Fintech Influencers to Follow in 2018

When we published our previous two Fintech Influencers to Follow lists in 2017 and 2016, they were popular among influencers and anyone interested in innovative thinking in financial services.

With the publication of our 2018 list, some things feel different. Influencer outreach and engagement strategies are of interest to more individual leaders and businesses, and yet, the idea of the influencer list has come under some criticism, largely among the influencers themselves.

We publish this list and update it annually because we believe it can be a valuable part of a digital engagement strategy. With that said, here is the 2018 Fintech Influencers to Follow list.

Below the list, you will find FAQs about influencer lists in general and how this list was compiled.

Chris Gledhill@cgledhillLinkedIn
Jim Marous@JimMarousLinkedIn
Spiros Margaris@SpirosMargarisLinkedIn
Sebastien Meunier@sbmeunierLinkedIn
Bradley Leimer@leimerLinkedIn
David M. Brear@davidbrearLinkedIn
Chris Skinner@Chris_SkinnerLinkedIn
Brett King@BrettKingLinkedIn
Devie Mohan@devie_mohanLinkedIn
Duena Blomstrom@DuenaBlomstromLinkedIn
Anna Irrera@annairreraLinkedIn
JP Nicols@JPNicolsLinkedIn
Ron Shevlin@rshevlinLinkedIn
Florian Graillot@FGraillotLinkedIn
Bill Sullivan@WFSULLIVAN3LinkedIn
Simon Cocking@SimonCockingLinkedIn
Simon Taylor@sytaylorLinkedIn
Elon Musk@elonmuskLinkedIn
Nick Bilodeau@FinMKTGLinkedIn
Matteo Rizzi@matteorizziLinkedIn
Oliver Bussmann@obussmannLinkedIn
Nektarios Liolios@neklioliosLinkedIn
Liz Lumley@LizLumLinkedIn
Pascal Bouvier@pascalbouvierLinkedIn
Andreas Staub@andi_staubLinkedIn
Claire Calmejane@ccalmejaLinkedIn
Yann Ranchere@tek_finLinkedIn
Christophe Langlois@Visible_BankingLinkedIn
Sam Maule@sammauleLinkedIn
Matt Dooley@mattldooleyLinkedIn
Steve Tunstall@TunstallAscLinkedIn
Matteo Carbone@MCins_LinkedIn
Michael Mellinghoff@MellinghoffLinkedIn
David G.W. Birch@dgwbirchLinkedIn
Koen Vanderhoydonk@KVanderhoydonkLinkedIn
Huy Nguyen Trieu@HuynguyentrieuLinkedIn
Nadja Schlössel@Ypsilon_ZettLinkedIn
Alex Jimenez@RAlexJimenezLinkedIn
Marc Andreessen@pmarcaLinkedIn
Eileen Burbidge@eileentsoLinkedIn
Ghela Boskovich@GhelaBoskovichLinkedIn
Susanne Chishti@SusanneChishtiLinkedIn
Antony Peyton@TonyBankingTechLinkedIn
Alex Nech@FinTechSummaryLinkedIn
Rob Findlay@robfindlayLinkedIn
David J. Maireles@davidjmairelesLinkedIn
Jean-Michel Pailhon@jmpailhonLinkedIn
David Gerbino@dmgerbinoLinkedIn
Amit Goel@amitTwitrLinkedIn
Jim Bruene@netbankerLinkedIn
Mike Quindazzi @MikeQuindazziLinkedIn
Vitalik Buterin@VitalikButerinLinkedIn
Theodora Lau@psb_dcLinkedIn
April Rudin@TheRudinGroupLinkedIn
Andra Sonea@andrasoneaLinkedIn
Fred Wilson@fredwilsonLinkedIn
Roger Ver@rogerkverLinkedIn
Claire Cockerton@clairecockertonLinkedIn
Faisal Khan@babushka99LinkedIn
Stavros Stavrinoudakis @SStavrinoudakisLinkedIn
Richard Goold@GooldRichardLinkedIn
Tiffany Hayden@haydentiffLinkedIn
Tanya Andreasyan@TanyaBankTechLinkedIn
Jan Wichmann@jan_wichLinkedIn
Oscar Neira@NeiraOsciLinkedIn
Nasir Zubairi@naszubLinkedIn
Miguel Selas@miguelselasLinkedIn
Brad van Leeuwen@BradvanLLinkedIn
Don Tapscott@dtapscottLinkedIn
Robert Jaeger@JaegerRobertLinkedIn
Gemma Godfrey@GCGodfreyLinkedIn
Martin Zwilling@StartupProLinkedIn
Daryl Wilkinson@BarbellsnBanksLinkedIn
Don Ginsel@donginselLinkedIn
James Wester@jameswesterLinkedIn
Tom Blomfield@t_blomLinkedIn
H. J. von Schönfeldt@hjvschLinkedIn
Kristian Feldborg@k_feldborgLinkedIn
Barry Silbert@barrysilbertLinkedIn
Ian Anderson@AltfitechLinkedIn
Xavier Alvarez Forn@xalvarezfornLinkedIn
Timo Dreger@insurtechforumLinkedIn
Paolo Cuomo@pgc_at_workLinkedIn
Neira Jones@neirajonesLinkedIn
Oscar Williams-Grut@OscarWGrutLinkedIn
Lisa Kuhn Phillips@LisaKuhnPhilipsLinkedIn
Taavet Hinrikus@taavetLinkedIn
Damien Cabadi@Damien_CABADILinkedIn
Marvin Stone@MarvinStoneLinkedIn
Nick Szabo@NickSzabo4LinkedIn
Falk Rieker@FalkRiekerLinkedIn
John Owens@JvowensLinkedIn
Aditya Khurjekar@khurjekarLinkedIn
Xavier Gomez@Xbond49LinkedIn
Paolo Sironi@thepsironiLinkedIn
Thomas Power@thomaspowerLinkedIn
Patrick L Young@FrontierFinanceLinkedIn
Tamara McCleary@TamaraMcClearyLinkedIn
Louise Beaumont@LouiseHBeaumontLinkedIn
Charlotte Halkett@charliehalkettLinkedIn
Barney Loehnis@BarneyloLinkedIn
Georgia Hanias@GeorgiaHaniasLinkedIn
Deva Annamalai@bornonjuly4LinkedIn
Michal Panowicz@MichalPanowiczLinkedIn
Iker de los Rios@ikerdlrLinkedIn
Laurent Nizri@LNizriLinkedIn
Balaji S. Srinivasan@balajisLinkedIn
Silvan Schumacher@SilvanFoxLinkedIn
Dr. Robin Kiera@stratorobLinkedIn
Rick Huckstep@rickhuckstepLinkedIn
Laura Shin@laurashinLinkedIn
Marc Lemonnier@MrcLemonnierLinkedIn
George Kesselman@mr_insurtechLinkedIn
Joerg Resch@joergreschLinkedIn
Marc P. Bernegger@marcpberneggerLinkedIn
Eric Thuillier@ThuillierEricLinkedIn
Matthias Biehl@mattbiehlLinkedIn
Jon Zanoff@jonzanoffLinkedIn
Nigel Verdon@nigelverdonLinkedIn
Leda Glyptis@LedaGlyptisLinkedIn
Matteo Gamba@sliver86LinkedIn
Nick Biggam@nick_biggamLinkedIn
Oscar A Jofre Jr.@oscarjofreLinkedIn
Neal Cross@Neal_XLinkedIn
Nicolas Cary@niccaryLinkedIn
Mike D King@bankwideLinkedIn
James Lloyd@jamesplloydLinkedIn
Helene Li @helene_wpliLinkedIn
Russ Shaw@RussShaw1LinkedIn
Richard Maton@rmatonLinkedIn
Anna Bennett@AnnaB_TechLinkedIn
Dorota Zimnoch@D_ZimnochLinkedIn
ƒBrock Pierce@brockpierceLinkedIn
Michael Bilton@michael_biltonLinkedIn
Shannon Steele@digifinancegirlLinkedIn
Karen Webster@karenmpdLinkedIn
Ian Kar@iankar_LinkedIn
Jochen Siegert@jochensiegertLinkedIn
Adam Back@adam3usLinkedIn
Ed Maslaveckas@Ed_MaslLinkedIn
William Mougayar@wmougayarLinkedIn
Aillene Ruby@AilleneRubyLinkedIn
Jessica Ellerm@JessicaEllermLinkedIn
Izabella Kaminska@izakaminskaLinkedIn
Derin Cag@DerinCagLinkedIn
Jim Perry@mi_jimLinkedIn
Tom Groenfeldt@TomgroenfeldtLinkedIn
Felix Hauser@felix_hauserLinkedIn
Stephan Weiss@st_weissLinkedIn
Sven Korschinowski@KorschinowskiSvLinkedIn
Seb Roest-Ellis@SebFintechLinkedIn
Amancio Bouza@AmancioBouzaLinkedIn
Tobias Baumgarten@aboutfintechLinkedIn
Janos Barberis@JNBarberisLinkedIn
Tim Bird@timbirdlawLinkedIn
Andy Waar@ndwrLinkedIn
Marco Santori@msantoriESQLinkedIn
Eric Salzmann@Salz_ErLinkedIn
Ross Dawson@rossdawsonLinkedIn
Guido Deckstein@guidodecksteinLinkedIn
Santosh Kumar@msantoshkumarLinkedIn
Eric Van der Kleij@EricvanderkleijLinkedIn
Vinod Khosla@vkhoslaLinkedIn
Puyo Christophe@christophepuyoLinkedIn
Chris Burniske@cburniskeLinkedIn
David Bruno@SuperDaveBrunoLinkedIn
Maximilian Müller@max_milianITLinkedIn
Jameson Lopp@loppLinkedIn
Amélie Dubuisson@AmelieDubuissonLinkedIn
Emin Gün Sirer@el33th4xorLinkedIn
Tom Noyes@noyescltLinkedIn
Lisa Smith@FintechgrowthLinkedIn
Anthony Diiorio@diiorioanthonyLinkedIn
Andres Fontao@afontaoLinkedIn
Valéry Giard@ValeryGiardLinkedIn
Brian Forde@BrianFordeLinkedIn
Erin McCune@erinmccuneLinkedIn
Bitcoin Rush@Bitcoin_RushLinkedIn
Meltem Demirors@Melt_DemLinkedIn
Rob Hetherington@RW_HetheringtonLinkedIn
Jacqueline Burns@JacBurns_ComextLinkedIn
Nick Martin@NickMart_InsureLinkedIn
Haseeb Awan@haseebLinkedIn
Jerry Brito@jerrybritoLinkedIn
Scott E McKenna@ScottemckennaLinkedIn
Carol Realini@carolrealiniLinkedIn
Pradeep Rao@pradeeprao_LinkedIn
Jake Chambers@mrjake74LinkedIn
Adam Moulson@ADMOULinkedIn
James Moed@jamesmoedLinkedIn
Jason Oxman@joxmanLinkedIn
Tony Vays@ToneVaysLinkedIn
The Floor@TheFloorHubTLVLinkedIn

FAQs about Influencer Lists

If influencer lists are useful, why do some people dislike them?

The idea of the influencer list has come under attack over the past year and there are some reasons that might explain this.

Influencer lists are no longer a novel concept. As more lists have appeared, there has been a decrease in their quality, many published primarily as click bait. There are also more people referencing (and perhaps, in some cases, even overplaying) their ranking on influencer lists as a bona fide credential, while others question the legitimacy of the predominantly quantitative social networking criteria used for most of these lists.

All of this has led to some public criticisms of influencer lists, notably JP Nicols’ infographic and Ron Shevlin’s [Fintech Influencers Lists Have Jumped the Shark], to name but two, as well as many private Twitter DM conversations.

To be fair, neither Nicols nor Shevlin fundamentally disagree with the concept of influencer ranking. Rather, they argue that influence is hard to measure and people tend to make too much of appearing and ranking on lists – with which I generally agree.

However, I think it’s a mistake to dismiss influencer lists because of any of these arguments. I have written a previous defence of influencer lists and argued for why we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Can you do influencer outreach and engagement without a list of influencers?

No. If you want to systematically reach out to influencers, whether it’s to stay current on industry developments, promote your product or service, find a source for your media story or a speaker for your conference, you need a list to start from.

And that’s a critical point: influencer lists are starting points. They are the product of one person’s perspective or one analytic criterion. By listening to and engaging with an initial list of influencers, you can define who is most influential for your purposes and discover other influencers not found on the list.

What is influence and can it be measured quantitatively?

It goes without saying (yet, I’m saying it) that influence is a far more complex and nuanced concept than something that can be reduced to social media follower counts and engagement statistics. Many real-world influencers are not online, or not as active online as others. And to a degree, in some cases a significant one, online visibility is about “gaming the system” successfully.

To this, I say: “so what?” Influence is a highly subjective concept, whether it’s online or offline. Consensus may emerge within communities around the influence of certain individuals, but such consensus is never universal and always subject to change. While influence has a qualitative aspect, it almost always has a quantitative aspect as well, because a “consensus” implies that there are a good number of people in a community whose agreement confers influence on a person.

And this is a key point: Influence cannot be declared but must be conferred upon a person by others.

People who have cultivated good reputations with large online audiences have leveraged the online system to the benefit of their online visibility. They have attracted relatively larger numbers of followers or followers who themselves have large audiences, who read their content and share it with others. Their influence and reach are indeed focused online, and in some cases limited to the online sphere, but it’s still a form of influence.

Is ranking the most important aspect of an influencer list?

No. When influencer lists get published, every person on the list wants to see where they are ranked. While this is a natural, human response, it would be a mistake to conclude that ranking is the most important aspect of any list.

Ranking is highly subjective, taking into consideration a variety of quantitative measures that are weighted according to the author’s or analyst’s algorithm. Who’s really to say whether a person’s total number of Twitter followers is more or less important than who is following and paying attention to what that person says? Is it more valuable to have an audience of 50,000 Twitter users or to have an audience of 500 of the most influential of those Twitter users?

Influencer lists are collections of thought leaders with specific knowledge, a geographic home base and a unique set of interests. Depending on your objectives, some influencers on this (or any) list will be more important to you than others.

Plus, the value of any influencer list should be seen, not only in terms of the first-degree connections (who’s on the list) but the broader second-degree connections (who’s in the networks of the people on the list). Every person on this list is a node connecting you to their own network of connections and influencers.

A good influencer list is a starting point for discovery and engagement. It has the advantage of limiting the universe of possible people to whom you should be paying attention to the hundred or so that may be of greatest value.

How can influencer lists be helpful to you?

Good influencer lists have many benefits for many people. Here are some ways to use this list of Fintech Influencers to Follow in 2018:

  • Anyone can follow these people on Twitter to stay on top of developments in fintech.
  • Journalists and reporters can find experts for articles and news stories.
  • Event planners can find potential speakers for events.
  • Business leaders in fintech startups can network with other industry leaders.
  • Marketers and public relations professionals can find industry experts that might be interested in knowing about their clients’ products and services.
  • Influencers themselves can increase their visibility, reach and influence by being recognized on a list.

Why is influencer outreach and engagement such an important business strategy these days?

Influencer outreach and engagement is, in my opinion, the antidote to declining organic reach in social networks. Try sharing a post or publishing an article on LinkedIn or Facebook and see how many views you get this year – far less than a year or two ago.

Of course, you can do more paid promotion and advertising as a way to attract attention online – that’s precisely what the social networks want you to do. But, as powerful as paid media can be at the right time and in the right place, it is far better at winning clicks and eyeballs than hearts and minds. If you want engagement and influence, you need to work through the gatekeepers to your target audiences – the influencers.

Hence, the growing importance of influencer outreach and engagement as a necessary component of B2B digital strategies in recent years.

Methodology for creating this list

As in previous years, this list was developed using a commercially available social media analytics tool (Little Bird, now part of Sprinklr) which offers a powerful engine for crunching large volumes of social media data. The software compiles a list of online influencers that frequently communicate on topics related to “fintech” and then looks at the inter-relationships among these accounts. The software scores influencers in a variety of ways, however this list is based on the “insider rank” which compiles a large list of people actively engaged in online discussions of fintech and ranks accounts based on the most followed insider. Obviously, using a different scoring criterion would results in a different ranking.

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