Posted on July 16, 2018 by staff

Expert says UK must be ‘twice as ambitious’ before Brexit


One of the leading voices in the UK’s FinTech sector said we need to double our ambition because of the “B word”.

Speaking in the wake of the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson, Tech Nation’s FinTech and insurtech lead Greg Michel said we need to be “twice as ambitious” ahead of Brexit.

“A lot of people still look at the UK with envy. France and Germany can say what they want, but when people think about FinTech they think about London,” he said.

“However I think this is a very precarious position. Any conversation about FinTech or anything in this country now cannot be accurate or finished without the ‘B’ word.”

Felicia Meyerowitz (pictured below), the CEO of Akoni Hub, told our packed ‘The Future of FinTech’ breakfast event in the capital that she isn’t personally worried about Brexit but admitted that many others are.

“Obviously a period of adjustment is coming and I think the concern is more around what is the regulatory or government position and what will happen, as opposed to Brexit itself as an event,” she told the 70-strong audience at etc.venues in Hatton Garden.

“If a new set of regulations come in that have been defined and you have a deadline to work to for having these structures in place, then you can do that – it’s quite simple. It is the flip-flopping that is creating the concern.”

Start-up Akoni Hub helps companies maximise the return on their investments through what it claims is a faster and safer platform. The business is at the pre-revenue stage and currently employs 12 people having secured £1.5m in seed funding.

“We work with a number of clients in the city whose regulatory status is quite questionable so they’re setting up European-regulated structures which may not need – but they don’t yet know what the guidance is going to be,” Meyerowitz explained.

Tim Kimball (pictured below, left), chief technology officer of Aire Labs, said “we should embrace the [Brexit] word”.

“I’m not worried about Brexit at all. I think we should use the word; I don’t think we should be afraid of the word. The reality is that, whatever it looks like, it’s coming.”

Also speaking at the event was Rachel Bentley, FinTech senior manager at KPMG; Jonathan Simnett, director at Hampleton Partners; Capitalise’s managing director Paul Surtees; Kerim Derhalli, CEO, Invstr; Emilie Bellet, founder and CEO, Vestpod;  James Ferretti, bank integrations lead engineer, TransferWise; Nicola Horlick, CEO, Money&Co; and John Battersby, head of communications and policy, Ratesetter.

The event was run in association with Money&Co, Another Crowd and Tech Nation. It was BusinessCloud’s first dedicated event in London and was trending on Twitter.