France Accelerates ‘Fi-Tech’


In conjunction with its financial industry, the French government has introduced its Finance Innovation Cluster to help accelerate the growth of the nation’s small and medium financial-technology firms.

The cluster, which is funded by the government and member companies, helps the companies that it has certified to raise money, find clients and improve their internal processes, according to Joelle Durieux, a managing director at FIC and who spoke during a roadshow in Manhattan.

“We’re a small team of approximately a dozen people, but we can mobilize more than 150 experts from banks, insurance companies, accountancies, and consultancies,” he said.

Roger Spitz, BNP Paribas

Roger Spitz, BNP Paribas

The organization divides its fi-tech, or fintech, coverage along six major sectors that includes banking, insurance, asset management, real estate, accounting and social solidarity.

The introduction of FIC is right in line with the strong fi-tech ecosystem that exists in France, according to fellow speaker Roger Spitz, managing director, head of technology & digital corporate finance EMEA at BNP Paribas.

“Europe is a strong generator of new business,” he said “We are very impressed in the way many of the countries continue to invest in it, France, as an example remains string in its more traditional sectors like payment, lending, and crowd-sourcing.”

Investors funneled approximately $19 billion into the fi-tech industry globally in 2015 with the US investing $12 billion, EMEA investing $4 billion, and APAC investing $3 billion, according to research from the analyst firm EY.

“We expect another $150 billion to be invested in financial technology over the next five years,” he added.

Spitz attributes the growth for France’s fi-tech industry to the investments the nation has already made in research, innovation, and its engineering schools.

“It’s a bit of a cliche that gets over used, but I think it really makes a difference,” he noted.

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