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META Finance looking to help financial services firms adapt to rapid industry evolution


META has launched META Finance, a strategic advice and solutions provider to financial institutions and software providers. META Finance coaches financial institutions in a rapidly evolving world driven by increasing consumer control and expectations.

The launch follows pilot projects, comprising strategic advice and coaching services, with Aegon UK, Arachnys, Brooks Macdonald and Redington.
The impact of years of fintech development on new customer experiences, combined with increasing regulation, makes accelerating change in financial services inevitable. 2018 is an important year for this and developments include Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), further government announcements on the Pensions Dashboard and work to move GOV.UK Verify into the private sector. To thrive in this evolving market, financial services firms require ecosystems, not just their own brands and propositions.
META Finance believes these developments represent an opportunity to help the industry become more customer-centric. By empowering their clients to use personal data and technology, META Finance helps them to improve their customer experiences whilst updating their operational infrastructure. Services include strategic planning as well as supporting on innovation and culture across three core areas of expertise: using personal data for growth, establishing digital innovation labs and running proofs of concept. This is delivered through coaching, community forums and technology, such as dashboards and diagnostic tools.
The leadership team at META Finance consists of Ben Leonard, who led the UK Financial Services Team at HSBC, Shaul David, lately fintech lead at the UK Department of International Trade and Paul Carse, who was head of IT at the Racing Post. Vaughan Jenkins, a former Partner in management consultancy firms and who currently sits on the UK FinCap Advisory Board, is working with the team in an Associate role. The META Finance team has been presenting at industry events and in December 2018 held a wealth community roundtable event with Industry leaders, fintechs and the regulator to discuss the role of data as a force for change.
Michelle Cracknell, Chief Executive at The Pensions Advisory Service, says: “Helping people manage their money is a win-win-win for Government, industry and individuals and it is a growing need. The ability to think of effective and efficient solutions needs breadth of thinking combining man and machine to create the emotional drive with the advantages that technology can offer through collection and management of data.”
Adrian Grace, CEO of Aegon UK, says: “We asked Ben to present at our Strategy day as he brought to the table a great combination of in-depth industry experience, familiarity with our own business and a strong grasp of relevant technology developments. The ‘Data, Disruption & Innovation’ session was very well received by executives and non-executives alike. We will be looking to work with META Finance again. It prompted us to accelerate how we embed technology and data into our strategy given developments such as PSD2 and GDPR will be game-changing for our industry.”
Ben Leonard, Founder & CEO of META says: “The META Finance vision for financial services puts the customer and their data at the heart of every product and service. Our blend of advisory, technology and coaching, which includes connecting financial services firms with fintech innovators and working with a series of market leading partners, differentiates META Finance from the mainstream consulting market and is central to our proposition to help firms help themselves.”

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