SMEs and Brexit - An interview with Paolo Giabardo

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Paolo, you joined Ebury in 2015. What attracted you to the company?

Ebury is a fast growing fintech success story, receiving one the five biggest fintech investments in Europe in 2015 - who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? The dynamic working environment and the challenges of market disruption were instant draws for me and my background in capital markets meant that Ebury was the the next logical step.

Having attracted $83 million investment in 2015 the company is set for further record growth and it’s an exciting time to be working for a key player in London’s fintech scene. Ebury’s unique combination of payments, currency and lending is already having a huge impact on the trading ability of businesses across Europe and we have the right foundations to build on this success.


Ebury was named Fintech Payments winner at the European Fintech Awards this year. What helped you stand out from the rest and achieve the recognition?

All of our solutions are designed to solve a real business need. That’s what’s attracted 12,000 clients and the string of awards we’ve been proud to win.

Ebury makes a huge investment in technology, from our Malaga tech hub to the cutting edge tech partnerships we’ve forged. This dedication to the tech within fintech enables us to stay streets ahead of the competition and was brilliantly represented by our CTO Toby Young at the EU Fintech Awards.


Being the Country Manager for the UK, how do you expect Brexit would affect Ebury’s operations? What is on your agenda right now?

Our main focus is supporting our clients through these uncertain times. Problems faced by European businesses in light of the Brexit result are most pronounced in the UK.

Ebury itself is as stable as ever, with our strong liquidity and solid financial relationships seeing us open for business day and night for 72 hours over the EU referendum, providing trading, payments and client service when some competitors struggled to for liquidity. We’re in a position to serve the needs of all European businesses.


Ebury is dedicated to helping businesses transcend borders and you already have offices in the UK, Poland, Spain and the Netherlands. Are you planning on expanding further?

Yes, Ebury has ambitious expansion plans. We already have specialist market teams operating from our current offices and, as those teams mature and grow, we plan to set up new offices to fuel further growth.

Ebury operates a Northern hub based in Amsterdam, which, as well as housing our Dutch team, is temporarily home to Swiss, German and French teams. The same structure works for Southern Europe where Madrid is the hub for our Spanish, Portuguese and Italian teams. We’re committed to building a local presence in country and we are going to open offices in Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland over the coming months.


You are speaking at the Brexit & Global Expansion Summit this October. What are you going to talk about?

I’m going to address the concerns brought to us by our SME clients. The initial shock of the Brexit outcome has resulted in low business confidence and we see many businesses without a contingency plan in place.

In the current environment, many businesses are forced to delay projects and plans, which were on hold in the build up to the referendum, are now off the table indefinitely. The UK Government needs to give the business community clear insight into what the Brexit result means for their operations and move quickly so our clients are not left in limbo.

The Brexit vote has led to one of the most volatile, uncertain periods of currency trading in recent memory. I’ll look to explore the initial winners and losers from this situation and how businesses have been mitigating this risk.


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