spent nine years at payments giant Swift, where he joined its innovation arm Innotribe in 2011. Liolios – who has 200 pairs of his favourite sneaker brand – began his career at securities depository Cedel, acquired by Deutsche Börse in 2002.

Jeff Lynn

Co-founder and chief executive, Seedrs, London

Lawyer Lynn’s equity crowdfunding platform was the first of its kind to receive regulatory approval, enabling individuals, angel investors and institutions to make equity investments online in seed and early-stage firms across Europe.

Since Seedrs’s launch in July 2012, 105 companies have reached their investment target on the platform, raising a total of £9.8 million. Although most deals on Seedrs are at a pre-institutional level, several institutions have started investing through the platform, including Portuguese venture capital firm Sabor Ventures and UK-based angel investor syndicate Juno Capital.

Companies funded through Seedrs, and which later secured venture capital, include accounting data start-up Satago. Seedrs charges start-ups 7.5% commission on funds raised and investors, who can benefit from tax relief using the platform, pay 7.5% on profits from their investment. US-born Lynn, 35, who is a keen sailor, was a corporate lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell focusing on mergers and acquisitions for clients including Barclays and Goldman Sachs. He holds an MBA and law degree from Oxford University.

Samad Masood

Programme director, FinTech Innovation Lab, Accenture, London

Since 2012, Masood, 36, has been designing and managing Accenture’s accelerator programme in London, where fintech start-ups are mentored by senior executives from investment banks, venture capitalists and angel investors.

A dozen sponsors – including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citi, HSBC and Morgan Stanley – provide mentoring, coaching and networking throughout the 12-week programme. Start-ups also get facetime with potential investors. The latest 2014 programme, which ended in March, involved seven companies with technologies such as advanced analytics systems, open-source trading systems and financial control systems. Firms from last year’s Lab reported average revenue growth of 140% and staff increases of 40% in their first nine months since completing the programme. Most signed deals with banks involved in the Lab.

Masood, who joined consultancy Accenture in 2010 after more than a decade analysing and writing about B2B technology, also advises the firm’s clients on innovation strategies and supports technology and innovation research globally. He enjoys cycling and snowboarding, and volunteers for House of Genius, which helps early-stage companies.

Christian Nentwich

Co-founder and chief executive, Duco, London

Austrian-born Nentwich, 35, is the co-founder and chief executive of Duco, a London-based data services company that aims to improve back-office functions at large banks. It launched in 2010 and was backed by Euclid Opportunities, interdealer broker ICAP’s vehicle for investing in fintech firms, and by ICAP itself. Duco’s technology services include automated trade, portfolio and cash reconciliation, and reconciliation of static data between multiple systems. Its client roster includes JP Morgan, HSBC, Credit Suisse and ICAP. Duco’s applications are web hosted and users are charged on a pay-as-you-go basis. They are designed to be fast, easy to use and cheap. Nentwich, a self-taught programmer who earned a doctorate in computer science from University College London, previously founded the Validation Working Group for the FpML messaging standard for over-the-counter derivatives, championed by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association.

Sean Park

Founder and chairman, Anthemis Group, Geneva

Anthemis, which advises and invests in companies aiming to reshape financial services through technology innovation, was founded by Park in 2010 with Udayan Goyal, Deutsche Bank’s former global head of financial technology advisory, and Nadeem Shaikh, former head of financial institutions at First Data Corporation. It has offices in London, Geneva, Dubai and New York, and has completed several successful investment exits, including the sale of US weather derivatives platform The Climate Corporation in October 2013, and the sale of online banking start-up Simple to Spanish banking group BBVA in February 2014 for $117 million. Ongoing fintech investments include cross-border payments platform The Currency Cloud and currency transfer firm Azimo. Park is the author of fintech blog The Park Paradigm and a frequent speaker at industry events.

Park, 45, has 16 years of capital markets and investment banking experience from BNP Paribas and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, where he was head of digital markets, running a team of 200 people worldwide. Before Anthemis, he was an early investor in internet betting exchange Betfair, property website Zoopla and financial data provider Markit on behalf of DrKW. An avid skier, Park cites economist Carlota Perez among his biggest influences.

Alastair Paterson

Co-founder and chief executive, Digital Shadows, London

Digital Shadows was launched in 2011 by Paterson, a former international propositions manager at technology firm BAE Systems Detica, and secure software and systems specialist James Chappell, to address financial institutions’ growing cyber security concerns. Using algorithmic technology to scour the internet, monitoring millions of sources of information in 26 languages, it finds sensitive information that may have leaked from a firm’s systems and could risk its security or reputation. Paterson, 32, believes no other cyber security firm competes with the depth and scope of Digital Shadows’ service.

It counts top-tier banks as clients and was selected in 2014 by the Bank of England to develop its new cyber security strategy for systemically important financial institutions. Participating in Accenture’s accelerator programme FinTech Innovation Lab in 2013 secured Digital Shadows four banking clients. It also raised £1 million from venture capital, angel investment and UK government grants and set up an international reseller programme with UK firm ITC Secure Networking. It also plans to launch in the US.

Mike Powell

Co-founder and partner, Thematic Capital, London

The HSBC veteran of 25 years and former global head of markets at the bank co-founded venture capital firm Thematic Capital in 2008 with HSBC’s head of e-commerce Ken Yeadon. Specialising in technology and web-based companies, Thematic has backed several fintech firms, including high-speed data and infrastructure provider Fixnetix, trading technology company smartTrade and financial control systems firm Erudine.

In 2014, Powell and Yeadon established a separate acquisitions vehicle – Techsqr – to buy and consolidate financial technology firms in the wealth, asset management and insurance sectors. They aim to raise £50 million to £75 million to finance deals, and have narrowed down the list of potential targets to eight companies.

Powell, 52, who managed 3,500 people and revenues of more than $8 billion at HSBC, is a non-executive director of several technology and financial institutions, including Saudi-based investment bank Jadwa, where he also chairs its investment committee.

Matteo Rizzi

General partner, SBT Venture Capital, Brussels

Italian-born Rizzi, 44, is one of two partners at SBT Venture Capital, a fintech-focused fund launched in late 2013 by Russia’s largest lender Sberbank. The $100 million fund has invested in five fintech firms, including mobile payments start-up Sequent and security firm Tufin. It is one of the first strategic corporate banking funds dedicated to fintech, focusing on cyber security, payments, big data and analytics and new banking models. Sberbank is considering investing $700 million in venture capital funds over the next three years.

The SBT team boasts 50 years of fintech experience. Rizzi, who is fluent in four languages, spent nearly 13 years at payments giant Swift and co-founded its innovation arm Innotribe. The computer scientist started out at web-oriented IT and networking hardware firms. He co-founded a social network for Italians living abroad and invests in seaside real estate.

Samarth Shekhar

Co-founder, FinTech Forum DACH; Founder and managing director, TechFluence, Frankfurt

Shekhar, 40, launched the first forum for the emerging fintech sector in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with Frank Schwab, chief executive of Fidor Tecs, in 2013. FinTech Forum DACH aims to build a network for innovative fintech start-ups in German-speaking Europe, and for investors, accelerators, banks and acquirers.

It offers advisory, research and business development services. Shekhar – a computer scientist who has worked at Capgemini, analyst relations firm Kea Company and Indian IT house HCL – also runs his own advisory firm, TechFluence, in Frankfurt.

The Forum’s first event, in Frankfurt in 2014, involved 20 start-ups – including Berlin-based Open Bank Project, an open-source APi and app store for banks – presenting to investors and potential buyers such as Credit Suisse. It has since hosted an event in Frankfurt and is planning a third. Shekhar was also a judge at Innotribe’s start-up challenge in London in 2014 run by Swift’s innovation arm.

Chris Skinner

Chairman. Financial Services Club, London

A technology, infrastructure and post-trade services veteran of more than 30 years, Skinner, 54, has advised many of the world’s largest banks and IT firms and is founder of the European financial sector networking group Financial Services Club.

Established in 2004, the club meets every six weeks in eight European cities to debate the development of financial services, with a focus on highlighting emerging financial technology innovations. It has 2,000 individuals and 175 firms as members. Meetings regularly feature high-profile speakers from fintech, regulatory and financial institutions.

An independent consultant focusing on European financial institutions’ use of technology and the impact of regulation on financial markets’ infrastructure since 2002, Skinner has advised UBS and Lloyds Banking Group on their digital bank strategies in the past year. His career includes running HSBC’s Future of Banking workshops; senior strategy roles at technology firms Unisys and NCR; writing books on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Payment Services Directive; serving as an advisory board member of technology firms and Innotribe, the fintech start-up challenge run by messaging network Swift.

James Stickland

Director, strategic innovation investments HSBC Global Banking and Markets, London

Stickland moved from JP Morgan to HSBC in April 2014 to join the bank’s renewed push to take advantage of opportunities in the technology sector. He is part of a team charged with finding innovative companies that develop technology that can be used by HSBC group clients.

Stickland, 34, is involved in a $200 million fund set up by HSBC to invest in fintech start-ups that will help the bank improve its technology, according to a source familiar with the initiative.

As HSBC’s point man for growth companies and the venture capital community on innovation in the fintech sector, Stickland is key to identifying technology that can steer HSBC’s strategy. He held a similar role at JP Morgan for more than three years, working directly under the bank’s global chief innovation officer Guy Chiarello, whom he cites as a mentor.

Stickland started his career at large technology companies including IBM and Cisco. He is a keen traveller and has Antarctica on his list of places to visit.

Stu Taylor

Chief executive officer, Algomi, London

After six years in senior roles within UBS’s fixed income division, Taylor, 42, joined forces with UBS colleagues Robert Howes and Usman Khan to establish a new fixed income trading software company in June 2012. Algomi aims to address issues arising from new capital rules, which have made it more expensive for banks to hold bonds on their balance sheets and constrained their ability to act as intermediaries in fixed income markets. Some banks have responded by launching internal markets that match client orders, but Algomi’s approach is different. It helps institutions better track the internal flow of information on potential bond trades, enabling traders and sales teams to connect more easily. Clients include Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Nomura and Six Swiss Exchange. Taylor, who says Algomi is valued at over $100 million and believes no other software provider offers a similar service, plans to expand outside the UK and extend the model to new types of client, including asset managers and hedge funds.

A keen motorcyclist and wakeboarder, Taylor admits that Algomi’s rapid success has led to some “growing pains” but believes its use of industry experts and professional processes has helped it to scale up.

Alexis Thieriet

Managing director and founder, FTCL, London

Anglo-French dealmaker Thieriet, 40, founded FTCL, one of the few financial technology-focused corporate finance and development firms based in Europe, in early 2013. It advises early-stage and established companies, as well as private equity and venture capital investors operating in the fintech industry.

The fledgling firm has completed one deal and won five mandates to advise on capital raising and disposals. Thieriet, who also hopes to partner with fintech-focused corporate advisers in the US, is active in London’s emerging fintech industry and mentors start-ups in several accelerator programmes, including Startupbootcamp Fintech and Level39. He is also a judge in the start-up competition run by payments network giant Swift’s innovation arm Innotribe.

Thieriet worked on more than 70 fintech, financial services and private equity deals during his 17 years at Bankers Trust, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Hawkpoint. Deals included the merger of exchanges Euronext and NYSE, the launch of trading venue Turquoise and reporting platform Boat. He has a keen interest in architecture.

Fabian Vandenreydt

Head of markets management, Innotribe and the Swift Institute, Brussels

Vandenreydt, 48, took over management of member-owned payments messaging network Swift’s innovation arm, Innotribe, last year. The unit aims to connect the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication’s 10,500 members – which include corporates, banks and financial institutions – with financial technology start-ups.

More than 800 fintech companies with working prototypes have been accepted on the Innotribe start-up challenge, which launched in 2011 and provides networking, mentoring and the chance to win $50,000. Vandenreydt joined Swift in 2004, becoming head of its markets unit covering payments, securities, foreign exchange and trade finance in 2012. Taking on the additional responsibility of Innotribe puts Vandenreydt at the heart of the fintech sector. He is collaborating with start-ups to help rejuvenate financial institutions’ non-electronic payments processes.

Innotribe 2014 challenge winner, KlickEx, a currency exchange service, is working with Swift on potential partnerships, and nine of the 152 businesses attending Innotribe showcase events this year have developed payments technology.

Eric Van der Kleij

Head, Level39, Canary Wharf Group, London

Van der Kleij, 53, runs Level39, London’s most influential accelerator space for financial technology start-ups, and is preparing to cement his position at the heart of the UK fintech industry through his involvement in the setting-up of an industry body for the sector.

Van der Kleij was instrumental in the creation of Level39 by property developer Canary Wharf Group in March 2013. One year on and it boasts 87 member companies, has hosted more than 200 events and expanded from the 39th to the 42nd floor of One Canada Square. It offers affordable office space and mentoring from executives at banks, law firms, private equity firms, consultants and technology vendors. Level39 brings together innovative fintech entrepreneurs and financial buyers such as venture capitalists, investment bankers, investors and hedge funds.

Van der Kleij, a Dutch national born in Johannesburg and raised in South Africa and the UK, was previously chief executive of government-backed Tech City UK, which aims to nurture London’s technology companies. He was also the founder and chief executive of Adeptra, which automates credit card detection and was sold for $115 million in 2012. He loves to cook and his favourite book is The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.

Simon Walker

Partner, Taylor Wessing, London

Walker, 58, has made his name advising on investments and acquisitions in the financial technology sector, many involving large corporates investing in the sector and venture capitalists. Deals include advising online energy marketplace Open Energy Market on fundraising and Moni, a peer-to-peer money transfer app, on a number of fundraisings.

Walker was the driving force behind Taylor Wessing’s decision in 2013 to open a dedicated office in London’s Tech City, which holds open sessions three days a week advising fintech companies on anything from employment law to patents. He has also raised the City law firm’s profile within London’s emerging tech scene with the creation of a Tech Focus website providing information to young technology companies, which gets about 5,500 hits a month. Walker, a member of the British Venture Capital Association’s technology committee, joined Taylor Wessing in 1997 and worked on the firm’s first venture capital investment a year later. He is a keen rugby player.

Andrew White

Founder and chief executive, FundApps, London

Irish-born computer scientist White founded FundApps targeting the investment management industry in 2010 with technologist James Crowley. The firm, which has doubled revenues annually since launch, provides a suite of services, including cloud-based software that helps fund managers ensure their portfolios are compliant with the slew of regulatory requirements hitting their industry. Clients include one of the five largest hedge funds by global assets and a large European bank.

Users upload their portfolios to the FundApps platform, where they are automatically checked against all relevant restrictions. The firm receives legal information in text format from law firm Allen & Overy and then transforms it into powerful algorithms which it uses to monitor portfolios.

White’s 15 years designing and product managing cutting-edge software solutions include working at asset management software provider Aquin, now part of State Street-owned Princeton Financial Systems.

Derek White

Chief design officer, Barclays, London

US-born White, 40, has been instrumental in creating Barclays’ fintech accelerator, as well as leading a new team with the mandate to create innovative digital products for retail and institutional clients. The team of engineers, designers, data scientists and product managers was behind the development of Pingit, an award-winning mobile payments application.

To help develop innovative fintech firms, Barclays joined forces with start-up accelerator Techstars in June 2014, offering 11 fintech start-ups a 15-week programme of mentorship from a Barclays’ executive, office space and up to $20,000 of investment from Techstars. Barclays can make strategic investments in the start-ups, while Techstars retains 6% as common stock.

The father of four started his career at JP Morgan Chase. He later joined Barclays through the acquisition of Juniper Bank, now Barclaycard US, and has held senior roles including managing director of strategy, business development and marketing for Barclays Africa.

Kirk Wylie

Executive chairman of the board and co-founder, OpenGamma, London

Wylie, 37, launched OpenGamma, an open-source analytics and risk management platform, in 2009, having become frustrated developing a front-office market risk system at Belgian bank KBC Financial Products in 2006. Aware of the adversarial relationship between big financial institutions and their software vendors, Wylie set up OpenGamma as a new style of technology vendor, offering clients, which include clearing houses, banks and hedge funds, an open-source licence enabling them to replace legacy risk and analytics technology with faster, cheaper and easier to maintain solutions. OpenGamma’s software platform has been downloaded more than 30,000 times and the firm has raised $23.25 million in funding from Accel Partners, FirstMark Capital, Euclid Opportunities and ICAP.

Nasir Zubairi

Principal, New Buckland, London

Zubairi, 38, has spent his career at the forefront of innovation in financial technology and is a sought-after mentor and adviser in fintech. The former financial engineer’s latest venture, New Buckland, advises large financial services institutions, management consultancies, tech start-ups and small and medium enterprises on innovation, marketing and business growth. Zubairi was named Business Mentor of the Year in 2012 at University College London’s awards for enterprise. He mentors for several fintech accelerators, including Level39 and Startupbootcamp FinTech, and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme.

In 2010, Zubairi launched his own fintech start-up, EuroTRX, an online marketplace for invoice trading. Having sold that technology to a company funded by the Dutch government, he joined London-based payments platform The Currency Cloud. He has worked at Reuters, currency broker EBS and inter dealer broker ICAP, where he helped invent patented core trading systems.