Many of the Fintech Finance 35 those ranked by
Institutional Investor as the leading financiers and
facilitators of the ongoing entrepreneurial explosion in
financial technology have "partner" in their titles.
Their firms are structured as partnerships, but all on the list
are partners in a practical, day-to-day sense. They are as much
strategic advisers and collaborators as they are funders;
"partnerships" are what they offer to companies they invest in
and usher toward growth and maturity.
Take, for example, General Atlantic, a venerable growth
equity firm whose financial services sector team made more than
$1 billion in investments over the past 12 months under the
Jonathan Korngold, No. 1 in this year's ranking. A
transaction announced in May with Argus Media, valuing the
market news and data enterprise at nearly £1 billion
($1.2 billion), was characterized as a strategic partnership,
with General Atlantic contributing its "expertise in the
information services and Internet and technology sectors."
General Atlantic also stressed partnership in leading a $325
million Series E funding late last year for marketplace lending
platform Avant, with Korngold joining the company's board.
Another Avant director is
James Robinson III (No. 4), general partner of RRE
Ventures, who says that "what we have to offer" comes first in
conversations with prospective portfolio companies.
Although there is, by definition, a collaborative element in
any investment or advisory relationship, the sector that has
come to be known as fintech has special needs. The culture of a
start-up is very different from that of an established
financial institution; even if the latter wishes to be more
nimble and embrace new ideas and technologies, its procurement
and compliance bureaucracy can get in the way. Hence the
emergence of ecosystems designed to lower such barriers.
Eighteen-year-old FTV Capital (
Brad Bernstein and Richard Garman, No. 7) pioneered in this
regard with its Global Partner Network, which includes major
financial companies that invest in FTV funds and thereby gain
insight into new developments.
In recent years regional hubs have sprung up as meeting
places for entrepreneurs, incumbents, and funders, among them
the New York FinTech Innovation Lab (see Partnership Fund for
New York City's
Maria Gotsch, No. 12), London's Innovate Finance (
Lawrence Wintermeyer, No. 28), FinTech Hong Kong (
Janos Barberis, No. 32), and, in Singapore, a "smart
financial center" spearheaded by the central bank (
Sopnendu Mohanty, No. 34).
"We are beginning to observe much more of a push toward
collaboration a shift from complete independence to an
interest in building tools with established players that
happened really quickly in this sector," notes
Vanessa Colella (No. 18) of Citi Ventures.
General Atlantic's Korngold agrees that there is "increased
collaboration between fintech companies and more traditional
financial institutions," along with "a more grounded and
realistic view of what each side can bring to the table, which
is creating great partnership opportunities."
The Fintech Finance 35 ranking was compiled by
Institutional Investor editors and staff, with
nominations and input from industry participants and experts.
The evaluation criteria included individual achievements and
leadership at the respective firms; influence in the community
at large; and the size, reputation, and impact of the
respective funds and institutions in the financial technology
industry and particularly in the current wave of fintech
financing. To view the individual profiles, click on the names
below. On the profile pages, last year's ranks are shown;
newcomers are designated PNR (previously not ranked).
The Fintech Finance 35 will be honored at the iiFintech Awards taking place on December
1. The awards program was designed to bring together the
honorees of the
Tech 50, Fintech Finance 35, and
Trading Technology 40 to explore how financial technology
will continue to transform the industry.
This ranking was compiled under the direction of Senior
Contributing Editor Jeffrey Kutler. Individual profiles were
written by Kutler, Asia Bureau Chief Allen T. Cheng, Senior
Writers Frances Denmark and Julie Segal, and Staff Writer Jess
Delaney, as well as by former Editor Michael Peltz, Content
Editor Anne Szustek, Associate Editor Kaitlin Ugolik, and
Assistant Editor Jen Werner.
The 2016 Fintech Finance 35
Click below to view profiles