This week’s Industry Insight’s event was presented by Jean-Michel Deligny, the managing director of Silverpeak. The event was organised by the ICMA Centre in partnership with the University of Reading Finance Society. During the talk, Mr. Deligny covered the economic contributions of Silverpeak to the industry, the tech environment the firm operates in and the future trends in the financial services industry.
Jean-Michel Deligny has had a ground-breaking career in the venture capital industry, founder of Go4Ventures; a platform to research and invest in various tech start-ups, as well as, the managing director of Silverpeak; leading advisors in executing complex transactions related to mergers and acquisitions and capital raising.
Mr. Deligny started the talk covering what Silverpeak does and how it helps its clients to execute on the best deals, which includes advising on various ways to raise financing, strategic implementations and ultimately exit strategies. In order to have a valuable impact, it is vital for Silverpeak to understand the businesses’ operations and engage with the firms’ employees to effectively implement technology strategies to achieve the most optimal results.
The second valuable insight related to how the advancements in technology have been causing disruptions, covering today’s most popular trends in technology. The trends were illustrated with numerical figures; showing a consistent growth in size of the tech sector – which approximated to be €10.6 billion in 2018 with over 281 deals executed. The funding for the deals primarily occurs through equity financing which involves raising capital through the sale of shares in return for an ownership stake in a company. Growing popularity in Fintech and Artificial Intelligence have also been influencing on the ways the industries operate; providing more efficiency to various operations causing disruptions by consistent need to stay with up to date technology.
Ultimately, future trends in the financial services industry were presented, which covered the possibilities of the industry experiencing a ‘bubble’ trend and a growing popularity of new sectors due to technological advancements providing potential opportunities for venture capitalists. Bubbles are when markets are growing without real economic fundamentals; increasing the number of companies going public (raising finances). Another future trend to follow is the raise of new sectors as technological innovations progress, such as cybersecurity and self-driving cars. Having spent ten months working for a cybersecurity company, there is a high potential for these new services expanding as technology grows.
During the Q&A session, the speaker interacted with various groups in the audience and persuaded both gender groups to ask questions; prior to briefly mentioning the growing demand for women in technology and investment banking. The speaker provided useful recommendations to students, such as the importance of being specific when writing a cover letter, clearly knowing why you want the role and build a career in a particular sector.
The ICMA Centre and the UoR Finance Society thank Mr. Deligny for attending the University of Reading to deliver an insightful talk!