3 Feb 2014

Fox Williams partnered with Silicon Valley Bank, ICON Corporate Finance and Hotwire in the first ever FinTechCity London: a programme of events for tech CEOs, leaders in financial services and investors in one of the UK’s hottest technology sectors: FinTech.

Interest in FinTechCity, a series of thought leadership discussions and panel debates, was high and places ‘sold out’ within five days. The launch event, City Futures – a panel discussion hosted at the historic Guildhall by the City of London – featured a keynote by Barclays’ Director of Innovation Strategy and Business Development, Alex Scandurra, and a panel debate between FinTech leaders Zopa and Funding Circle, leading tech investor Silicon Valley Bank and UKTI’s Financial Services Organisation CEO, Sue Langley, hosted by broadcaster and journalist Laura Kuenssberg.

Level 39 at Canary Wharf hosted a series of FinTech-focused panel discussions looking at funding, selling and scaling a tech business, which featured Head of Corporate Richie Clark and Head of Technology Nigel Miller as expert panellists. Fox Williams FS and Tech team looked at the increasing importance of regulation, and the week closed with the launch of the pan-European FinTech50 2014 at Google Campus. Selected by a panel of industry experts from across financial services and technology, the FinTech50 recognises the 50 companies, across Europe, who in the panel’s view have the potential to become a game-changer in FinTech or the competitive staying power to continue being one.

Nigel Miller, Head of Technology at Fox Williams, said that in bringing together FinTech businesses, financial services and investors, FinTechCity events highlighted that London is a world leader in FinTech, which plays to the traditional strengths of the City of London as well as to the creative and entrepreneurial talents in the neighbouring cluster around Silicon roundabout. “FinTech is also exciting for us as we have brought together a team of specialists covering financial services regulatory issues as well as online regulation and issues such as risk management, data privacy and intellectual property.”

Peter Wright, Financial Services Partner at Fox Williams, said that FinTechCity events demonstrated how innovation is challenging the traditional approaches to delivering financial services. “We were particularly excited to deploy our legal skills and regulatory insight in order to help emerging FinTech businesses address the regulatory challenges that face all financial services firms.” He said. “This is particularly important for FinTech businesses who are bringing news ways of working in a heavily regulated environment.”

Richie Clark, Head of Corporate said that the panel discussions held during FinTechCity on funding, scaling and selling a tech business highlighted the importance of FinTech entrepreneurs thinking of future funding and exit possibilities at an early stage.  “Decisions that are made in respect of things like issuing equity and options, the terms of commercial contracts and tying in key people to the business can seriously impact on future valuation if sufficient thought is not given to the legal and tax implications from Day 1.   An awareness of and focus on these issues is critical to ensure that value is protected and FinTech companies will be able to take full advantage of the increased level of funding and trade sale exits available in the vibrant UK FinTech space.”

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