Nasir Zubairi (LHoFT) :
CEO and AC&DC fan - as confirmed by his ringtone during our interview - Nasir ZUBAIRI is the CEO of the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT). It is soon to open its doors to companies and start-ups looking at synergising and developing digital answers to emergent financial needs.
Can you introduce yourself?
I come from Essex in the UK. I played chess a lot when young and perhaps that has helped develop my strategic skills. Following my BSC from the London School of Economics, the
world of finance in London lured me in. After two decades in the sector I did my MBA and for the past 8 years I have dedicated myself to setting up businesses - all of which are doing
fantastically well, I am glad to say. I like being an agent of change.
« I believe in hammering away at a consistent message until it is clearly understood. »
What can you tell us about LHoFT's mission statement?
We began work last December and we have engaged with the community, working with them to clarify our objectives. We have based our activity on three pillars. The first: driving solutions by identifying problem areas and building collaborations to solve group and vertical industry obstacles. Secondly; Building ecosystems we bring all stakeholders together, from start-ups, government's, financial organi-sations, support services, universities and accelerators to create national and international networks. I am a firm believer in collaboration and Luxembourg has so much potential.
Thirdly, we focus on knowledge, making sure that people and our community are provided with relevant information, covering different fields at varied levels.
For cohesive progress, we need to provide knowledge and awareness so that people can embrace innovation in the right way. I believe in hammering away at a consistent message until it is clearly understood.
What timescales are you working on?
Firstly, by the end of March, we will set up shop - on a small scale - in the House of Entrepre-neurship. Our facility will host up to ten start-ups in dedicated offices and provide Hot-desks. Next year, we will relocate our operations to rue Glesener in a 1500m² Flagship Innovation Center. So far, we have seen significant interest from financial companies. LHoFT will have 13 leading organisations contributing to our budget and we are legally established as a foundation. We also receive financial support from the Luxembourg government and the Chamber of Commerce.
My hope for the future is that we will transcend the concept of FinTech. Technology has always been part of financial activity. What matters is that people identify problems and collaborate to find solutions. In doing so, the financial world will evolve in a better way. The idea is to bridge the gap between client expectations and what companies deliver. Some players will disappear, others will emerge.