College – Issue 39

THE QUADRANGLE A future-focused entrepreneur

The vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean and its remote island nations have long been a source of fascination and inspiration for Old Boy Robert Bell (12000). From childhood, he sailed and explored the Pacific, developing an enduring respect and affection for Pacific peoples.

Pacific region, so they can earn in one country and send money home quickly, cheaply and securely, that was our first calling. “The Pacific was a fantastic place to set up. I was utterly aware of the challenges and the opportunities that existed in this part of the world. It was incredibly hard for the first two years, but KlickEx has been fine-tuned through challenging times to be a real catalyst for change. We have proved

So much so, that when the time was right for him to start his own business, it made complete sense to focus on the Pacific region. “It was a natural fit. The Pacific are our neighbours and yet it’s a region that’s been largely overlooked by the rest of the world for better and for worse. It had the right mix of local, advanced, and emerging markets, and a huge need for financial infrastructure,” says Robert. With degrees in finance and economics, years of experience in international banking and commodities trading, plus an interest in sustainability, in 2008 Robert launched KlickEx – a payment infrastructure platform and multi-currency, multi-bank clearing system providing cross- border transfer services and dedicated to creating financial inclusion. “I wanted to create a business that could help the largest number of people, which was also something for people and communities who don’t generally have access to the kind of technology that underpins money-centre cities and economies. KlickEx was built for interbank use and the world of high-finance; but, in the Pacific, it was the need to serve the people who support their families in the

how quickly effective and efficient financial services can help lift people out of economic dependence and build futures for themselves.” KlickEx has become so much more than a financial service provider, however, and through the non-profit KlickEx Foundation it supports a range of health, environmental and educational initiatives. Robert is still involved – “I’m both KlickEx’s biggest fan and longest serving director” – but,

Christ’s College Canterbury


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