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The Fintech Influencers - Meet the host!

Author: Gemma Young

Published date: 2019/01

Screenshot 2019 01 11 At 15

With a week to go until will hold the first in a series of FinTech Influencer events for 2019, we look at the panelists who will discuss the overall FinTech landscape for the forthcoming year and will examine the trends, opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

Today we are featuring Mike O'Hara, Partner at The Realization Group, who will be hosting the evening and leading the conversation for the panel...

What can you tell us about your business?

We are a marketing and growth agency specialising in the financial markets sector. We help our clients - mostly technology solution and service providers selling into investment firms, trading firms, banks, brokers and venues – to put the right strategies in place that will enable their businesses to grow. We build and deliver campaigns that include both online/digital programs and offline/face-to-face activities.

What interested you in this space?

I started my career down on the LIFFE floor as a junior options trader for UBS, where I attempted to develop a technical trading system that would deliver buy and sell signals on an automated basis, using a range of different indicators. This was back in the mid-late 80’s, so there wasn’t much of that stuff around at the time.

Unfortunately, my "robo-trading' prototype was never particularly successful as a money-making machine – it generally lost more money than it made. The other traders in the Gilt options pit gave me the nickname “Metal Mickey” and used to rub their hands together in glee whenever I started trading as they seemed to instinctively know they’d end up profiting from my experiments!

Before too long, I realised I was much more interested in trading technology than in trading itself, so left UBS to join Reuters (as it was then) to help sell and support their specialist trading products. 

That was over 30 years ago and today I’m still as fascinated in the relationship between technology and financial markets as I was back then. I'm constantly looking at challenges facing the industry and how our clients' technology-based solutions can help address those challenges.

What are your plans for 2019 beyond?

We are currently launching a new joint venture, bringing together the extensive financial markets experience and subject matter expertise of The Realization Group, with the digital inbound and outbound marketing and sales enablement skills, experience and proven processes of multiple award-winning digital growth agency Inbound FinTech. We’re all very excited about the integrated set of services that we can now deliver - which are unique in this industry - enabling our clients to really turbocharge their growth. Keep your eyes peeled for the launch announcement, which is imminent!


The FinTech Influencers is a series of FinTech events throughout the year put together by Harrington Starr and The Realization Group - if you would like to find out more about these events, contact

Our next event will be on the 5th February and our panel of speakers will be;

  • Mike O’Hara, Partner, The Realization Group
  • David Williams, Partner, Financial Services Technology Advisory at EY
  • Lee Tindell, CTO Business Technology at Man Group
  • Matt Cockayne, Regional VP for Envestnet Yodlee
  • George Morris, Partner – Simmons & Simmons

The evening will be hosted by Simmons and Simmons who are our platinum sponsors of the event and will also kindly provide coimplimentary drinks and canapes throughout the evening.