Five things not to miss at AltFi’s Festival of Finance 2021

By Aisling Finn on Monday 7 June 2021

Alternative LendingDigital BankingSavings and Investment

A list of the top five sessions that Team AltFi is most excited about at the Festival of Finance 2021.

Five things not to miss at AltFi’s Festival of Finance 2021
Image source: AltFi

It's back and better than ever—the AltFi Festival of Finance 2021 is nearly upon us and we couldn't be more excited!

To help you get a taste of what's to come, we’ve compiled a (totally non-exhaustive) list of some of the most impressive speakers and interesting panels at the three-day event.

1.Samir Desai from funding Circle and Giles Andrews from Zopa chatting about what they’ve learnt over the years

At 13:00 on Day 1 of the Festival of Finance, tune in to hear Samir Desai, founder and CEO of Funding Circle, and Giles Andres, co-founder of Zopa, chat about what they learnt from the financial crisis.

The panel will take a look into how the financial crisis sparked the fintech movement and what can be learnt more than a decade after the 2008 recession.

Desai and Andrews are veterans of both the finance and the fintech world, making waves in their own sectors before their sectors ever really existed. 

Hear from these two fintech stalwarts took a problem as dire as the 2008 financial crisis and turned it into two of the most notable fintechs in the UK to date. 

2. Klarna and Curve Credit battle it out over buy-now-pay-later

The penultimate session of Day 1 will see Paul Harrald, head of Curve Credit, and Alex Marsh, head of Klarna UK, chat about the buy-now-pay-later.

Buy-now-pay-later has been one of the breakout areas for investment into fintech over the past year. With more players now entering the market, further innovation could prompt a huge onslaught of further innovation.

Threats of more stringent regulation and blasts from the Financial Conduct Authority and Advertising Standards Agency alike, the BNPL sector has been one of the most frequent fintech stories of the year so far. 

Klarna, having already established itself as a global leader in the BNPL sector, will now have to compete with the likes of Curve Credit vying for a slice of the BNPL pie.

Tune in to hear what Marsh and Harrald think about just how far buy-now-pay-later can go.-

3. John Davies’ keynote on Day 1 and breakout session on Day 2

A stalwart of the fintech industry, John Davies is always a stand out for any fintech event, so we are delighted to invite him back to speak at the Festival of Finance this year. 

His keynote speech on Day 1 is titled ‘Darwin Might Have Had A Point’, and will look into how fintechs can take crises, like the Covid-19 pandemic, in their strides and prove themselves worthy.

While others may have floundered during the pandemic, other entrepreneurs, and their businesses, have flourished.

The breakout session will look into how to scale a business in a post-Brexit, post-Covid world, where Davies will impart his 40 years of business knowledge, highlighting key questions entrepreneurs need to ask themselves to make it in the fintech world. 

At the last Festival of Finance, Davies presented an impromptu award to Starling Bank’s Anne Boden and imparted his many pearls of wisdom to attendees—his appearances are certainly not to be missed!

4. Steve O’Hear: Thoughts From A Decade Reporting Fintech

After recently making the move over from tech reporting to a delivery startup, Zapp, Steve O’Hear will be sharing his hints and tips learnt over the years.

Spending more than a decade reporting for TechCrunch, O’Hear has seen the likes of Wise (formerly TransferWise) and Monzo rise through the ranks from small startup to some of the biggest and most well-known fintechs in, not just the UK, but the world. 

Not just reporting on the big fintech, O’Hear had a penchant for the up and coming players too, no doubt learning some of the do’s and don’t’s of startups along the way. 

O’Hear will be sharing his candid take on the good, the bad and the ugly of financial startups.

5. Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia’s fireside

One of the most prominent people in the financial world, Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia made the jump over to fintech early last year when she founded Snoop, a financial management app promising to save the average person roughly £1,500 per year.

Not one to shy away from speaking her mind—having previously proclaimed: “I'm not going to do another bloody bank!”—the finance veteran will be imparting her knowledge about the shift from a big financial outfit to starting her own fintech.

With over 35 years of financial expertise under her belt and now one at the helm of a startup, Gadhia has possibly the most knowledge about the world of finance and fintech that one person can have!

Gadhia’s fireside kicks off the final day of AltFi’s Festival of Finance, making sure the day gets off to a strong start.

You can register for AltFi's Festival of Finance 2021 here.

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