Simon Williams joins Crowdcube as Chairman

George Dawson's picture
Authored by George Dawson
Posted Friday, October 14, 2016 - 11:48am

Crowdcube, one of the UK’s leading investment crowdfunding platforms, has today strengthened its Board with the appointment of Simon Williams, a highly respected senior retail banking and wealth management executive and long term supporter of fast growing fintech businesses, as Chairman. The appointment is a clear indication that equity crowdfunding has moved into the mainstream world of finance.

In joining Crowdcube, Williams, who has a strong track record of successful fintech investment, has also made a significant investment into the business. This investment was made alongside over 3,500 crowd investors and prominent venture capital firm, Balderton Capital, as part of the company’s recent funding round, which saw it raise just shy of £8 million. Prominent investors from previous rounds include UK stockbroker and corporate advisor Numis Securities, iconic Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper and London-based venture capital firm Draper Esprit.

On his appointment, Simon Williams said: “Crowdfunding has revolutionised the financial services sector, allowing entrepreneurial businesses to flourish at a time when securing finance is at an all-time low. Crowdcube has been the leading pioneer in this new wave of financial innovation in the UK and has a great deal more to offer business and investors alike. I am very much looking forward to working with the team during their next phase of development.”

Williams has over 30 years of banking and investment experience having held senior executive positions across the world.

Corporate roles include head of HSBC's Wealth Management group from 2011 to 2014 and nine years at Citigroup Inc. where he held senior executive roles including head of Citibank International Retail Bank, head of the Asia Pacific Consumer Group, head of the Latin America Consumer Group and chief risk officer for Citigroup Global Consumer Group.

Through his own company, Camelot Financial Management LLC, Simon Williams is a long-term supporter of fintech, having successfully invested in, and taken selective Board positions with, a number of fintech businesses.  In addition to his position at Crowdcube, Mr. Williams is an investor in LendingClub (NYSE:LC), the world’s largest online lending marketplace, and in Nerdwallet Inc., and he currently acts as a Non-Executive Director to both companies.  He was also an early investor in OnDeck Capital Inc.(ONDK) which provides capital to small businesses in the US - and where he is a former director.

On Williams’ appointment, Darren Westlake, CEO of Crowdcube said: “Simon’s deep industry knowledge and experience of both the retail banking sector and his early adoption of new financial technology makes him uniquely suited to the role of Chairman of Crowdcube. As our industry matures, it is imperative that we continue to be innovative and retain our customer-first focus. Simon’s impressive track record in consumer banking and wealth management, combined with the regulatory landscape, makes him a perfect fit as our business and the crowdfunding industry evolves. We are delighted that he has decided to become part of our journey both as Crowdcube’s Chairman and as an investor in the company.”

Simon Williams added: “Having worked in the banking world for many years, I am hugely excited by what disruptive fintech businesses can do to gain market share; bringing in a fresh technology-led approach to improve customer service and make financial products and choices accessible to everyone.”