Useful Brexit information for businesses

The Embassy of Finland together with Business Finland and the FBCC organised a Brexit prospects and preparedness talk on the 15th of May. Kristiina Kauppinen, Market Access Unit, Department for External Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provided useful links for businesses preparing for Brexit. We have listed them below. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly with any unanswered questions at info@fbcc.co.uk.

Brexit information

More useful links about general information and organisations here.

Change brings opportunities for start-ups and investors alike

Insights from the Investing & Fintech panel discussion

Last Thursday, 2nd May, we hosted an Investing & Fintech event in cooperation with Danske Bank International and Womble Bond Dickinson. The event concentrated on an expert panel discussion moderated by Womble Bond Dickinson’s UK Head of Financial Services, Jonny Williams. Our panellists were Aapo Bovellan (Founding Partner at Proxy VC), Florin Grosu (Co-founder of Traderion and President of the Young Leaders Club), Gareth Grenner (Managing Director, Identity and Financial Inclusion at Emergent Technology) and Theo O’Donnell (Head of UK & Ireland at Enfuce Financial Services).

Pictured from the left: Jonny Williams, Aapo Bovellan, Florin Grosu, Gareth Grenner and Theo O’Donnell.

Artificial Intelligence and the next big thing

The panel discussion provided many insights to into the world of investing and fintech, both current landscape and future views. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a key point in bringing about a major shift in the industry. In addition to the technology behind AI it is also important to focus on the products and services AI will enable – people do not necessarily care about how technology works but what it makes possible. Some companies even take the mention of AI away from consumer marketing because it is such a difficult concept to define. What used to be seen as AI can now fall more into the machine learning sector. The difficulty of defining AI has caused confusion and has led to many self-defined AI companies actually doing something that is outside of the AI definition. According to Silicon Valley estimates, 40% of AI companies might have nothing to do with AI. However, the consensus of the panel seemed to be that the full potential of AI is still very much not realised. AI will bring changes to the market and is definitely one to watch.

Is traditional banking heading the way of Blockbuster?

In addition to the changes already brought or about to happen because of Artificial Intelligence, open banking will also be a part of the change the industry is going to face. Traditional banking could soon face it’s Blockbuster – Netflix moment. Payment mediums are going through change, but the question is how fast is this change going to happen? The speed of change certainly managed to surprise Blockbuster. Still, the panel agreed that a major speed bump will be regulations. Many niches have room for innovation but barriers of entry, like banking regulations, make them expensive for start-ups. And from an investor point of view, funding regulations is costly. However, regulators seem to be very proactive with Fintech companies. It can be speculated that with Brexit, the government knows it needs to be in the front of open banking and fintech. The real challenge for start-ups is finding the time to navigate regulations. This is something that AI has the potential to help with as it can be used to report to regulators and that way reduce hours and possible fines. Technology would then save time and money. There is an opportunity to create a solution for big companies to use data. However, it will remain to be seen how the emergence of 5G will affect solutions, mobile fintech and the innovation rate.

An investor or a loan? That is the question.

From AI, open banking and regulations, the conversation moved on to funding possibilities. On questioning whether to take a loan or find an investor, it is important to think of what the right fit for the company at that point is. The predictability of the revenue model and margin structure affect the decision too. Loan financing is a good option if you have predictability, otherwise a VC might be the wiser choice. One advice was that the best thing is to become a CFO quickly. Understand your own cash flow and the accuracy of your predictions. However, it must be remembered that investors offer much more than just money; they offer strategic advice and network assets. But with Fintech and AI the possibilities don’t end there. The right partner and investor can also offer you access to data which is crucial in the “training” of an AI and turning it into a functioning product. It is important to remember that financing is a strategic decision like any other part of business.

Are you and your investor a match?

So, if you decide to get funding from an investor, what needs to be considered? It is important to find funding from experienced investors. The relationship between an investor and a Fintech company is a two-way street. It must not have conflicts and it is important to find the right fit. Due diligence and a common vision are important to establish, and this takes time.  In the worst case, the investor relationship can even cause the start-up damage. It is important to make sure who the investor is and how they will behave on the board. A common phrase heard in investing is “49% is less than half and less than half is nothing” and it is crucial who the 51% is going to be. You should check who the investor is currently working with and ask for referrals on their behaviour. It is important also for the investors to check with their start-ups on how they see them behaving as an investor. The image the start-up has of the investor can be very different to what the investor imagines it is doing. You can think you are acting helpfully but can actually be doing harm. It is very important to keep all investors informed to get funding on the second round. Upkeeping the relationships with your investors in paramount.

Trending in Investing & Fintech

Lastly, the discussion moved to what the panellists find exciting about the Investing and Fintech field at the moment. Some exciting trends are for example robot process automation, B2B companies beginning to act like B2C, identity and blockchain, and financial inclusivity. There are so many opportunities in this space that it will be exciting to see what happens next.

There are many things to consider when either starting up a Fintech company or investing in one. The discussion answered but also raised many questions. The future of the industry is hard to predict, but one thing we know for certain is that changes are on their way. We hope that everyone who attended the panel now has a clearer view of the field and the tools to make better decisions.

We would like to thank our guests for active contribution to the discussion and asking interesting questions. Also, a thank you to our panellists who brought us their insights and expertise on Investing & Fintech. Our gratitude extends to our cooperating partners Danske Bank International and Womble Bond Dickinson.

We proudly welcome our new Patron Member Cool N Talk

Cool N Talk United Kingdom is a modern online platform for keynote speakers, hosts, facilitators and training. The speaker agency company is owned by speakers and famous serial entrepreneurs.

Companies can easily find the best suitable speaker for their events with competitive prices. The management have done over 3000 engagements since 2006. Cool N Talk’s experienced consultants will serve you from need to final applause. In 2019 they will deliver more than 600 speaking engagements globally.

They have a global network for speakers, but majority comes from Scandinavia. Booking keynote speakers is more transparent than ever before. Welcome to Cool N Talk’s shop for their international speakers and hosts. To find out more about Cool N Talk, visit: https://coolntalk.co.uk

We warmly welcome our new Corporate Member Joisto

We are happy to present the newest Corporate Member of the FBCC, Joisto!

Digital Content Delivery, Reimagined.

Optimise your business and streamline processes with digitally stored and managed documents that can be accessed instantaneously, from anywhere.

 

 

JOISTO AT A GLANCE

Dynamic. Flexible. Robust

IMPROVE PROCESSES: Remove lengthy, manual and costly document storage and management processes

CONTENT MANAGEMENT: Joisto supports all business communications, printed documents, emails, office documents, images, video and voice recordings, which can all be indexed and searched within the platform

SECURE & COMPLIANT: User tracking, versioning management, document management life cycle, automated processes and timestamp functions

We warmly welcome our new Corporate Member KPA Unicon

KPA Unicon has been tackling the world’s toughest energy problems for nearly three decades. From renewable, clean-energy solutions like our biomass, industrial waste and waste gas boiler plants to operational modifications that increase the efficiency of existing energy plants, KPA Unicon is inspiring and facilitating the world’s transition to clean energy.

They provide heat and steam production capacity as a service, which enables you to invest your capital on other business areas instead of energy production facilities. KPA Unicon will be responsible of the design, construction and operation and maintenance of the plant and guarantee the heating capacity you need to be available, while you can concentrate on your core business.

FBCC General Manager Emma met the first female President of Finland Tarja Halonen

On Friday 8th March, to mark International Women’s Day, our General Manager Emma Jalonen attended WOW – Women of the World Festival at London’s Southbank Centre. President Tarja Halonen – the first female President of Finland – was one of the speakers at the event, discussing global feminism with anti-FGM activist Nimco Ali, the festival’s founder Jude Kelly, Zainah Anwar, the founder of Malaysian organisation Sisters in Islam and Purna Sen, Director of Policy at UN Women, in a panel discussion led by legendary singer, activist and humanitarian Annie Lennox.

The event, in its 9th year, is part of a global movement celebrating women and girls and looking at the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential. President Halonen’s visit was organised by the Embassy of Finland in London and the Finnish Institute in London.

 

 

FBCC Members Office Blueprint and Light Cognitive start collaboration

FBCC Member Office Blueprint has partnered up with other FBCC Member Light Cognitive. The office design and well being focused Office Blueprint will now carry Light Cognitive’s products. Light Cognitive focuses on creating health benefits from circadian lighting .
In addition, Office Blueprint launched a new Welltek brand covering Wellbeing in the office with other Finnish health tech brands Naava, LooOk Industries and Framery. Read Office Blueprint’s Neal’s LinkedIn post about it for more information.

WE PROUDLY WELCOME OUR NEW PATRON MEMBER BORENIUS

Borenius is one of the largest and most experienced law firms in Finland, with offices in Helsinki, Tampere, St. Petersburg and New York. They provide services in all areas of Finnish and Russian law for corporate clients, and advise Finnish clients mainly on corporate matters in the United States. Borenius is ranked as a top tier Finnish firm by all leading legal directories and in any given year, the firm is at the top of the deal tables in Finland in IPOs, M&A and financing transactions.

FULL-SERVICE LAW FIRM
Borenius was established in 1911. Since then they have handled some of the most challenging assignments for the most interesting clients. As businesses have become increasingly globalised, the demand for high-calibre legal advice has followed – they have grown to a firm that currently employs over 110 lawyers. Borenius’ key service areas are transactions, advisory and dispute resolution, in which it serves clients’ needs with leading practitioners in some 20 separate practice areas.

GLOBAL OPERATOR AND SERVICES IN THE UK
Borenius has always been committed to extending its global reach. Their global presence is built on their own Russian and US offices and  Chinese, Nordic and London desks supporting inbound and outbound clients together with a network of leading independent law firms in these and other jurisdictions. This offers a convenient gateway for international companies looking to invest and do business in the Finnish, Russian, Baltic and Nordic territories. In the United Kingdom, Borenius operate through an extensive network of local law firms to ensure effective and comprehensive legal coverage. In addition, they employ lawyers who have been educated in English universities and many of their lawyers have also lived and worked in England. www.borenius.com

Welcome to the FBCC!

New Trainee at the FBCC

The FBCC welcomes a new addition to the team for the Spring 2019 period. Please welcome Heli!

Heli is an international master student from the University of Helsinki. She studies European and Nordic Studies and has a bachelors degree in International Relations with Business specialisation. Heli enjoys an international environment and she has completed her studies in Spain, London and New York. In London she completed a part of her studies in the London School of Economics and Political Science and has also worked in London previously.

She is looking forward to learning more about marketing, Finnish businesses in the UK and networking skills.  She is looking forward to meeting new people and all the members and friends of the Chamber. Heli is very excited to be back to London and work for the FBCC!

 

Goodbye from Elina

Spring means new beginnings and for me it’s time for me to say goodbye to the FBCC and head towards new challenges. I have truly enjoyed my six months here at the Chamber. During the busy autumn season I have gained valuable experience while working as a part of our small but efficient team. And of course living in a city as inspiring as London.

At the beginning of my traineeship one of my main goals was to get to know more in-depth about the business culture here in the UK and I truly feel that I have learned a lot. It has also been encouraging to see how valued Finnish expertise and brands here are. Having been able to attend and host so many interesting events covering actual topics such as BIM and Smart Cities has been an enriching experience. Not to forget gaining broad perspectives on Brexit, which without doubt is affecting people and businesses in multiple levels. At the moment the only safe thing to say is that this year will bring many challenges but surely also opportunities.

Most valued part of my time here has certainly been meeting so many of our members and partners in and hearing your stories and ideas. I will cherish this experience of working together with such amazing and skilled people.

I want to warmly thank everyone whom I have met during my time at the Chamber and hope to see you again soon!

Best regards,

Elina

Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce

The FBCC is an independent, non-profit organisation, recognized throughout the Finnish, British and international business communities. The Chamber offers four different membership categories: Patron, Corporate, Professional and Junior.