Canary Wharf Group has appointed former UKTI Innovation Gateway Chief Operating Officer and serial entrepreneur Ben Brabyn, to further strengthen its technology offer. Brabyn will be the new Head of Level39, amplifying Canary Wharf’s status as a global technology hub at the heart of the UK’s FinTech and smart cities innovation. He brings experience of online payments, cyber and social ecommerce.
Over the past three years, Canary Wharf Group has established itself as one of the UK’s leading place-makers with a development pipeline covering multiple landmark destinations across London and comprising 11million sq ft of mixed-use space. The Group has taken great strides in diversifying its tenant base and activities, giving greater emphasis to residential, technology and lifestyle sectors.
Brabyn will advise the Group on strengthening Canary Wharf’s reputation as one of the most important European technology ecosystems and the ideal location to start, grow and headquarter a technology business. Through Level39, the Group is already providing a point of convergence for startups, tech industry titans and their natural client base in the banking, financial and professional services sectors. Level39 members also benefit from an optimised environment for growth with access to office space, amenities and the opportunities to win new business and attract finance, talent and high quality mentors.
Brabyn will oversee the next phase of growth within the Level39 community of FinTech and smart cities tech companies, which the Group has assembled in preparation for the New Phase of Canary Wharf (formerly known as Wood Wharf) – a 4.9 million sq ft mixed-use waterside community – as the companies of the future. Level39 currently has more than 200 members and now spans three floors, or 80,000 sq ft, of One Canada Square.
Sir George Iacobescu CBE, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canary Wharf Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ben into our team. He will be working with us on a full-time basis, bringing his professionalism and experience of the FinTech sector to bear at Level39. Ben will play an important role in helping shape the next phase of Canary Wharf Group’s evolution as a diversified developer and landlord,helping us to create next-generation business locations, fused with technology and an attractive lifestyle to match.
“Canary Wharf is recognised as one of Europe’s leading hubs for FinTech innovation and the Group has a continued role to play in bringing together technology leaders and innovators. We will continue to harness our expertise to meet the property requirements of some of the UK’s most promising young technology firms at every stage of growth, from flexible co-working environments through to private office space.”
At UKTI, Brabyn led the Government team connecting UK startups with global sources of investment. He brings a deep understanding of national policy combined with practical experience of entrepreneurship gained through founding two successful digital businesses and mentoring via Microsoft Ventures. Prior to this, he worked as an investment banker at JP Morgan and formerly as an officer in the Royal Marines Commandos.
Brabyn said: “The technology sector is growing at a phenomenal pace and as a leading global centre for FinTech and smart cities innovation, Level39 has an important role to play. I look forward to drawing on my international expertise to lead Level39 in this exciting new chapter, by growing existing members, welcoming new ones and broadening the ecosystem in the smart cities space.”
Canary Wharf Group has already established one of London’s leading technology clusters, with over 1 million square feet occupied by companies at Canary Wharf including Thomson Reuters, Infosys, McGraw Hill, Skrill, First Data, Ricoh UK and 3i Infotech. These companies directly employ of the 115,000 people at Canary Wharf, with many thousands of additional technology professionals working at adjacent financial services companies, making it one of the world’s most technology intensive districts.
For further information, please contact:
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 7418 2000