This was an opportunity for people to get ‘inside the head of the disrupter’, personified by a global thought leader whose work spans both FinTech investment and digital strategy. It became clear that the world has moved on from incumbents being nervous or cynical about the ability of newcomers to disrupt their business. There is a recognition emerging that for those with their house otherwise in order, there are huge opportunities and benefits to be obtained, as long as there is sufficient clarity of strategy to allow investment in technology to be made in the right direction and at the right time. This will be a major challenge for leadership teams as they work to reconcile their legacy business with the future.
As for the (very predictable) question of ‘what if Apple / Google / Amazon’ decides to muscle in?’, there was a sobering statistic for the cynics around the table: between 2011 and 2016, Amazon wrote $3bn in SME loans, $1bn of which was in 2016 alone and included the UK.