By Hector Botero
I never met Jeff Parker the former CEO of Thomson Financial but he is one my heroes, after leaving Thomson he went on to start First Call, CCBN and more and sell these companies to his former company for hundreds of millions of dollars. Years ago while meeting with Thomson C-suite executives in New York I brought the subject up and as it turns out, Jeff was their hero as well. Maybe Jeff will read this and get a kick out of it, or maybe he will comment?
Recently I wrote about who would own Fintech and brought up the billion dollar budgets of companies such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, and I received a fair amount of comments predicting the demise of the big banks. Lots of people were of the opinion that the Fintech disruption is wide open and the banks will not play a controlling role – I land more on the side that the Fintech disruption is so large and capital intensive that the big banks, financial institutions and tech giants will play a dominant role. This opinion will not be popular or what a lot of people want to hear, but bear with me, there will be room for startups and niche players.
On Thursday the Financial Times published a full page article titled: “The former big beasts of Wall Street who are shaking up banking with Fintech investments”. The article provided insights to investments by certain key individuals:
John Mack, former CEO, Morgan Stanley: Fintech Investments, Dataminr, Lending Club, Neft and Orchard.
Vikram Pandit, former CEO Citigroup: Fintech Investments, CommonBond, MMKT Exchange. Orchard and TransferWise.
Blythe Masters, former banker, JP Morgan: Fintech Investments, Blockstack.io, Digital Asset Holdings.
Joe Saunders, former CEO, Visa: Fintech Investments, DataFox Intelligence, Green Visor Capital, Kash.
Hans Morris, former banker, Citigroup. Former president, Visa: Fintech Investments, CommonBond, Indiegogo, Lending Club, Nyca Partners.
So where does this trend leave us? I believe in one of three places: either these titans see themselves investing in the companies that will own Fintech in the future and operate independently; or they are betting that the big banks, financial institutions and tech giants will either align themselves with these investments; or these investments will be acquired outright.
Jeff, why don’t you give us your opinion?