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FinTech Wales Embarks on a New Era: Search for New Leadership as Sarah Williams-Gardener Assumes Chair Role

In a significant development for the Welsh fintech sector, FinTech Wales is on the lookout for a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) following the announcement that Sarah Williams-Gardener, who has been at the helm as CEO for three years, is set to transition to the role of chair of the member association. This change will take effect from January 2024, with Williams-Gardener succeeding Louise O’Shea, the former CEO of Confused, who has been chair since March 2020.

Sarah Williams-Gardener is set to become chair of FinTech Wales (Image: LinkedIn)
Sarah Williams-Gardener is set to become chair of FinTech Wales (Image: LinkedIn)

Williams-Gardener’s tenure as CEO has been marked by notable achievements, including driving £20 million of investment into Welsh fintech companies and a substantial 150% increase in the organization’s membership. Her new role as chair will focus on developing the strategic direction and robust governance structure of FinTech Wales, with the overarching goal of attracting more start-ups to establish and expand their operations in Wales.

Williams-Gardener brings a wealth of experience to her new position, being a founding member of the UK digital challenger Starling Bank and having spent a significant portion of her career at IBM, where she most recently served as its UK government affairs director. Her expertise is expected to be instrumental in guiding FinTech Wales through its next phase of growth and development.

As Williams-Gardener prepares for her new responsibilities, FinTech Wales has initiated the process to find a new CEO. The new CEO will be responsible for executing the final year of the organization’s four-year strategy, which emphasizes skills and talent, ecosystem and community development, funding and investment, and promoting Wales as an ideal location for fintech and financial organizations.

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Commenting on this transition, Williams-Gardener expressed excitement about this new chapter in FinTech Wales’ journey. The organization is now seeking a leader who can collaborate with the board, advisory panel, and team to continue the success and growth of the fintech ecosystem in Wales, the UK, and beyond​.

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