Wednesday 7 December 2016 11:03 am

These are 2016's top 100 influential leaders in fintech (part 1 of 4)

It is no secret that the financial services industry continues to be transformed by the digital revolution.

According to PWC, roughly 20% of financial services business is at risk of disruption to fintech companies by 2020.

It follows that investment into the sector continues to rise. In 2015, funding of fintech businesses more than doubled from the previous year, reaching $12.2 billion in total(up from $5.6 billion in 2014).

The way in which consumers and businesses pay, loan and manage their money has been revolutionised by technology and innovation.

Fintech, and the leading individuals and companies within the sector, is therefore a key focus area for Hot Topics.

And after the success of the inaugural list of the 100 most influential fintech leaders in 2015, we decided to repeat the endeavour this year.

To do so, we partnered with leading tech executive search firm 360Leaders, and London-based business title City A.M..

We requested nominations from the Hot Topics global community of business leaders for the individuals that are dominating the fintech ecosystem.

The response threw up hundreds of names spanning entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers, analysts, corporate executives and industry personalities.

In narrowing the list down, the resulting 100 most influential fintech leaders for 2016 are the names fitting one or more of the initial criteria, which looks for the individuals who have:

  • founded, built or run companies that are driving innovation in financial services through technology
  • invested in the companies that are dominating the fintech sector
  • driven change within large, global financial institutions through investing in and integrating technology
  • a significant following and influence within the fintech sector and have set the agenda for key trends throughout the year.

View the list in alphabetical order: part 1 is below. 

Part 2 is here, you'll find part 3 here, and go here for part 4.

The most influential fintech leaders in 2016: A to D


aaron vermut Aaron Vermut, CEO, Prosper Marketplace Inc.

Aaron is CEO of Prosper Marketplace, one of the fastest-growing online marketplaces for consumer credit in the USA. Vermut combines this responsibility with his role as President and a Director of Prosper Funding LLC.

Adam Ludwin  Adam Ludwin, CEO & co-founder, Chain

Adam is a co-founder and CEO of Chain, one of the world's leading blockchain technology platforms. He was previously a Venture Partner at RRE Ventures, focused on fintech investments.

Agosta Liko Agosta Liko, CEO, PesaPal

PesaPal provides a simple, safe and secure way for individuals and businesses to make and accept payments in Africa. Founder and CEO, Agosta Liko was honored as one of Quartz Africa’s Best Innovators 2016.

Albert Goldstein Al Goldstein, CEO, AvantCredit

 Avant is a marketplace lending platform, lowering the costs of and barriers to borrowing for consumers. CEO and founder Al Goldstein previously held senior roles with Pangea Properties and Deutsche Bank, and is a serial entrepreneur in tech, consumer services and real estate.

Alex Jimenez Alex Jiménez, senior strategist, Zions Bancorp

Zions Bancorp is one of the US's premier financial services companies, operating over 500 banking offices nationwide. Alex has previously been named as one of the top 100 global influencers in Financial Technology by Onalytica.

Andy Rachleff Andy Rachleff, president & CEO, Wealthfront

Andy Rachleff is Wealthfront's co-founder, president and CEO. Prior to Wealthfront, Andy co-founded and was general partner of Benchmark Capital, responsible for investing in the likes of Equinix, Juniper Networks, and Opsware.

Anil Aggarwal Anil Aggarwal, founder & chairman, Money 2020

Anil founded Money20/20, an event which is recognised as one of the world's largest for innovation in payments and financial services. He is also a Venture Partner at Oak HC/FT, a $500m venture growth equity fund.

Anil Stocker Anil Stocker, CEO & co-founder, MarketInvoice

Along with co-founder Ilya Kondrashov, in 2011 Anil Stocker started MarketInvoice, a peer-to-peer finance platform designed make it much simpler and fairer for businesses to get financing and ease cash flow challenges. He previously held analyst positions for Cogent Partners and Lehman Brothers.

Anne Boden Anne Boden, CEO, Starling Bank

Starling Bank were named by The Sunday Times as one of the top 25 fintech startups in the world. Previously, Anne was COO of Allied Irish Banks, and head of EMEA, global transaction banking across 34 countries for RBS and ABN Amro. Treasury and Risk Magazine named her as one of the 10 most influential figures in global finance.

Anthony Jenkins Antony Jenkins, CEO, 10x Future Technologies

Former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins started 10x Future Technologies to create a digital platform for banks to 'better serve customers, and improve operational efficiency'. The company's first client is Richard Branson's challenger bank Virgin Money.

Baiju Prafulkumar Bhatt Baiju Prafulkumar Bhatt, co-founder, Robinhood

In 2013 Bhatt created Robinhood; a stock brokerage that allows customers to buy and sell US listed stocks and ETFs with zero commission. The company has to date raised $66 million from NEA and Index Ventures, amongst others.

Bill Ready Bill Ready, EVP & COO, PayPal

As chief operating officer, Ready is responsible for product, technology and engineering at PayPal. He also manages end-to-end customer experiences for PayPal’s consumer, merchant, Braintree, Venmo, Paydiant, and Xoom businesses. A serial entrepreneur of five successful startups, Bill joined PayPal in 2013 as CEO of Braintree and Venmo.

Brad Leimer Bradley Leimer, Head of Fintech Strategy, Santander US

Leimer joined Santander in 2014 as North American Head of Fintech Strategy. In addition to his role at the Spainsh banking giant, he acts as a mentor to a number of organizations, including Next Bank USA, Meniga, Net Finance, and Startupbootcamp.

Brett King Brett King, CEO & founder, Moven

In 2010, King founded Moven, a banking service app that delivers insights on users' spending and aims to improve 'financial health'. In addition to varied speaking responsibilities, Brett is the host of the BREAKING BANK$ radio show on Voice America.

Brock Blake Brock Blake, CEO & co-founder, Lendio

Lendio helps 100,000 small businesses each year get matched to a lender to start or grow their business. Under Brock Blake's leadership, the company was recognised as #34 in Inc.'s 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies.

Chris Gledhill Chris Gledhill, CEO & co-founder, Secco

Chris was lead mobile architect and led innovation labs at Lloyds Banking Group before founding UK challenger bank, Secco. He regularly ranks highly on fintech lists, including those created by City A.M., Onalytica, and Jay Palter.

Chris Larsen Chris Larsen, CEO, Ripple

Chris Larsen is CEO and co-founder of Ripple, a role he combines with chairman of the board of directors. Previously, Larsen was CEO of Prosper, a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, and E-LOAN, a publicly traded online lender. He additionally serves at board and advisory levels at Betable, CreditKarma, and Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Christian Faes Christian Faes, CEO & co-founder, LendInvest

​Before co-founding LendInvest – an online property lending and investing platform – Christian Faes worked as a securitisation and corporate lawyer in London with Clifford Chance and Deutsche Bank. In June 2015, the company raised the biggest Series A round by a UK fintech company after announcing backing from China's Beijing Kunlun.

Christoph Rieche Christoph Rieche, CEO & founder, iwoca

Previously a VP at Goldman Sachs, advising corporate and institutional investors on risk management, Christoph Rieche founded iwoca in 2011. The company offers flexible credit to small businesses across Europe, allowing them to take advantage of opportunities previously only available to their larger peers.

Christophe Chazot Christophe Chazot, group head of innovation, HSBC

At HSBC Christophe Chazot leads the teams responsible for strategic investment in disruptive companies. He joined HSBC in 2005 as Global Head of Equity Derivatives, and now has more than 20 years of experience across all major asset classes in capital markets.

Claire Calmejane Claire Calmejane, director of innovation, Lloyds Banking Group

Claire Calmejane heads up the LBG Innovation Labs, a 50 strong team focussed on de-risking the bank’s investment through experimentation and identifying fintech trends. Prior to Lloyds, she worked as a managing consultant for Capgemini, and as a scientist at the MIT Center for Digital Business.

Dan Cobley Dan Cobley, co-founder & chairman, SalaryFinance

Previously head of Google UK and head of marketing at Capital One, Dan Cobley cofounded SalaryFinance at the beginning of 2015. The company helps to consolidate employees’ debts into a single loan, with a fixed APR, paid off in installments through their employer’s payroll system. SalaryFinance's stated mission is to save UK workers £4bn per annum through lower interest repayments.

Dan Gandesha Daniel Gandesha, CEO & founder, Property Partner

Daniel is founder and CEO of Property Partner, a platform that allows its users to invest in residential property. Prior to founding Property Partner, he served as Head of Commercial Development and Startup Investments at BSkyB.

Darren Westlake Darren Westlake, CEO, Crowdcube

Darren Westlake is cofounder and CEO of equity crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube. The platform enables individuals to invest in small companies in return for equity or an annual return, and to date has raised over £195m ($241m) from users.

David Birch David Birch, director of innovation, Consult Hyperion

David Birch is director of Consult Hyperion, the secure electronic transactions consultancy. He has been previously named by Wired Magazine as one of the global top 15 favourite sources of business information, as well as one of NextBank's 'Fintech Titans'.

David Brear David Brear, CEO & co-founder, 11:FS

David is CEO and co-founder of 11:FS. He has delivered large digital transformations for Lloyds Banking Group, and Aviva and previously ran Global Digital Banking practice for research and advisory firm Gartner.

Deborah Hopkins Deborah Hopkins, CEO Citi Ventures & chief innovation officer, Citi

In 2008 Deborah became the firm’s first CIO. She also founded and built Citi Ventures, recognizing the critical role innovation must play in driving growth at Citi amid accelerating disruptive forces and heightened customer expectations. A lifelong change agent, Ms. Hopkins partners with Citi's businesses to shepherd creativity and implement breakthrough solutions.

Deborah Liu Deborah Liu, director of product management monetization, Facebook

Deborah works alongside FB's Product Engineering Team to bring her products—platform monetization and app installation—to market and make them successful. She has nurtured the product from concept to hundreds of millions of dollars in estimated annual revenue.

Derek White Derek White, global head of customer solutions, BBVA

Derek joined BBVA from Barclays. At BBVA he has been driving the transformation of the customer value proposition, including global product and design, customer experience, launching new products and services and leveraging big data and customer analytics.