United Fintech expands Europe presence with new office in Spain

abdelaziz Fathi

United Fintech, a London-based start-up looking to buy a slate of capital markets fintechs, is expanding its footprint in Europe with the opening of a developer hub in Madrid.

The new office is headed up by Erik Nordahl, who has been partner and CTO since 2020. Nordahl is a technology veteran in the financial services sector. His 20 year career began with developer roles at Danske Bank before progressing into senior management. He spent eight years at Saxo Bank, where he was Head of Front Office and IT, managing IT specialists in both Denmark and India.

The new office is based in the same building as one of United Fintech’s portfolio companies, Athena Systems. United Fintech acquired a minority stake in the investment management specialist back in January.

As a first transaction in a multi-stage takeover towards full ownership, United Fintech bought a 25% stake in Athena Systems for an undisclosed amount. The company aims to obtain another 26% in two years and the 49% remainder in three years. Over this period, United Fintech plans to onboard Athena Systems, its clients and employees onto its digital platform.

Christian Frahm, CEO, United Fintech comments: “With many of our clients increasingly questioning Eastern Europe as a resource hub for development, we have been reviewing alternative options to access the very best talent in the industry.  We see great potential in leveraging Athena’s already established brand and network within the top talent IT community over the past 15 years. We have recently been working with a number of highly skilled developers in Madrid on a project for one of our global investment bank clients. We are opening the United Fintech office with four developers and are actively recruiting more.”

Erik Nordahl, CTO, United Fintech also noted: “Our expansion in Madrid is a great strategic move, enabling us to continue to access top technology talent for our own initiatives, client projects, and to help scale our portfolio companies. The impact of our global sales force is resulting in increased activity for our portfolio companies and the need for additional resources. If they struggle to recruit developers in their respective locations – London, Berlin and Copenhagen – we can now source developers for them in Madrid.”

United Fintech is the brainchild of Christian Frahm, founder of Copenhagen-based global holding company CFH Group. Frahm, who launched the City startup in November 2020, also worked for a time at both Bloomberg and Saxo Bank.

The startup promises to enable banks and financial institutions to access new technology and accelerate their transition to a digital world. Over the next five years, United Fintech plans to acquire and scale-up a number of small to medium-sized engineering-led fintechs.

It mentions areas of interest, including trading platforms, liquidity management and regulatory reporting tools, Big Data tools, institutional blockchain, bots and virtual assistants.

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