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FinTech Awards Wales – Exclusive Interview: Cardiff Capital Region

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Matt Hyde, Director of FinTech Awards Wales Meets:

Suzanne Chesterton,

Head of Marketing and Communications at Cardiff Capital Region

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Tell us about your main Focus at Cardiff Capital Region

My main focus is on Marketing and Communications. In essence that involves making sure we continuously tell the story of the impact we are striving to create through our investments and intervention activity and also ensuring we take every opportunity to shine a spotlight on – and celebrate – some of the hugely exciting things that are happening in our priority sectors, in our businesses and in our communities day in day out across the region.

What impact do you feel FinTech Awards Wales are making in the FinTech sector in Wales?

Over the last two years, Fintech Wales has done a pretty incredible job of putting our part of the world on the fintech map – being ‘loud and proud’ of the startups, scaleups and established businesses who are making ‘us’ an increasingly important player in the fintech industry.

The growing prestige and popularity of FinTech Awards Wales reflects that fast forward evolution of the past few years – showcasing the game changing ingenuity and world-class ambition being evidenced every day by a wide range of businesses, and spotlighting Wales as a place that’s open to business, open to ideas and open to award-winning high calibre performers in one of the world’s most valuable sectors.

Why have you chosen to support the Awards and in particular the FinTech Company of the Year Award?

Fintech is one of the CCR priority sectors – and we’re proud to have been a key supporter of an industry that’s strongly anchored in our region, creating high-value jobs closer to home, helping us leverage inward investment and proving that we can grow the GVA of Southeast Wales. Those are all core aims of the Cardiff Capital Region – and we’re delighted to reflect that synergy by supporting the Awards and in particular celebrating the FinTech Company of the Year Award.

On a wider level, CCR is also about encouraging people and businesses of all types and sectors to be the best they can be – applauding effort, rewarding excellence and recognising the individuals and businesses who are building sustainable success.

How do you feel the Welsh economy has fared post Covid and what predictions do you have for the next 12 months?

The Welsh economy is highly diverse, especially in our region that includes towns, cities, the valleys and rural communities. So, it’s perhaps little surprise that some sectors are booming, some are doing ‘ok’, and a few market segments are in danger of recession. That’s common across the world right now as we move into a fourth industrial age being further disrupted by inflation, supply chain realignments and threats to both food and energy security.

It’s a time of great uncertainty – and huge opportunity – so although we can’t predict the future, we can help create it: by strengthening our infrastructure, supporting our businesses, developing our skills base and continuing our work to create inclusive prosperity built on world class ambitions and economic resilience.

What is Cardiff Capital Region doing today to support FinTech in the future?

The short answer is that we’re doing everything we can. We have invested £1.6 million in an initial five-year partnership with FinTech Wales – and the next few years will see the two organisations working closely together to deliver on CCR’s ambition to help establish Wales as a leading FinTech sector in the UK.

Developing competitive, innovation-led ecosystems in priority clusters is a vital part of our overall strategy – and FinTech Wales is absolutely the right partner to help us deliver on this ambition. We’re impressed by the early milestones already achieved and hugely excited by the immense potential that’s ahead of us.

Finally, what’s the best advice you were given and what advice would you give?

Do what you love and love what you do. I was fortunate to experience that during my time in senior roles with Barclays Bank and Allianz Insurance in London – and now here ‘back home’ in Cardiff Capital Region. We’re all at our best when we find something that truly motivates us – and if you can do that working with people who share your passion and sense of purpose, so much the better.