Barclays launches venture capital growth unit
Barclays UK has established a new unit that will focus on developing new business lines, promoting innovation and driving returns within Barclays UK.
Barclays UK Ventures (BUKV) will be led by Ben Davey, formerly Barclays’ Group head of strategy, who will also join Barclays UK’s executive committee.
The new team will have the mandate and space to find and develop opportunities both within and outside Barclays that have the capacity to grow Barclays UK.
Those opportunities will then be captured through a combination of organic build-out, commercial partnerships and venture investments.
Davey and his team will work closely with the rest of Barclays UK, leveraging the core strengths of the business, whilst having a mandate to work semi-autonomously and pursue innovative and disruptive themes.
Barclays UK Ventures will leverage the latest technology and digital innovations through a rapid test-and-learn platform that will facilitate the development of new customer propositions and services that can be delivered quickly to the market.
It will aim to accelerate the growth of new business lines within the bank with dedicated management support to help them grow more quickly, by working independently of traditional business units.
There will also be scope for developing new customer propositions around major areas of disruptive technology. This will focus on closely aligning new business propositions with people’s major life choices.
In both cases, Barclays UK Ventures will work closely with third parties, whether through partnerships or by taking equity stakes in FinTech and other non-financial technology companies.
Ashok Vaswani, Barclays UK CEO, said: “We live in a very exciting time for our industry where the deployment of new technology is making new business models and partnerships possible for the first time.
“Barclays has long been at the forefront of technology in banking that adds value and convenience for customers and Barclays UK Ventures will take this work to the next level combining our main strengths of agility and scale.
“We are a growth business and Ben’s appointment will put real weight behind this new unit to provide new lines of revenue growth in addition to the organic growth of our core business.”
Ben Davey, CEO of Barclays UK Ventures, said: “Barclays has a history of generating great innovative business ideas and at BUKV we will focus on incubating those ideas and accelerating them into meaningful new business lines.
“We intend to drive this initiative by building a strong team of technologists, developers and entrepreneurs within BUKV, mandated to operate independently of, but in partnership with, our core operations.
“Our ability to support this development through targeted commercial partnerships and equity stakes in strategic technology partners will also help ensure we deliver best in class solutions to our customers, whilst helping our partners develop and grow.
“The way we will work as a team will look and feel very much like a start-up or scale-up operation, so that we can move at pace in order to realise and deliver long term value for Barclays customers and shareholders.”