IA Engine welcomes new SPARKS cohort

Two firms chosen to take part in IA Engine’s newly launched SPARKS programme have today been unveiled by the Investment Association (IA).

The SPARKS programme is an industry-leading proposition looking to boost very early-stage FinTech businesses that need expert guidance in scaling their business and overcoming common barriers to entry when first entering the market. Engine, the IA’s specialist FinTech accelerator, created the programme to harness increasing interest from investment managers in FinTech companies, and find promising early-stage businesses that need a kickstart.

Ethical Equity and Imperium Compliance are the two pre-seed FinTechs that have been chosen to take part in the programme due to their differentiated and competitive proposition. These businesses will benefit from a bespoke development programme and work closely with industry experts to develop their industry proposition. Engine’s dedicated Advisory Panel Groups will provide ongoing feedback and guidance, and ultimately assist in validating the solution and its place in the market. These firms will also get access to the policy insight and expertise within the wider Investment Association via the IA Knowledge Centre and technical experts; as well as opportunities to participate and benefit from the extensive training and events programmes.

Gillian Painter, Head of Membership and IA Engine, said: “Engine has worked with over 200 FinTechs and has helped 20 firms through our established Innovator Programme, but there is a growing need to better identify those early stage solutions to meet current and future needs of the investment management industry. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with these two exciting start-ups as we facilitate, mentor and connect at this crucial phase. The UK is a global leader for FinTech, and Engine continues to drive forward the innovation agenda within our sector.”

Ali Kazmi, Founder of Ethical Equity, said: "We can't wait to work with the IA and its members on devising solutions for institutional investors to invest and support early stage startups that are delivering social, environmental and cultural impact. Institutional investors have the power to change the landscape of early stage investing, that is desperately needed in the UK."

Spencer Landau, Founder of Imperium Compliance, added: “I am excited to have been accepted on to the SPARKS programme and I am looking forward to speaking with industry leaders about our solution to see how it can be successfully deployed and used within the investment community. I see this as a great opportunity to further validate and improve our product, so that it can be of significant value to the industry in the near future.”


For further information, please contact:

Katie Martin, Head of Communications: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4655

Camilla Esmund, Communications Executive: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4625

IA press office: [email protected]

T: 020 7269 4696

About IA Engine:

Engine (previously branded Velocity) is the FinTech hub launched by the UK’s Investment Association (IA) in 2018. Engine’s mission is simple: To fuel the adoption of technology within investment management, for the benefit and changing needs of clients. We’re working with 150+ FinTech firms and partners across the investment value chain to open up tech-driven possibilities and solve the challenges faced by investment firms, both big and small.

About the Investment Association (IA):

  • The IA champions UK investment management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 270 members manage £9.4 trillion of assets and the investment management industry supports 114,000 jobs across the UK.
  • Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for the economy, so everyone prospers.
  • Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:
    • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
    • Help people achieve their financial aspirations
    • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
    • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital.
  • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.
  • The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages over a third (37%) of all assets managed in Europe.