Tom Brown

“Passions: Financial services, fitness, food, and, if I’m being honest, fashion.”

“I studied law because I am interested in how people, institutions, and countries organize and govern themselves.

Now I help companies build great financial services products by carving out space in the regulatory thicket for trying new things. People say I give good advice.

Professionally, I’m most proud of being the internal catalyst for the reorganization and ultimate public offering of a very large payment company. The IPO of that company and its chief rival have unleashed a massive wave of innovation in an industry that had been largely moribund.

Overall, I wouldn’t use the word “proud,” though—it’s not the right description for the way that I feel. I feel more honored than proud to have had, and continue to have, the opportunity to work with exceptional entrepreneurs.

Right now, I’m passionate about consumer data in the financial services industry because I see access to data as a viable alternative to creating open access to the payment system. Giving them the ability to allow third parties to get visibility into the data associated with their accounts is, in my view, the next best thing.”

—Thomas Brown serves as an advisor to Financial Venture Studio and is a well known figure in the fintech space. He co-chairs the fintech practice at a major international law firm and was Assistant General Counsel at Visa between stints in private practice. He is a frequent writer and speaker on issues related to financial services and has testified on topics related to the industry before the U.S. Senate. He has also invested in a number of early-stage fintech companies, including companies ultimately purchased by Capital One, Synchrony, and SVB. Notable individual angel investments include EarnUp, LedgerX, and MeetAlbert.

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