Edinburgh recruiter on the acquisition trail to break fintech market

An Edinburgh recruiter is embarking on its own talent search by seeking acquisition opportunities to help it capitalise on Scotland’s burgeoning fintech sector.

Core-Asset Consulting founder and managing director Betsy Williamson. Picture: Contributed
Core-Asset Consulting founder and managing director Betsy Williamson. Picture: Contributed

Core-Asset Consulting, which specialises in supplying staff for Scotland’s finance, asset management, accountancy and legal industries, is looking to expand its fintech offering by joining forces with established, boutique technology recruiters.

This comes after it recently emerged that Scotland had seen a 60 per cent surge in the number of fintech businesses in 2019, as the country built on its reputation as a global hub for high-growth fintech firms.

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Existing financial giants have also created major in-house technology teams, including KPMG which has pledged hundreds of jobs at its tech hub in Glasgow.

Core-Asset said its IR35 knowledge makes it appealing to boutique firms. Picture: Contributed

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Core-Asset, which has already established a foothold in fintech recruitment, now has ambitions to make further inroads through acquisitive growth.

Founder and managing director Betsy Williamson said recent changes to contracting law make Core-Asset an appealing option to smaller recruiters, as director Mike Stirton is an expert in the area.

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She said: “There are so many reasons that the timing is right for this – not least because the IR35 changes in tax law for contractors will hit squarely where small, specialist tech recruiters are conducting business.

“IR35 is likely to have a major impact on them and they will be taking some serious financial hits unless they have gone through the large amounts of work need to get into shape for it. I strongly suspect there will be firms out there who’d love the chance to be part of Core-Asset for that reason alone.”

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'Keen to hear from IT or tech boutique firms'

The recruiter last month launched its Core-Asset Engage service to help businesses navigate the change’s of April’s flexible worker legislation upheaval, which will affect freelancers and consultants.

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Williamson added: “We even have a floor available in our building which would be the ideal place for a new team to be based.

“Obviously we are doing our own research of the market, but we’d be extremely keen to hear from any IT or tech boutiques who could see themselves being a part of Core-Asset Consulting.

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“We are seeking people that have a in depth understanding of programmers and coders. We want to bridge those gaps and want an IT/tech team to plug straight into what we do here.”

The business now has a 30-strong team and posted record results in the financial year 2018/19, announcing a turnover of £14.7 million and earnings of £500,000.

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Core-Asset recently unveiled its eighth annual Industry Trends & Salary Guide, which suggested that fintech is likely to be an important growth area for many years.

The recruiter revealed its growth ambitions a month after FinTech Scotland sealed a key partnership with FinTech Alliance, the digital platform uniting the UK and global financial technology sectors.

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The agreement is part of FinTech Alliance’s mission to “bring together the strengths of the UK’s fintech ecosystem on one all-encompassing platform”, as it attempts to further drive expansion in the sector.