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The 2015 Fintech Finance 35: Thomas Jessop, Goldman Sachs Group

No. 8 Thomas Jessop, managing director of principal strategic investments at Goldman Sachs Group

Thomas Jessop
Managing Director, Principal Strategic Investments Group
Goldman Sachs Group

“We were the original fintech investors,” says Thomas Jessop, managing director of principal strategic investments at Goldman Sachs Group. He draws a distinction between “classic fintech,” which has driven innovations in trading and market structure since the turn of the century, and “new fintech,” which seems capable of disrupting any and all parts of the financial industry. Goldman ruled classic fintech as a leading investor and behind-the-scenes influencer in joint ventures like Tradeweb Markets in fixed income; the Direct Edge exchange, now part of BATS Global Markets; and financial data company Markit, which went public in 2014. With new fintech, Jessop says, “the basic issue is still the same: How do we make the entire stack across finance more efficient?” New York–based Goldman targets technologies that can benefit the firm. Current holdings include cryptocurrency-wallet company Circle Internet Financial; Digital Reasoning, which is commercializing advanced data analytics initially developed for the intelligence community; and Symphony Communication Services, a messaging start-up widely regarded as the strongest challenger yet to the dominance of the Bloomberg terminal. Jessop, who is 49 and has been in the principal strategic investments group for ten of his 15 years with Goldman, says that although traditional venture capital funding is plentiful, “it can be very helpful to have someone from finance” — a prospective user of the technology who understands the industry’s structural and regulatory complexity — as part of the ownership team. He sees some promise in blockchain technology but finds the chest-thumping by some new players to be a distraction. “People who try to work with existing institutions to make the blockchain work are far more credible than those who stand outside the fortress and say they’re going to knock it down,” he asserts.

The 2015 Fintech Finance 35

1. James Robinson III
& James Robinson IV
RRE Ventures
2. Jane Gladstone
Evercore Partners
3. Matthew Harris
Bain Capital Ventures
4. Steven McLaughlin
Financial Technology Partners
5. Jonathan Korngold
General Atlantic
6. Richard Garman &
Brad Bernstein
FTV Capital
7. Amy Nauiokas & Sean Park
Anthemis Group
8. Thomas Jessop
Goldman Sachs Group
9. Meyer (Micky) Malka
Ribbit Capital
10. Hans Morris
Nyca Partners
11. Maria Gotsch
Partnership Fund for New York City
12. Marc Andreessen
Andreessen Horowitz
13. Barry Silbert
Digital Currency Group
14. Jay Reinemann
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria
15. Mariano Belinky
Santander InnoVentures
16. François Robinet
AXA Strategic Ventures
17. Vanessa Colella
Citi Ventures
18. Alan Freudenstein & Gregory Grimaldi
Credit Suisse
19. Justin Brownhill & Neil DeSena
SenaHill Partners
20. Rodger Voorhies
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
21. Michael Schlein
Accion International
22. Kenneth Marlin
Marlin & Associates
23. Rumi Morales
CME Ventures
24. Mark Beeston
Illuminate Financial Management
25. Vladislav Solodkiy
26. Fabian Vandenreydt
Innotribe SWIFT
27. Derek White
28. Alex Batlin
29. Jeffrey Greenberg
& Vincenzo
La Ruffa
Aquiline Capital Partners
30. P. Howard Edelstein
REDI Holdings
31. Nektarios Liolios
Startupbootcamp FinTech
32. Roy Bahat
Bloomberg Beta
33. Andrew McCormack
Valar Ventures
34. Lawrence Wintermeyer
Innovate Finance
35. Janos Barberis
FinTech Hong Kong

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