Posted on February 13, 2017 by staff

Could Brexit division lead to next World War?


Tech entrepreneur Serguei Beloussov has warned that “dangerous” Brexit is symptomatic of the division which led to World War Two.

Russian-born Beloussov is a veteran of several tech companies and currently serves as CEO of Acronis, which is based in Singapore and develops cloud software.

He is worth an estimated $600 million and wants Acronis to be a multi-billion dollar company within three years.

We asked Beloussov for his views on Brexit during a recent trip to London, several weeks before the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to trigger Article 50 – which formally starts the Brexit process.

“I never expected it was going to happen,” he said of the outcome of the public vote early last summer.

“I think in order to have an opinion you have to be an economist or a politician; I’m a business person and a scientist and I understand technology.

“I do think it’s dangerous, however; I think people are forgetting what happened in World War Two, when there was a division of separate entities.

“It’s nice in ways as people feel good that they have had an impact [in sending a defiant message to the political elite], but then it divides a country – which leads to war.”

We reported recently how FinTech investments have fallen in the UK following the Brexit vote.

Beloussov said he doesn’t expect the impact on the tech sector to be too great, compared with other areas of the economy, yet doesn’t see it as a general positive.

He said: “The world is in two divisions: the physical world where people worry about money and then the world of data and knowledge.

“The tech sector is related to the world of knowledge, so it’s not connected to the real world. “No one can predict what’s going to happen – it’s a hundred billion dollar question.

“Brexit can influence slow-growing markets but cannot influence fast-growing markets as much. Tech is a very fast-growing market.

“In general I don’t think it’s a positive. With Donald Trump [winning the US Presidency] it might be a positive for business, however.”

He added that he doesn’t see the controversial US President, whom has already riled Silicon Valley and many parts of the United States with an executive order banning people from several Muslim-majority states from entering the US, as being that far removed from previous commanders-in-chief.

“One of my children is American but she is just a baby,” he said. “By the time she grows up, Trump will no longer be President.

“It’s an interesting one: it’s proof that the US is a real democracy and not controlled by the establishment, but I don’t think it’ll be that much different, to be honest.

“It’s one of those situations where neither candidate (Trump or Hillary Clinton) was particularly great.”

Beloussov also revealed the problems associated with being worth $600m – including an inability to sit on a beach and difficulty in buying the women in his life presents.