Home Fintech Lab 2023 Speakers

Speakers

Global Government Fintech Lab 2023 speakers

KEYNOTE: Dr Jennifer Carroll MacNeill

Minister of State, Responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, Department of Finance, Ireland

Minister Carroll MacNeill was elected as a TD (an elected member of the Irish parliament) for the parliamentary constituency of Dún Laoghaire in the 2020 general election. Prior to her appointment to the Department of Finance, she was a member of a number of committees including the public accounts committee, justice committee and committee on the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. She is a qualified solicitor and barrister, holding a PhD in public policy, with more than a decade’s experience working in a range of government departments on policy and legislation.

Karen Cullen

Head, International Financial Services Unit & Fintech Steering Group, Department of Finance, Ireland

Karen supports the minister in the development and implementation of the ‘Ireland for Finance’ strategy to promote Ireland as an international financial services centre. This is a whole-of-government approach, with collaboration between the public sector and industry, to drive the growth and development of the sector in Ireland. She is also head of the fintech steering group. Karen spoke at the inaugural Global Government Fintech Lab in Tallinn, Estonia, in June 2022.

Dominik Freudenthaler

Fintech Expert, Federal Ministry of Finance, Austria

Dominik is acting chairperson of Austria’s Regulatory Sandbox Advisory Board (housed in the Federal Ministry of Finance) and delegate of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) experts group on finance and digitalisation. He joined the Ministry of Finance in 2012 and has held different positions in the directorate for economic policy, financial markets and customs duties. He was an adviser to director-general Harald Waiglein and worked in the unit for legal affairs of banks and the capital market. He has also been a seconded adviser in a technical mission of the World Bank (FinSAC) in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region. Dominik was responsible for the transposition of the European Union (EU)’s Payments Services Directive 2 (PSD2) and bank recovery and resolution framework in Austria. Currently, he is engaged with transposition of the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and a revision of the law on the audit oversight authority.

Nazim Gasimzade

Director, State Treasury Agency, Azerbaijan

Nazim is an expert in programme, project and strategic management, and has played a leadership role in IT-related modernisation. Before joining the State Treasury Agency (which operates under the Ministry of Finance), he worked for private banks, consulting companies, as well as Fortune 500 companies. He has won national and international awards for his work, and is involved with the PEMPAL (Public Expenditure Management Peer Assisted Learning) network – the multi-lateral effort to develop capacity and share reform experiences among countries in Central Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. When time permits, he teaches project management courses in his hometown and abroad. As well as his native tongue, he is fluent in English, Russian and Turkish.

Moad Fahmi

Senior Adviser – Supervision (Financial Technology), Monetary Authority, Bermuda

At the Bermuda Monetary Authority Moad leads a team responsible for regulatory authorisation and supervision efforts under the Digital Asset Business Act 2018. His team is also responsible for instigating and advancing fintech innovation, as well as developing the digital asset regime in Bermuda, one of the world’s first jurisdictions with a regulatory framework for digital assets. Prior to joining the authority in August 2018, Moad worked in Canada as director for fintech and innovation at the Authority of Financial Markets (Autorité des marchés financiers – AMF) in the province of Quebec.

Martina Verić

Head, Funds and Investment Firms Supervision Division, Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (HANFA), Croatia

Martina is head of a division whose activities include prudential and conduct of business supervision of pension funds and pension companies, investment funds and investment funds management companies, as well as the supervision of provision of investment services and the performance of investment activities. She is also head of HANFA’s internal ESG (environmental, social and governance) working group, which aims to build internal capacity in the ESG area and ensure a uniform supervisory approach for all supervised entities. Before HANFA she worked in the private sector, primarily for investment fund management companies in risk management and compliance. Martina graduated in Financial and Business Mathematics from the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Science and Mathematics.

Mari-Liis Kukk

Innovation Department, Estonian Financial Supervision and Resolution Authority, Estonia

Mari-Liis is head of the Innovation Department at the Estonian Financial Supervision and Resolution Authority (Finantsinspektsioon). She also leads the work of the authority’s Innovation Hub, which is aimed at helping fintech companies to understand how their solution may fit the regulatory environment. She has a PhD in Economics and Finance and undertakes academic work focused on the role of fintechs in building a novel financial sector. She has co-authored two editions of the Estonian FinTech Report. Mari-Liis spoke at the inaugural Global Government Fintech Lab in Tallinn, Estonia, in June 2022.

Daniel McLean

Distribution Lead, Digital Euro, European Central Bank

Daniel, who joined the ECB in 2013, works in the Market Innovation and Integration Division in the European Central Bank (ECB)’s Directorate General Market Infrastructure and Payments. His current focus is on the potential eurozone central bank digital currency (CBDC) – the digital euro – and the development and implementation of policies to support the ECB’s ‘catalyst’ function, aiming to ensure the smooth functioning of financial market infrastructures. He previously worked at the Central Bank of Ireland, playing a key role in developing the Irish National Payments Plan, and before that worked in the private sector for Accenture, specialising in large-scale payment implementation projects.

Barbara Voelkl

Policy Officer for Digital Financial Technologies, Payments and Cyber Security, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany

Barbara serves as policy officer for digital financial technologies, payments and cyber security in Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance’s Department of Financial Market Policy. Responsibilities include European and national digital policies in areas including artificial intelligence (AI) in the financial sector and open finance. She is also responsible for the Digital Finance Forum – a politics-industry exchange platform to foster Germany’s fintech ecosystem. Prior to joining the Ministry of Finance, she gained experience in foreign and security politics with a focus on East Asia, as well as in strategy and management consulting with a focus on the public sector. Barbara is an economist by training.

Gavin Curran

Head, Markets Supervision Division, Central Bank of Ireland

Gavin is Head of Division for Markets Supervision in the Central Bank of Ireland. In this role he is responsible for data analytics, risk and planning, trading venue supervision and market surveillance activities. Data is at the core of these activities and the central bank’s strategy.

Denise Delaney

Head, Policy and Risk Horizontal Function, Central Bank of Ireland

Denise is head of the Policy and Risk Horizontal Function within the Financial Regulation: Policy and Risk Directorate at the Central Bank of Ireland. She is responsible for the development and coordination of innovation strategy and policy, including the Central Bank’s approach to engagement with innovators, via its Innovation Hub and outreach programme. She is also responsible for the implementation of the central bank’s approach to engagement with stakeholders via its Industry Forum. Denise joined the central bank in 2004. During her time at the central bank, she has worked in areas including consumer protection policy, conduct supervision, consumer information and financial education. In 2014/15, she was on secondment to the European Banking Authority, working in its Consumer Protection, Financial Innovation and Payments Unit. Prior to the central bank, she worked in the financial services sector.

Peter Oakes

Founder, Fintech Ireland

Peter is founder of Fintech Ireland, a free community network helping promote, support and facilitate the growth of the Irish fintech ecosystem locally and abroad. His day-job includes board director positions at regulated fintech and other financial services firms including TransferMate, Susquehanna International, Optal Financial and AWM Wealth Advisers. Peter is also a fintech consultant to Armstrong Teasdale, a US law firm with offices in the UK and Ireland. He has previously worked for regulators including Saudi Arabia’s Central Bank (2014: adviser to the deputy governor – banking supervision), the Central Bank of Ireland (2010-2013: director of enforcement and anti-money laundering), UK Financial Conduct Authority (1997-1999: enforcement lawyer) and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (1991-1997: senior officer and tribunal registrar).

Mai Santamaria

Head, Financial Advisory, Shareholding and Financial Advisory Division, Department of Finance, Ireland

Mai leads the Financial Advisory team in Ireland’s Department of Finance. This team carries out evidence-based research to input into emerging and new areas of financial services and technology, advising and recommending policy. Mai led the Market in Crypto Assets Regulations (MiCA) negotiations for Ireland with the EU Commission. She is also a bureau member of the OECD’s Committee in Financial Markets and member of its Ad-Hoc Expert Group in Digital Finance. She was a member of the BlockchainIreland advisory board for two years (2018-2020); organised an Irish government-wide public services blockchain hackathon in 2019; was a co-founder of BlockW; and co-chair of BGIN (Blockchain Governance Initiative Network). Mai worked in finance executive roles in the banking and insurance sectors for more than 20 years before joining the Ministry. She is a native of Barcelona and a Fellow Chartered Accountant in Ireland. In 2021 she published a World Economic Forum paper on the use of stablecoins for cross-border aid and, in 2017, co-authored a Department of Finance virtual currencies and blockchain discussion paper.

Rahav Shalom-Revivo

Head, Financial-Cyber Innovation and International Engagements,
Ministry of Finance, Israel

Rahav established and manages the Financial-Cyber Innovation and International Engagements unit at the Israeli Ministry of Finance. As part of this role she leads financial-cyber international relationship activities with foreign governments, regulators and financial institutions; and develops and leads international financial-cyber simulations and exercises such as ‘Collective Strength’ (international financial-cyber simulations involving 13 finance ministries and global financial organisations held in 2021-2022 and which focused on the financial impacts that resulted from a dramatic cyber-attack on the international financial ecosystem). Rahav also founded Israel’s National Fintech-Cyber Innovation Lab – the first initiative in the world that leverages governmental assets and data in order to promote fintech and cyber start-up companies in an open innovation platform; and established and is leading the ‘Fintech Ladies IL’ community.

Dina Buse

Deputy Director, Financial Market Policy Department, & Head, Credit Institution and Payment Services Policy Division, Ministry of Finance, Latvia

For the past seven years Dina has focused on the development of financial sector regulation, including banking sector regulation, resolution, payment services and fintech policy. She has 15 years’ experience across innovation, financial engineering instruments and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) support programmes. She also spoke at a Global Government Fintech webinar on blockchain bonds on 23 March 2023.

Marine Krasovska

Head, Fintech Supervision Department, Latvijas Banka (Latvia’s central bank), Latvia

Marine became head of the fintech supervision department at Latvijas Banka (Latvia’s central bank) on 1 January 2023 after the integration of the Baltic state’s Financial and Capital Market Commission – where she was director of the financial innovation department – into the central bank. She had been in that role since 2020. Her current position includes a focus on payment institutions/e-money institutions; crowdfunding; the development of the fintech environment; ICT risks’ supervision in financial sector; and the implementation of SupTech and RegTech solutions. A co-founder of a fintech start-up, she has also worked for Baltic banks Luminor, DNB and SEB. Marine spoke at the inaugural Global Government Fintech Lab in Tallinn, Estonia, in June 2022.

Valentina Ion

Director, Public Finance Strategy, Microsoft

Valentina leads Microsoft’s sales and industry solutions strategy, supporting ministries of finance, tax agencies, customs and trade agencies, national treasuries as well as financial market regulators, embarking on the digital transformation journey. She has a diverse background in industry sales strategy and execution, business management, as well as marketing and product management. With more than 23 years’ experience in ICT and business transformation Valentina is passionate about business re-engineering and technology innovation for a better economy and society. She is energised by people and is a strong believer that women are a cohesion and growth factor in every industry and organisation. Valentina spoke at the inaugural Global Government Fintech Lab in Tallinn, Estonia, in June 2022 (an event also partnered by Microsoft).

Paul Blackwell

Manager, Public Sector Business for UK & Ireland, Nintex

Paul Blackwell is a seasoned public sector manager for UK & Ireland at Nintex, the world’s largest privately-owned technology organisation specialising in business process management (BPM), low-code, case management, forms, robotic process automation (RPA), document generation, e-signature, process mapping, process discovery, task mining and workflow solutions. With more than 13 years’ experience in the field, Paul has been instrumental in delivering innovative solutions to government customers across the UK and Ireland. His expertise lies in helping government agencies to navigate the complexities of digital transformation, with a focus on improving workflows, increasing efficiency and reducing costs. He has successfully implemented low-code and process automation technology to create tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of government customers. His commitment to delivering exceptional service and support has made him a trusted adviser to government organisations, and he has played a pivotal role in driving the adoption of smart technology within the public sector.

Kristin Tornling

Senior Adviser, Digitalisation and Innovation, Financial Supervisory Authority, Norway

Kristin co-ordinates all initiatives on digitalisation and innovation in the Norwegian FSA (Finanstilsynet) and is project manager for a major internal digitalisation project running from 2022 to 2026. This project aims to accelerate the FSA’s digitalisation using technology such as cloud services, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA). She has been with the FSA for more than nine years and has held several roles, including head of IT and head of digitalisation and innovation.

José Manuel Marqués Sevillano

Director, Financial Innovation and Market Infrastructures Department, Banco de España, Spain

José Manuel is director of the Financial Innovation and Market Infrastructures Department at Banco de España (Bank of Spain). In this position, he co-ordinates the contribution from Bank of Spain to infrastructures related with the Eurosystems’s TARGET Services and Market Activities Processing System (MAPS: the treasury management system for central banks provided by Banco de España and Banque de France). He also co-ordinates analysis of trends transforming the financial system. He joined Spain’s central bank in 1996. He is also chair of the BIS Innovation Network’s working group on green finance and represents Bank of Spain as alternate on the high-level taskforce on the digital euro.

Ezechi Britton MBE

Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT), United Kingdom

A serial tech entrepreneur, Ez’s journey has taken him from software developer to co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) to venture capital. He has just started the next stage of his mission as chief executive of the UK’s recently launched Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT) – an industry body backed by HM Treasury and the City of London Corporation with a mission to unblock the barriers to growth for fintech. Ez was previously principal and CTO-in-residence at Impact X Capital Partners LLP, a venture fund focused on supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs. He is the co-founder of Code Untapped, a digital skills accelerator that helps companies find innovative product solutions by giving them access to diverse and underrepresented technologists through their innovation labs events. He is a former co-founder and founding CTO of Neyber, a multi-award-winning fintech firm focused on financial wellbeing. In 2023 Ez was appointed as trustee to the board of homelessness charity Crisis. He was named on the New Year’s honours list in 2022 to receive an MBE for services to diversity and to young people.

Katie Fortune

Senior Manager, Central Bank Digital Currency Unit, Bank of England, United Kingdom

Katie is a senior manager in the Bank of England (BoE)’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) unit, overseeing international and stakeholder engagement, and work on functional design. She has been working at the central bank for ten years and has held roles across financial stability, monetary analysis and prudential policy, as well as a secondment with JP Morgan. She previously worked in economic consultancy. Katie holds degrees in maths and economics from the University of Cambridge and Birkbeck.

Rachel McLaren

Head, Open Banking Payments, HM Revenue & Customs, United Kingdom

Rachel has 10 years’ experience working in payments and banking at HMRC, with the past five on delivery of the department’s payments strategy. This strategy supports HMRC’s goal of becoming a world leader in government financial digital transactions and payments. Rachel delivered ‘Payment Initiation Services’ into HMRC’s payments services in 2021 and continues to manage the service and introduce improvements. She is currently leading projects looking to embed online payments into customer interfaces and looking to exploit opportunities to simplify customers’ payments.

Euan Slack

Head, Grants Digital, Cabinet Office, United Kingdom

Euan is responsible for the development and adoption of digital tools within the UK Cabinet Office’s Government Grants Management Function. He was appointed Head of Spotlight – an automated due diligence tool, designed and built at the Cabinet Office – in August 2020. Spotlight is now used widely across UK government, with all customers feeding in application data that helps build an intelligence picture of exactly who is applying for government funding and when. He was previously Head of Private Office. Euan also spoke at the inaugural Global Government Fintech Lab in Tallinn, Estonia, in June 2022

Aiaze Mitha

Global Lead – Digital Finance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations Development Programme/UNCDF

Aiaze has worked in fintech/tech in 40-plus countries and advised financial regulators and international organisations such as the United Nations (UN), World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC). Based in Paris, he is currently leading a joint UNDP/UNCDF programme on digital finance innovations to accelerate financing for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A lot of his work focuses on fintech innovations for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), climate and nature. Previously, Aiaze led a coalition of digital platforms harnessing artificial intelligence/tech to enable greener choices for their users. He was also a senior adviser to the UN Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the SDGs and was leading a global dialogue platform seeking to align the governance of ‘BigFintechs’ with the SDGs. Prior to that, this he worked for Tiaxa, a digital lending fintech primarily in Africa but also Latin America and Asia. He also sits on the board of several fintech start-ups.

Siobhan Benita

Event Moderator, Global Government Fintech & Global Government Forum

Siobhan is a former senior civil servant in the UK, with more than 15 years’ Whitehall experience. She worked in many major delivery departments, including Transport, Environment, Health and Local Government. She also had senior roles at the heart of government in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, including supporting the then Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell, to lead work on civil service reform and strategy. Siobhan left to run as an independent candidate in the Mayor of London election. She subsequently joined her alma mater, Warwick University, as chief strategy officer of Warwick in London and co-director of the Warwick Policy Lab. Siobhan also moderated sessions at the inaugural Global Government Fintech Lab in Tallinn, Estonia, in June 2022.

Ian Hall

Editor, Global Government Fintech

Ian has edited Global Government Fintech since the title launched (as a sister title of Global Government Forum) in September 2020. He is former UK director for the pan-European media network Euractiv (2011-2018), editor of Public Affairs News (2007-2011) and news editor of PR Week (2000-2007). He was shortlisted for ‘Editor of the Year’ at the British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME) Awards in 2010. He began his career in Bulgaria at English-language weekly the Sofia Echo. Ian also introduced and moderated sessions at the inaugural Global Government Fintech Lab in Tallinn, Estonia, in June 2022.

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