As I See It
Fintech: how Scotland is developing a new industry
Scott Logic, with offices in Edinburgh’s George St, has built a substantial presence as a software development consultancy and this month marked 10 years since its launch.
Most of its clients are in the financial services sector and it is this relationship between IT and finance that was one of the more interesting findings in a recent CBI/PwC survey.
Scotland, it said, is well-positioned to develop a thriving financial technology, or fintech, industry.
The survey came in the same week that Glasgow based Beeks Financial Cloud acquired VDIware a Chicago firm operating in the foreign exchange markets.
The acquisition followed the firm’s purchase last year of New York-based Gallant VPS by Beeks Financial Cloud subsidiary BeeksFX VPS. Beeks also set up an office in Tokyo.
Set up four years ago by Scots Gordon McArthur and Tony Doleman, Beeks Financial Cloud has grown from a £60,000 turnover in year one to a projected £5 million this year, a target it has reached 18 months ahead of schedule. The company plans to more than double revenue by the end of 2017 and may seek a stock market flotation.
Fintech is clearly booming. Figures produced at a presentation tonight by Ascendant Corporate Finance, which has just opened an office in Edinburgh, reveal that it is the biggest single sector for attracting venture capital money across the UK. It is currently weighted towards London but if the CBI/PwC survey is correct then it is something Scotland can nurture.
Of course, it is far from being a new industry. The increasing application of technology to the way we transact money means IT and finance have become umbilically linked.
So much so, that those who crunch employment numbers often double count them. Many of those working for JP Morgan in Glasgow, for instance, are IT staff, devising programmes, and are claimed by both the financial and IT sectors as their own.
Scott Logic was founded with a headcount of three in September 2005 by managing director Gary Scott. It now employs more than 180 across four UK cities.
One consequence of this growth is that it is producing a lot of job opportunities. Scott Logic alone has vacancies for software development, testing, user experience design and project management.
Many of these roles never existed 20 or 30 years ago. We will begin to learn a lot more about them over the next two or three decades.
For more information on the latest vacancies at Scott Logic, visit: