ditto and our RegTech Markets community were proud to host our very first event in our new home, Fora, for an audience of senior Bank, FinTech and Legal representatives.

The topic of discussion was ‘Technology Innovation: Disruption & Transformation’ – exploring the trends and developments likely to shape capital market participants across 2018 – the year of MiFID II, GDPR & PSD2.

Many thanks to our expert panel for sharing their thoughts from the perspectives of a Regulated firm, Legal & Advisory, and FinTech innovation:

Some of the key insights from the night:

  1. Innovation is typically client-driven – whether that’s for start-ups seeking to generate the largest return on the investment of limited resources; for Legal firms providing advisory services to clients; or for Banks seeking to differentiate themselves in a busy and competitive market.
  2. Demonstrating value to investors, internal leadership or clients is critical – requiring clear focus on specific areas, rather than diluting technology and credibility by attempting to ‘do everything at once’.
  3. Enabling clients to do what they currently cannot – such as aggregating, presenting and analysing Big Data in a secure and cost efficient way – is a significant differentiator.

The evening included a fascinating Q&A with audience participation, covering topics including:

  1. The future of mutualised market data
  2. The future of identity and the rise of self-sovereign data ownership
  3. The focus on business outcomes when marketing / selling solutions
  4. How Regulated firms identify, select and partner with FinTechs
  5. The future of regulating blockchain and crypto-currency activity

Before drawing the night to a close, we asked each speaker to articulate their biggest challenge and how they are overcoming it.

Antonio Virzi:
The sales cycle into financial institutions is typically very long, so for a start-up, surviving long-enough to seal the deal can be a challenge. The solution is a combination of enough funding, focus on a single area, and determination.

Nigel Brahams:
Advising on multiple ICOs at the moment, the lack of regulatory clarity on ICOs risks impacting the quality of advisory services being presented to clients. One approach would be to update regulations, which were largely created to solve the problems post-2008, to address this new development.

Craig Bell:
Balancing the market’s demand for new and inventive ways to leverage their data, with Bank’s internal responsibility to safeguard and protect clients’ sensitive information, is a big challenge – particularly with the risk of data breaches and cyber attacks facing financial institutions today.

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