A Greensill Parable of Rapid Growth Engineering
Lex Greensill: passionate engineer
Lex Greensill’s eponymous supply chain finance company has always had an ambiguous relationship with the UK fintech industry. The Australian financier has traditionally been more likely to be in Westminster than techy Shoreditch, and some commentators have argued that his company’s innovations were more about financial engineering than software engineering.
But Greensill wanted to be associated with an industry that tends to attract more funding and higher valuations than boring old finance, and the industry was happy to embrace it as a British success story. As recently as last week, his company was listed as a prime example of a fintech making waves in China in the government-backed industry. Kalifa review.
This report also contained a quote from the “Greensill Professor in Fintech and Information Systems” at the University of Manchester Business School. A senior executive from Greensill joined the school’s advisory board last month. The university declined to say whether it would reassess its relationship with the company now that it is preparing for insolvency and dealing with a criminal complaint in Germany.
Germany’s previous major fintech scandal, the Wirecard collapse, prompted UK regulators to tighten the rules on fintechs, even to the detriment of the growth of start-ups. If the Kalifa review was meant to remind them of the “huge opportunity” for fintechs in post-Brexit Britain, the experiences of the last week should serve as a reminder that rapid growth can also bring opportunities for issues in the world. rapid growth.
British insurers: decline under currency
Speaking of Australian financiers, London insurers seem to have a soft spot for Australian insurer QBE, and vice versa. Lloyd’s of London boss John Neal is a former CEO of QBE. He left that role in 2017 to be replaced by Pat Regan, who was previously CFO of London-based Aviva.
Regan left last year and was temporarily replaced by Richard Pryce, who previously headed QBE’s operations in London.
A more permanent replacement is on the horizon, however. This week, London-based insurer Beazley said Andrew Horton, who served as managing director for 13 years, will travel to Australia to take the leadership role at QBE.
City Insider is only hoping that QBE has put together a decent frequent flyer package.
Rishi Sunak: guaranteed winner
British Chancellor and self-proclaimed “addicted to cokeRishi Sunak said his plan to introduce a mortgage guarantee scheme would hit the headlines again after his budget speech on Wednesday, although he had already briefed the press twice since October.
His appointment of five major banks which had already agreed to Register now surprised even some of the bankers involved, given that they had yet to confirm key details such as how much they should pay for collateral.
Some small lenders were quick to say they would be ready to join as well, once they knew how. But, in private, some fear that the Treasury will repeat a pattern observed at the start of the pandemic, negotiating deals through “confidential bilateral” with the big banks and ignoring the smaller ones which are already struggling to compete. .
When the government introduced its’ rebound ‘loan program last year, banks excluded from the Treasury’s inner circle were given only a few hours’ notice of how the program would work before it went live, and then came under fire. not to be ready to lend.
This time around, with profit margins on mortgages at their highest level in years, the fear is that the big banks will have more time to prepare and sweep the selection of clients as soon as the program launches. Although if it turns out that the real estate industry is not, as one housing official said this week, “too big to failThe smaller fish might be glad they were missed.