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Private equity: Standard Chartered wants to combine venture capital with internal innovation

SC Ventures launched in Singapore; combines internal accelerator with venture capital.

Standard Chartered and venture capital have not been the best of friends in recent years. The bank has spent more than three years exiting its loss-making private equity arm, a process that is still grinding along now.

What to make, then, of SC Ventures, the new business unit launched out of Singapore in January? 


Alex Manson,
SC Ventures

Alex Manson, the former global head of transaction banking who heads the business, tells Euromoney that SC Ventures has quite different priorities to Standard Chartered’s previous private equity ambitions and in fact only one of the three lines of the new business is about venture capital.

“Our internal mission statement talks about rewiring the DNA in banking,” Manson says. “In transforming banking, there is an external and an internal element, and we think we need to do both at the same time and under the same roof.”

SC Ventures has three arms. The first is responsible for creating catalysts for change and includes the eXellerator innovation lab. “We run what we call the intrapreneur programme, which encourages people in the bank to step forward with ideas and pitch them to a platform.”