TLA FinTech Mission Statement

We exist to cultivate a sustainable Fintech ecosystem across the UK that actively supports scale-up and commercial success.

TLA FinTech will achieve this by:

  • Building partnerships and facilitating valuable connections across the entire Fintech ecosystem

  • Harnessing the diversity and strength of our network to capture shared opportunities and address industry-wide challenges

  • Providing a platform for those pushing the boundaries of our industry to share ideas and drive forward its development

in Group



Simon Cole
Simon has been connecting brands with like-minded agencies in the UK, USA and Europe for over 20 years. He has broad experience with digital and innovation agencies on multiple continents and he is a strong proponent of “Design Thinking” methodologies. He has worked with start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, helping them with digital transformation from an insight and human centred approach. Helping them remain focused on engagement and customer or user experiences has led to many disruptive and class leading product or service launches. Simon has successfully worked with brands across many verticals, B2C with McDonalds, Chick-Fil-A, LVMH, SC Johnson, Kimberly Clark and Pepsico. B2B with IBM, GE, IATA, Medtronic and Bristol Myers Squib. This broad experience has given Simon great insight into the needs and goals of users / consumers across verticals and is often the case shared behaviours. Simon moved back to the UK in 2017 having spent the previous 20 years in the USA and resides south of London with his wife and two teenage children. Follow on Twitter
Valentina Kristensen
Valentina is the Director of Growth & Communications at OakNorth, working with its co-founders, Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman, since June 2015. Valentina is a passionate advocate for improving the female talent pipeline and closing the gender pay gap in financial services, sitting on the Steering Committee for FinTECHTalents, and being ElevatHer’s first ambassador for the UK. In 2018, Valentina participated in the Money 20/20 Europe Payments Race where she travelled from Istanbul to Amsterdam using only wearable payments technology – no cash or cards. In 2019, she participated in the round the world race where she only used cash, travelling across 13 countries in 12 days. Follow on Twitter
Philippa Martinelli
Philippa is an Independent Advisor, working with international governments, regulators and businesses in the Financial Services and Technology space. She engages globally to reduce market access, policy and regulatory barriers for businesses and to promote collaboration and competition. As an investor and business advisor, Philippa supports companies with strategic development, building partnerships and scaling internationally. She leads on initiatives including FinTech Bridges for the UK Government and consults on implementing approaches to innovation. Philippa began her career with Merrill Lynch in Equities and Structured Finance. Since then her work has spanned financial services, entrepreneurship, international business development, policy, and corporate innovation in both the Europe and Asia Pacific. Connect on LinkedIn
Suren Siva
Suren is a Director at Credit Suisse. His roles have focused on working with C-level management in planning and executing complex cross-asset business and technology front-to-back change initiatives to improve the growth, performance and control of their businesses. Experience spans; Strategy & Planning, Operating Model Design, Business Management, Programme Management, Regulatory Compliance and Post-Merger Integration for Investment Banks across London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong. Connect on LinkedIn
Jeff Tijssen
Jeff is the Global Head of Consulting at 11:FS, where he leads an incredibly talented team that builds digital ventures for financial institutions around the world. Prior to joining 11:FS Jeff led digital and innovation teams at RBS and Lloyds, and worked with a variety of financial institutions in Europe, the US, Asia and the Middle East to build and launch new products and services. Jeff sits on a number of Boards and Committees, and is a founding member of TLA Fintech and TLA China. Follow on Twitter
Rita Martins
Rita Martins is the FinTech Partnerships Lead, for Finance, Risk & Compliance at HSBC. Building and managing relationships with high-potential startups and driving collaboration between FinTechs and traditional financial services. Rita worked previously at Ernst and Young and Accenture, advising C-Suite on the applicability of RPA and AI tools in finance and driving large scale transformation projects, gaining deep insight on best practices across the industry. A recognised FinTech expert, Rita was recognised in the TOP 30 Women in FinTech by Rework and Women in FinTech Powerlist 2020 by Innovate Finance. She is a regular speaker at Financial Industry events panels and a judge at FinTech innovation awards. Rita actively partners with a number of mentoring programmes and communities to share her knowledge and help realise transformational ideas to drive change. She is currently mentoring at Startupbootcamp sustainability. Follow on Twitter. Connect on LinkedIn