The 'King of Mining' and a former Merrill Lynch dealmaker back fintech startup Revolut

LONDON — A raft of City grandees including a former star dealmaker known as the “King of Mining” and a key advisor behind Royal Bank of Scotland’s $US100 billion (£67 billion) takeover of ABN Amro have invested in fintech app Revolut, filings suggest.

Documents filed with Companies House shows that Revolut’s share register includes:

  • Ian Hannam: A former star JPMorgan dealmaker known as the “King of Mining.” He was fined £450,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2014 for disclosing confidential information on one of his clients but went on to set up boutique merchant bank Hannam & Partners;
  • Matthew Greenburgh: Thought to be the ex-Merrill Lynch dealmaker who was a key figure in Royal Bank of Scotland’s disastrous $US100 billion (£67 billion) takeover of ABN Amro. During his career, he advised on deals worth $US400 billion, according to the FT, including RBS’s hostile takeover of Natwest in 1999, RBS’ state bailout, and Lloyds’ emergency takeover of HBOS in the financial crisis. Greenburgh retired from Merrill Lynch in 2010;
  • Matthew Westerman: Thought to be HSBC’s co-head of global banking and a former 15-year veteran of Goldman Sachs. Westerman has also worked at Rothschild and Credit Suisse First Boston.
  • Marc O’Brien: Thought to be Visa’s former UK and Ireland MD. He now works as the chief commercial officer of Taxamo, a so-called “RegTech” (regulation technology) startup.
  • John Ayton MBE: The founder of British jewellery business Links of London. The company was sold in 2006 for a reported £50 million.

Founded in mid-2015, Revolut began as a money transfer card tied to an app. It offered foreign exchange at the mid-market rate, meaning users could get the best rate when paying on their cards around the world. The service proved hugely popular and Revolut has attracted over 500,000 customers. The startup recently begun branching out into broader banking services.

The startup’s two founders worked in investment banking prior to setting up Revolut. CEO Nikolay Storonsky was a currency trader at Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers, while CTO Vlad Yatsenko worked in technology for UBS and Deutsche Bank.

Revolut has raised over £17 million to date, according to Crunchbase, including £1 million raised in an oversubscribed crowdfunding campaign last year. Venture capital investors include well known European funds Index Ventures and Balderton Capital.

Revolut declined to comment on its shareholders and declined to confirm that the names on the register were the people Business Insider suggested they were.

Hannam & Partners declined to comment. However, the full name on Revolut’s shareholder register — Ian Charles Hannam — matches the final notice issued by the FCA in 2014.

Matthew Greenburgh did not respond to a request to comment made over LinkedIn and his personal website. Matthew Westerman did not respond to an emailed request to verify his investment. Marc O’Bien did not respond to a LinkedIn message asking to verify his investment but his profile notes that he is an investor in fintech companies, including in the FX space. John Ayton did not respond to an email asking to verify his investment.

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