Even by Las Vegas standards, a party featuring Snoop Dogg and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder is a tough ticket.

But the 20-somethings lined up one October night to get into the Tao nightclub weren’t there to party with a famous athlete or Hollywood star. It was a gathering for a decidedly nerdier crowd of financial technology venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and bankers.

The host for the charity event was Steve McLaughlin, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker and founder of Financial Technology Partners.

McLaughlin, 50, had a lot to celebrate. He was recently married and his fintech advisory is on track for another record year with revenue and profit more than doubling.

“It’s been a good run, but I really feel like we’re just starting,” he said in an interview this week. “When people ask me if I think that everything in fintech has been invented, I say ‘absolutely not.’”

McLaughlin is having something of an “I told you so” moment. After rising rapidly through the ranks at Goldman Sachs to head their global financial technology group, he left in 2002 to start FT Partners. At the time, much of Wall Street was indifferent to the fledgling fintech industry, viewing many of the companies as too small to bother with.

Marqeta Deal
Starting as a one-man operation 17 years ago, FT Partners now has 160 employees, clients on six continents and as much as $400 million in annual revenue, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. McLaughlin owns 100% of the San Francisco-based company.

“Steve knew fintech before everyone else,” said client Jason Gardner, chief executive officer of payments platform Marqeta. “He understood what we were trying to do, he understood our business model and back then you could count on one hand the people who understood.”

McLaughlin invested $1 million of his own money in Marqeta’s 2015 Series C funding round when the company was valued at about $100 million. The firm, which also worked with FT Partners on subsequent rounds, is now worth almost $2 billion, according to PitchBook.

He’s also personally invested in clients such as payments network AvidXchange and extended-warranty provider SquareTrade, McLaughlin said.

First « 1 2 3 » Next