THE government has appointed a new fintech ambassador to Northern Ireland, just 18 months after the region’s first envoy was announced.
Andrew Jenkins, director of mobility data and analytics company Arity, has been named as fintech envoy for Northern Ireland. He replaces Georgina O’Leary, director of innovation, research and development at Allstate Northern Ireland, who was appointed to the role in May 2018.
“Fintech is vital to the future of financial services, and we want every corner of the UK to be able to harness its power,” said John Glen, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, who made the appointment.
“I want to congratulate Andrew on taking up his new role as fintech envoy, where he will play a critical role in helping the sector to grow and flourish in Belfast and beyond.
“I have no doubt that he will build on the success of the existing envoys in ensuring that we remain a world leader in fintech and at the cutting edge of the digital revolution.”
More than 36,000 people are currently employed in Northern Ireland’s financial services industry, and the fintech sector has seen particular growth over the past few years, with firms such as peer-to-peer platform Assetz Capital, P2P-facing broker Clearpath Finance, crowdfunding platform CoFunder and business lender Linked Finance all choosing to open offices in Belfast.
Read more: P2P leads fintech charge in Northern Ireland
Jenkins will use his role as envoy to promote Northern Ireland as a place for firms to develop and grow their business, and to champion innovation in the region.
“I am honoured to be chosen as the fintech envoy for Northern Ireland, where I will collaborate with the sector here to harness our incredible potential to lead the region and beyond in fintech expertise and offerings,” he said.
“I will work to bring together business and civic leaders to invest in leading edge technologies and applications, focusing on emerging capabilities in blockchain, artificial intelligence and data security, to further grow the sector in Northern Ireland.
“Our mandate as part of the UK fintech strategy is to capitalise on what we have already have in place here in Northern Ireland. With strong government support, close collaboration between big companies and start-ups and a world class workforce, Northern Ireland has the potential to become the best place in the world to start and build a fintech company.”