Investment Association sets up fintech accelerator for asset managers

Investment Association sets up fintech accelerator for asset managers

The 240-member strong UK Investment Association is to launch a fintech accelerator to host startups with 'market-viable' technology tailored to the needs of the asset management industry.

The IA accelerator, dubbed VeloCity, will welcome two cohorts a year of four to eight fintech firms and assist them in turning their technology into business-ready solutions.

The industry association says it is particularly interested in supporting startups with innovative applications in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), distributed ledger technology, cloud-based infrastructure and big data.

As part of the launch, the IA intends to broaden its membership with a new affiliate category for fintech and RegTech firms.

IA chief Chris Cummings says: “The launch of VeloCity will act as catalyst in speeding up the take-up of new technology in the sector and ensure that fintech firms are embedded into the asset management ecosystem."

A poll of 507 industry players conducted by State Street last year shows that digitisation remains a top priority for asset management firms in order to streamline operations, create efficiencies, and optimise performance and risk management.

However, in an industry known as a sluggish adopter of new technology, firms are struggling to keep pace as the rate of change accelerates, with only 43% stating they are adapting tech quickly enough to support business growth needs.

The establishment of VeloCity comes in the wake of a UK Government report in December which identified advances in fintech as a means to enhance the country's position as a centre for asset management

John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury and City minister says: “There are over 93,500 people employed in the UK’s asset management sector, so the FinTech Accelerator - the first of its kind for the sector -will be fantastic news to them and to future entrepreneurs hoping to crack the market.”

The first cohort of fintech startups will enter the accelerator in Q2 for a six-month tenure, culminating in a demonstration day to key industry representatives and stakeholders.

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