Reflections on Treasury in 2020 – Laurent Descout writes in Finextra

Treasury

Laurent Descout, CEO of NEO, writes in Finextra about the treasury industry changes in the past year and the lessons we have learned…

As we round off what has been a challenging and turbulent year, it is important to look back at the treasury industry changes that we experienced and the lessons and outcomes that we have learned. In this 2020 roundup, we take a look back at some of the most significant technology trends in the digitisation of the treasury industry and how they look to shape the year ahead.

Do not wait for storms to get things in order at the treasury department

The disruption seen this year shows that businesses should not wait for storms to hit and reveal critical vulnerabilities in their treasury processes. This includes everything from having fall back solutions in case banks fall apart, to having systems that are both flexible and secure enough to adjust to remote working.

Bet on cloud-based solutions and not premises

While on-premise solutions have their value, it’s clear that cloud-solutions are becoming the norm across a number of industries, and this trend is likely to continue into 2021. In addition to the convenience of no installation and maintenance costs, the scalability of cloud technology is unrivaled. The connectivity it provides between customers, partners and businesses is also an important element of cloud technology that traditional premise solutions cannot easily compete with.

When thinking remote banking – bet on platforms that help teams work together

Remote banking has gathered a lot of momentum in recent years, and especially now during the pandemic as treasurers and CFOs are keen for a more streamlined experience. But as more users discover new banking solutions, it is important to find those that facilitate collaboration in the business. In practice this means ensuring multiple team members can access information, share documents easily and leverage reporting.

Reduce the cost of using digital banking instead of relying on old school banks

Old school banks are no longer the only option for business looking to open international accounts. Digital banking providers are emerging to fill the gaps left by traditional institutions and are able to offer their clients more bang for their buck. We’re seeing corporate banking becoming democratised as small businesses are finally able to access features that were once only available to the largest multinational corporations.

Diversify liquidity

We all know not to put our eggs into one basket, and this rings especially true during these uncertain, volatile, times. Liquidity can become a lifeline for countless businesses needing to pay off debts quickly, and to stay in operation. Maintaining diverse liquidity is crucial in achieving that and plays a key role in offsetting the risks of turbulent times.

Overall, 2020 has proven to be one of the most significant times of change and disruption in recent history. It has been a year to remember for the treasury industry as innovation and digitisation has been accelerated. The speed of innovation has been remarkable, and it represents an opportunity for all businesses. As we approach 2021 the time to act is now. Work smarter across all facets of your business and you will see the rewards, those who don’t risk being left behind and in such a competitive environment, this is no longer an option.

Pragma wins ‘Best Front-Office’ at American Financial Technology Awards

While 2020 has been a year of challenges and uncertainty, it’s great seeing our clients thrive and have their achievements recognized. Pragma, the algorithmic trading technology provider, was recently named ‘Best Front-Office Initiative’ provider at the American Financial Technology Awards – for the second year in a row.  The ceremony took place virtually on Tuesday 4th December, and was hosted virtually by Waters magazine and WatersTechnology.com

Best Front-Office Initiative

The award for Best Front-Office Initiative was given to the vendor that has innovated in the past year to improve functions traditionally associated with the front-office. These functions include order management, execution management, portfolio management, as well as algorithmic trading and decision support.

Pragma

Pragma’s multi-asset, broker-neutral algorithmic execution platform, Pragma360, combines intricate knowledge of market microstructure with cutting-edge trading technology and the latest algorithmic logic. It’s deployed and managed as a hosted solution, providing front-office professionals with the tools they require to create a unique algorithmic trading suite under their own corporate brand. Pragma’s solution provides its users with the flexibility and personalisation of an inhouse platform, combined with the convenience of an outsourced solution.

The past twelve months have tested the flexibility, capacity and operational resiliency of front-office systems, and algorithmic trading proved to be an important tool for traders seeking to navigate even the most difficult market conditions. As the popularity of algorithmic trading continues growing, we’re looking forward to supporting Pragma’s efforts to provide state-of-the-art technology to clients.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

MonetaGo and GUUD form alliance to strengthen trade finance across Asia

MonetaGo APAC 2

It has been a busy few months for Chatsworth client MonetaGo, the fintech pioneering an end to fraud in financial workflows using blockchain technology.

In the past six months, MonetaGo has been growing extensively through Asia Pacific, rolling out its Secure Financing solution to businesses across the region and empowering them to identify instances of trade fraud in real time.

Today, the firm announced an alliance with Singapore-based digital trade platform GUUD, an offshoot of VCargo Cloud. The move is the latest in a series of steps MonetaGo has taken to roll out its Secure Financing solution across Asia and will directly respond to the highly documented issue of fraud in trade finance across Singapore. The partnership has received the official support of Japanese incumbent bank SMBC. You can read more about the announcement here.

To support its aggressive growth across APAC, MonetaGo has hired trade finance veteran Tat Yeen Yap as Head of Product in the region. Tat Yeen brings over 30 years’ of experience in trade finance and has been credited with helping coin the industry definition of trade finance. Tat Yeen sits in MonetaGo’s Singapore office, which was established earlier this year to support growth in the region.

MonetaGo is one of the only companies of its kind to have supported live, production-level transactions using its solutions, which harness R3’s best-in-class Corda platform, along with its own proprietary technology. In September, the fintech announced it had surpassed 1 million live transactions on its Secure Financing platform across India, worth billions of dollars in underlying assets. This was complemented by five new Indian alternative finance lenders onboarding to the Secure Financing platform in the same month.

The events of the past year have exposed shortcomings in many APAC countries’ financial workflows. India’s SME community has suffered particularly acutely as their lines of credit from big banks have depleted. Singapore’s trade finance industry has seen accusations of fraud, resulting in the country’s financial regulator calling for an end to paper-based trade transactions. At the same time, many countries across Asia are seen as trailblazers in their adoption of disruptive technologies and quest for digital transformation. MonetaGo aims to empower businesses in the region to meet this mission and overcome the barriers that stand in their way. By pioneering an end to the paper-based processes which birth many of these barriers, MonetaGo is empowering businesses across the globe to do business, better.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

TraditionDATA services now available on AWS Data Exchange

Our client, TraditionDATA announced the availability of various Interest Rate Swap and FX data products on AWS Data Exchange, a service from Amazon Web Services (AWS) that makes it easy for customers to find, subscribe to, and use third-party data in the cloud. 

TraditionDATA AWS Data Exchange

Tradition was a Launch Partner for AWS Data Exchange when it was first announced in November 2019. Initially focusing on Tradition’s Asia Pacific IRS and FX data, Tradition has expanded their use of AWS to offer more global high-quality data with a focus on the introduction of new benchmarks to replace LIBOR. Tradition’s Global Alternate Risk Free Rate (RFR) package incorporating SONIA, ESTR, SOFR and AMERIBOR data is now available directly on the cloud via AWS Data Exchange.

“By distributing our data through a cloud-native managed service, subscribers of all types from all corners of the globe can quickly discover and leverage the most relevant financial market data to power their applications and inform decisions,” said Scott Fitzpatrick, Head of TraditionDATA. “As our customers work through market changes, such as the transition away from LIBOR, they need access to the most relevant and timely data that is easy to consume and use. AWS Data Exchange was a natural channel for our data business and we look forward to building on this relationship in the coming years.”

Tradition provides access to a wide range of over-the-counter prices in many of the world’s fastest-moving markets. Given the current global economic climate and regulatory direction, Tradition’s Global Interest Rate data is particularly powerful and timely, as it helps financial institutions in their assessment of impact and plans as they transition away from Libor to new Reference Rates in 2021.

AWS customers can access Tradition content directly with AWS Data Exchange. 


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

Contour partners with CargoX to transform bills of lading

CargoX

Our client Contour, recently announced its partnership with CargoX, a blockchain platform for transferring documents and data including a certified electronic bill of lading solution. Following Contour’s transition to full production, the business continues to grow its network with partnerships to enhance its offering.

The partnership provides Contour customers another option for electronic bills of lading to be used in synchronisation with their Contour trade finance transaction. This will not only reduce the overreliance on paper documents that is common in the industry but also streamline trade processes, reducing time and improving communication.

Contour’s non-partisan network, powered by R3’s Corda blockchain technology, allows all banks, financial institutions, and corporates to improve access, communication, and transparency when conducting trade finance agreements.

The CargoX blockchain-powered document transfer platform allows users to easily manage digital original documents, such as electronic bills of lading, and provides the tools for secure and instant transfers of those documents. The platform also provides transparency by including auditable histories of document ownership and changes.

Bills of lading have been an effective tool for trade finance due to their negotiability, allowing banks to finance goods still at sea without having to take control of an entire vessel. Digitally transforming these documents requires complicated digital registries with the support of shipping lines, banks, and corporations. Through achieving this process, bills of lading will become electronic and will no longer require ‘wet ink’ to be verified.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story.

Cobalt adds digital assets to platform as FX market looks set for a 24/7 future

Cobalt adds digital assets

Over the last few years, the foreign-exchange (FX) post-trade infrastructure provider Cobalt has designed and built a secure 24/7 middle office platform, which it is delivering for some of the industry’s largest participants.

One of the sizeable changes in the market over the past few years is the rise of digital assets and how they are making their way into the forefront of currency trading. This trend has been accelerated by the decision of the OCC (US Banking Regulator) to allow US banks to hold digital assets. Major FX institutions are now looking to trade digital assets, yet enterprise standard post-trade infrastructure in this market is virtually non-existent.

Cobalt adds digital assets to platform

For these participants to enter this market at scale it is critical to ensure the correct management of credit and data, to which end Cobalt is now bringing its innovative post-trade and credit FX solutions to the digital asset market.

Cobalt is already connecting to the leading digital exchanges on behalf of clients and offering full credit and ledger services for all currencies and digital assets. Cobalt clients are able to see their full portfolio of positions and risk across both fiat currencies and digital assets, available to clients across all segments. Cobalt’s middle office platform is used by the FX markets leading Prime Brokers, Liquidity Providers, Retail Brokers and Exchanges

With a full microservice architecture and 24/7 operations, Cobalt’s solution is fully compliant with the FX Global Code and Tier 1 financial participants’ information security and regulatory requirements.

“The rise of digital assets has gone from strength to strength in the past years and has moved from being an asset traded on the periphery, to being at the forefront of FX participant plans.” –  Adrian Patten, Co-Founder and Chairman of Cobalt.

“Participants today can no longer ignore the position of digital assets in the market and those who do are in danger of missing out on sizeable trading opportunities due to the 24/7 nature of the market. Major exchanges have started to translate this to the FX market, with some offering trading over the weekends. 24/7 operability has always been a priority to Cobalt. As digital assets continue their rise and influence over the FX market, participants are going to need to adapt to new ways of doing business.”


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story.

So you want to make a podcast?

Set up Podcast

Podcasts are a fantastic way to create owned content that is unique, accessible, and showcases the people behind the business. Many of the benefits of using a podcast can be seen in the consumer world, with Serial, S-Town and This American Life drawing in millions of listeners. Podcasts are also not a huge production effort – some of the most successful ones are simply a few people sitting down and speaking for half an hour. However, making sure your podcast showcases a professional edge that positions your messaging correctly is not always easy. As such, we’ve outlined some key considerations to think about when making your own show.

Podcasting in the time of Covid

First, it’s important to address the elephant in the room. Covid has made the traditional methods of podcasting harder if not entirely impossible. It’s less likely you will be able to sit in a room with people to record and may have to rely upon video chats such as Zoom to record an episode.

While the built-in record feature with these applications does make life easier, it also creates certain problems. Internet stability is often a major drawback to recording, with audio dropping and key points being missed out by a poor connection. Background noise, static and poor microphones can also make an otherwise engaging episode fall flat.

But all is not lost. There are a few things to consider when recording online. Firstly, changing your settings to recording ‘individual audio’ is an absolute must (a handy example can be found on the Zoom site here). Doing this will help limit any issues caused by speaking remotely and make editing a breeze. If you wanted to take this a step further, make sure everyone hits record on the chat and shares their own audio file afterwards – this will keep the quality is crisp and removes the potential for audio to drop out if the internet connection is poor.

Finding your format

With technical issues aside, it’s now a case of making sure you have a good idea for a show. With the topics under discussion, it’s very easy to end up with a lengthy episode that goes into extreme detail. Instead, think about keeping the recordings shorter and more focused, with 30 to 40 minutes being an ideal length to aim for. This will not only make sure your listeners remain engaged with more digestible content but also allow them to download the show onto their phone without taking up too much space. Don’t worry if you have more to say on the subject – you can always revisit it in a later episode or split the show into a two-parter.

Length of episode aside, another important factor is balancing structure with the freeform conversation. An engaging aspect of all podcast is the organic, natural way of speaking, but this needs to be balanced with a clear introduction and sign off to each show. Having a designated host will also ensure the conversation keeps on going at a reasonable pace and maintain a structure around the open dialogue of the show.

Getting it in post

The edit is perhaps the most important part of the podcast. This will remove any issues with the audio, sync up the conversation and put in transition music and the general dressing that makes the podcast feel professional. While you can simply publish the audio from the show, the added steps through good editing will bring your podcast to the next level.

In the same way, you should also consider how people will listen to the show. While putting the audio file on your company website is always an option, it can limit accessibility for users – as they will have to download the file and open it in an audio app on their phone or computer. Instead, a hosting platform will create a dedicated page for your podcast, allowing you to link the show with your website and social channels, as well as distribute it to key channels such as Spotify, Castbox and Apple Podcasts.

Creating a podcast is a different and exciting way to engage with your audience, and while there are many other considerations to take into account (we haven’t even begun to speak about which microphone to use), these key factors will help elevate the planning and production of your show. If you’re interested in learning more or want to see what other things you should be thinking about when making your show, get in touch – we’d love to help.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story.

Fintech innovation must not leave treasury management behind

Treasury management

The fintech revolution has replaced outdated technologies and streamlined antiquated practices across a wider range of industries. However, this wave of innovation seems to have bypassed corporate treasury departments, which have struggled to keep up with the latest developments. Fortunately, that is now changing, writes Laurent Descout.

Fintech innovation has transformed financial services at a rapid pace, enhancing customer experiences and accessibility and making services faster and more streamlined. As a result, costs have fallen, barriers to entry have been reduced and new entrants have emerged to take on the incumbents.

Yet, amidst the rise of challenger banks and alternative payments providers, relatively few innovations have found their way into the corporate treasury space.

Treasury management has been left behind by fintech

In many regards, treasury management remains hindered by increasingly outdated and fragmented processes. This becomes all the more apparent as other areas of finance move ahead in terms of efficiency, customer satisfaction and cost-saving benefits resulting from fintech adoption.

A 2019 Citibank survey echoes this. There’s a clear appetite amongst treasurers to engage with the latest innovations in technology to remedy historical shortfalls. But the technology to-date either hasn’t been sufficiently robust, easy-to-use, cost-effective or addressed the key concerns of treasurers. Of the 400 treasurers surveyed, 54% called for continuous improvement in operational treasury efficiency, with cost and integration of technologies seen as the biggest hurdles to overcome.

Take international payments and bank accounts, for example. In an increasingly globalised world, very few companies operate using a single currency. However, making international payments remains a costly and cumbersome process, and multi-currency accounts remain inaccessible, require manual input to operate and take weeks to open.

This is hard to justify when supply chains and customers span multiple nations, currencies and continents – treasurers need an equally global bank account that is fit for purpose.

To address these issues, treasurers have sought to utilise different platforms and integrated technology systems to ramp up efficiency and automation, while reducing costs. But this has only created layers upon layers of complex technology systems, processes and plugins.

This approach is not sustainable – it increases maintenance costs and hinders operational stability in the long-term. If one cog in the machine breaks down, the knock-on effects could be disastrous.

Smarter corporate treasury management 

Buying your way out of a problem that has hampered corporate treasurers for decades is not the answer – it’s not the number of plugins, add-ons and systems that will bring corporate treasury into the twenty-first century, but the functionality, interoperability, security and ease of use of a treasury management system. This has become even more critical as treasurers become accustomed to working remotely.

Put simply, enabling treasurers to perform all of their key functions without having to switch between different platforms and technology providers is crucial. The days of plugin tangles and convoluted processes are over.

In order to fully address the pain points faced by treasurers today, modern systems and platforms must address the lack of availability and high costs associated with multi-currency accounts, payment processing and FX conversion fees.

There is a huge opportunity to streamline existing processes and access all of the key services treasurers need – multi-currency IBANs, automated payments and collections, FX hedging and risk management and enhanced security – from one comprehensive dashboard. With the technology and knowledge available today, such services recognise the digital and global requirements of a modern, global corporate treasury division.

Another key area of potential is FX execution and hedging, which has been a widely mismanaged feature of SME’s businesses for years. The majority of hedging programmes are limited to providing an analytical outlook, ranging from three to six months, due to their lack of visibility and connectivity. This restricts how easily treasurers can manage and oversee their risk strategies. Corporate treasury should not be left behind in this respect, especially when the technology for this exists, and has been tried, tested and proven to work.

Maximising data and analytics

However, centralising treasury functions is just the tip of the iceberg. Fintech adoption must do more than automate the odd process or enable a more efficient method of cash management. Creating a one-stop-shop for treasurers also opens the door for leveraging analytics more effectively with enhanced visibility.

Data is increasingly becoming the lifeblood of financial services, and the analytics derived from this data have transformed numerous elements of this market. This presents a unique opportunity for corporate treasury divisions. to improve forecasting, detect patterns and anomalies, and improve financial decision making, risk management and cash flow monitoring.

For example, the increased sophistication of analytics within the trading industry enables users to inform and enhance their payment, hedging and risk management strategies, which in turn, increases profits and attracts more satisfied customers.

An all-in-one solution has the potential to transform treasury management. It overcomes the hassle of multi-layered technology systems and plugins while delivering a more streamlined experience – making it a system fit for purpose and suited to today’s working environment.

Laurent Descout is CEO and Co-Founder of Neo.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story.

Investment in technology a strategic priority for UK’s financial institutions 

A new survey from Lloyds Bank reveals that Britain’s financial institutions are planning for a year of investment in new technology.

Despite the uncertainty thrown up by the pandemic, 88% of senior leaders within financial institutions say tech investment is a top strategic priority for the next 12 months. Two-thirds of leaders interviewed plan to increase investment in technology and a third will focus on improving their fintech offering, either through acquisitions or partnerships, according to Lloyds.

The survey is based on views from major banks, asset and wealth management firms, insurers, and intermediaries.

The sentiment from the financial institutions interviewed mirrors what we have seen at Chatsworth across our broad and diverse fintech client base.

Fintech has emerged as one of the few sectors that have actually thrived amid the pandemic, as the legacy systems that were satisfactory during times of normality were exposed as unacceptable during a crisis. The use of technology in finance has subsequently soared.

Chatsworth clients Contour, Limeglass and Previse are among the roster of fintechs that have experienced increased interest in and applicability of their solutions since COVID-19. They all share the common theme of leveraging technology to help businesses do what they do, better: a simple mission but one which has become the holy grail of survival in the past seven months.

The Lloyds survey comes ahead of next week’s annual Sibos event: the world’s largest payments-focused conference, bringing together leaders across the world to discuss the role technology can play in transforming the sector.

The conference always provides important food for thought on the future of payments and financial services more broadly, but the events of the past year will serve as an all too real reminder of why technology is the answer.

The fact that Sibos itself will be held virtually is perhaps a testament to this.

It’s been a challenging year for businesses of all sizes across the board. Some which have had a seemingly indomitable proposition and presence have found themselves vulnerable.

We are glad to see the Lloyds survey point to the importance of technology in future-proofing businesses for not just the next 12 months, but indefinitely.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

Rising to the challenge of remote work culture

Being called to remote work ‘until further notice’ feels like a lifetime ago. Friday 13 March was Chatsworth’s first remote working day ahead of the National Lockdown on 23 March, and how important those extra few days were. To plan, prepare and begin the New Normal of remote working.

Culture is very important at Chatsworth, and employee engagement during remote working can be a challenge, but we were ready to embrace it. With many employees leaving London, we had our team split far and wide, from Suffolk to Brighton and even Cornwall, so it was undoubtedly important to continue regular social activities to ensure the team still felt a sense of companionship. And without hesitation, we reinvented our socials to fit our new-found requirements…

A Friday after-work trip to the pub became a remote Zoom call with a drink in hand. Our bi-monthly trip to BrewDog’s Pub Quiz became a remote quiz created by employees – who else remembers the magnitude of Zoom quizzes which flooded every household during lockdown?

I was particularly excited about the sunflower growing kits which were sent to each employee to plant and care for, with each week colleagues comparing growing notes or tips. Mine sadly only reached 116cm before being swept away by aggressive winds – thanks Storm Ellen…

A home-made hat competition encouraged employees to get creative. I dusted off my old childhood paintbrushes and paint collection and got to work. If you can remember Elmer the patchwork Elephant, then you can imagine my hat.

Other entries included: a cardboard Viking hat, a baseball cap stuck with Lotus Biscoff biscuits and even one made entirely from cut flowers from the garden! Our CEO had a hard time choosing the winner.

Our team has even celebrated a few milestones remotely. Helium balloons in the shape of numbers have arrived on employees’ doorsteps marking work-anniversaries, and birthdays have still been celebrated with cards, gift boxes, or flowers being sent home too. Although a remote celebration isn’t the same as a cake in the office, we are trying our best…

Our ‘remote clubs’ gave employees the option to join weekly discussions centered around the most recent film or book choice, almost as if we were all sat around the lunch tables in the office again.

Nothing can replace a true face to face social, but it has been encouraging to see participation in the remote socials, during what has been a challenging time. Some of these newfound socials may even keep their space on the Chatsworth social calendar well into the future…

As we enter Autumn and look ahead (maybe begrudgingly) to the cooler months, we face a new challenge.

Shortly after Chatsworth reopened its doors in August and welcomed employees back, albeit operating on a reduced capacity and in two different teams to remain COVID safe, the Government asked us to work from home again if you can.

What now feels like a very short six weeks of gradually regaining confidence moving around the city and revisiting favourite eateries on Exmouth Market, things came to a halt once more. Most disappointingly the message came just as we were getting back into the swing of things with Chatsworth’s life and culture. Enjoying lunch on the roof terrace, catching up with colleagues in one of our socially distanced breakout areas, or accidentally tripping into Gail’s Bakery each morning for a coffee and croissant, as I did. Now would be very easy to backtrack on our remote progress made, but I’m determined not to let that happen.

As we reintroduce what now feels a familiar style of working, it’s important to keep momentum on remote social activities so these naturally darker months don’t seem all too challenging. Our office remains open one day a week for our two teams who can optionally visit the office to work and collaborate, while the majority of our working days will be spent at home.

Film Club could become a staple over the next few months as wintery weather sets in. Especially with an abundance of seasonal options on Netflix surrounding Halloween, and dare I even mention the C-word…?!

Written by Bonnie Baker, PA & Office Manager at Chatsworth Communications


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

Late payments almost doubled over lockdown

Late Payments

Chatsworth client, Previse, spoke to the Financial Times about the urgent need to use technology to get SMEs paid on time, sharing its proprietary data, revealing late payments almost doubled over lockdown. 

The FT’s report, out this week, is an essential read and deep dive on the challenges small businesses face to get paid fairly and on time. Previse’s data reveals clearly how payment terms and practices are one of the first areas of supply chains to degenerate in the face of uncertainty over cash flow. Inevitably, this impacts small businesses the most. 

The events of the pandemic have put untold strain on supply chains all over the world. Previse’s InsantPay offering – which gets all suppliers paid immediately – has emerged as a sustainable solution to cash flow for businesses. 

Previse’s CEO and co-founder, Paul Christensen, outlined the profound impact day-1 payments could have on helping small businesses:

 “We need every small business in the UK to have the option of day-one payment if we are going to avoid a catastrophic number of bankruptcies and the inevitable rise in unemployment that follows.” 

Thanks to the Financial Times for giving this topic the attention it deserves. Click here to read the full report on the future of payments.

It rounds off a busy few months for Previse which was named a CBILs accredited lender and, more recently, received a £2.5M grant from the BCR. 

The Spectator magazine has also moved Previse into the final round of its Economic Innovator of the year award. And we have a third-year-running listing in the influential Fintech Top 50. A great firm, doing great things. 


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

 

A virtual Q&A with our interns Guste, Juste and Marie

Internship

When Chatsworth transitioned to remote working in March 2020, it was a new experience for the whole team. Guste, Juste and Marie sat down (over video call) to discuss their virtual internships and journey into Fintech PR.

What is a typical day like at Chatsworth?

Juste: Coming into such a specialised firm, with so much to learn, has meant that each day is different from the last. Of course, a routine of regular tasks does begin to develop as you become familiar with the role, the clients, and the industry – but even then, there’s a lot of diversity in terms of what’s going on over the course of the week or month. If you’re not drafting social media content, it might be a release or an article. If it’s neither, then you might be monitoring the news, drafting up or media lists, or collating reports – all across different clients.

The whole team was great at giving us a variety of tasks and projects to work on as we progressed through the internship, meaning that each day we had something new to try out.

How did you find starting the internship virtually?

Guste: It was definitely a different experience! Starting at the application process, to our first day, and all the way to today, the Chatsworth team has been helpful and supportive at every step. We felt a part of the team right from the start.

Starting my internship with Chatsworth virtually felt very seamless – as if this was already tried and tested long before we came along. You could hop on a call with anyone to have a quick chat or a briefing without a problem. There was also an active effort to establish whole team meetings, both social and professional, so we would always have a chance to hear about what’s going on other accounts and the whole company as well as get to know each other.

What is the culture like at Chatsworth?

Marie: Starting your career with a small firm is brilliant because you get a lot of support from the whole team as well as a lot of client exposure very early on. Being able to get stuck in with client work has helped me get up to speed with the industry really quickly and just wouldn’t be possible without such a tight-knit team.

I have a fantastic manager who is great at helping me get stuck in with client work and always challenging me to go further. I also have a mentor, Isabel who was an intern last year and is now an Account Executive at Chatsworth – she’s great at giving advice and checking in to see how I’m getting on.

What is it like to work within Fintech?

Guste: While I didn’t have any fintech experience before I started, I had worked with start-ups in the past, and their enthusiasm and energy are what drew me to this internship. There was definitely a lot to learn, but my manager was always there to answer all of my questions and really helped get me up to speed very quickly. The rest of the team also team suggested lots of useful resources. A definite highlight included the frequent industry ‘quizzes’ I had to prepare for.

I’ve found fintech to be a very exciting industry to work in. You’re often at the forefront of the most exciting developments in finance and you get to see clients’ ideas come to life. It’s a great industry to start a career in!

What has been the biggest learning curve from transitioning from university to work?

Juste: Going from university to the office is quite a difference. For me, the biggest learning curve has been changing my writing style to suit public relations rather than academia, but it’s one that I enjoyed.

Chatsworth has a really good training programme with lots of useful tips which has helped me adapt to the writing style in PR. My manager has also been amazing in taking the time to sit down with me and go through my work – sometimes line by line, for us to get it just right.

What has been your favourite part of the internship?

Marie: My favourite part of the internship has been learning about the finance and fintech fields. I had a background in PR before joining but no fintech experience.

The Chatsworth team has been really supportive and helped me build my industry knowledge. I’ve had a few sessions with senior team members and their insight has been invaluable in learning more about the industry. It’s been really fun to get stuck into such an exciting and fast-paced industry and see first-hand how fintech start-ups transform into industry leaders.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launch, growth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

 

Level up: investment in the gaming industry

Investment in the gaming industry

A few years ago, if you spoke to someone about the video game industry, they would immediately imagine spotty teens arguing over the internet, dorky kids who can’t socialise, and – if you go further back – four player co-op with Goldeneye64.

But things have changed – a lot. The kids have grown up, got jobs – sometimes in the industry – and the world ]has evolved. During lockdown, investment in the gaming industry boomed, as people ordered a PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch or Xbox One to fill the time spent in isolation. Gone are the days where the gaming industry is just for consumers – it’s now big business.

Press F to pay

The gaming industry is worth big bucks now – most notably in the electronic sports (esports) sector. Recent news that David Beckham’s Esports team – Guild Esports – is planning to IPO on the London Stock Exchange to fund its expansion with a goal of £20m and a valuation of £50m, is just one example of how much money this sector is worth.

Established companies are booming, with Razer – the PC gaming peripheral provider – reporting a 25.3% YoY growth. The diversity, and the healthy number of businesses in the market, makes the opportunities for profit in the gaming sector extremely lucrative.

A city of gamers

The changing times have also felt its impact in The City. The evolution of electronic trading and algos has been spearheaded by individuals passionate about coding, design, and technology – something that draws a lot from the gaming industry. The generation that now makes up The City has grown up with an awareness of technology, and an understanding of the benefits that it brings.

Fintech’s role

The gaming industry has matured a lot, with more ways for the B2B market to engage with this heavily consumer-based industry. Clients of ours such as FXCM, have seen this increased engagement with gaming, and provide options for their customers to invest in Esports- further highlighting the interest in the sector.

Technology like blockchain also has the potential to dramatically affect the market. As more gaming requires online services, the focus on privacy and ownership of data has become increasingly apparent. Many are now looking to the decentralised nature of blockchain to help manage the fairness of the game, allow gamers to have full ownership of their in-game assets, and protect servers from malfunction or technical issues.

Like with many consumer industries, the step to a corporate role is gradual and often slow. However, gaming is already showing huge potential for financial institutions and investors to get involved in this booming market – taking advantage of the success in the sector. It’s something we’re very conscious about as it ensures we’re aware of the changing marketplace and the way it can affect our clients.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

 

Previse named a finalist for Economic Innovator of the Year

Economic innovator of the year

Chatsworth client Previse has been named a finalist in the Spectator’s Economic Innovator of the Year awards.

This year saw the Spectator receive more entries than ever, making Previse’s shortlisting a feat in itself.

The Economic Innovator of the Year is awarded to the company that the judging panel feel has disrupted their marketplace and will help rebuild the economy in 2020.

Previse’s business proposition could be considered disruptive in normal market conditions, but has arguably become a necessity since the pandemic. Previse uses technology to get all suppliers paid on day one.

As businesses have struggled to stay afloat in the past six months, many have lengthened payment terms to hold onto cash reserves. Previse’s InstantPay solution benefits both buyers and suppliers and is an antidote to broken supply chains.

Testament to the strength of its solution is the momentum Previse has gained since the onset of the pandemic. The fintech received CBILs accreditation, as well as a £2.5 million grant from the BCR to accelerate growth. This is in addition to a partnership with the FSB.

Previse saw off stiff competition to be shortlisted for the prestigious Spectator award and is the only player in its space to be named a finalist.

Previse CEO Paul Christensen, rounds off perfectly: “What we are building here goes beyond just a great product: we’re creating a movement that ensures that every SME has the option of instant payment whenever they issue an invoice.”

Click here to read more about Previse’s shortlisting and the awards.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

Defining the new normal: fintech’s part to play

fintech's part to play

If necessity is the mother of invention, then it is fair to say that disruption is the mother of reinvention.

Our clients all share a common faith that in using technology to enhance existing business processes, they can help businesses do what they do, better. A simple philosophy, but one which has been much harder to achieve in practice, due to well-established legacy systems. The past six months have highlighted the clear need for businesses to operate more efficiently, whether that is internally, or in how they deliver their product or service to the outside world.

The broader theme of digital transformation has long been heralded as the answer to higher growth, new revenue streams, and a better bottom line. But the case for adopting technology and digital transformation is now inarguable. Fintech just so happens to be the sector that can boast the most investment, research and experimentation with how technology can achieve this.

Although there is no knowing how the rest of the year, or even the next, will unfold when it comes to business as usual and what that looks like, there is a unique opportunity to reshape the status quo and look to fintech as the future. This will mean continuing government support for the sector, cross-company collaboration from both incumbents and challengers to define new regulatory frameworks and a greater mouthpiece given to the fintech companies that have the most experience and knowledge to share.

So, as we continue to define the ‘new normal’ and industries work to consider what that means for them, one thing is for sure: technology is the answer, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

Trade Out to Help Out: Government help for SMEs

Our client, Tradeteq, was recently featured in an exclusive article in Global Banking and Trade Finance Review. In the piece, Tradeteq CEO Christoph Gugelmann, explores a more surgical approach to helping SMEs stay afloat during the current pandemic.

Recent months have seen a variety of different measures to help small businesses, ranging from loans, the furlough scheme, to the increasingly popular ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ programme. However, these initiatives only address the problem at the surface level. Instead of giving cash to individual businesses, looking to help entire supply chains can allow governments to take a more surgical approach with a lasting impact.

Increasing government help for SMEs

SMEs represent 90% of the world’s businesses, and more than 50% of employment worldwide, meaning their stagnation would be felt in every region and across every industry. It’s here that governments can lend a hand.

Governments help for SMEs should encourage banks to open up this market and parcel trade finance loans into assets smaller investors can buy. This way, entire supply chain get access to the funds they require. The distribution of trade finance assets to alternative investors is one of the best ways to help these businesses.

Trade out to help out

This approach is similar to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme as the government would be encouraging increased investment into these smaller businesses – only from a more macro level. However, instead of looking to support businesses by eating, we’re helping businesses by trading. Through using a method that addresses an entire supply chain, the positive impact of this investment will be felt for far longer and help many more businesses.

To find read the full article and find out more about how Tradeteq are enabling trade finance distribution, click here: https://www.globalbankingandfinance.com/trade-out-to-help-out-how-governments-should-be-supporting-sme-supply-chains/ 


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

Contour successfully executes Bangladesh’s first blockchain transaction

Our client Contour recently worked with Standard Chartered Bank to successfully execute Bangladesh’s first blockchain transaction by issuing a Letter of Credit (LC) for Viyellatex Ltd.

Contour provides a distributed trade network enabling an enhanced degree of collaboration across the main elements of Trade with all participants leveraging the network to create and renew Trade data in real-time.  Built on R3’s Corda blockchain, Contour improves data transparency, removes administration costs and reduces friction in global trade: all of this leading to an overall increase in efficiency and reduction in costs for all parties.

Bangladesh’s first blockchain transaction

For this transaction, Viyellatex Ltd, one of the country’s leading ready-made garments exporters, imported textile items from Viyellatex Spinning.  Standard Chartered Bank acted as the Issuing Bank for the Applicant, as well as the Advising Bank for the Beneficiary of the LC. The entire transaction was paperless and completed digitally through Contour’s network.

Standard Chartered benefitted from Contour’s network which simplifies the LC process, delivering shorter settlement times, instant discrepancy resolution and simplified sanctions screening. This is the latest in a number of transactions on the Contour network, showcasing the company’s growing presence as a leader in trade finance digitisation.

Carl Wegner, CEO of Contour said:

“Global trade lacks a solution that drives out inefficiencies, improves data transparency and enables interoperability between all trade participants. The long-established elements of trade finance don’t have sufficient integration, ultimately causing friction and unnecessary administration. These inevitably cause significant barriers for global trade growth, adding complexity, increasing cost and delaying the process for both banks and corporates. The Contour network can overcome these issues, providing a consistent and reliable infrastructure for global trade to flourish especially in countries like Bangladesh that counts on LCs for a significant part of their trade volumes. The recent transaction with Viyellatex Ltd serves to prove that a solution is out there and readily available for adoption. It’s also hugely positive to have Standard Chartered introducing this revolutionary technology for trade in Bangladesh and we’re proud to be a part of the first transaction in the country.”


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

MonetaGo CEO Jesse Chenard at BG2C FIN / SUM Tokyo 2020

Jesse Chenard - Fintech PR

 

Chatsworth client and MonetaGo chief executive, Jesse Chenard, was a guest panellist at this year’s Blockchain Global Governance Conference, hosted by Nikkei and Japan’s Financial Services Agency.

Jesse joined eminent speakers across the financial services industry for the two-day event, to explore blockchain’s growth and applicability in Japan and beyond.

This year’s conference – held in Tokyo – sought to find solutions to issues confronting new applications for the technology.

The event included a wide range of international participants, including blockchain engineers, researchers, business operators, consumers and regulatory officials.

Jesse Chenard

Jesse’s panel, “Exploring Blockchain’s potentiality through Use Case”, was an important and dynamic discussion looking at the real-life examples of blockchain’s application, in financial services and beyond.

Blockchain technology is no longer limited to the world of finance; it has expanded to other fields such as international trade, supply chains and logistics. This conference showcased examples of these newer applications and examined ongoing efforts to use the technology – and the issues that have arisen in the process – by examining existing and potential business models.

MonetaGo uses blockchain technology to eliminate paper-based processes, so cutting inefficiencies and fighting fraud, across trade finance, invoice financing, and digital workflows. The fintech has a large and growing presence in Asia.

For the panel, Jesse was joined by Leon Scott, MD, Regional head of Asia-Pacific, TradeIX; Orapong Thien-Ngern, CEO, Digital Ventures; and Yoshiharu Akahane, Senior Manager, Business Strategy Section, Financial Segment, NTT Data.

Jesse brought to life the clear need for technology to improve outdated processes across digital workflows, drawing on his long experience in financial services technology to highlight blockchain’s potential to transform the industry.

Click here to watch Jesse’s panel and keep up with more from the conference: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJGSlOyuqZLiBWQajKb8UIA?pbjreload=101


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

The Covid-19 crisis is an opportunity to build a ‘Blockchain Big Society’

David E. Rutter

Chatsworth client and chief executive of enterprise technology firm R3, David E. Rutter, tells Financial News why a decentralised ledger is the key to self-sovereignty over personal data and the answer to digitising the public sector.

With high profile data breaches still fresh in the minds of the public and confidence in the government at an all-time low, it is unsurprising and not unreasonable that many people have little faith in their data being held by governments.

But, with the government on a quest to digitise the public sector and a potential increase in its guardianship over our data going hand in hand with that digitisation, how can the public sector go digital without governments wielding immense control over our data?

The answer is through a purpose-built enterprise blockchain platform that can tackle this challenge, David writes.

Through such a platform, data can be revealed only to those who have a need – and a right – to know. If deployed by governments, this technology could transform the way that individuals own and control their digital identity.

Read David’s piece here:  https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/the-covid-19-crisis-is-an-opportunity-to-build-a-blockchain-big-society-20200818?fnr=true  


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

Pioneering fintech, Previse, secures £2.5m to help SMEs get paid on time

BCR Previse

Chatsworth fintech client, Previse, has been awarded a £2.5m grant by the Banking Competition Remedies’ Capability and Innovation Fund (BCR).

The money will be used to fund further development of Previse’s industry leading instant payments solution. The grant was won after a competitive application process that saw £20m dispersed to 6 companies, as part of the BCR’s mission to facilitate the commercialisation of financial technology relevant to SMEs.

The award will accelerate the market adoption of Previse’s technology that improves the cashflow of SMEs who trade with large corporates and supports the delivery of a SmartData initiative, in partnership with the FSB, aimed at enhancing the availability of trading data used by the instant payment solution.

With the FSB working as a lead delivery partner, the award comes at a critical time for UK businesses. Covid-19 government support is starting to be withdrawn. At the same time the endemic culture of poor business practice around invoice payment has worsened, creating big cashflow challenges for SMEs. This is highlighted by the latest FSB study of more than 4,000 firms, which showed that the majority of small businesses (62%) have been subject to late or frozen payments in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This cripples their ability to pay their own bills, to pay staff, and ultimately to continue to trade in the current climate. Previse believes SMEs should have the option to receive instant payment, whenever they issue an invoice.

Paul Christensen, CEO of Previse said: 

“With the BCR funding and collaboration with the FSB, we will be able to get more SMEs paid instantly: reducing the need to resort to other expensive forms of finance. Our top priority is getting working capital to small businesses, to provide the immediate cashflow support they need.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

LedgerEdge set to digitise the corporate bond market

R3 founder and CEO, David E. Rutter, has assembled a team of experts for his latest venture to digitise the corporate bond market.

Cobalt secures investment from Standard Chartered

Cobalt has announced the latest expansion of its bank investors with Standard Chartered Bank as its latest backer.

Previse raises $11million to help get suppliers paid faster

We look forward to steering Previse’s communications as they expand their technology reach to corporate buyers.

Mosaic Smart Data launches free FX analytics service

Mosaic Smart Data joined forces with CLS and MUFG to create FXLIQUIDITY; a service that would give market participants greater transparency.

Tradeteq calls for government action to improve trade finance distribution

Tradeteq has published a whitepaper titled Trade Finance in 2020: Asset Distribution – A Macro-economic Necessity.

How can the FX industry reap the benefits of smart data?

In JP Morgan’s e-trading survey, 82% stated access to real-time data as the most important factor within data services.

Smart remote working during lockdown

Chatsworth shares how we’re communicating with both employees and clients during this work from home period.

Communicating with employees and clients through a crisis

 

In a crisis, everything should be focused on your people. The future of your firm will be defined by the tone you set.

Technology has given us all the channels we need – it’s what you say and the tone that counts.

Employees and clients make judgments based on how a firm communicates and behaves during challenging times. We saw this in NYC during 9/11 where the most effective firms maintained high levels of visibility.

The Chatsworth team has over 20 years-experience guiding leaders and organisations through benign and challenging market and operating conditions.

We’re all experiencing news and information overload amid the coronavirus outbreak so we’re going to practice what we preach. Here’s a few focused pointers to help guide you in your communications with your colleagues:

  • Internal communication takes absolute precedence
  • Communicate clearly, every day. Be visible whenever possible
  • Speak to and treat your employees like family
  • Be human, positive and supportive
  • Re-energise them with optimism, transparency and shared humanity. That’s real leadership

And finally, if we can give you one take away, it’s this:  People don’t remember everything you said, but they do remember how you made them feel.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launch, growth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

The petrol era in banking is coming to an end and fintech is driving it forward

Barclays

 

We hate labels. What makes a bank, a bank, and a fintech a fintech anyway?

Ok, maybe a banking license and significant capital reserves, or a WeWork pod and wearing sneakers in the office, but bear with us…

The portmanteau of fintech has been around for a good while now – as long as Chatsworth has been working this beat. And the lines have been blurring for some time.

Same say the fintech part is just the stuff under the bonnet, or more derisory, the plumbing.

Well guess what. A ride doesn’t get far without its engine. Thus, it is for the global financial system.

And the era of petrol is coming to an end. The fintech’s are levelling up financial services with faster, smarter technology. This is the e-revolution, analogous to the exponential growth in electric cars overtaking their polluting old rivals.

So it’s heartening to see Barclays agreeing with us, that the era of competition between banks and fintechs over as the two collaborate for mutual benefit.

Banks are increasingly becoming technology firms and the fintech’s are delving deeper and closer into traditional financial service provision.

A new report from Barclays concludes that connectivity between the two worlds is the key to a successful future financial services ecosystem.

From our experience with the fintech community, we wholeheartedly agree.

The bank surveyed over 2000 financial services executives in Europe, Asia and the US about the future state of the fintech sector.

More than two thirds reported identify collaborating and partnering with fintechs for mutual benefit as the preferred approach for traditional banks in the future.

Fintechs will partner with the banks and smaller firms will cooperate to integrate their micro-specialisms with more commercially robust players,

What’s driving this? It’s not just pressure on balance sheets to do stuff smarter, faster and better.

It’s the customers and clients and their personal retail experience – tech making their lives easier and better has set expectations.

They have become accustomed to a seamless, digitally enabled life and they want that from their banks, with their work hats on.

JP Morgan is one of those institutions which is absolutely smashing it in smart fintech development and investment. They have hand-picked and nurtured some genuinely brilliant firms and technology offering real solutions to real problems in financial services and beyond.

Back to the Barclays report and some interesting findings on where this is all going to come from in the future.

Interestingly in the payments space, the Barclays report cites China as likely to see the biggest rise in payment innovation over the next five years.

Nearly half of Asian firms and 40% of European firms rank China as the most likely source of future innovation. India comes in the top three as a future source of payment innovation across all three regions.

The US picks itself as the hotspot for future innovation. Our transatlantic cousins have been smashing it for some time but London will have something to say about that.

Let’s look at the facts. UK fintech attracted £37.4 billion of investment in 2019 according to KPMG with the number of deals in the UK reached a six-year high, defying the amount invested globally where overall fintech fundraising fell just short of 2018’s record at USD 135.7bn.

Across Europe, the UK accounted for half of the top 10 deals and netted more than 80 per cent of the continent’s total.

London has the critical mass, the expertise and the professional services hub to hold that crown.

Chatsworth knows a thing or two about fintech. We were the first PR agency to focus on this sector. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launch, growth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

We’re fortunate to work with larger institutions and fleet of foot fintech start-ups. In the past there has been friction, with the incumbents clearly under existential threat and feeling it.

Now they are learning to play well together. We’re in the era of collaboration between the banks and fintech’s. This is good news for all.

So can I have my Porsche Taycan now? Ah well, if you don’t ask…

LiquidityEdge: from launch onto a $150 million acquisition

LiquidityEdge – steering a fintech brand through launch, growth and onto a $150 million acquisition

Investors splash the cash on British fintech startups

Chatsworth was the first PR agency to focus on fintech. We have been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launch, growth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

And our sector is booming. Heartening news this month with reports that global investors poured money into the UK’s fintech sector last year, almost doubling the amount invested here between 2018 and 2019 — despite the rest of the world suffering a slight downturn in funding.

British fintech companies attracted USD 48.5bn (£37.4bn) of investment in 2019, up 91 per cent from USD 25.4bn a year earlier. Data released by KPMG also revealed the number of deals in the UK reached a six-year high, defying the amount invested globally where overall fintech fundraising fell just short of 2018’s record at USD 135.7bn.

Across Europe, the UK accounted for half of the top 10 deals and netted more than 80 per cent of the continent’s record-setting total of USD 58bn.

Read more here.

Chatsworth reflects on International Women’s Day

This Sunday will mark the 109th International Women’s Day, an annual celebration of gender equality across the board, and an important discussion of the work to be done in achieving parity. As a woman working with clients in fintech, I thought I would take this opportunity to share my own thoughts and reflections on the specific challenges and successes in the sector.

Despite the huge progress we have seen since the very first International Women’s Day 109 years ago, the truth is that a fair amount of underlying, residual bias persists. For the finance sector – historically one of the most male-dominated of them all – it is particularly challenging to shift gender stereotypes.

Change is on its way, however. Fintech is the UK’s fastest growing sector and this growth has engendered discussions around the kind of talent we need to feed the industry, in order to remain competitive. We are brilliantly represented globally by Innovate Finance, led by CEO Charlotte Crosswell, who has done a fantastic job with her team to champion women in fintech.

We are now at a place where we recognise that the technology industry as a whole needs a good roster of female talent if we are to remain competitive in a digital world. I am encouraged to see this in the number of discussions, panels, and debates that call on young women to apply for jobs in tech.

From my own experience representing some of the most exciting fintech companies that are out there, I am proud to see that many of my clients have women in senior positions. More than this, many of those women are often in tech roles. R3, the global blockchain firm, has Dr. Katelyn Baker as its Principal Software Engineer. Mosaic Smart Data calls Diane Castelino its Data Science and Research Lead.  LiquidityEdge has Nichola Hunter at its helm. These examples are testament to fintech’s status as a growing sector that is fostering female talent.

On a personal level, I am lucky enough to work for a company that prides itself on gender equality and actively encourages a pipeline of female talent. Chatsworth Communications has a 50:50 gender balance and I am convinced this is absolutely crucial in creating our dynamic, talented workforce.

However, the conversation is far from over. The fact that International Women’s Day is still taking place is a testament to that. Fintech is no exception here. Across the industry, women make up just 29 per cent of the employee base and the inequality is even starker at a leadership level, with men holding 83 per cent of executive roles. Clearly, this needs to change.

The number of UK fintech firms is due to double by 2030, with thousands of new jobs set to be created across design, developing and marketing. If fintech represents the future, we need to make sure that future is equal.

Part of the problem remains the challenge of getting female students into the subjects that feed fintech. But it is changing. More female students are recognising that coding, advanced maths and computer engineering are pathways that are open to them. Today, there are dozens of organisations set up to encourage women to learn how to code. Some of our clients run these, too. There are more opportunities and networks at women’s disposal than ever.

I can’t think of a better way to close than to use a quote from Sheryl Sandberg from her book ‘Lean in’: ‘“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”

Until we get to that point, we need to keep talking.

For more information about our culture and job vacancies, check out our careers page: https://www.chatsworthcommunications.com/careers/

 

Written by Catherine Day, Account Manager at Chatsworth Communications.

Blockchain’s five ingredients of interoperability

“There’s also a very special case of cross-blockchain interoperability… the case where the networks at each end of the connection turn out to be running the same platform. Intrachain, if you like.”

Richard Brown is Chief Technology Officer at R3, the enterprise software company supported by hundreds of banks, technology firms, regulators, trade associations and professional services firms. His team builds Corda, the world’s most advanced enterprise blockchain platform. What he doesn’t know about blockchain technology isn’t worth knowing.

Richard has long argued that not all blockchain platforms are alike and that the promise of blockchain technology is real with solutions which can eliminate huge amounts of cost, redundancy, error and needless reconciliation across entire business ecosystems, as well as opening up previously hidden new revenue opportunities.

But not all blockchain platforms are alike: Only some designs will be architecturally suited to the challenge. In his latest thought piece for Forbes, Richard takes his original five ingredients for interoperability and expands them to some real-life, tangible examples including the home buying process.

Read the full article here. As a reminder, here Richard’s five ingredients of blockchain:

  • We need integration with existing systems
  • We need to be able to initiate transactions on other networks
  • We need to be able to transact interchain with solutions on other technologies
  • We need to be able to transact intrachain with solutions on different deployments of the same technology
  • And we need to reduce buyer’s remorse by making it easy to interchange one underlying platform for another