Ernst & Young (EY) launches South West Innovation Hub as part of regional fintech investment.
The professional services company EY confirmed its plans for a Business Research Innovation Technology and Engineering (BRiTE) hub in Bristol, UK.
Above all, the hub’s focus will align with financial services design, data analytics and engineering and will produce new fintech capabilities for businesses.
Development is expected to connect the hub with South West England’s fintech community, including the University of Bristol and events company Fintech West. This will ensure both national and local delivery of solutions developed by the hub.
EY directors Dan Harris, Oana Beattie and Liam Snelling are leading the hub’s operations.
Harris is the UK director of EY Seren, EY’s research and design consultancy; having joined the firm in August last year. Prior to this, he was Accenture‘s UK financial services lead and principal director at Fjord.
Likewise, Beattie is a data and analytics director at EY. Her two-decade career spans Allianz Insurance and Nationwide leading data science operations within the UK insurance and banking sectors.
Snelling is a digital engineering and emerging tech director at EY. His 20-year career centres around cost and carbon-efficient digital transformation.
The home of science, media and innovation
Anita Kimber, partner and fintech strategy leader at EY, says the hub will bring “new, innovative thinking and experience to the region.”
She confirms its focus on “user-centred design that helps to tackle real-life business problems.”
“We have a strong leadership team in Harris, Beattie and Snelling, and I look forward to welcoming additional team members,” Kimber continues.
Adding to this, Andy Blackmore, EY head of financial services in the South West and Wales, says “Bristol has built a name for itself as the UK’s ‘home of science, media and innovation’.”
The city has both a wealth of locally-grown talent and the power to attract new skilled workers to the region. As a result, the South West is increasingly identifying with the UK’s blossoming fintech sector and has not failed to attract major new development over the past year.
“This new hub will bring together actuarial and finance SMEs to develop and innovate within financial services data analytics, design and engineering,” adds Blackmore.
The launch of the BRiTE Hub is the latest in a series of investments that EY has made in the fintech sector in response to growing market demand.
It comes less than a month after the launch of EY’s first fintech lab in London. The lab aims to become a ‘dynamic workspace’, tailored toward experimentation and rapid test-and-learn prototyping. A similar initiative is due to arrive in Edinburgh in 2023.
Tom Ellson, director for innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Bristol, says Bristol and the South West region are “widely recognised for its creative and innovative culture.”
“This has led to high profile international investment in a number of sectors from cybersecurity and technology through to financial services and engineering,” Ellson continues. “The BRiTE Hub’s arrival in Bristol will form part of a fast-moving ecosystem.”