Crowdcube has named former Citigroup and HSBC executive Simon Williams as chairman, hailing the appointment - and an investment by Williams in the business - as a clear indication that equity crowdfunding has moved into the mainstream world of finance.
Williams' investment in Crowdcube was made alongside over 3500 crowd investors and venture capital firm, Balderton Capital, as part of the company’s recent funding round, which saw it raise just shy of £8 million.
Says Williams: “Crowdfunding has revolutionised the financial services sector, allowing entrepreneurial businesses to flourish at a time when securing finance is at an all-time low. Crowdcube has been the leading pioneer in this new wave of financial innovation in the UK and has a great deal more to offer business and investors alike.”
Williams has over 30 years of banking and investment experience, including three years as head of HSBC's Wealth Management group and a nine-years stint at Citigroup where he held senior executive roles including head of Citibank International Retail Bank, head of the Asia Pacific Consumer Group, head of the Latin America Consumer Group and chief risk officer for Citigroup Global Consumer Group.
Since moving away from HSBC in 2014, Williams has become a prominent fintech investor through his own company, Camelot Financial Management, taking positions in Lending Club, Nerdwallet and OnDeck Capittal, among others.
Says Williams: “Having worked in the banking world for many years, I am hugely excited by what disruptive fintech businesses can do to gain market share; bringing in a fresh technology-led approach to improve customer service and make financial products and choices accessible to everyone.”
Launched in 2011, Crowdcube has amassed a crowd of over 300,000 members, which have invested more than £188 million in over 400 raises, including a record-breaking 96-second £1 million raise for challenger bank Monzo.