Why Cambridge?

Posted on the 29th April 2014 by Hamish Anderson in Founders' blog

Cambridge - Bridge of Sighs

I’m often asked why we set up Money Mover in Cambridge.

“Surely a financial services business should be in London?” people ask, “or in a country with lower taxes, or where the regulations aren’t so tough?”

There’s a basis of fact in all the above, but we considered all these things pretty carefully in the very earliest days of the company, and we tried to make choices which were true to the vision that we had for Money Mover.

To address the second question first, and to answer why we decided to set up Money Mover in the United Kingdom, you have to consider the kind of service that we are providing and the industry within which we are operating. We reasoned that the very fact that Money Mover would ultimately be subject to regulation by the UK Financial Conduct Authority would instill greater confidence than being based in a tax haven, or in a territory with less rigorous financial services regulation.

Having spent all my working life in the City of London and Canary Wharf, I am well aware that London is the location of choice for big banks and international financial services firms. Furthermore, there is a young but thriving financial technology (fintech) sector in the capital, mostly based around Old Street in East London.

I live near Cambridge; a fast-growing and dynamic city with a reputation as a centre of excellence for the biotechnology, software and semiconductor industries. It seemed to me that Cambridge was losing ground to London in financial technology innovation, and that starting such a business here might help to redress that balance (at the same time as cutting my daily commute!).

The fact that Cambridge does not have an established fintech community might also be to our commercial and creative advantage. Commercial in that competition for the best people might be less intense than in the City, and creative in that any local designers and developers we engaged would probably not have worked in this sector before, and would approach it with fresh ideas and perspectives.

From a public relations and marketing perspective, it would surely be easier to stand out in an area where fintech is underrepresented, rather than clamouring for attention amongst the technology incubators of Silicon Roundabout and Shoreditch.

We therefore set out to base the business in Cambridge, and to work with as many local companies and service providers as we possibly could. This strategy has served us well so far. Our offices are located in the Innovation Centre of Cambridge Science Park. This facility was established by Trinity College in 1970, and has witnessed the commercialisation of a multitude of scientific and technological discoveries and developments.

As our business grows, we would like to build close links with the academic and scientific community on our doorstep. We are committed to applying expertise from a multitude of disciplines, such as biometrics and cryptology, as we seek to innovate in financial services.

Hamish Anderson

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