Investment bankers appear to have found a new forte – joining big, established fintech firms in senior business development roles.
Oliver Aikens, a former executive director within Morgan Stanley’s structured finance and securitisation team, has just joined Prodigy Finance as its head of capital markets in London. Officially, the firm fits into the fintech sector, but it’s been up and running since 2007 – long before the buzzword existed – and provides finance to post-graduate students.
Aikens worked at Morgan Stanley for nearly six years, having joined from Nomura in October 2011 where he was a vice president in its securitisation and structured credit desk.
His move follows that of Morgan Stanley’s co-head of global financial technology investment banking, Chris Lown, who joined student loan firm Navient in senior role of chief financial officer in the U.S.
Then there’s Santiago Suarez, the former head of new product development and emerging technologies at J.P. Morgan – the group he co-founded to experiment with blockchain – who’s just joined peer-to-peer lending firm LendingClub as head of strategy and corporate development.
Meanwhile, Matt Cullimore, who worked in Morgan Stanley’s prime brokerage sales team in London for nearly nine years, has just been hired in a sales role by fintech firm OpenGamma. This is a well-established fintech firm that provides a cloud-based data service to hedge funds on the margins of banks.
Traders and bankers quitting to start their own fintech firms is nothing new. However, fintech companies tapping senior bankers to work in strategy, sales and corporate development roles is an emerging trend.
As we pointed out previously, fintech in 2017 is all about domain expertise. Fintech as a sector is increasingly saturated and the companies that will succeed need the people who can speak the language of the financial services firms they’re pitching to and jump through the necessary regulatory hurdles.
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