£2.5million donation to University of Manchester boosts region’s FinTech credentials

21st January 2020, 11:28 am

The University of Manchester has received a £2.5million donation to boost the region’s capacity and capability in Financial Technology (FinTech).

The donation was made by Greensill, a leading British FinTech company founded by Lex Greensill, who is also an Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) MBA alumnus (Class of 2006).

Greensill offers working capital finance to millions of customers all over the world, combining advanced technology and capital markets expertise to allow businesses of any size access to cash at rates previously preserved for the largest multinational corporations.

The donation will enable the University to drive the FinTech agenda in the North West with a new Chair in FinTech, as well as other key academic posts and PhD scholarships over the next five years.

The Greensill Chair in FinTech investment sees the appointment of Markos Zachariadis as Professor of Financial Technology and Information Systems at AMBS. Part of Professor Zachariadis’ role will involve managing projects which will build the University’s public profile in FinTech, as well as creating partnerships with leading businesses to work on projects.

The funding will also enable the collaboration of academics from across the University to promote multidisciplinary research and support student entrepreneurship in FinTech and related fields.

According to the latest UK FinTech State of the Nation report, $3.3 billion was invested in UK FinTech in 2018 and the number of FinTech firms is set to double to more than 32,000 by 2030.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor at The University of Manchester, said: “This generous donation from Greensill is very forward looking and will enable the University to spearhead the understanding and sharing of FinTech expertise across business communities locally, nationally and globally. As well as funding the Greensill Chair position, we will also develop our teaching capabilities by creating two lecturer posts, allowing us to plan for growth in undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education in this developing field. Two postdoctoral research fellows and four PhD scholarships will also enable us to carry out ground-breaking research and help us to create strong links with businesses, policy makers and authorities, positioning Manchester at the forefront of this evolving field.”

Professor Fiona Devine, Head of AMBS, said: “It is an honour to receive support from Lex Greensill as an MBA alumnus of Alliance Manchester Business School, the donation marks a significant milestone in the development of FinTech in the North West. I am delighted we have appointed Professor Markos Zachariadis as Greensill Chair in FinTech and to be able to realise our ambitions for the University’s FinTech strategy.”

Lex Greensill added: “At Greensill we are passionate about how finance and technology can change for the better the way we live and work. To that end, we look forward to developing an ever-closer relationship with Alliance Manchester Business School. We are delighted to be able to give back to an institution that was so important to the foundation of our firm.”

The partnership will be celebrated at an event on FinTech in the North West at AMBS in Spring 2020.

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