Who is Simon Williams? He's the new Chairman of Crowdcube. announced on Friday. We look at what he brings to the table, and what it means for the equity crowdfunding platform.
In his own words:
Mr. Williams told local paper The Exeter Daily: “Crowdfunding has revolutionised the financial services sector, allowing entrepreneurial businesses to flourish at a time when securing finance is at an all-time low. Crowdcube has been the leading pioneer in this new wave of financial innovation in the UK and has a great deal more to offer business and investors alike. I am very much looking forward to working with the team during their next phase of development.”
On his CV:
According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Williams has a BSc in Mathematics from Exeter (useful) and an MBA from INSEAD, the elite French business school. He previously held senior positions at HSBC, where he was head of wealth management from 2011 to 2014. and Citigroup.
For the past nine years has been CEO of Camelot Financial Capital, which "support[s] early stage financial services businesses that have a strategic edge in delivering a superior service".
One year ago, Mr Williams was joining the board of NerdWallet, an American personal finance website that helps customers find better rates and deals, and Nerdwallet investing $5 million in that firm. He also hold a stake in Lending Club, the US peer-to-peer lender that was beset by scandals after an expensive IPO, and OnDeck Capital, which claims to be the largest online small business lender in the U.S.
In Crowdcube's words:
The Crowdcube blog announced him thus: "Simon Williams is a long term supporter of fast growing fintech businesses and has made a significant investment into our business ...The appointment is a clear indication that equity crowdfunding has moved into the mainstream world of finance.
"Simon’s deep industry knowledge and experience of both the retail banking sector and his early adoption of new financial technology makes him uniquely suited to the role of Chairman of Crowdcube. As our industry matures, it is imperative that we continue to be innovative and retain our customer-first focus.
"Simon’s impressive track record in consumer banking and wealth management, combined with the regulatory landscape, makes him a perfect fit as our business and the crowdfunding industry evolves. We are delighted that he has decided to become part of our journey both as Crowdcube’s Chairman and as an investor in the company."