Regulatory Ramblings

Reg/Tech Lab - HKU-SCF FinTech Academy - Asia Global Institute - HKU-edX Professional Certificate in FinTech

Welcome to Regulatory Ramblings, a new podcast from a team at The University of Hong Kong on the intersection of all things pertaining to finance, technology, law and regulation. Hosted by The Reg/Tech Lab, HKU-Standard Chartered FinTech Academy, Asia Global Institute and the HKU-edX Professional Certificate in FinTech, with support from the HKU Faculty of Law. Join us as we hear from luminaries across multiple fields and professions as they share their candid thoughts in a stress-free environment - rather than the soundbites one typically hears from the mainstream press.

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Episódios

A Conversation with One of World's Most Formidable Trial Lawyers
Há 4 dias
A Conversation with One of World's Most Formidable Trial Lawyers
Episode #45 with guest John B. Quinn, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLPJohn B. Quinn is the founder and chairman of the nearly four-decade old Los Angeles law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. The firm has been voted the world’s "most-feared law firm" ten times by independent research provider BTI Consulting, which surveyed over 300 key legal decision-makers at the world’s largest organizations. In fact, in BTI’s annual survey - when respondents were asked the law firm that they least wanted to face as opposing counsel – Quinn Emanuel is consistently ranked number one as the world’s most feared litigation law firm. Since 1986, John and his partners have built the largest law firms in the world devoted solely to business litigation and arbitration – which The Wall Street Journal called a “global litigation powerhouse.” In that time, Quinn Emanuel has grown to 35 offices in 12 countries on four continents, with over 1100 lawyers, generating more than $2 billion in revenue annually. In recent years, the firm has recovered over $80 billion for plaintiffs. John also has ties to Hollywood, where, for 33 years, he served as General Counsel to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Oscars.  An avid mountain climber, Ironman triathlete and father of five, he is also the host of the popular podcast "Law, disrupted" - www.law-disrupted.fm. In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, he chats with host, Ajay Shamdasani, about how he found his way into the legal profession, his representation of the Bank of China, Alibaba, AliPay, and Ant Financial – juggernauts on the mainland Chinese banking and fintech / digital payments scene – as well as his belief in Singapore's importance as a dispute resolution centre for the Asia-Pacific. He also comments on how Hong Kong stacks up against the Lion City in that regard.   The conversation also covers the business rationale for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart’s focus on purely litigation and for not to representing the world’s largest money centre banks, notwithstanding the deep pockets for premium legal services that the world’s biggest financial institutions possess. It is an approach that has won the firm many plaudits amongst the plaintiffs’ bar writ large. John also shares his candid thoughts on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) concerns at a time when such considerations in corporate operations and investing are under attack – often from prominent figures in the business world. He also comments on what can be done on the level of policy and legal reform to lure more foreign direct investment to the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The discussion concludes with John commenting on his commitment to the arts and philanthropy and the importance of giving back to society when one attains a certain level of success – such as his longstanding service to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, opening the Museum of Broken Relationships in Los Angeles.HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
The Dangers of Non-Technically Trained Lawyers Advising on Technological Matters
08-05-2024
The Dangers of Non-Technically Trained Lawyers Advising on Technological Matters
In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, Ron Yu and Donald Day chat with host Ajay Shamdasani on the potentially pernicious consequences of non-technically trained lawyers - specifically, those without degrees or substantial experience in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) - offering advice in situations where technology is either implicated or at the core of the matter. The law can be unforgiving to those that are ignorant of its often arcane ways and ultimately, it is clients that pay for what lawyers either do not know or assume, the guests share. In an age of AI, machine learning and large language models (LLMs) – they do not go as far as to say lawyers need to learn how to code, but counsel need to understand the practical legal, business, financial and reputational implications of such technologies for their clients. Technology can, at times, change the rules of the game, Ron and Donald stress. Yet, they also point out that sometimes lawyers suggest contractual terms that are legally feasible but based on current technology, impractical – such as the Bitcoin 10-second consensus period: a performance requirement that is not possible to do. As our guests explain, if there are terms in a contract that are unworkable, it could lead to a lawyer killing a deal either out of ignorance of the underlying technology or a lack of commercial acumen. The discussion moves onto how rare it is to find those that are technically trained and also licensed, practicing lawyers. Clearly, the more technical a subject, the less likely an average dispute resolution practitioner at the typical multinational, Anglo-American law firm is going to be up to the task. Our guests acknowledge that leaves clients a very narrow field of specialists to choose from if they want to be represented by lawyers who both understand both the law and the underlying technology involved. Lawyers often view technology through the lens of the legal and regulatory compliance implications, with less focus on the implementation of a particular technology. How it will work, and how and where best to use it is an afterthought. As for cybersecurity, it is regarded as an IT issue, they say. If a lawyer overlooks the cybersecurity issues, Yu said, then they are glossing over important technical details which can harm a client. The conversation concludes on the point that when it comes to 'tech lawyers', it certainly seems that, generally speaking in APAC, those practitioners that market themselves well have the biggest platforms and the loudest voices and are, therefore, regarded as authorities in their respective fields. Clearly. there are times where there is no substitute for the right kind of technical background. For example, as Donald Day recalls, patent litigators not infrequently have to deal with solicitors who don’t understand the tech and those solicitors soon become a hindrance. Both guests underscore the lingering perception that it is not ideal to engage in IP-related litigation in Hong Kong because of the lack of talent; even if a specialist carefully explains something to a solicitor, the latter will invariably get it wrong or simply not understand the subject matter. Ronald Yu is the director and co-founder at MakeBell Limited. He is also a visiting fellow at the City University of Hong Kong's (CityU's) School of Law and a part-time law lecturer at Peking University. Donald Day is the chief operating officer of FinTech start-up firm VDX, which is building a digital asset eco-system for institutional investors.HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Why ESG Matters?
24-04-2024
Why ESG Matters?
Episode 43 with guest Jon Solorzano, Vinson & ElkinsJon Solorzano is a Los Angeles-based attorney who serves as counsel and co-head of the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) task force at the law firm of Vinson & Elkins. Prior to this role, he served as senior director for legal and corporate development at the Clorox Company. Beyond ESG, Jon is also a highly sought-after thought leader with significant expertise in related fields such as M&A, corporate governance, securities regulation, corporate and business development, consumer products, technology, human capital management, business financial strategy, and international matters for both high-growth start-ups and established Fortune 500 companies. Few topics are as vexatious and polarizing in contemporary times as the acronym ESG. Legendary investors such as Warren Buffet and his second-in-command, the late Charlie Munger, along with other prominent corporate and finance figures, argue that ESG should not be a consideration in investment decisions. Against this backdrop, Jon discusses with Regulatory Ramblings host Ajay Shamdasani why ESG matters to investors, companies, and society, alongside corporate social responsibility (CSR) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). He stresses that while these concepts and movements are related and overlap to some degree, they are not necessarily the same thing. Indeed, Jon notes that those who coined the term ESG might have garnered more support for their cause had they emphasized (G)overnance rather than (E)nvironmental, as even skeptics of global warming can appreciate the importance of well-governed companies and how that affects share prices. Jon also shares insights into his upbringing, background, and path into the legal profession, as well as how, as a transactional lawyer, he ended up leading his firm’s ESG practice. While acknowledging the concerns of ESG detractors and naysayers, Jon predicts that 10-15 years from now, the nature of the debate and discussion will be very different. By then, few will even question the importance of ESG to the world’s well-being, he says, as millennials and Zoomers take over the reins of society in developed countries. A telling sign that Jon's predictions are accurate is that for younger investors, ESG definitely matters as a yardstick in gauging what constitutes a socially conscious and sustainable investment. The conversation concludes by examining the extent to which ESG mandates intersect with financial regulation, and why banking and financial institutions globally need to take ESG as seriously as their regulatory compliance and risk management requirements. NOTE: All related links are in the #RegulatoryRamblings page at: https://www.hkufintech.com/regulatoryramblingsHKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
The Intersection of Digital Assets and Data Protection
10-04-2024
The Intersection of Digital Assets and Data Protection
Episode 42 - Jonathan Crompton, Reynolds, Porter & ChamberlainJonathan Crompton is a Hong Kong-based partner at the law firm of Reynolds, Porter & Chamberlain (RPC) where he helps companies and individuals navigate complex cross-border disputes and investigations involving their Asian operations, specialising in commercial matters (in particular for the retail industry), financial services and technology related disputes and cyber incidents. And as the lead for RPC’s 'ReSecure' cyber incident response service in Asia, he advises local and multinational clients on cyber-attacks, data privacy and law enforcement investigations, as well as helping clients across the globe to recover money transferred to Hong Kong bank accounts as a result of cyber and other frauds. Jonathan advises on all forms of disputes including litigation before national courts and arbitral tribunals operating under various rules (in particular, the HKIAC, ICC and UNCITRAL), and on investigations by regulators (notably financial services regulators such as the Securities and Futures Commission). His clients include senior individuals, asset managers, and leading multi-national corporations and brands. As a result of RPC's predominantly 'conflict-free' model for financial services disputes, Jonathan represents senior individuals and companies in claims brought by or against leading banks where other firms are often unable to act. He is also a founding member of the Hong Kong chapter of the Crypto Fraud and Asset Recovery (CFAAR) network, the first global association for such professionals. The London chapter was launched in London in 2021, with the Hong Kong chapter formed in August 2022. In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, Jonathan chats with host Ajay Shamdasani about his background, upbringing and how he ended up in the legal profession. The bulk of the conversation, however, is devoted to data protection and digital assets, specifically the February raid of the offices of WorldCoin by the Hong Kong Office of the Privacy Commissioner (PCPD). They discuss the PCPD’s expression of concern about WorldCoin's collection and storage of iris scans in exchange for its WorldCoin token (WLD). As Jonathan points out, the case was a clear example of the increasing intersection of personal data protection principles and digital assets. The conversation also covers his recent LinkedIn post in which he stated that the Privacy Commissioner Ada Chung’s action was further proof that she was flexing her existing powers – even before the amendments to the territory’s Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance are expected to be enacted within the next year. They also discuss what shape Jonathan envisages those amendments taking, as well as what cases he has seen in his practice in recent times involving virtual assets, digital contracts and cybersecurity, as well as related emerging methodologies, trends and themes. USEFUL LINKSJonathan Crompton on RPC page and on LinkedIn CFAAR – About Us PCPD warning on World Coin ProjectNew book - FinTech: Finance, Technology & Regulation HKU-SCF Fintech Academy Asia Global InstituteProfessional Certificate in FinTechHKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
The Challenges of Taking Startups Public in India
27-03-2024
The Challenges of Taking Startups Public in India
Madhurima Mukherjee SahaPartner, J Sagar Associates Madhurima Mukherjee is the New Delhi-based head of the J Sagar Associates law firm’s capital markets division. She has over two decades of experience in securities offerings in both the domestic and international markets – including initial public offerings (IPOs), further offers, rights offers, qualified institutional placements and block trades. Sometimes referred as India’s “queen of capital markets,” Madhurima has been part of some of the country’s highest profile capital raising efforts, including the 2010 Coal India IPO, which eventually raised over US$ 2.5 billion and remains one of India’s largest IPOs. Prior to joining JSA, she was a Senior Partner at AZB & Partners until April 2020. She has also worked with Luthra & Luthra as a national head and partner until 2013 and before that, she was a partner at the firm of Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co, as a partner until 2006. Madhurima had taken credit courses and some seminars in Capital Markets at The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences and National Law School, New Delhi. Given that India is currently in strong growth mode compared to much of the rest of the world, it’s no surprise that such an environment has birthed a budding start-up scene. Indeed, in the three-plus decades since the Indian economy liberalized, even more young entrepreneurs have arrived on the scene – many with dreams of becoming publicly listed companies via the IPO route. Yet, being a developing nation, myriad challenges remain for start-ups seeking public listings in India, which Madhurima delineates in her chat this episode with Regulatory Ramblings host Ajay Shamdasani. She discusses how she found her way in the legal profession, her passion for working with startups and the challenges that they face in India beyond those of legal, regulatory, financial/liquidity and managerial issues. Madhurima stresses the challenges of getting and retaining talent, as well as the degree of governmental support – or the lack thereof – in the form of red tape, tax and support programs that Indian startups face. The conversation concludes with her views on how the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) – the country’s capital markets watchdog – can improve securities and listing rules to make it easier for the country’s startups to go public. HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Super Apps, FemTech and Financial Resilience
13-03-2024
Super Apps, FemTech and Financial Resilience
Ep 40 - Neha Mehta, Founder & CEO, FemTech Partners Neha Mehta is a member of the department of mathematics at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She also teaches in that institution’s Master of Science program in FinTech. Among her interests are financial inclusion using FinTech as a vehicle to achieve it, as well as climate sustainability, innovating for a blue economy and greener future, and encouraging more women to enter the tech space – evidenced by her work with the group SG Women In Tech. Neha is also a FinTech lawyer, former diplomat, and social entrepreneur, in addition to being the author of a new book called “One Stop” on the topic of Super Apps. As she points out new software applications are churned out every day to respond to meet people’s needs. “Super Apps,” she says, are apps that allow users to access several services from one single application. Super Apps like Grab and WeChat are gaining popularity and tech giants and FinTechs looking to stake their claim in this digital revolution. In “One Stop,” Neha traces the history of Super Apps and analyses the cultural differences in their adoption and popularity – and in some cases, the lack thereof – in the East versus the West. Through stories of well-known Super Apps and in-depth interviews with central banks, entrepreneurs, and FinTech industry experts, Neha’s book illustrates how the Super App revolution disrupts, innovates and creates opportunities. With the COVID-19 pandemic as a background highlighting the need to move to digital platforms, “One Stop” also examines how Super Apps can potentially create an inclusive and sustainable world for all, in a future that looks increasingly digital. With that as a launching pad, Neha shares with Regulatory Ramblings host Ajay Shamdasani about her upbringing in Bangalore, as well as how she first got interested in matters of financial inclusion, climate sustainability, the green economy and women in tech, and what she sees as the interconnections between them – namely, economic growth and good stewardship of the planet. The discussion also delves into creating talent pools in the tech entrepreneur and/corporate realms with an eye towards seeing more women at the decision-making table in boardrooms. A key part of the equation, Neha says, is getting more females enrolled in STEM subjects earlier in life. In that vein, she stresses the need for policy frameworks incentivizing parents of young girls to send them to schools which are focused on how they can be software engineers, or enter the emergent fields of artificial intelligence or data management. She goes on to share her views about the tech ecosystem and entrepreneurial environment in Singapore, drawing on her experiences. In 2019, Neha set up a company called FemTech Partners with the aim of representing women in tech – especially the fintech space. The focus was on how to make them financially resilient and receive the pro bono mentorship they need. The conversation includes Neha’s thoughts on being a member of the math faculty at NTU, as well as summarizing the key conclusions, observations and policy recommendations of her book. HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Money and Payments – The Decade Ahead
28-02-2024
Money and Payments – The Decade Ahead
Yesha Yadav is the Milton R. Underwood Chair at Vanderbilt Law School, the Robert Belton Director of Diversity, Equity and Community and , and Associate Dean in addition to being a Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director of the school’s LLM program at Vanderbilt University Law School. Her research interests are in financial market and securities regulation, and corporate bankruptcy law – focusing on market structure, exchange design, payments, digital asset regulation, distressed debt and restructuring.  Before joining Vanderbilt's law faculty in 2011, Yesha worked as a legal counsel with the World Bank in its finance, private-sector development and infrastructure unit, where she specialized in financial regulation and insolvency, and debtor-creditor rights. Before joining the World Bank in 2009, she practiced from 2004-08 in the London and Paris offices of Clifford Chance in the firm's financial regulation and derivatives group. As part of her work in the area of payments regulation, she advised the European Payments Council on the establishment of the Single Euro Payments Area. Since joining Vanderbilt, Yesha has served as an honorary advisor to India’s Financial Services Law Reform Commission and on the Atlantic Council’s Task Force on Divergence, Transatlantic Financial Reform and G-20 Agenda. She has served as a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Technology Advisory Committee, where she sat on the Distributed Ledger Technology and Algorithmic Trading Subcommittees. She earned an MA in Law and Modern Languages at the University of Cambridge, after which she earned an LLM at Harvard Law School. She was a Vanderbilt University Chancellor Faculty Fellow for 2019-21 In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, she chats with host Ajay Shamdasani on the future of money and the shape currency and payment mechanisms will take in the coming decade. Money and payments have experienced a significant redesign over the last decade with money becoming increasingly digital cash use declining rapidly – especially since the pandemic, in countries like Sweden and urban China where cashlessness is the norm. Yesha shares her views on technologies combining digital banking and smartphones spurring a rapid restructuring of the payments architecture for everyday consumers and businesses. The conversation looks at the design of payment systems, the inefficiencies that exist even as such systems have been scaled – including financial exclusion for lower income communities and communities of color – as well as the efficacy of emerging digital asset solutions such as stablecoins, where tokenized representations of currencies like US dollar or the Euro move on rapidly computer networks (blockchains), transferring money in minutes and cheaply. The discussion moves on to exploring the risks emerging with a highly bank centric payments system (as is the case in the US less so in EU). As shown in the U.S. in March 2023, bank collapses mean that payment systems can also be disrupted (e.g., the collapse of Signature Bank caused a big disruption to the Signet payment system). Further, money kept by non-bank payment providers at US banks was also in peril where accounts exceeded the federal insurance limit (e.g., Circle had over US$3 billion in cash reserves held at SVB). The chat concludes with Yesha’s thoughts some of the tensions arising from the current trend toward digitization and the potential for blockchain-based decentralized finance to take off and gain more mainstream acceptance. HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Digital Payments, Innovations, and Financial Inclusion
14-02-2024
Digital Payments, Innovations, and Financial Inclusion
Lisa Nestor is a Los Angeles-based fintech expert and pioneer in the field of electronic payments. She currently serves as the chief strategy officer at AirTM. Under her watch, AirTM has successfully facilitated over 26 million transactions, and expanded access to commerce to international businesses both large and small, creating a user-friendly tool benefiting millions of people worldwide.  After just a year in the FinTech field, Lisa introduced by a UCLA professor from her MBA days, to Jed Michaela, then CEO of the Stellar Development Foundation - a non-profit foundation supporting the Stellar ledger: an open, decentralized blockchain ledger focused on payments and providing open financial infrastructure. Before transitioning to AirTM, Lisa spent five and half years at Stellar, where she focused on partnerships and later, ecosystem development. As she puts it, the beauty of AirTM is that it leverages Stellar ledger.  With a passion for innovation, implementation and strategy within the shifting fintech landscape, Lisa’s knowledge is much sought after by entrepreneurs, developers and C-Suite executives. In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, she talks to our host Ajay Shamdasani about her time in the Peace Corps, how she got into FinTech and payment systems as a ‘non-techie’ as well as AirTM’s long term goals and achievements thus far. Their conversation also delves into how firms operating in the FinTech and crypto realms should they adjust their business strategies to factor in digital money and cross-border payments and the attendant regulations that go along with them.   Lisa also shares her views on financial inclusion, making money easily accessible and immediately available, and utility of decentralized ledgers. She also talks about the challenges of operating across 190 countries with 400 unique payment methods globally. The discussion underscores the need for proper cross-border payment infrastructure to support the digital economy, which begs the question – who will set the rules of such new financial architecture – the industry or governments? The conversation concludes with Lisa’s thoughts on stablecoin digital currencies outside national currencies (especially amongst those concerned about digital financial sovereignty), whether self-custody wallets the solution to digital financial sovereignty and what parts of the world beyond Dubai are worth watching for developments in FinTech and payment systems. HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Reflections on a Career in Securities Regulation
17-01-2024
Reflections on a Career in Securities Regulation
Marc I. Steinberg is the Rupert and Lillian Radford Chair in Law and Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas.  He has served as a professor, fellow or has lectured at several other prominent universities – including the University of Cambridge, Oxford University, King’s College-University of London, Heidelberg University, Stockholm University, University of Tel Aviv, Moscow State University, University of Sydney, Auckland University, University of Hong Kong, University of Tokyo, UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania.Professor Steinberg was an attorney for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement and its Office of General Counsel.  He also has been retained as an expert witness in several high-profile cases, including Enron, Martha Stewart, Mark Cuban, and the National Prescription Opioid Litigation.Marc is the most prolific author of securities law scholarship in the United States, having authored approximately 150 law review articles as well as approximately 45 books. One of his recent books, Rethinking Securities Law (Oxford University Press 2021), was awarded Winner for the best law book in the United States for 2021 by American Book Fest. He is editor-in-chief of The International Lawyer and The Securities Regulation Law Journal. Professor Steinberg is a member of The American Law Institute.In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, he talks with host Ajay Shamdasani about his background, growing up in Detroit, Michigan, being hired by the SEC as a staff attorney during the federal hiring freeze imposed during the Carter administration and what he learned during his time as an enforcement lawyer there.Marc also shares his views on why he believes the United States’ regulatory structure is a key component in the success of its capital markets, as well as his thoughts on the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (1995), the Sarbanes Oxley Act (2002) and the Dodd-Frank Act (2010), and whether overlaying rules upon rules makes the U.S. regulatory system complex and unwieldy.The conversation concludes on the topic of legal pedagogy, such as how best to teach core, doctrinal, foundational financial law courses such as securities regulation, as well as the topic of legal ethics and what can be done to inculcate such values into future law school graduates. Also discussed is the four-tier structure of U.S. law schools and the contemporary pervasiveness of grade inflation in academia more generally.Find out more about this episode at: hkufintech.com/regulatoryramblingsHKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Decoding Compliance Excellence: Working in AML & Financial Crime Compliance
03-01-2024
Decoding Compliance Excellence: Working in AML & Financial Crime Compliance
Martin James Wallis has a deep understanding and vocation for thwarting financial crime. Currently, he serves as COO at financial crime consultancy FINTRAIL in Singapore. In that capacity, he supports FINTRAIL's efforts to provide practical and inclusive solutions in the global fight against financial crime.Before joining FINTRAIL, Martin enjoyed a 22-year career in the British Army's Intelligence Corps, holding various specialised intelligence and security roles in support of military operations worldwide – including being based in Northern Ireland and at the British Embassy in Beijing. He holds a degree in Global Business Management from Bournemouth University and an Executive MBA from Quantic School of Business and Technology.In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, Martin shares more about his background, how he got into consulting and his family history of military service. He talks to host Ajay Shamdasani the types of personalities that do well in AML/KYC and financial crime compliance, how to manage and lead them to serve their greatest purpose, and how to handle the ego issues that often arise when overseeing capable, high achieving performers. Their conversation concludes on how ESG connects to financial crime and how solving such problems goes a long way toward fighting such transgressions. Martin stresses that such offenses are not a victimless matter.Regulatory Ramblings podcasts is brought to you by The University of Hong Kong - Reg/Tech Lab, HKU-SCF Fintech Academy, Asia Global Institute, and HKU-edX Professional Certificate in Fintech, with support from the HKU Faculty of Law.Find out more about us at: hkufintech.com/regulatoryramblingsHKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Generation Z has little say in the financial infrastructure that will govern future generations
20-12-2023
Generation Z has little say in the financial infrastructure that will govern future generations
At the heart of Dr. Bryane Michael’s conversation with Regulatory Ramblings host Ajay Shamdasani is whether FinTech can help solve the social, financial, and economic problems previous generations like the Baby Boomers contributed to. They discuss whether Gen-Z's potentially decentralized world of finance will look radically different from ours. Gen-Zers and now Gen Alpha will grow up in a world designed and run almost exclusively by baby boomers. The DBS power outage was supposedly partly caused by a 'missing generation' unable to take charge during the crisis. Why have huge, octogenarian, organizational men-created lumbering bureaucracies that FinTech has been having problems shaping? Economists have struggled to understand why organizations exist for almost a century. Massive central banks, financial supervisors, regulators and now new stability boards pile on to gigantic financial services firms like Blackrock, Visa, and Allianz. Most of us distrust them. Scale has financial benefits even outside the financial sector – as Google and YouTube show. And there are no signs to show this trend abating. Pay apps on our mobile phones must still go through the same old architectures – using the same old rules. When you turn on MetaMask and use Ethereum, you get a whole different feeling of the Internet. Thousands of decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, are creating tokens that can be almost anything you want them to be. Bryane shares an alternative view of finance and the economy in a decentralized finance (DeFi) world. All too often, we only hear the conservative viewpoints about FinTech. Yet, the law and economics of DeFi could look very different from what’s currently envisaged. The discussion centers around the, broadly speaking, two schools of thought on FinTech regulation – namely, the conservative (IMF/BIS) perspective versus the Web3/evangelistic viewpoints. This conversation also covers whether DeFi can solve the “public goods” (missing regulators) problem and create trustless local financial markets, as well as what will FinTech and RegTech mean for traditional property rights and the implications of computer code as law. The two also discuss who the winners of the brave new world of FinTech in the mid-21st century will be and what it might mean for Generation Z/the Zoomers. Bryane stresses that there is a better way to implement FinTech than to just computerize legacy financial institutions. However, he also shares his concerns about young people’s lack of say in shaping the financial architecture that will govern their generation “because the current approach simply shoves existing law onto digital markets instead of creating digitally native finance.” The chat concludes with a discussion about what four decades of debate have meant for cross-border payments as the issue remains a challenge in much of the world. About the Guest: Dr. Bryane Michael is a senior research fellow at HKU’s Faculty of Law. He also taught at Oxford University’s Said Business School. An economist and jurist by training, Bryane has been in finance most of his life. In recent times, his focus has been on trying to understand how Web3-based FinTech can help push sustainable development. Please read more at: www.hkufintech.com/regulatoryramblings HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.
Biometrics in Financial Services with Bala Kumar
06-12-2023
Biometrics in Financial Services with Bala Kumar
Strengthening 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
22-11-2023
Insights on Financial Crime with Michael Heller
Michael 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.
FinTech: Finance, Technology and Regulation
08-11-2023
FinTech: Finance, Technology and Regulation
Episode 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
18-10-2023
Celebrating Diversity in Tech: HK FinTech Week Preview
As HK FinTech Week 2023 approaches (October 30-November 5), Karena Belin and Karen Contet 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
04-10-2023
Don't Fear Technology, Embrace It
Walter 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)
20-09-2023
The Rise and Pitfalls of Digital Finance (in Singapore)
Ep 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
06-09-2023
Crypto, Web3, and the Evolution of Finance, Technology and Compliance
Vivien 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
23-08-2023
Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crime Compliance in India
Episode 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.