Ben Marrel

Founding Partner, Breega

Ben began his career in corporate fintech, working on large cross-border mergers and acquisition deals for Macquarie Bank in London and Sydney. This inspired him to found his own boutique M&A advisory firm, specialising in raising capital for startups in the digital, cleantech and sports sectors. From there he went onto to launch Fifty-four, the first financial rating platform for SME’s in Africa, and then Rugby Division, a disruptive rugbywear brand. His passion for entrepreneurship then led him, in 2013, to co-found Breega.

What is it about FinTech that excites you?

The way the FinTech sector is continually evolving and the disruptive and transformative impact it is having on traditional financial actors and models who are having to reinvent and democratize their models.

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

There is a large B2C offering at present but the B2B wave is gradually taking over. Companies are focusing on fintech because of the opportunities it provides to simplify internal processus, saving vast amounts of time and money. They’re looking to trade in their old-fashioned tools and processes for new online digital services.

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

Playing sport, mostly surfing & rugby.

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

The full implementation of PSD2 in Europe which is therefore clearly positioning itself as a leader in this area, ahead of the US and Asia, and allowing for greater financial collaboration and innovation. It’s an exciting time!

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

If I could invite anyone from the past or present, I’d have to say:

  • Nelson Mandela for his wisdom, courage and capacity to keep striving for his dreams even in the face of great adversity.
  • Steve Jobs, one of the most inspiring people in tech, I would love to get a closer glimpse into his vision of the future, especially in banking!
  • Jona Lomu, arguably one of the greatest rugby players ever