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Anand Sambasivan

CEO, PrimaryBid

Anand led the team that conceived and brought PrimaryBid to market. As CEO, he is responsible for driving strategy cultivating key strategic relationships and overseeing general operations and execution. Before PrimaryBid, Anand started his career as in investment banker in New York and London before moving to start a hedge fund.

What is it about FinTech that excites you?

The financial industry is going through an exciting transformation. The technological innovations driving this transformation are occurring simultaneously in multiple parts of the financial services industry – payments, lending, wealth management, insurance and capital markets – and shaking-up many incumbent business models. One of the key unifying themes behind many of these technologies is democratisation and empowerment. FinTech companies are enabling individuals to regain control over their everyday financial lives and play a bigger role in driving important saving and investment decisions. That is exciting to see both as an entrepreneur and as an individual benefitting from this change.

What do you envisage being the biggest development in FinTech in the next 5 years?

The next 5 years are going to be fascinating in many different ways, but changes in the wealth management space will be particularly exciting. I believe that the next 5 years will yield a proliferation of many new products and services, which will ultimately help everyday individuals save and invest for their futures. A lot of exciting change is already underway. Roboadvisors have democratised access to customised asset allocation at a fraction of the old price. Crowdfunding platforms have helped funnel retail capital into exciting start-ups. We have also seen early success in yield-oriented savings platforms and platforms for alternatives, such as institutional-grade real estate. These solutions are effectively access points to asset classes previously inaccessible to ordinary individual investors. Last but certainly not least, public equity markets continue to be positively transformed by technology as well. The explosion of ETFs (Exchange-Traded Fund) has given everyday investors unprecedented access to indices and stock baskets. And with trading commissions now effectively down to zero, the barriers to owning stocks directly keep on getting lower and lower. But there are parts of the public market ecosystem that have been slower to evolve. Buying stocks on the secondary market may have been democratised, but access to primary capital markets remain a closed-door affair. That is where PrimaryBid comes in.

What do you enjoy doing in your time away from work?

I love going home and spending time with my family and my 6 month old daughter. It happily takes up the majority of my spare time. I, admittedly, did still keep my season tickets at Chelsea FC and love going to see the Blues in action.

What is the biggest change that you have witnessed in the sector over the past 12 months?

There has never been a shortage of great ideas. Smart people with smart ideas have always been around and they will continue to be around in the future. But what has changed in the past 12 months is the willingness for incumbent operators to embrace new ideas and integrate them into their existing processes and systems. That is the biggest change that I have witnessed in the past 12 months and it has been exciting to see. The ecosystem partners that we are engaging with have increasingly become open to the idea of collaboration, especially once they take the time to understand the benefits that such collaboration offers them (or their clients).

Who would be your top 3 dinner party guests and why?

Jesus Christ, Prophet Muhammed and Gautama Buddha because having over 2 millennia of such lasting impact can never be repeated.

Failing that, it would be incredible to see Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking in the same room, blowing each other’s minds on gravity.