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The Goldman MD that left for fintech in 2016 just made millions

Making the jump to fintech can be quite the risk compared to a more cushy job as a managing director at Goldman Sachs. But it can be worth it. For James Blackham, the former head of digital structuring at Goldman Sachs, leaving to become a fintech entrepreneur has just made him a lot of money.

Blackham, who helped launch Goldman's Marquee system, left the firm after over 11 years in 2016 to co-found 'By Miles', an insurtech company where he is CEO. Speaking to us in 2017, he said and his CTO - a former Goldman developer were, "taking the big data and analytics skills we learnt at Goldman Sachs and applying them to car insurance to make it fairer for the consumer.”

By Miles' most recent valuation came in 2020, after it raised $15m in series B fundraising. Dealroom then estimated the fintech to be worth between $79m and $119m.

Last week, By Miles was purchased by the Direct Line Group for an undisclosed fee. Companies house declared Blackham as one of two people having "significant influence or control" over the company prior to the takeover. Direct Line now own 75% of shares in the company.

If the valuation remains unchanged, 25% of those shares would be worth $19.75m at least and $29.75m at most.

It is unclear exactly how many shares Blackham sold nor is it clear if he still owns any, but prior to the establishment of the By Miles Group company, he owned between 25% and 50% of shares for the original company, By Miles Ltd. when it was incorporated in 2015.

Given that most fintechs have had their valuations reduced this year, it can be assumed that the actual amount Blackham earned is a little below the 2020 level, but it is still very likely that leaving Goldman Sachs has made him a significant sum. Writing on social media, he said he was "delighted."

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Reporter

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