ActiveQuote Founder Richard Theo has been appointed by HM Treasury as the Government’s Regional FinTech Envoy for Wales. The role, which takes effect immediately, will see Richard help drive further growth in the FinTech sector and encourage entrepreneurship in Wales.
Richard, also the co-founder and CEO of online investment service Wealthify, was a natural choice for the appointment due to his experience and achievements as an entrepreneur, which have been recognised many times - including with a Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2016.
With the Government’s commitment to preserving the UK edge in FinTech, Richard will promote Wales as a leading place to do business. The Wales FinTech sector is brimming with commercial opportunity and, with a booming digital economy now worth an estimated £8.5bn, Wales is already home to many leading tech-based companies, including our partners GoCompare and Confused.com and FTSE100-listed insurance firm Admiral, as well as ActiveQuote.
Richard said: “It’s a huge honour to be appointed as the Government’s FinTech Envoy for Wales and to have a chance to help support the growth of FinTech in our region. South Wales is already a hotspot of FinTech success and is uniquely placed to become the leading FinTech centre outside London.
“It is a fantastic place to do business, benefitting from a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial culture, low operating costs, excellent connectivity and a great lifestyle. It’s already home to a wide range of accelerators and incubators and a phenomenal network of tech, FinTech and financial services businesses to help mentor and partner with.
“As a tech entrepreneur with more than 20 years’ experience building technology businesses from the ground up, I have a first-hand appreciation of the challenges and barriers entrepreneurs face when working to turn their ideas into profitable businesses. I am looking forward to working closely with HM Treasury and stakeholders in Wales to maximise the potential for FinTech and help determine the most effective strategies to allow the UK as a whole to fulfil the promise of FinTech, post Brexit.”
Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, said: “Congratulations to Richard Theo for being appointed the UK Government’s Fintech Envoy for Wales. This is an exciting and emerging technology in which Wales is now an established UK leader, with companies ranging from giants like Admiral and GoCompare to a burgeoning host of start-ups.
“Financial services and FinTech are a dynamo that will create many more high-pay, high-skills jobs in Wales. I look forward to receiving Richard’s advice on steering this sector to even greater success.”
Richard Theo founded ActiveQuote in 2009 and saw it quickly develop into one of the UK’s fastest-growing technology firms and a leader in health and protection insurances. In 2016, ActiveQuote became the only company in Wales to rank in the annual Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 league table, listed at No 84.