New fund targeted to fill growth capital gap and ensure continuation of the UK’s pre-eminence in FinTech
LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–UK FinTech Growth Partners LLP (“UK FinTech Growth Partners”) is pleased to announce that it will launch the FinTech Growth Fund, the first investment fund of its kind focussed on supporting growth stage FinTechs as they scale.
With backing for the initiative already secured from industry leaders Barclays, NatWest, Mastercard, London Stock Exchange Group and Peel Hunt, the FinTech Growth Fund will invest in UK FinTechs, predominantly between Series B and pre-IPO, to enable them to scale into world-class global organisations. The first deployment of capital into businesses is scheduled for Q4 2023 with a strong pipeline of opportunities already identified. The fund will look to undertake, on average, four to eight investments per year, with investments between £10 million and £100 million. The fund will make minority investments and all investments will be for equity and equity-linked securities.
Alongside the investment capital, the FinTech Growth Fund will provide strategic support to its portfolio companies to help them achieve their corporate ambitions, giving them access to an ecosystem of deep, relevant experience across FinTech, venture capital, and the wider financial services ecosystem.
The UK FinTech Growth Partners executive team combines decades of experience in venture capital, FinTech and government. The partners of the fund include:
- Angel Issa – former Global Head of Corporate Development & Strategic Investments at Nomura, having previously held similar roles at BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley;
- Joe Parkin – former Managing Director – Head of Banks, Digital Channels and UK Inorganic at BlackRock;
- Kaushalya Somasundaram – Former Executive Director and UK Head of Payments, Partnerships & Industry Relations at Square; Former Managing Director and Global Head of FinTech Partnerships & Strategic Innovation Investments Director at HSBC, and;
- Phil Vidler – CEO of FinTech Alliance, formerly Group Strategy Director at Pollinate and Head of Global Markets for HM Treasury
The fund is currently recruiting for a number of roles, including regional positions as part of its commitment to supporting businesses throughout the UK.
To support the growth of the fund, UK FinTech Growth Partners has assembled a world leading non-executive advisory board which brings with it a wealth of sector expertise. The advisory board will be chaired by former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Philip Hammond, and will also feature notable UK financial services and FinTech figures, including:
- Clare Bousfield – MD Retail and Savings for M&G plc;
- Sir Charles Bowman – Former Senior Partner of PwC and former Lord Mayor of London;
- Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia – Chair of Moneyfarm, Founder of Snoop and Ex CEO of Virgin Money.
- Lord Gerry Grimstone – former Minister for Investment jointly at the Department for International Trade and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, former Chair of Barclays Bank and former Chair of Standard Life;
- Alastair Lukies CBE – Founder of Pollinate International and Founding Partner of Motive Partners;
- Dame Helena Morrissey – Chair of the Board of Directors Fidelis and Chair of Altum Group, former Chair at FTSE250 firm AJ Bell and former CEO of Newton Investment Management;
- Romi Savova – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PensionBee, and;
- Philip Smith – Founder and former CEO of Embark Group.
(for further biographies see below)
Phil Vidler, Managing Partner, commented: “The UK has always been at the forefront of innovation in FinTech but there is a very clear and well evidenced growth funding gap. The FinTech Growth Fund will address the lack of available growth capital by providing a first of its kind domestic, growth-stage, FinTech focused venture capital fund backed by strategic investors. Our aim is to not only provide the capital needed for founders to scale their businesses, but to also engage with stakeholders across the nation to support the wider ecosystem. In doing so, we believe we can ensure the UK remains a global leader in FinTech.”
The idea for the fund grew out of the landmark Kalifa Review which outlined a five-point plan to help the UK retain its status as a global leader in financial services through securing the success of UK FinTech. It identified an annual funding gap for growth stage FinTech estimated at £2bn and recommended a £1bn growth fund which would sufficiently fill this gap in order to sustain our world leading ecosystem. Currently these FinTechs struggle to find domestic capital to help them scale, resulting in a loss of IP and a growing divergence between the UK and the US at post seed funding levels.
The fund is welcomed by Sir Ron Kalifa, author of the Kalifa Review:
“I am delighted to welcome the launch of the UK FinTech Growth Fund as a private sector initiative, backed by institutional capital, responding to one of the key recommendations of the Review. The Fund represents another key building block in the support ecosystem for growth stage UK FinTech businesses. This is an important step forward towards ensuring the UK retains its leadership role in FinTech.”
Outside its core remit, UK FinTech Growth Partners will commit to providing wider holistic support for the UK FinTech ecosystem. This extensive commitment will be realised through the “Beyond Investing” programme which will consist of initiatives focused on national connectivity, support for early-stage founders, and talent, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Lord Dominic Johnson CBE, Minister of State, Department for Business and Trade, also welcomed the fund, commenting:
“UK Fintech remains one of this country’s crown jewels, casting a shining light to global investors that attracted $12.5 billion of inward investment in 2022. Second only to the US and larger than the next 13 European markets combined, UK Fintech can still reach new heights with new UK-based growth funds. I welcome the launch of the Fintech Growth Fund and wish them well in their fundraising.”
Lord Philip Hammond, Chair – FinTech Growth Fund Advisory Board, and Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, commented:
“I am delighted to chair the Advisory Board of the Fintech Growth Fund, which is made up of eminent individuals with a wealth of experience and wisdom, all committed to the growth of the UK fintech sector.
I championed our vibrant fintech sector throughout my term as Chancellor and have long believed its success is vital to maintaining the UK’s role as a global financial services centre through the early adoption of new technologies, products and services.
The FinTech Growth Fund directly addresses the investment gap facing growth-stage fintech businesses in the UK which was identified in the Kalifa Review. As such, I am confident it will help to sustain and create jobs and growth across the UK in this cutting-edge technology sector.”
C.S. Venkatakrishnan, Group Chief Executive Barclays, comments:
“Barclays is pleased to be supporting the FinTech Growth Fund. It will see private capital turbo charge an industry, leading to economic growth through the deployment of capital. We will support portfolio companies through strategic guidance and connectivity to the wider FinTech ecosystem. This is an exciting collaboration which will accelerate the transformation of financial services, not just for our customers and clients but for society at large.”
Kelly Devine, President, Mastercard UK&I, comments:
“FinTechs have the potential to be a growth powerhouse for the UK, but our partners tell us time and again that they need better access to funding, networks and international markets. We partner with hundreds of FinTechs in the UK and beyond, but we want to do more to make sure the industry remains world leading. Through this fund, we’ll provide crucial sources of capital, as well as access to new markets, customers, and opportunities through our global network.”
Paul Thwaite, Chief Executive, NatWest Group, comments:
“The UK’s fintech sector is the envy of Europe, housing more than 3,000 companies and a financial ecosystem second only to the US. However, the UK has suffered from a lack of domestic growth capital to take this sector to the next level. That’s why NatWest is delighted to back the Fintech Growth Fund in support of its ambition to grow into Europe’s largest fintech fund, focused on bridging the UK’s growth capital gap. We commit to continuing to provide support and financing to help break down barriers to growth and enterprise for high growth, high potential UK companies.”
David Schwimmer, CEO London Stock Exchange Group, comments:
“The launch of a UK FinTech Growth Fund is a unique opportunity to ensure that innovative FinTech firms can unlock the capital they need to scale and grow into globally consequential companies.
Our investment in the FinTech Growth Fund should enable sustainable growth, a core LSEG purpose. We are delighted to help address the investment gap, one of the key recommendations of the Kalifa Review.”
Steven Fine, CEO Peel Hunt, comments:
“The UK has a vibrant FinTech sector and the FinTech Growth Fund will become a leading provider of growth capital and long-term partner to the ecosystem. The talent and experience across its investment team, strategic partners and advisory team is unrivalled and we are delighted to be working with them and investing ourselves.
“This fund will help UK entrepreneurs and founders scale their proven business models, as they seek to enter new markets and develop new technology products. The FinTech Growth Fund is going to catalyse investment in the UK FinTech sector, in the area where it’s most needed, directly addressing the challenges raised in the Kalifa Review. We congratulate the Investment team for their efforts to date and look forward to working together.”
Nicholas Lyons, Lord Mayor of London, also welcome the fund, commenting:
“I am delighted to welcome the launch of FinTech Growth Fund. A FinTech focused fund backed by some of the largest financial institutions in the UK is a fantastic opportunity to further cement both the City of London’s leading financial services ecosystem and drive growth in the sector across the UK. This fund also helps address a key challenge facing our FinTech scale ups. They frequently rely on financing from international investors which leads to domestic FinTechs listing in other countries, with IP and jobs leaving our shores. This is a critical part of the 21st century economy for the UK and in helping to fill this growth capital gap we’re retaining a significant competitive advantage”
Charlotte Crosswell OBE, Chair, Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT), comments:
“When we launched CFIT in February this year, we knew how important it was to make the recommendations of the Kalifa Review a reality. This marked a significant moment both for FinTech and the wider UK economy, helping power high skilled job creation and increased growth in some of our most promising companies.
I am delighted to welcome the FinTech Growth Fund which marks another milestone in instituting the recommendations of the Kalifa Review. Not only can it provide deeper pools of domestic capital, so vital to domestic growth-stage FinTechs, but it shares a common purpose with CFIT, to maximise impact across all the regions of the UK, to scale our most exciting and innovative companies, and to focus on increasing access to jobs in financial innovation”.
Janine Hirt, CEO, Innovate Finance comments:
“Innovate Finance is delighted to support the launch of the FinTech Growth Fund. A core recommendation of the Kalifa Review, this Fund will play a critical role in helping UK FinTech firms scale and will further cement the UK as the best place in the world to build and grow a FinTech business”
Omar Ali, EMEIA Financial Services Regional Managing Partner at EY, comments:
“It is great to see yet another key milestone announcement that brings the recommendations of the Kalifa Review to life. We have seen the launch of the new FinTech skills visa to attract talent to the industry, the formation of the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT) and now a confirmed intention to launch a FinTech Growth fund. EY played a crucial role in the development of the Kalifa Review, and is hugely supportive of the recommendations, which have the potential to make a tangible difference to UK FinTech, the financial services industry more broadly, and the wider UK economy.”
UK FinTech Growth Partners LLP is an appointed representative of Laven Advisors LLP which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Angel Issa, Co-founder, Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer
Prior to joining FGF Angel was Global Head of Corporate Development and Strategic Investments for Nomura. In this role Angel oversaw the acquisition and integration of large transformational assets in capital markets, investment banking and asset management, as well as equity investments in high-growth FinTech companies.
Prior to joining Nomura, Angel was Global Head of Strategic Investments at BNP Paribas, investing and managing a ~€200m global strategic venture capital fund focusing on FinTech, Financial Services, and DeepTech. Previously he also served as Global Head of Principal Investments FID at Morgan Stanley where he invested and managed a ~$500m global strategic VC fund with focus on FinTech and Financial Services, overseeing three IPO exits during his time. Before this Angel worked as an M&A banker for Lehman Brothers.
Angel started his career as a management consultant and was part of the founding team of the then largest dotcom venture capital fund in Latin America back in 1999. He holds an MBA from London Business School and is an Economist by training.
Joe Parkin, Co-founder & Managing Partner
Prior to joining the FinTech Growth Fund, Joe was a Managing Director at BlackRock where he was Head of Banks and Digital Channels, and responsible for the UK’s Inorganic strategy. Joe spent 11 years at BlackRock, where he had a number of roles including Chief of Staff for iShares EMEA, Head of UK for iShares, and Head of Digital Wealth for Northern Europe. Prior to joining BlackRock, Joe spent his early career at Goldman Sachs where he held positions within the Securities and Investment Management Divisions.
Joe has a passion for FinTech and the crucial role it can play in enabling financial inclusion and wellbeing, helping to create a financially healthier population. Joe has seen first-hand throughout his career the importance of FinTech in driving innovation and evolution in financial services.
Kaushalya Somasundaram, Partner
Kaushalya was the UK Head of Payments, Industry Relations & Partnerships at Square until recently, where she oversaw the corporate governance, regulatory matters and relationships with industry partners. Kaushalya often took part in industry panels and public fora as a key speaker representing Square and the merchants it supports.
Prior to that, Kaushalya held senior roles at HSBC across Venture Debt & Equity Investments, FinTech Partnerships, Corporate Development, Strategy & Planning and Group Audit. In her most recent role, she was the Global Head of FinTech Partnerships & Strategy for the Corporate & Institutional Digital group where she led the partnerships & corporate venturing for HSBC’s core businesses. Kaushalya also served as a Director in the HSBC Strategic Innovation Investments team where she led the investments into and sat on the Boards of several portfolio companies including Tradeshift. Within Corporate Development, Kaushalya led HSBC’s investment into Markit and subsequent IPO as well as investments into industry consortia such as Acadiasoft, OTCDeriv, LCH/LSE and LiquidityMatch. She also led HSBC’s foray into Distributed Ledger Technology including the investment in and partnership with R3 and HSBC’s participation in major industry initiatives such as Utility Settlement Coin (Finality).
Kaushalya also served on the World Trade Board, BAFT Innovation Council, Tech City – Fintech Delivery Panel, Fintech Circle Institute and Whitechapel Think Tank and has been consistently recognised as a leading woman in FinTech, Banking & Technology and quoted in many industry publications and thought leadership pieces.
Phil Vidler, Co-founder & Managing Partner
Phil also serves as the CEO of FinTech Alliance, a non-for-profit digital platform launched in partnership with the UK Government, tasked with supporting the growth of the UK’s FinTech Ecosystem by generating access to market, capital, and talent.
Previously, Phil spent over four years as Group Strategy Director at Pollinate, a growth stage FinTech focused on reinventing merchant acquiring for banks around the world. Prior to this he spent five years at the UK Treasury, most recently as Head of Global Markets where he was responsible for all Financial Services activity across Asia Pacific and FinTech.
Advisory board bios:
Chair: Lord Philip Hammond
Philip has had a distinguished career in British politics as a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2019. He held a range of Senior cabinet posts, most recently serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2016 to 2019. Prior to this, he served as Foreign Secretary (2014-2016), Defence Secretary (2011- 2014) and Transport Secretary (2010-2011). He was awarded a life peerage by HM The Queen in July 2020.
Before entering Parliament in 1997, Philip had a wide-ranging business career spanning the house building and property, healthcare equipment and oil and gas sectors.
As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip focussed on the long-term productivity challenges facing the UK economy and was a strong advocate for the Financial Services sector, and especially for the fast-growing Fintech sector. He championed the cause of SMEs and the need for greater access to long-term growth capital to allow successful British start-ups to scale up in the UK, rather than seeking capital overseas.
As CEO Retail and Savings for M&G plc, Clare is responsible for leading the M&G’s Wealth and Heritage Businesses. Clare has created and driven the strategy and transformation of the business, delivering improved customer outcomes and generating significant business efficiencies.
Prior to this, Clare was Chief Financial Officer for M&G plc, responsible for leading the financial management, the demerger and the financial vision of the Group as it went through listing as an independent group. Previously she was the CFO of Aegon UK where she led the strategic review and transformation of Aegon’s UK business. Clare has extensive M&A experience throughout her career. Clare has also served as CFO within a number of Swiss Re’s businesses, together with leading the audit function.
In the early part of her career, Clare held a number of senior positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers working with clients in the investment management and insurance industries. Clare is the chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of IVC Evidensia, an international veterinary group. Previously Clare was the Chair of the Audit Committee of RSA Group and Pacific Re Limited.
Sir Charles Bowman
Charles is a senior professional in the F&PS Sector. He retired as a senior partner of PwC in September 2020 after a 37 year career with the firm. Charles continues working with PwC, in advisory capacity, on a part-time basis. Alongside this, Charles holds a number of director, trustee and other roles.
Charles joined PwC in 1983 and throughout his career with the firm specialised in delivering audit, assurance and capital market transactions services to listed companies. He led the PwC business responsible for serving the firm’s larger listed audit clients. Other roles included sponsor partner for the firm’s Building Public Trust programme, Non-Executive representative for the UK’s Tax practise and lead partner of the UK firm’s Senior Networking Programme. Outside of PwC, he has served as the Chairman of the Audit and Assurance Faculty of the ICAEW, a member of its governing body and Chairman of the Audit Quality Forum. Charles has also served as a magistrate, a member of the Advisory Counsel for the Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability project, trustee to the Mansion House Scholarship Scheme and a governor of an academy primary school in Hackney.
Elected as an Alderman in May 2013, he served as Sheriff of the City of London in 2015/16 and as the 690th Lord Mayor of London in 2017/18. His mayoral theme was “The Business of Trust”. During his mayoral year, Charles Chaired DIT’s then newly established UK FinTech steering board.
Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia
Dame Jayne-Anne is the Lead Non-Executive at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), chairs the HMRC Board, and is the Founder and Executive Chair of Snoop.
From 2007 to 2018 she was the CEO of Virgin Money.
A Chartered Accountant, she spent six years at Norwich Union (now Aviva) before becoming one of the founders of Virgin Direct in 1995. Three years later, she set up the Virgin One account, which was acquired by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2001. She subsequently spent five years at RBS before returning to Virgin as CEO of Virgin Money.
From 2016 to 2021 she was the UK Government’s Women in Finance Champion and continues to support and promote the Women in Finance Charter as an adviser. In 2018 she was named Leader of the Year at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.
She is a Trustee of the Tate and sits on the Mayor of London’s Business Advisory Board, the Financial Inclusion Policy Forum and Lloyds Culture Advisory Group. She was awarded a CBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours list and made a Dame in the 2019 Honours list.
Lord Gerry Grimstone
Lord Gerry Grimstone served as the UK’s Minister for Investment from 2020-2022 responsible for inward investment into the U.K. He was a Minister both in the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as well as having Ministerial responsibility for the Office for Investment in 10 Downing St.
Before entering politics, Lord Gerry had an extensive business career. He is the immediate past Chairman of Barclays Bank plc and also of Standard Life Aberdeen, the UK’s largest savings and investments business. He was an Independent Non-Executive Board Member of Deloitte North South Europe, a member of Deloitte’s Global Independent Non Executive Advisory Committee, and also of their UK Oversight Board. He was a Senior Adviser to Fenchurch Advisory Partners and was a member of the International Advisory Network of Natixis, the French financial services group.
He presently sits on the Advisory Board of the UK FinTech Growth Fund.
Within the UK, Lord Gerry has had a long history of serving the Ministry of Defence spanning 20 years. He sat on the Defence Board chaired by the Defence Secretary as its Lead Non-Executive. The Defence Board is the senior decision-taking body in the MoD. Lord Gerry served under 6 Defence Secretaries.
From 2012-2015, Lord Gerry served as the Chairman of TheCityUK, the representative body for the financial and professional services industry in the UK. He was a member of HM Treasury’s Financial Services Trade and Investment Board.
Lord Gerry has been deeply involved in UK-China and UK-India relations. He chaired the TheCityUK-CBBC China Market Advisory Group which helped coordinate financial and related professional services activity between the UK and China. He chaired Heng An Standard Life, an Insurance and Pensions company with branches in over 80 cities throughout China.
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