Christian Hunt is the founder of Human Risk and has nearly three decades of experience in financial services, spanning investment banking, asset management, and time spent at a family office. He is also the author of the new book 'Humanizing Rules: Bringing Behavioral Science to Ethics and Compliance.' His unique perspective comes from having held senior roles as both a risk and compliance officer, as well as a regulator.
While working for the Swiss banking giant UBS in London, he was a managing director & head of behavioral science. He was the global head of Compliance & Operational Risk at UBS Asset Management. On the other side of the fence, he was the chief operating officer at the UK's Prudential Regulation Authority.
His current mission is to help organizations swiftly improve their ethics and compliance programs to achieve better business outcomes by putting people at the center of their internal rule-making processes. You can learn more about him at his website: www.human-risk.com.
He talks to Regulatory Ramblings' host Ajay Shamdasani about how employees aren't necessarily interested in endless rounds of training to test for recognition of rules and regulations, though that was somehow a proxy for fostering a sound compliance culture – be it in the financial sector or the corporate world more broadly. They also discuss how weeding out bad actors won't fix environmental factors when 'systemic rot' has set into an organization and how one of the worst ways to make employees turn against their employers is to send the message that the former are not trusted.
HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
More episodes from "Regulatory Ramblings"
Biometrics in Financial Services with Bala Kumar
36:01Strengthening financial services with multi-modal biometricsEp 33 with Bala Kumar, Chief Product Officer at JumioAgainst a backdrop of rising AI-fuelled phishing attacks in the Asia-Pacific, in this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, Bala Kumar chats with host Ajay Shamdasani how such developments will affect the landscape of online identity fraud, and how such threats will evolve and, if possible, be anticipated moving forward. They discuss how can businesses effectively counteract the threat of identity fraud and safeguard their customers while maintaining regulatory compliance, as well as the increased efforts by certain Southeast Asian governments to facilitate cross-border payments, and how to ensure such transactions are secure and adhere to cross-jurisdictional rules and regulations.Bala also stresses how organisations can successfully strike a balance between strong security and seamless customer experiences. He notes that beyond cybersecurity, there are other multiple other risks and concerns that global banking and financial institutions and multinational corporations should be cognisant of.The conversation concludes with Bala sharing some key strategies for ensuring compliance with digital payment systems.About Bala Kumar: He is responsible for Jumio’s product vision and strategy, and is leading the execution of Jumio’s digital identity platform. A former TransUnion executive, he brings more than two decades of product innovation and leadership experience to JumioRelated links can be found at: hkufintech.com/regulatoryramblingsHKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Insights on Financial Crime with Michael Heller
1:02:09Michael Heller, VP, Head of Financial Crime Proposition at Dow Jones Risk & ResearchBased in Los Angeles and having been with Dow Jones for a decade, Michael Heller is currently responsible for corporate strategy and go-to-market, globally, for the Financial Crime Compliance (FCC) business. He draws from a background as an entrepreneur, attorney, sales executive, and advisor to ensure clients building efficient compliance and risk management programs leverage the right data and technology. Michael's career has been focused on bringing transparency to global business. After law school, he worked as a consultant with the Business Intelligence Group and later, the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Group at Goldman Sachs in New York. Admitted to practice law in California, he has also served as chief compliance officer and counsel at Abacus Wealth Partners in Los Angeles. Financial institutions and multinationals rely on data and technology to prevent and detect financial crime. Recent geopolitical developments have made it even more critical for those participating in the globalised economy to embrace innovation for managing downside risks related to money-laundering, corruption, and sanctions evasion. Navigating the risk landscape in APAC, for example, presents formidable challenges as organisations must be well-prepared to address myriad regulatory requirements in jurisdictions with vastly different levels of development and financial and legal sophistication. Financial crime in the region also exhibits a high degree of complexity due to factors such as rapid economic growth, the embrace of digital payments and crypto to move stored value across borders, and diverse cultural and governmental approaches to corruption and AML. It is in that spirit that Michael chats with Regulatory Ramblings host Ajay Shamdasani about the challenges of addressing money-laundering in Asia with an emphasis on the importance of adverse media screening to ensure FCC programs are keeping pace with regulatory expectations. They also discuss the potential positives and negatives of Artificial Intelligence for financial crime and third-party risk management. Michael stresses the ultimate aim of embracing new technology is to bring greater transparency to risk management workflows, enabling institutions and corporates alike to screen customers and third parties at speed and scale.Indeed, as their discussion highlights, AI is poised to emerge as a game changing solution for compliance professionals; from reducing false matches to identifying patterns that could indicate suspicious activity. They also talk about noteworthy trends Michael has observed across the region concerning the development of disruptive technologies and the associated risks they pose. He also shares his views on the efficacy of initiatives by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to encourage and support the local financial sector’s adoption of AML and CFT RegTech, of which natural language processing for news monitoring is a key part (Linked at: www.hkufintech.com/regulatoryramblings ). The conversation ends with Michael providing tangible examples of how such capabilities can be effectively utilised to fill gaps in the current regulatory compliance landscape. He concludes with his predictions of the most pressing financial crime and technology-related challenges that institutions are likely to face in the next 12 months. More info at: www.hkufintech.comHKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
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FinTech: Finance, Technology and Regulation
1:04:29Episode 31 - Professor Dirk A. Zetzsche, University of Luxembourg (Topic/Chapter Guide is availabe)Professor Dr. Dirk A. Zetzsche, holder of the ADA Chair in Financial Law (inclusive finance) at the University of Luxembourg, is also a co-author of the recently released book, FinTech: Finance, Technology and Regulation (LINK), published by Cambridge University Press, which he collaborated on with Professor Ross P. Buckley of the University of New South Wales - Sydney and Professor Douglas W. Arner of the University of Hong Kong. In a market seemingly saturated with books on FinTech and cryptocurrencies, the authors of the above work offer a comprehensive, accessible reference for those seeking to understand the technological transformation of finance and the role of regulation: the world of FinTech. They consider FinTech technologies including artificial intelligence, blockchain, BigData, cloud computing, cryptocurrencies, central bank digital currencies, and distributed ledger technology, and provide a unique perspective on FinTech as an interactive system involving finance, technology, law, and regulation.Starting with an evolutionary perspective, the authors then consider the major technologies transforming finance, arguing for approaches to balance the risks and challenges of innovation. They address the central role of infrastructure in digital financial transformation, highlighting lessons from China, India, and the EU, as well as the impact of pandemics and other sustainability crises, while considering the risks generated by FinTech. They conclude by offering forward-looking regulatory strategies to address the challenges facing our world today. In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings (Topic Guide is available), Dr. Zetzsche talks to host Ajay Shamdasani about what compelled him and his co-authors to write the book, as well as the technological transformation of finance and the role of regulation. They conclude their discussion by fleshing out some of the book’s key conclusions in terms of suggested policy goals and forward-looking regulatory strategies to address the challenges facing today’s world. Simply put: banking and finance, technological innovation, and regulatory policy must move in tandem, the authors argue. HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Celebrating Diversity in Tech: HK FinTech Week Preview
56:23As HK FinTech Week 2023 approaches (October 30-November 5), Karena and Karen join Regulatory Ramblings' host, Ajay Shamdasani, to preview the event. They explore the synergy between diverse backgrounds in the tech space, emphasizing the value of different perspectives and continuous learning. Karena and Karen also share insights on AngelHub's role in democratizing tech investment, the changing landscape of crowdfunding, and Hong Kong's potential as a FinTech hub.About Karena Belin: Karena is the co-founder and CEO of WHub – a start-up ecosystem builder and the largest start-up platform in the city. Her group helps startups grow and enables stakeholders to connect with the innovative power of the local tech ecosystem. WHub is also an organizer of global conferences.She is also the co-founder and COO/CFO/RO of AngelHub, Hong Kong’s first and only start-up investment platform licensed by the SAR’s capital markets watchdog, the Securities and Futures Commission, for professional investors and growth tech companies scaling in Asia. Most notably, earlier this year, she was appointed the organizer of Hong Kong FinTech Week – which resumes its physical format on October 30, 2023 – by the Hong Kong Government.With a double diploma from the University of Mannheim and the MBA business school ESSEC in Paris, Karena worked for Procter & Gamble for 15 years in finance, sales, strategy, and M&A across Europe, North-East Asia, and Greater China.She has been deeply immersed in the Hong Kong start-up scene for the past decade as a member of the Start-up Committee of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of the HKSAR, as well as being on the Organizing Committee of the Innopreneur Awards of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries and the HKTDC Belt and Road & Greater Bay Area Committee. She is also an ambassador of StartupAsiaBerlin, an initiative of the German Senate in Berlin, and serves as vice president of TiE HK and a member of the Hyderabad FinTech Forum core team. Karena is also a "10 Best Female Entrepreneurs of the World by True Global Ventures and Women of Hope" awardee. She has also volunteered at Hong Kong International School in several capacities.About Karen Contet: Karen Contet is a tech enthusiast and entrepreneur, serving as the Co-founder & CEO of AngelHub.io, ClubDeal.vc, and WHub.io.She is also, with WHub, the official organizer of Hong Kong FinTech Week.Karen's mission is to transform and democratize the private markets, empowering everyone to shape the future of tech.Under her leadership, AngelHub has evaluated 2,500+ tech firms, invested in 25 companies, including WeLab and Animoca Brands. The platform has deployed over USD 17M and generated USD 9M in returns through successful exits.AngelHub is the sole SFC-regulated tech investment platform, allowing investors to co-invest alongside fund & institutional investors.With a rigorous due diligence process and a thriving WHub startup ecosystem, AngelHub equips tech entrepreneurs for success. WHub has become a leading tech power connector, organizing global conferences gathering over 120,000 participants, hackathons, job fairs, and over 2,000 events.Karen is an international speaker, French Foreign Trade Advisor, FrenchTech ambassador, and mentor. With 20+ years of experience, her background ranges from JP Morgan trader to IoT startup engineer and web development instructor.HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Don't Fear Technology, Embrace It
1:03:41Walter Jennings, Founder of Asia Insight Circle Walter is a branding and communications veteran – and someone who has increasingly become a voice of influence in Hong Kong’s FinTech and Web3 scene over the past decade. He currently owns and manages Asia Insight Circle, a private members group of C-suite executives. The group meets monthly for frank discussions on critical local business issues and its membership roster represents a diverse swath of the city’s commercial players. Prior to that he was head of branding and communications at Finnoverse, which until 2022 was the organiser of Hong Kong FinTech Week. While there he was responsible for leading the company’s communications strategy and its branded events worldwide. Walter has extensive expertise in emerging financial services technologies – including regulated digital assets, blockchain and 5G. He also hosts a podcast called Waves in the Finnoverse and earlier, Crypto Savvy, which explored and decoded all things relating to cryptocurrencies, digital assets and FinTech. With his experience in communicating why new technologies matter and helping companies grow globally, as well as in marketing across Web3, virtual assets and traditional finance, Walter is well situated to speak on a great many of the topics that the territory is grappling with as it charts a course for itself in the digital economy of the 21st century. He’s also a savvy operator in institutional and regulated environments, and has advised decentralized finance (DeFi) start-ups. Additionally, he did a stint in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, offering his counsel to the Kingdom on its experimental city of the future – NEOM. Before that, he was Huawei’s vice president for global corporate communications in Shenzhen where he looked after the phone giant’s worldwide reputation. He chats with Regulatory Ramblings host Ajay Shamdasani about how he transitioned from the world of public relations to learning more about the role of digital technology in our daily lives, to being one of its most enthusiastic advocates – not least in its application to financial services and the way we transact. Walter stresses the importance of Web3 and why everyone should engage with the technology rather than fear it. He also shares some of the challenges he’s faced as an entrepreneur and his thoughts on doing business in the East versus the West. Most poignantly, despite all the tumult and uncertainty Hong Kong has faced in recent years, he explains why he is one of this city’s most stalwart defenders and promoters; ever the eternal optimist, Walter believes the Special Administrative Region’s best days are ahead of it. A key point he emphasizes, however, is that Hong Kong must have the right kind of regulatory policy for FinTech, virtual assets and Web 3 to thrive and create opportunities for society at large. On a more personal level, Walter also shares a little bit about his roots, growing up in small town New Jersey, being captivated by the big city life of New York, how he got into public relations and his penchant for the theatre – being a faithful Broadway afficionado: to say nothing of being an ardent Francophile who calls Rouen, Normandy his second home after the SAR. HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
The Rise and Pitfalls of Digital Finance (in Singapore)
53:32Ep 28 with Sinyee Koh, Director of Compliance & Regulatory Consulting at Integrity Consulting in Singapore A Singaporean to her core, Sinyee also called Hong Kong home for a time. As an admitted solicitor and advocate in the Lion City, she is also a licensed solicitor in Hong Kong and a solicitor-advocate in England and Wales. She is also admitted to practice in the US state of New York. Beyond having practiced law, Sinyee has also worked at multiple consulting firms such as Kroll and Duff & Phelps, and for a time was a regulator – having served as a deputy director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). She chats with Regulatory Ramblings’ host Ajay Shamdasani about her background and upbringing, why she chose law as a career path, how she transitioned into a career in compliance and consulting, as well as her time as a regulator at the MAS. However, the meat of their discussion centres on the fact that with digital finance growing, so too has the use of digital identity verification, with some governments moving in the direction of rolling out national digital identity. Retail customer scams in digital finance, including those compromising national digital identities, are also increasing in both Hong Kong, Singapore and elsewhere. There have been a few policy responses in the Lion City, including changing money laundering laws to make it easier to prosecute those who sell their national digital identity credentials. A key policy challenge being deliberated on, however, is in deciding who should bear the loss in digital finance scams – financial institutions, customers or other parties: especially if none of them were at fault.HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Crypto, Web3, and the Evolution of Finance, Technology and Compliance
45:40Vivien Khoo is the Chairman and co-founder of the Asia Crypto Alliance, an industry association that promotes the growth and development, as well as safeguarding the reputation, of virtual assets providers in Asia. She is also a Senior Advisor of StashAway, a digital wealth management platform with more than USD 1bn of assets under management and the APAC Advisor of Delphi Digital, an independent research boutique providing institutional-grade analysis on the digital asset market. After a long career in senior compliance and regulatory roles, Vivien moved into the digital industry in 2019 where she was the Global Chief Operating Officer and Interim CEO at a leading crypto derivatives exchange. Prior to that, Vivien spent close to two decades at Goldman Sachs where she was the managing director of Goldman Sachs’ Asia Pacific Ex-Japan Compliance division. Vivien had also spent time as a regulator with the HK Securities & Futures Commission. Vivien’s move across from traditional finance into digital assets was motivated by a realisation that society is currently in the midst of a great transformation in how financial services are created, accessed and delivered. She was keen to be involved in shaping that future - particularly as blockchain technology extends beyond financial services An ardent advocate for diversity and inclusion, Vivien is the founder of W3W and co-founder of SatoshiWomen, both of which provide education, inspiration and connections to women interested in the digital assets space. She is also an advisory board member for Inspiring Girls and is actively working with universities and schools to pilot programs to raise awareness and provide access and education of Web3 to girls at a young age. Having been described by Tatler Asia as “a prime mover in cryptocurrency in Asia…on a mission to provide leadership and education,” she talks to Regulatory Ramblings’ host Ajay Shamdasani about her passion for diversity and inclusion in the fintech and Web3 space, and how education to help us get there – especially through the medium of e-games to reinforce the skills needed to function in the digital economy of the future where cryptocurrencies and e-tokens will be an important part of daily interactions and transactions. They discuss her transition from being a compliance professional to the tech world, her motivations for establishing W3W, the challenges she faced as an entrepreneur, the progress women have made in banking and finance in APAC, and how more can be done to draw women to tech careers at an early age. Their conversation concludes with Vivien sharing her thoughts more broadly on the extent to which Hong Kong’s legal and regulatory system is conducive to the needs of fintech, virtual asset and Web3 entrepreneurs.HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crime Compliance in India
1:14:10Episode 26 With Abhishek Bali, CEO and Co-Founder of ZIGRAMAs the CEO and Co-founder of ZIGRAM, Abhishek Bali has over 15 years of expertise in Anti Money Laundering (AML), Financial Crime Compliance (FCC), data assets and third-party risk. Abhishek has worked on engagements and initiatives across the world, collaborating with organizations like KPMG, BMR Advisors, Dun & Bradstreet, and Axis Bank. He leads various business initiatives and data solutions that leverage machine learning, artificial intelligence, data assets and deep technology applications to solve real-world problems in the field of risk. Products and technologies developed by him are in the space of AML, politically exposed persons (PEPs), know-your-customer (KYC)/due diligence, adverse media alerts, country watchlists, sanctions, cannabis businesses, high-risk individuals and entity monitoring. Abhishek is ACAMS certified and a co-chair of the India chapter of the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists (ACFCS).He talks to Regulatory Ramblings’ host Ajay Shamdasani about the state of AML and FCC in India, as well as the extent to which AI and machine learning can aid such endeavors, how India now has the largest concentration of AML and financial crime professionals in the world after the US, and what the drivers are of the country’s explosion of FinTech use and development, and regulatory oversight over the past decade. A point Abhishek emphasizes is that India has come a long way and it is now easier to do wholesale monitoring of people and transactions nationwide than ever before.They also discuss how, of the approximately 175,000 banking and financial institutions across the world, most large AML solutions and data providers only focus on servicing the top 100-500 firms, leaving a long tail of unserved or underserved institutions that urgently need integrated FinTech and RegTech services.Notwithstanding the perennial topics of AI and machine learning, Abhishek does not believe compliance professionals will be out of a job in the foreseeable future. While AML/FCC departments will increasingly require data science specialists for operational purposes, he emphasizes that such teams will continue to be led by those with on-the-ground financial crime experience and knowledge.The conversation concludes with a point about why many customers are increasingly put off by FinTech and RegTech vendors offering AI as part of their solutions.HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
How The Metaverse, Crypto & NFTs Are Changing Modern Business
1:18:51As the founder of CFOAF, a financial services and business consulting firm specializing in industries ranging from construction to crypto, Byron Wolfe's greatest gift is in translating the complexities of business financial principles – with a focus on small businesses – into easily understood communication. It is a quality that has made him one of the most highly sought financial and business consultants. Byron is also the chief financial officer of an INC 5000 company, and the fractional CFO of various companies with annual revenues ranging from US$3-25 million.His certification in the crypto, NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) and Metaverse space has led to many projects with DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) and crypto companies, and he is regarded as an expert in crypto tax strategy. Yet, recalling his own challenges as an entrepreneur, Byron’s truest passion lies in helping small business owners expand their financial reach and success through various tools such as research and development tax credits, proactive tax plans, creative funding and high contact financial management.He talks to Regulatory Ramblings’ host Ajay Shamdasani about what originally put him on the entrepreneurial path, and how the Metaverse and virtual assets such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs are fundamentally altering the face and structure of business. They also discuss the impact of DAOs and the benefits of crypto tax strategies.HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
There Is No One Path to Becoming a Tech Entrepreneur
56:58After twelve years of a rewarding career in the corporate world, Karena Belin became an entrepreneur. As she put it, 'out of passion and inspiration to foster the growth of the tech and innovation ecosystem,' especially right here in Hong Kong, which she and her family now call home after two decades in the territory. She is also a dear friend of HKU – The University of Hong Kong, where she has been a guest lecturer on the topic of 'Equity Crowdfunding' in Asia’s first MOOC, "Introduction to Fintech" - the largest online fintech course on edX, attracting over 114,000 learners. Karena is the co-founder and CEO of WHub – a start-up ecosystem builder and the largest start-up platform in the city. Her group helps startups grow and enables stakeholders to connect with the innovative power of the local tech ecosystem. WHub is also an organizer of global conferences. Most notably, earlier this year, WHub was appointed as the organizer of Hong Kong FinTech Week – which resumes its physical format on October 30, 2023 – by the Hong Kong Government. She is also the co-founder, CFO, and RO of AngelHub, Hong Kong’s first and only investment platform for tech companies licensed by the SAR’s capital markets watchdog, the Securities and Futures Commission, for professional investors and growth tech companies scaling in Asia. She is a founding board member of the newly established Web3 association called Web3 Harbour. With a double diploma from the University of Mannheim and the MBA business school ESSEC in Paris, Karena worked for Procter & Gamble for 15 years in finance, sales, strategy, and M&A across Europe, North-East Asia, and Greater China. She has been deeply immersed in the Hong Kong start-up scene for the past decade as a member of the Start-up Committee of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) of the HKSAR, as well as being on the Organizing Committee of the Innopreneur Awards of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI), and the HKTDC Belt and Road & Greater Bay Area Committee. She is also an ambassador of StartupAsiaBerlin, an initiative of the German Senate in Berlin, and serves as vice president of TiE HK and a member of the Hyderabad FinTech Forum core team. Karena is also a '10 Best Female Entrepreneurs of the World by True Global Ventures and Women of Hope' Awardee. She has also volunteered at Hong Kong International School (HKIS) in several capacities. She talks to Regulatory Ramblings’ host Ajay Shamdasani about the early part of her life, growing up, and being educated in Germany and later in France for her MBA. They also discuss how she transitioned from a finance and management background into life as a technology entrepreneur and her motivations for founding WHub and AngelHub as incubators to serve Hong Kong, guide, and develop budding innovators. The conversation also delves into the logistical challenges of putting together a key global event such as Hong Kong FinTech Week, the obstacles she has faced as a businessperson and particularly as a woman in tech and the corporate world, as well as her view that few places in the world come close to Hong Kong in enabling entrepreneurs to realize their dreams. Their chat concludes with Karena’s views on why she resolutely believes Hong Kong’s rule of law and robust regulatory system make it more than well-suited to cope with the emerging fields of FinTech and virtual assets.Navigate using the chapter markers in your favorite podcast apps. HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.