Investment Association launches fintech accelerator

The Investment Association (IA) has announced plans to launch a specialist fintech accelerator for the asset management industry.

The new IA Accelerator – named VeloCity – will be launched later this year and is part of the asset management industry’s drive to boost innovation and speed up the adoption of new emergent technology across the sector.

The IA FinTech Accelerator will, for the first time, bring together FinTech firms with ‘market-viable’ technology tailored to the asset management sector, supported by industry practitioners from across the IA membership.

The creation of VeloCity reflects the strong demand within the asset management industry for new technology solutions which will enhance the customer experience and increase business efficiency.

VeloCity will welcome two cohorts a year of four to eight FinTech firms and assist them in turning their technology into business-ready solutions.

These solutions are set to include: machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Distributed Ledger Technology, cloud-based infrastructure and big data in order to develop solutions applicable from mid and back office operations, to fund distribution and marketing.

Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association, said: “To remain globally competitive, the UK asset management industry must be restless in its quest for innovation and reinvention. FinTech firms are a key element in this process, driving innovation across the asset management industry to the benefit of investors, savers and pensioners.

“The launch of VeloCity, the IA’s new FinTech Accelerator, will act as catalyst in speeding up the take-up of new technology in the sector and ensure that FinTech firms are embedded into the asset management ecosystem”.

Supporting the announcement, John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister said: “The UK is a world leader in asset management, but to stay that way we’ve got to keep ahead of the curve.

“There are over 93,500 people employed in the UK’s asset management sector, so the FinTech Accelerator - the first of its kind for the sector -will be fantastic news to them and to future entrepreneurs hoping to crack the market.”

The selection of firms taking part in VeloCity will be via a rigorous application process and participant firms will join for a fixed six month tenure, culminating in a ‘demonstration day’ to key industry representatives and stakeholders.

With the first cohort arriving in Q2 of 2018, the participating FinTech firms will benefit from unparalleled access to industry experts and gain valuable exposure to potential clients in the asset management sector.

Participants will also benefit from the use of a bespoke co-working space and guidance from experts drawn from related financial and professional services sectors, as well as from the Advisory Panel comprised of senior industry leaders and digital technology specialists.