Irish fintech company chosen for UK regulator’s ‘sandbox’ programme

Chasing Returns is the second Irish company after Assure Hedge to take part in initiative

Chasing Returns founder Ann Hunt

Chasing Returns founder Ann Hunt


Dublin-based Chasing Returns has become the second Irish fintech firm to be selected to take part in the UK financial regulator’s “sandbox” programme.

The company, which has developed technology to help financial traders overcome psychological biases, also said it has now deployed its flagship GamePlan platform in 82 countries and in 10 languages.

The sandbox initiative, which was introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority in 2016, allows businesses to test innovative products and services in a “live environment” while ensuring customers remain protected. Overall, 89 companies have been accepted for the twice-yearly programme.

Established by Ann Hunt in 2014, Chasing Returns’ technology analyses performance history to help traders understand their individual psychological strengths and weaknesses and turn this to their advantage.

The company, which has attracted over 20,000 traders to GamePlan said it is to use the Sandbox to run further tests for Playmaker, a new solution intended to promote better trading discipline in individuals.

Prior to establishing Chasing Returns, Ms Hunt spent a decade on Wall Street developing risk management platforms for JP Morgan. She also worked as an independent trader for a number of years.

Early backers of the company include Enterprise Ireland, the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC), and a number of private investors.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Ms Hunt said given the nature of the business, it was hard work getting the company off the ground initially.

“Our original product is massively successful now but it was quite a journey to get it there. This was not due to the cost of building the technology but because what we are doing is very different and because we are targeting an industry where 82 per cent of traders lose money,” she said.

“Building a piece of technology that shines a light on that makes brokers very nervous so it took a while to convince them that it was good to be able to measure emotions and how these might impact on how well someone trades,” Ms Hunt added.

Assure Hedge, an Irish provider of foreign exchange technology to protect businesses from currency fluctuations, received full authorisation from the UK financial regulator in May to offer its services to hedge funds after participating on its sandbox programme.