finnCap at 10: What a difference a decade makes

Apr 20, 2018 / Blog

The actor Spencer Tracy once famously mused, “I don't want to go to heaven; I want to go to Claridge's.”

Those that pursue perfection go and find the nirvana they want, not the one they’re expected to have.

With that in mind it felt extra fitting that Claridge’s played host to finnCap as we celebrated our 10th anniversary this week. It is that same ethos – of challenging what’s accepted – that helped bring us to where we are today, and it was from within that context that we looked ahead a further 10 years.

First and foremost, our heartfelt thanks to everyone that could join our celebration with lunch and keynote speeches at the heavenly hotel, and also to those unable to attend. Without the constant support of our partners, clients, colleagues, associates and above all, our friends, we would not be sitting in our current position, a decade on, as one of the largest advisors on the London Stock Exchange, the leading broker on AIM, and more recently Broker of the Year 2018.

Unabated ambitions

Like our clients and compatriots, our ambition does not stop. It was our ability to ask the right questions of ourselves as a new force of The City, and to adapt to the answers we found, that led us here. It is that same ability that drives us forward now in an ever-changing business world. 

A decade ago we looked at London’s Square Mile and we asked what kind of broker and financial advisor we wanted to be. We challenged the culture of what financial services could be to its customers and demonstrated an agility, a quality of care and an understanding about our clients’ needs that went far beyond the norm.

A word from our CEO

“In August 2007, 28 people in JM Finn sat down at the cheque signing ceremony that was to mark the birth of finnCap,” said CEO Sam Smith. “We all had a collective vision – to do something different in the small cap broking world and offer an unsurpassed customer service. I wanted it to be about not just making money, but how you could grow with a client and put them first.

“Integrity and trust were key; we really cared about our clients no matter their size. Meanwhile, everyone’s view was important at finnCap. It remains a place where people actually want to come to work every day and try to create something different.

“Our clients and colleagues believed in what we were trying to do and I want to say a massive thank you to them and all the team for making finnCap what it is today, for wanting to do things differently.”

Sam Smith speaks to attendees
Lunch at Claridge's
Futurist and keynote speaker Mark Stevenson

Transformative times

A decade on, the goal posts have undeniably moved – indeed the net is far wider – but our raison d’etre remains. We live now in transformative times: the onset of blockchain technology looks set to create frictionless finance, 3D printing will revolutionise the production of electronic components, especially at the nano scale, and large-scale automation has both positive and negative implications for employment worldwide, to highlight just a few of the monoliths that loom on the horizon.

finnCap is once again poised to be at the forefront of culture changes that don’t just create better growth for our customers, but that demonstrate an innate awareness and appreciation for the growing, changing commercial and physical worlds around us.

Our Ambition Nation initiative for one is helping to grow innovative companies with amazing ideas nationwide, by opening up a dialogue and presenting them with transformative funding options they may never have otherwise known about. And through our partnership with Stepping into Business we’re looking at putting entrepreneurship into schools and helping to create and grow the change makers of tomorrow.

Unashamed optimism

This is all just a snapshot of how we’re moving forward and embracing the principles of ‘successful optimists’ as laid out by our keynote speaker Mark Stevenson.

Futurist, optimist and author Mark Stevenson’s speech to our guests laid out the basic principles of thinking differently and inspiring innovation. You can watch a video of Mark outlining these principles here, at last year’s Meaning 2017 conference.  

Underpinning these principles for innovation was that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’ (a famous quote from Peter Drucker, the Austrian-born businessman that laid many foundations of modern commercial philosophies). In the context of culture change, Mark helped to ask those critical questions about staying unashamedly optimistic, detailing where future priorities lie and what kind of commercial world we want to inhabit in 10 years’ time, given the changes we’ve witnessed in the last 10.

As Mark pointed out, and indeed as we have extensively discussed at our recent meetings of Ambition Nation, the key to great innovation is not putting someone in a colourful room and ordering them to innovate, rather it is changing the culture to ask oneself the right questions. Your internal culture must adapt to inform and drive change; in so doing you make the culture that attracts more creative individuals to your door that thrive in such conditions.

It is this kind of radical thinking that means we continue to grow as a broker and forward thinking financial advisor, that supports innovation within our own practices and encourages the growth of companies working at the cutting edge of their industries.

We are a company that is unashamedly optimistic about the future; our driver is our clients’ ambitions. Principally, the next 10 years will see us embrace and grow a dynamic, innovative client base – both public and private – that not only share our bigger vision of a brighter tomorrow, but are shaping it. It begins now.

Watch our short film, Helping Ambitious Companies Grow.

We have a limited number of Mark Stevenson’s book, We Do Things Differently, to give away. Please click here to email for your copy on a first-come-first-served basis.