Jim Spowart, a key player in the rise of direct banks Intelligent Finance (IF), Standard Life Bank and Direct Line, has joined small Scottish IT support firm Adventi as director of business strategy and invested a six-figure sum in the business.
Spowart, who stepped down as chief executive of IF last year, had been expected to return to financial services with a new play on the direct banking model.
He says: "I had been in discussions with a number of international banks about various projects, one or two looking at large-scale opportunities, but this is something that truly appeals. I want to help (Adventi) become a major IT service force in the UK."
Adventi, which was set up by managing director Graham Bucknall in June 2002, currently employs 30 people out of offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh and has annualised turnover of £1 million. The company offers high-level and instant support for small businesses hit by computer failure and viruses.
Spowart believes there is a big opportunity for the firm to expand into independent financial services as the Financial Service Authority takes control of the regulations over the sale and management activities of the mortgage market. The watchdog is expected to lay down tough rules on IT security and data management.
”There is a need for more transparency, there are issues with online information and data protection and there is a need to keep accurate customer records held on secure storage,”says Spowart: "While many IFA firms have IT, they will desperately require the peace of mind of having their own IT director. That's where Adventi offers this security."