London’s evolution from traditional banking hub to global fintech capital has been one of the success stories of the post-2008 financial crisis economic cycle.
Savvy regulation that fosters innovation through initiatives like the Financial Conduct Authority’s sandbox, a favourable tax regime for investors, and a pro-talent immigration policy have combined with London’s long history as a financial centre to create a fintech ecosystem that few places can rival.
And the money keeps pouring in, with the City recently overtaking New York to become the world’s number one location for investments in fintech companies. 114 investments were made totally £1.6bn during the first nine months of the year alone, on top of the £3 billion invested last year. More than 1,200 fintech companies are now based in the UK, with London boasting more unicorns (tech start-ups valued at more than $1 billion) than any other city worldwide.
But although the fledgling industry has so far shown itself to be remarkably resilient, proving wrong doubters who forecast an exodus in the wake of the Brexit referendum of 2016, there are signs that a slowing global economy could finally be taking a toll.
The plunge in the share price of London fintech darling Funding Circle is seen as a warning for the sector, as is fall in the number of London initial public offerings (IPOs), with July-September 2019 the quietest quarter on the London Stock Exchange new listings market since 2009. Meanwhile, high profile home grown new entrant to the banking market Monzo is experiencing well-publicised growing pains.
On Friday 29 November lawyers from Linklaters’ market-leading fintech team will gather at the firm’s London headquarters for Legal Cheek’s latest student event.
They will share their recollections of the rise of the sector from the ashes of Lehman Brothers’ collapse and the early days of the Silicon Roundabout, and consider the likely direction of travel at a time of ongoing technological disruption and widespread political and economic uncertainty.
The speakers will also reflect on their own career journeys, sharing their advice with students hoping to build legal careers in an area that is set to continue expanding the boundaries of banking & finance for years to come.
After a panel discussion chaired by a Legal Cheek journalist there will be drinks and networking with the speakers, Linklaters trainees and members of the firm’s graduate recruitment team.
Apply to attend below. You’ll be asked to submit a CV and two questions for the panel. Please note that the details of those offered places will, subject to consent, be shared with Linklaters’ graduate recruitment team.