Shoreditch bridge. Photo: Dr Neil Clifton/Geograph
Rebecca Wayman

Former Phaidon International employee launches fintech venture in Shoreditch

Specialist fintech recruitment consultancy Storm2 has launched today (September 11).

James Brown, previously group managing director of Phaidon International, has launched the company.

While generalist recruitment companies cover the tech area as a whole, Storm2 consultants’ specialise in finding people with the skills required to build a successful fintech company, with a focus on improving diversity across the industry. The launch has been enabled by seed funding of £1m from Puffin Point.

Storm2 began this August, and has a team of 20 with the goal of securing offices in mainland Europe and other global fintech hubs. Based in ShoreditcH, Storm2 is said to be securing successful placements with several high profile clients.

It connects companies with individuals across specialities including Android and iOS engineering, site reliability and data science.

James Brown, founder of Storm2, would like to see more diversity in fintech business in the next three years, and has set it as a core focus for the new agency.

Figures from the Centre for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) in 2016 showed that the average number of females on executive boards of venture-backed tech startups was less than 20 per cent, and less than a third of all employees.

Also, a report by McKinsey in 2018 showed companies with gender diverse executive teams were 21 per cent more likely to be profitable and 35 per cent more successful if ethnic and cultural diversity was included.

James said: “There is a diversity crisis in fintech and business leaders in the sector tell me their boardrooms and tech teams are too male dominated or don’t reflect their customer base. It’s proven that companies with a diverse workforce out-innovate and are more successful than those that do not, so for fintech to thrive we need to redress the balance.”

Tony Craddock, director general of the Emerging Payments Association, added: “Finding the right talent is a big problem for growing fintechs: Storm2, under the inspirational leadership of James Brown, is creating deep pools of senior fintech talent below board level, and giving access to payments and other financial technology companies.

“Storm2 has the potential to accelerate the growth of our industry and the richness and diversity of its talent pools.”

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