Fintech for Breakfast 39
Held on Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Jemima Kelly (FT Alphaville)
Julian Skan (Accenture)
Paul Henninger (FTI Consulting)
I am writing this invitation from the US, where the media is full of an anti-tech backlash. There is talk in Congress (led by the Democratic chairman of the House Anti-Trust Subcommittee) for a 'Glass-Steagall' act to separate platforms from products; there was endless coverage of Republican protests at the annual CPAC Conference against the alleged 'deplatforming' of conservative websites (led by a Republican Senator, Josh Hawley). There was also a certain amount of schadenfreude when it was reported that Elon Musk's latest baby, OpenAI, had delayed release of its latest text generator for fear of propagating yet more 'fake news'...
There are also good news stories (or least, for techies) - e.g. Facebook's drive into AI, and reports that both Facebook and Telegram are working on their own crypto-currencies. But the mood is surprisingly downbeat. Maybe that's not so true in Europe, or the UK, where I note, in particular:
the latest US$75 million fundraising by GoCarless;
Alibaba's US$700 million deal to buy WorldFirst;
Euromoney TRADEATA joins FinTech Sandbox;
the London-based oil trading blockchain platform Vakt has signed up companies responsible for almost two-thirds of all deals in the key North Sea crude grades; and
Nomura is investing in a start-up that deploys artificial intelligence (AI) in financial markets.
But, even in Europe, there is the row over Huawei, which (it would appear) dominated this year'sMobile World Congress in Barcelona.
I may be being too Eeyore-ish; Oliver Warren will pull together (and circulate) a more comprehensive list of developments for FT Alphaville's Jemima Kelly to mull over ahead of our next meeting on March 19. Maybe the whole scene will look a lot more positive then. Anyway, thanks, as always, to Jemima for agreeing to guide us through the fintech maze. Backing her up this month is Julian Skan, who is a senior MD at Accenture, specialising in disruptive innovation in the FS sector. He also leads for Accenture in its sponsorship of the London FinTech Innovation Lab.
Lots to chew on, no doubt. If you (or a colleague) would like to join our group, and perhaps share your own thoughts, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Centre on 0207 621 1056. As usual, thanks to the generosity of our hosts at Dentons, there will be lots of coffee, tea and buns to help the message get across.
*We will try to circulate a rough agenda ahead of time. If there is anything you feel we ought to be covering, please email Oliver Warren at email@example.com.