Questions remain after the CEO of fintech VC Anthemis resigns

Anthemis Group, the fintech VC fund based in London, has lost its long-time CEO after Nadeem Shaikh handed in his resignation earlier this week.

The Financial Times broke the story yesterday, quoting Shaikh citing a “shift in the company’s strategy.” However, TechCrunch understands from sources that Shaikh’s decision to leave Anthemis came after a formal complaint by another staff member at the firm and following a subsequent internal investigation.

According to people with knowledge of events, an “all-hands” meeting was held at Anthemis’ offices in London on Monday, where the Anthemis team was informed of Shaikh’s resignation, although few details were given as to the reasons why. The VC firm’s co-founder and chairman Sean Park is said to have dialed in to inform staff of the news, including reading out a statement attributed to Shaikh.

As conveyed by Park, Shaikh is said to have decided to resign from Anthemis after it was brought to his attention that there was behavior on his part that was not consistent with the values of the VC firm. What that behavior was is unclear. Staff at the all-hands were told that Anthemis couldn’t comment any further for legal reasons.

Meanwhile, the news of Shaikh’s resignation is bound to raise eyebrows in the London venture capital and startup community, particularly within the fintech space, where the firm has been one of the most active over the last few years. The Anthemis portfolio includes online wealth management startup Betterment, challenger bank Atom, SME banking startup Tide, trading app eToro and money transfer service Azimo, to name just a handful. The VC is also a backer of FX company Currencycloud, where, according to his LinkedIn profile, Shaikh is non-exec director.

I contacted Anthemis and a spokesperson confirmed Shaikh’s resignation as CEO and from the Anthemis board, as per the FT piece, but declined to comment further. I’ve also reached out to Shaikh and will update this post if and when I hear back.