Two former UBS managing directors have quit their day jobs and set themselves up in fintech hub Level39 to uncover potential investments.
Juan Luis Bellon, a managing director focused on investment banking deals from family offices and billionaire wealth management clients at UBS, left in July. He’s just teamed up with Juan Rodriguez Andrade, the former head of equity-linked transactions at the bank who left in September last year as part of cuts to its EMEA equity capital markets team, to reinvent themselves as fintech investors.
The two men have started Kontxt.xyz, which is looking at early stage investments in fintech start-ups of up to $200k. They are based in Level39 “looking at companies full-time” as angel investors in seed and pre-seed funding rounds, says Bellon. Level39 was launched in 2013 and has grown into a 80,000 square foot accelerator space for fintech firms on the 39th, 24th and 42nd floors of One Canada Square in Canary Wharf.
“I believe B2B (SaaS [software-as-a-service, IaaS [infrastructure as a service]) will be a core segment for fintech in the mid term and incumbent knowledge will be a key differentiator for successful early stage investors,” said Bellon in an emailed response.
They’ve also teamed up with Carlos Bellon, an assistant professor at Universidad Pontificia Comillas who also worked for J.P. Morgan in London and Rafael Chao, an investment director at real estate investment firm Elandis. Both are based in Madrid.
Senior bankers are increasingly finding their services in demand among fintech firms attempting to pitch their wares to institutional financial services companies. The business to business firms, as opposed to the fintech firms that target consumers, often struggle to get in front of the right people in banks. Those with years of experience in the industry, and the right contacts, are cottoning on to this.
Ben Leonard, the co-head of the financial institutions group at HSBC in London, launched a firm called Meta in August, which aims to bring banks and fintech start-ups together.
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