The Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE) launches today. CFTE is building the future of online education in finance, with an EdTech platform that supports finance professionals to adapt to a rapidly changing industry.
The platform will equip finance professionals with a comprehensive understanding of the digital shift that is dramatically transforming finance. An exceptional advisory and academic board will support CFTE’s mission with the first two board members being announced today as Claire Calmejane and Janos Barberis, further boardmember announcements to come in the next few weeks.
Of the need for finance professionals to adapt, Huy Nguyen Trieu, Co-founder of CFTE and CEO of The Disruptive Group, stated, “Artificial Intelligence and automation are rapidly transforming finance, and have a huge impact on jobs. For finance professionals, this could be seen as a threat to their jobs, but we think that there are great opportunities for those who acquire the right skills.” Although most discussions about finance revolve around technology nowadays, CFTE’s Co-founder Tram Anh Nguyen believes it should be Human Capital first. She added, “we are convinced that innovation and technology are important to the future of finance, but we want to make sure that people remain at the centre of everything. In a tech world, we bet on people.”
This transformation in finance has long been happening and is accelerating. At its height, the US cash equities trading desk at Goldman Sachs’ New York office employed 600 traders - now it has 2. Rather than being discouraged by this trend, CFTE wants to bridge the gap between old and new ways of thinking about finance - to bring a new understanding that emphasises the opportunities technology creates. According to CB Insights, investment in Fintech has increased by 500% from $2.5B in 2012 to $13.1B in 2016, and it’s a trend that looks set to continue with countries like the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia emphasising a national FinTech strategy to boost the sector and create growth opportunities both in established financial institutions and startups.
For this growth to materialise, the right infrastructure is needed. As someone who designed the first Fintech lectures at Oxford Said Business School and is Fintech Fellow at the Centre for Global Finance and Technology at Imperial College, Huy notes, “Students and finance professionals are aware technology is changing the financial landscape, but find it difficult to adapt to such a fast-changing world”. Both Huy and Tram Anh are passionate for CFTE to be a vehicle to empower people and believe close relationships with the education & private sector is a key factor to success. “Ultimately, we want to give people the tools to be the source of innovation at companies, to create the finance products of tomorrow”, added Tram Anh.
CFTE is a global platform designed around lifelong learning, offering online and in-class learning to finance professionals, and extensively uses technologies such as m-learning and adaptive learning to help individuals acquire new skills effectively and at their own pace. CFTE is building a global network of academics and industry experts to design the curriculum and deliver exceptional content.
In order to accomplish this goal, CFTE has brought together some of the brightest and most respected minds in finance, technology, academia and entrepreneurship to join the academic and advisory boards. In line with CFTE’s objective of building a global and open ecosystem, the first two board members announced are based in London and Hong Kong, one works for one of the largest banks in the world, while the other has founded 3 start-ups.
Claire Calmejane joins the advisory board. She is the Director of Innovation and Digital Centre of Excellence at Lloyds Banking Group (LBG). A former visiting scientist at MIT with a background in computer engineering, she co-authored a leading paper on digitizing large organisations and is a regular lecturer in top universities. A contributor of the World Economic Forum on the ‘Future of Financial Services’ and of governments on Fintech, she brings industry knowledge to CFTE. At LBG, she has been instrumental in helping to devise a strategy to digitise the bank, creating the digital academy for 75,000 colleagues and establishing LBG’s Innovation Labs to fast track the testing of new product ideas. French-born Calmejane is one of the only women in the Fintech 40 Europe, a multi-awarded digital leader and an active advocate for Digital Inclusion. “We are digital leaders - with more mobile phones than toothbrushes in the world, there are countless digital opportunities to make banking easier, simpler and more inclusive. CFTE wants to support and train all digital leaders for the benefits of customers and I am very pleased to join the advisory board”, said Claire.
Janos Barberis joins the academic board. He is the founder and CEO of SuperCharger, the Hong Kong-based FinTech accelerator, and one of the most successful FinTech accelerators in Asia. He is also co-editor of the Fintech Book which sold in 100+ countries. On joining CFTE, “for a sustainable FinTech eco-system to exist, investing in Human Capital at the individual and national level is critical. Whilst Asia represent the largest FinTech market in the world it accounts for less than 10% of the professionals working in the sector. Upskilling, at scale, the future generation of entrepreneurs & intrapreneurs is the next moon-shot project, that CFTE will deliver”, said Janos. Recognised as a “Top-35 Global FinTech leader”, Janos sits on the FinTech advisory board of the Securities & Futures Commission in Hong Kong. An expert in understanding the regulatory implications brought on by the development of FinTech, he co-authored several academic papers that now account for 1/3 of all global downloads.