Kocianski named CEO
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New FinTech Wales CEO Sarah Kocianski Unveils Vision to Propel Welsh Fintech Globally

Welsh fintech is poised for a new chapter as FinTech Wales announces Sarah Kocianski as its new CEO. The fintech and insurtech strategist has revealed plans to “do even more” to drive Welsh fintech to international prominence. 

Kocianski will officially join FinTech Wales as CEO from 1 March – St David’s Day – taking the reins from outgoing CEO Sarah Williams-Gardener. FinTech Wales, announced the resignation of Williams-Gardener in November 2023 as well as her transition to the not-for-profit organisation’s chair.

With over a decade of experience in fintech and insurtech strategy, Kocianski has worked with global organisations, startups, and scale-ups across various sectors of the financial industry, including major banks, insurers, healthtech companies and retailers.

Previously, she led strategic insights at Founders Factory, supporting partners including Aviva in fintech investment strategies. Additionally, as the former head of competitor strategy at 11:FS, she contributed to benchmarking, research, and consultancy services for banks, insurers, governments, regulators, and startups worldwide.

Sarah Kocianski
Sarah Kocianski, CEO, FinTech Wales

She also also collaborates with fintech groups like Qorus and sits on the WVC:E committee, championing equality in investments for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Kocianski revealed to The Fintech Times her excitement at building “on the excellent foundations laid by my predecessor” and her confidence at doing “even more to make Wales an influential fintech hub on a global level”.

“My focus will be on ensuring the growth and sustainability of our organisation and I can’t wait to show the industry what that looks like,” she said. “Wales punches well above its weight when it comes to contributing to UK fintech, and one reason FinTech Wales exists is to ensure the global fintech industry understands and recognises that.

“Our role is to ensure our members can reach their full potential, which includes continuing the ascent of Wales as a renowned fintech hub that attracts local, national and international attention, investment and recognition.”

New chair
Sarah Williams-Gardener, chair, FinTech Wales
Sarah Williams-Gardener, chair, FinTech Wales

As chair, Williams-Gardner will continue to help further develop FinTech Wales’ strategic direction, as well as ensure a continued robust governance structure to maintain transparency and inclusivity

In conversation with The Fintech Times, she reflected on her accomplishments: “During my leadership at FinTech Wales, we focused on a clear mission that of establishing Wales as a thriving global fintech and financial services hub. We built a community we created a narrative and a conversation and we supported startups to raise and grow.

“We have seen increased interest in investing with investment in welsh fintechs growing last year against a trend of decline. We’ve created a voice for our members and a great foundation off which I know Sarah and the team will build.

“This is an exciting time against back drop of the financial crisis with the pandemic in our rear view we are seeing great fintech entrepreneurs building solutions to democratise finance for all, opening up savings products, creating greater visibility of finance on the environment as well as helping to manage debt all being built in our valleys, creating great purposeful jobs.”

Welsh fintech

Since its launch in April 2019, FinTech Wales has provided assistance and support to its network of members, which includes Sonovate, Wealthify, Deloitte, among others. Additionally, the organisation amplifies its collective voice to engage with politicians, governments, and influencers in the financial services sector.

FinTech Wales’ partners also include Admiral, Principality Building Society, confused.com, Go.Compare, Hodge Bank, Monmouthshire Building Society and PwC.

According to the FinTech Wales annual report 2022/2023, fintech employment in Wales exceeds 16,000, with investment in Welsh fintechs experiencing a 300 per cent increase since 2022.


  • Claire is an experienced editor and writer with 25 years of experience in the publishing industry. As a tech journalist, Claire has covered every subject possible over the years, from the launch of broadband and next generation mobile networks to the arrival of the metaverse and Web3.

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