As an entrepreneur and businessman, one of the ways Henry Willis stands apart from his competition is by being a renaissance man. His career has taken him across numerous industries, where he has picked up many practical and applicable skills over the years.
Thanks to his interest in a wide array of topics, Henry Willis took a hands-on approach to his education. Rather than relying on professionals to help guide him through decision making and difficult processes, he took the time to study and learn about numerous applicable fields so that he can comprehend everything that comes his way, from financial accounts to legal matters to tax structures. For Henry, it is important for him to be responsible and thus held accountable for each and every result he produces because, in the words of his favorite quote, ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.’ He applies this not only to himself, but to all of the clients he seeks to help, because of his desire to maintain the utmost integrity in all of his endeavors.
Currently, Henry Willis serves as the Head of Trading for the financial technology (FinTech) company Swift Fox, which is based in London. Swift Fox seeks to power global payments for importers, and are part of the Currency Cloud, which is presently the fastest growing FinTech company in the United Kingdom. Although their aim to ease international trades and make the process of obtaining foreign currency easier, because of Swift Fox’s technology, they have advanced to one of the top FinTech companies in the country. Thanks to the secured funding from Google Ventures, Swift Fox has been able to develop their customer base and build a respectable affiliate network. They have five offices worldwide, including their London headquarters, as well as Hong Kong and Dubai, and continue to grow each year.
In addition to his foreign currency exchange career with Swift Fox, Henry Willis has been involved in venture capital for the last decade. From the ground up, he built Asser Willis, an equity and contracts for difference (C.F.D.) private client stockbroker, where Henry and his business partner advised and traded FTSE 100 equity and C.F.D. shares to high net worth (H.N.W.) private clients. Henry Willis later sold Asser Willis to Alexander David PLC, which has maintained a number of their original clients to this day. It is from Asser Willis that Henry then moved onto the position of Head of Business Development and Partnerships.
Also prior to his current position and founding Swift Fox, Henry joined London Irish Partners, a venture capital firm where he’s spent the last ten years aiding in mergers and acquisitions primarily in construction, real estate, financial services, and renewables. As a partner of London Irish Partners, Henry worked to identify suitable merger and acquisition targets, which Henry and his team would then structure and lead all stages of completion. By performing due diligence, disclosure, debt and equity funding, restructuring, socialisation, and eventual exit strategy, they ensured the transition was as smooth as possible.
Most recently, Henry Willis has moved on from London Irish Partners to AEG1440, his new venture capital firm. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue forensically analysing audited financial accounts to identify discrepancies, ensure competitive funding and contribute to negotiations. AEG1440 has partnered with a number of exciting companies thus far, including Swift Fox, CPLY, Homelyfe, London Irish Partners, Baluba Energy, Norton Place Pictures, and many others.
Given Henry’s avid interest in film and television production, he was especially eager to take on a project with Norton Place Pictures, which is a newly-formed independent production company that will specialise in high-end creation, development, and production of various television programmes.
One of the aspects of working in venture capital that excited Henry the most is the way that each day is unique. Whether he’s at the office or traveling the globe and experiencing new cultures, Henry Willis loves the unpredictability of his job. He also loves the opportunity to take companies that are struggling and help turn them around, creating a stable and secure environment for all of the employees and helping build a better future for everyone involved. It’s extremely rewarding for Henry to witness the level of dedication within these companies to see them succeed.
Henry Willis finds the flexibility and variety available as a venture capitalist appealing, as well. He has the opportunity to take part in numerous industries that interest him, from FinTech to home security, to real estate, to smart technology, and more. This lends itself well to Henry’s renaissance man approach in life in general. He is always learning something new, particularly when he travels, which he is fortunate enough to have a career that allows him to do so regularly.
One of his other favorite quotes that he does his best to abide by each day is, ‘Know what you know and know what you don’t know.’ It is equally as important to not only know what you don’t know, but how you intend to acquire the knowledge to change that status. Throughout his extensive career, Henry Willis is grateful to have been able to acquire so many different skills, and looks forward to continuing to do so.
Outside of work, Henry Willis is a family man who loves spending time with his wife and being a devoted father to their three children. At the end of the day, he knows that they’re the reason he pushes himself as much as he does in the hopes of giving them a bright future and instilling in them the value of hard work. Henry also enjoys serving as an officer for the Samaritans where he is involved in charity work, as he also highly values giving back his community wherever possible.
When he can find the time, Henry also loves golfing and the arts. He loves film and television, and has expressed interest on numerous accounts of becoming involved on the production end, a goal he has been able to achieve thanks to AEG1440’s business ventures.
He’s also extremely passionate about continued adult education, and enjoys any opportunity to learn more about economic history, even as far back as Tulip Mania in 1636. It is Henry Willis’ belief that by identifying economic patterns throughout history that he will be able to add value to his professional career and put those concepts he has learned in the classroom to practice in the field.
At present, Henry is certified in financial regulation, commodity derivatives, securities, and accounting, in addition to her Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies and Master’s Degree in Wealth Management. As Henry is always seeking to help others, he has also obtained qualifications as a First Aider and Dephibulater.
Henry’s goal with creating Swift Fox was to make the currency exchange process as simple as possible. Swift Fox’s online payment system has won many awards over the years due to its design and ease of use. One of the company’s initial investors was Google Ventures who contributed $25 million. Swift Fox is located in five different locations around the world including London, Hong Kong, and Dubai.