Aberdonian boss of US-based fintech mulls opening of Scottish office

The GraniteShares boss said setting up in Scotland  and Edinburgh specifically  is something he is considering. Picture: Ian Rutherford.
The GraniteShares boss said setting up in Scotland and Edinburgh specifically is something he is considering. Picture: Ian Rutherford.
Share this article
0
Have your say

The Scottish founder of a US-based fintech is considering opening an office in Scotland amid plans to expand in Europe.

Will Rhind is the founder and chief executive of exchange-traded fund (ETF) provider GraniteShares, which is headquartered in New York’s Manhattan and whose name is inspired by his Granite City hometown.

He told Scotland on Sunday that he set up the firm – which aims to “bring the excitement back” to investing – in 2016 after getting into the ETF industry “right at the beginning”, working on the first such funds in Europe.

Rhind explained that ETFs are funds listed on a stock exchange that you can buy and sell just like a share.

“It’s very easy to put together in a portfolio and very easy and accessible, it’s very transparent and typically it’s very low cost, so that is why it’s revolutionised the asset-management industry.”

He also said it comes as the growing role of technology means that more broadly, "people are being empowered to take control of their own investments in a way that hasn't been possible before, and I believe we're just at the very beginning of that".

Its main investor is private equity firm Bain Capital and its assets under management stood at $697.2 million (£532.3m) at 31 October. Last month, it entered the European market with the launch of a platform of short and leveraged single stock daily exchange-traded products listed on the London Stock Exchange.

READ MORE: Edinburgh fintech Nucleus posts market-beating gain in assets
READ MORE: Scotland's fintech experts share how to scale up

GraniteShares now has 14 staff and an office in London, and setting up in Scotland – and Edinburgh specifically – is “certainly somewhere I’d consider”.

Looking to the end of 2020, the aim is initially to establish itself as a player in the market, and expand its product offering. “What we have right now is just the beginning of what we’re going to be able to offer, so we want to expand that offering.

"We also want to bring that to continental Europe," he added, highlighting the intention to bring products to Germany, Italy and other major markets. "I think, at the end of next year, if we pan-European coverage, and the platform is well-established in those markets with obviously a strong team in place, that would be a very solid outcome."

GraniteShares also recently found that renewable energy has become the top investment sector for Scottish investors, with almost a third regarding it as the area they would actively put their money into for long-term gain. This was followed by technology (27 per cent), gold (23 per cent) and pharmaceuticals (21 per cent).