Nov 10, 2020

London post-Brexit: opportunity or disaster for finance?

Rishi Sunak
London Stock Exchange
Aquis Exchange
William Girling
3 min
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has set out a new vision for London-based financial services, proclaiming that Brexit is a chance for renewal
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has set out a new vision for London-based financial services, proclaiming that Brexit is a chance for renewal...

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has set out a new vision for London-based financial services, proclaiming that Brexit is a chance for renewal.

Specifically, Sunak believes that the UK market’s “dynamism, openness and competitiveness” could be significantly improved and unveiled plans for the country’s maiden ‘Sovereign Green Bond’ as evidence of this transformation. 

Creating ‘greener’ finance appears to be top of the Government’s agenda, with new measures such as enhanced environmental disclosure standards and ‘green taxonomy’ (a framework for determining the environmental sustainability of certain activities) to be introduced. 

“We are starting a new chapter in the history of financial services and renewing the UK’s position as the world’s pre-eminent financial centre,” said Sunak.

“Our plans will ensure the UK moves forward as an open, attractive and well-regulated market, and continues to lead the world in pioneering new technologies and shifting finance towards a net-zero future.”

Stock exchanges prepare for contingencies

However, despite the Government’s optimism, trading venues in London have reportedly been gearing up for consequential disruption since at least mid-October. 

Measures already taken include the London Stock Exchange planning to open an Amsterdam branch for its Turquoise trading platform and Aquis Exchange making previously London-exclusive stocks available in France for the first time.

The cause for pessimism in the market is due to the lack of a coherent Brexit deal between the UK and the EU, which would be a prerequisite to minimising disruption. The absence of this agreement and the necessary ‘equivalence’ between the two factions has caused some commentators to conclude that London finance will suffer in the fallout.

“There will be no equivalence. People are living in a pipe dream if they think it’s going to happen,” Alasdair Haynes, CEO of Aquis Exchange, told the Financial Times. “People are getting prepared to move business over.”

“We would prefer to have access to a global capital market,” added Edward Monrad, Head of European cash market structure at Optiver. “To some extent, people have a back-up but if you’re going to have a split, it will split liquidity and be bad for investors.”

Brexit: opportunity or disaster?

The messaging, then, appears to be contrasting from the Government’s and the market’s point of view. With some projecting that London could lose as much as €9bn in European stock trades in January 2021, the extent of the short-term damage could be severe.

It appears more likely that any benefits for London’s financial services industry will materialise in the long-term when the initial ‘shock’ of the Brexit transition period’s end has passed.

If the UK can continue to make London an attractive location for investors, it is not unrealistic to expect the return of businesses currently migrating to mainland Europe.

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Jun 18, 2021

The Ultimate FinTech & InsurTech LIVE Event

3 min
We release three new speaker names for the FinTech and InsurTech virtual conference that can’t be missed, streaming live from London

From October 12th-14th, 2021, BizClik’s FinTech & InsurTech event will bring together influential executives from around the world. Streamed live from Tobacco Dock, London, this three-day event will be an excellent way to finish the year strong, gaining the confidence your company needs to move forward into the future. 

With keynote addresses from global leaders, dynamic roundtable discussions, and extensive networking opportunities, FinTech & InsurTech 2021 will expand your network, deliver insight, and enhance your organisation’s reach. 

Already confirmed speakers include Colin Payne, VP & NextGen FS Global Lead at Capgemini; Dipu KV, President and Head of Operations & CX at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company; Bryan Caroll, CEO at TNEX; and Lucy Demery, Managing Director at Barclays.

The event will include:


  • Keynote addresses from respected industry leaders
  • Dynamic live roundtables (inc. Q&A)
  • Fireside discussions
  • Inspirational Speakers & Presentations
  • Extensive networking opportunities



Meet the Speakers

Each week, from now until the event, we’ll be announcing the latest speakers who are set to grace our physical or virtual stage, prepared to share their knowledge and insight with attendees. 

Our second batch consists of:


Scott Abraham

Currently the Senior Vice President of Business Development & Fintech for Mastercard UK & Ireland, a position he’s held since 2014, Abraham describes himself as “a proven and successful senior sales leader with experience across a wide range of industries, sectors, and channels.” 

Graduating from the University of Northampton in 1994 with a BA in Economics and Law, he worked for nine years at Sainsburys - eventually responsible for banking the company’s revenue and running its ATMs - and then Barclaycard for three years as Head of Client Management. In 2007, Abraham became VP of Client Management at American Express, and then VP and GM Global Supplier Relations EMEA in 2012.

In his current role at Mastercard, Abraham is accountable for the acceptance of all payments and products through all channels, devices, and technologies across UK and Ireland. In addition, he oversees the deployment of innovative new payment tech within the region.


Alistair Fraser-Hawkins

Fraser-Hawkins’ role as CEO, UK Corporate, at Marsh McLennan is the continuation of a long and successful insurance career, which has included being London Sales Director for JLT Group and Branch Director for Willis Towers Watson.

Marsh prides itself on being a company that hires top-tier talent, does work that impacts peoples’ lives, and offers its employees the opportunity to make a difference. This is clearly an attitude that aligns with Fraser-Hawkins’ own values; regarding the insurer’s UK Young Professionals initiative, a support network to help young professionals in their development, he said:

"I am passionate about developing talent and our Young Professional CRG provides a brilliant community for our Young Professional colleagues to discuss key issues relevant early in their careers, as well as an environment to promote the skills, learning and network for success."


Mike Massaro

Massaro is currently the CEO of Boston fintech Flywire, a role he took on in 2013. He first joined the team in 2012 as VP of Business Development, but it wasn’t long before his entrepreneurial skills were redirected to leading the entire company’s high-growth strategy worldwide.

An expert in domestic and international payments and billing, enterprise technology sales, strategic alliances, enterprise software, SaaS, product management and marketing, and much more, Massaro is a consummate finance professional whose credentials befit the leadership of a prominent global payments fintech.

His previous positions include Consultant at PwC and Product Line Manager at Oracle, and he maintains a Mentor role at startup accelerator MassChallenge. He graduated magna cum laude from Babson College with a BS in Information Systems and Finance.


This event is set to be one of the year's most unmissable. If you want to get leading perspectives on the future of fintech and insurtech, go to Eventbrite and purchase your tickets now.

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