The FinTech Five – 15th of December 2023 

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Welcome to “Fintech Five,” a biweekly roundup featuring the top articles, news, and insights from FinTech Wales members and the financial services industry across the UK.

1. Cardiff Capital Region City Deal launches £6.6 million programme to drive business and economic development across South East Wales.

The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (CCR) has launched a unique £6.6 million programme that seeks to drive economic development across South East Wales by boosting job creation and skills and unlocking barriers to growth for businesses.

Jointly funded by CCR and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the two-year Cluster Development & Growth Programme will deliver targeted projects across the region, supporting activity within CCR’s priority sectors: Fintech, MedTech, Cybersecurity, Compound Semiconductors, and Creative Industries, along with CCR’s Net Zero ambitions.

Contracts have been awarded to three delivery partners that will each manage one of three targeted projects; a Skills Programme, a series of Academic-Industry Partnerships, and a Business Growth Programme.

Lis Burnett, Leader of Vale of Glamorgan Council, and the Portfolio Lead for CCR’s Shared Prosperity operations, said

“This Programme represents a new and ambitious development in the journey to unleash the Region’s potential in skills, innovation, and knowledge-based enterprises. The organisations that have come together to make this a reality have expertise and depth and I am looking forward to working with them as the Programme develops.”

Read more about Cardiff Capital Region’s £6.6 million Programme.

2. PwC announces strategic alliance with Engine by Starling.

PwC announced a strategic alliance with Engine by Starling, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) subsidiary of Starling Bank, a leading UK digital bank. Engine brings modern banking technology to banks around the world.

The Engine platform, built to power Starling Bank in the UK, is modular, API-based, cloud-native and proven at scale. It can be used by financial services organisations to rapidly launch new digital banking propositions and businesses, or as a replacement to existing banking technology.

The alliance positions PwC as the first strategic implementation partner of this next-generation banking platform, and will enable the professional services firm to enhance its digital banking offering to clients in multiple regions around the globe.

Alex Price, Digital Platforms Director at PwC UK, said

“We are thrilled to announce the alliance with Engine – it will transform the digital banking services we can offer clients. Engine provides a generational-leap forward for digital banking technology in terms of both customer and employee experiences. Combining our deep expertise with this cutting-edge technology is an exciting shift in the way that we solve complex problems for our clients.

Learn more about PwC UK’s innovative collaboration with Engine by Starling

3. de Novo Solutions elevates the client experience with strategic appointment of Tom Mann as Senior Vice President of Client Services.

Leading Oracle Cloud and ServiceNow digital transformation consultancy, de Novo Solutions, is proud to announce another significant addition to its senior leadership team with the appointment of new Senior Vice-President of Client Services, Tom Mann. This move underscores the company’s unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional client experiences and service excellence.

With over three decades of experience as an accomplished Enterprise Software and Programme Director, Tom brings a proven track record in driving complex global business transformation programmes. He joins de Novo Solutions following a successful 4-year tenure as Delivery Director for Guidewire Software – a leading global provider of cloud-based insurance software solutions.  Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Client Services at Certus Solutions, an award-winning Oracle Cloud consultancy where he was responsible for the company’s most high-profile customers across private and public sectors.

Tom now re-joins the alumni to play a fundamental role in spearheading initiatives that align with de Novo’s mantra on delivery excellence, enhancing client satisfaction, and driving operational performance within the company’s fast-growing client base.

Mark Sweeny, Founder and Chief Executive of de Novo Solutions, commented:

 “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Tom back into the fold and to de Novo Solutions as our new Senior Vice President of Client Services. Having known and worked with Tom over the past 30 years, not only am I excited to be working with him again, but I am confident that his strategic vision and client-centric approach will undoubtedly contribute to the continuing growth and success of the business. His commitment to delivery and customer service excellence is second to none.”

Learn more about de Novo Solutions and Tom Mann’s appointment as Senior Vice President.

4. FinTech Wales releases Fintech in Wales 2022/23 Annual Report. 

FinTech Wales has published the Fintech in Wales Annual Report for 2022/23. Now in its second year, the report provides an insightful overview of the thriving fintech ecosystem in Wales and makes key recommendations for the future growth and success of the industry.

The report records a significant 300% increase in investment since 2022, with records of £53 million in publicly announced investments made up until October 2023. 

It also estimated that over 16,000 people are employed in fintech in Wales, and whilst the employment landscape has remained stable over the last year, there is a positive outlook for 2024 with established organisations, particularly banks and professional services consultancies, planning to create a thousand job opportunities to contribute to the thriving sector.

Louise O’Shea, Chair of FinTech Wales, said: 

“There is so much to be proud of in the Welsh fintech sector and the report allows us to shine a light on these successes and shout about the progress we are making. All of which has earned Wales a reputation as a hub of excellence for financial technology.

“We’ve seen a significant increase of funding from various sources, which has propelled the industry’s expansion, resulting in a stable and positive employment outlook. We are also delighted to see international expansion from Welsh fintechs. These achievements speak volumes about the skills, talent, and innovation present within our ecosystem.”

Read the full report

5. Microsoft focus on South Wales for £2.5bn investment in AI data centres.

Microsoft has confirmed a rollout of next generation AI data centres in the UK as part of a £2.5bn investment, with South Wales identified as a key location.

In the largest investment in its 40-year history in the UK, the American tech giant is expanding its AI infrastructure across sites in London, the Cardiff Capital Region and potentially also into northern England.

The data centres will be delivered over the next three years. Microsoft has also confirmed a multi-million pound investment to train one million people with the skills they need to build and work with AI.

Microsoft UK chief executive, Clare Barclay, said:

“The pace of change in AI demands action today to build a prosperous future for the UK tomorrow. This marks the single largest investment in our more than 40-year history in the UK.

“As business and the public sector embrace the AI opportunity, we are building the infrastructure that will support the growth they need, training the people who can deliver it responsibly and securing our society against emergent threats”.

Read more on Microsoft’s focus in the South Wales region.


Until Next Time

That concludes this edition of FinTech Five. We appreciate your readership, and remember to join us every two weeks for the latest and greatest news highlights from our esteemed FinTech Wales membership.