Wharton FinTech Podcast


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The Wharton FinTech Podcast discusses the trends, topics, and ideas that are reshaping financial services around the world. The podcast features founders, investors, students, and thinkers from the world of FinTech to share their unique perspectives. This podcast is produced by Wharton FinTech, the first student-led FinTech initiative. Visit whartonfintech.org for more details.

Episode Date
Increasing Shopping Cart Conversion & Managing Credit - Brad Paterson, CEO of Splitit (ASX: SPT)
Miguel Armaza is joined by Brad Paterson, CEO of SplitIt (ASX: SPT), a global payment platform that enables shoppers to pay installments via their credit cards, by splitting credit card purchases into interest and fee-free monthly payments. Splitit is a global payment platform that enables shoppers to pay installments via their credit cards, by splitting credit card purchases into interest and fee-free monthly payments. Splitit’s consumer solutions enable merchants to offer their customers an easy way to pay for purchases in monthly installments with instant approval, decreasing cart abandonment rates and increasing revenue. Splitit Business Payments allows manufacturers and suppliers to provide buyers with an interest-free, installment credit solution for purchasing goods and services utilizing their existing credit cards. Serving many of Internet Retailer’s top 500 merchants, Splitit’s global footprint extends to 27 countries around the world. Headquartered in New York, Splitit has an R&D center in Israel and offices in London and Australia. Brad Paterson has accumulated a wealth of knowledge over nearly two decades working with some of the world’s most successful payment companies, including Intuit, PayPal, and Visa. As Intuit’s VP of Marketing, Brad led the go-to-market team responsible for the US QuickBooks Online revenue and customer outcomes. His responsibilities included the strategy, sales, marketing, and general business operations for the QuickBooks Online portfolio. Prior to this role, Brad served as Intuit’s VP of Asia-Pacific and Global Operations, driving business growth in critical international markets. He also served as PayPal’s Head of Merchant Services, Asia-Pacific and Visa’s Director of Consumer and Emerging Products for Australia and New Zealand, among other roles at the two companies. In this interview, Brad shares: - His background and experiences from his days as an executive at PayPal, Intuit, and Visa. - What drove him to Splitit and why he sees a lot of parallels between them and the early days of Paypal. - The benefits of Splitit’s, business model and why they are experiencing incredibly fast growth during the COVID-19 crisis. - Going public on the Australian Securities Exchange. The benefits and challenges of running a publicly listed company. - Insightful advice for fintech professionals.
Jul 02, 2020
Streamlining Client Experience and Fighting Fraud — Laura Spiekerman, Co-Founder and CRO at Alloy
In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Miguel Armaza is joined by Laura Spiekerman, She’s the Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer at Alloy, an operating system for identity in financial services, including KYC, AML and fraud. Laura Spiekerman is a cofounder and CRO at Alloy. Alloy's API enables financial services companies to better manage their digital onboarding and identity requirements, increasing conversion and reducing fraud for banks and fintechs alike. Alloy works with both fintech companies and banks, including Marqeta, Petal, Brex, Radius Bank and others. Alloy was recognized on the recent Forbes' Cloud 100 Rising Stars list and as one to the global Venture Radar Top 10 RegTech Startups. Prior to Alloy, Laura led Business Development & Partnerships at an ACH payments startup and was on the Research & Investment team at Imprint Capital Advisors (acquired by Goldman Sachs). Laura is a proud Barnard College alumna and lives in Oakland, California. Alloy is an operating system for identity in financial services, including KYC, AML and fraud. The Alloy API allows its clients to customize which data sources they access and the rules applied, to validate an identity in real time so that 98% of users will be automatically decisioned upon onboarding, increasing conversion, lowering fraud, and reducing manual reviews. Alloy has been working with both fintech companies and banks since it launched in 2016, and has a client base of ~80, including institutions like Radius Bank, KeyBank, Brex, Marqeta and others. In this interview, Laura shares: - Her background and how she got started in the industry as employee #1 at Kopo Kopo, a Kenyan fintech company. - What inspired Laura and her co-founders to build Alloy and how they crafted a successful strategy to secure their first customers. - The strategic reasons why Alloy's products are attractive for fintech startups, community banks, and large banks alike. - Company Culture. Why it's important to hire people that are different from each other and why Alloy emphasizes celebrating differences and being bold. - Her experience as a female fintech leader and why men should take on more responsibility to recruit and cultivate women in the industry. - COVID-19's impact on Alloy and its clients- as fraud and cybersecurity attacks have increased in the last few months, Alloy has taken steps to help their customers combat these attacks. - Lessons for founders! Why learning how to sell is the most important skill to learn for entrepreneurs.
Jul 01, 2020
Building a Financial Communications Unicorn - David Gurle, Founder and CEO of Symphony
In today's episode of the Wharton FinTech podcast, Miguel Armaza is joined by David Gurle, Founder and CEO of Symphony, a financial services communications company that's helping individuals, teams and organizations of all sizes improve productivity, while meeting security and compliance needs. David Gurle is an author, inventor and visionary. David's ideas have influenced the major trends in consumer and enterprise communications and most recently secure collaboration technologies over the past two decades. He founded and ran Microsoft's unified communications products (Skype for Business) and as Global head of collaboration services at Thomson Reuters, introduced the first consumer-to-business federated communications to the financial services industry. After the sale of Skype to Microsoft where he was the GM of Skype's Enterprise Business, David founded and sold Perzo before founding Symphony. David sits on the Monetary Authority of Singapore's International Technology Advisory Panel, is regularly featured on global broadcast (CNBC, BFM, Fox News) and print media (TechCrunch, Le Monde, Wall Street Journal) and is a sought-after keynote speaker on the future of the digital workplace, collaboration technologies, workplace diversity and all matters related to privacy and information security. In January 2020, he received the Légion d'Honneur, the highest French order of merit for military and civil service. Symphony transforms the way users communicate effectively and securely with a single workflow application. Forging a new path in the financial services industry, Symphony is designed to help individuals, teams and organizations of all sizes improve productivity, while meeting complex data security and regulatory compliance needs. Symphony was founded in October 2014 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, with offices in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Stockholm, Sophia-Antipolis and London. In this episode, David shares: -The powerful influence of his international upbringing and how it influenced him to pursue a career in telecom at ETSI, France Telecom, Microsoft, and Skype. -How being an intrapreneur earned him the title of "great, but unmanageable" by his first supervisor. -The key role he played in Microsoft's surprising acquisition of Skype. -The thought process that helped him identify a problem in secure persistent communications and how he devised a winning strategy for Symphony. -Challenges and anecdotes of Symphony's early days. -The importance of building a no-trust, end-to-end encrypted system, and why that has made a big difference between Symphony and other similar solutions. -Why it's critical to give users control of their data and the reason he thinks Apple has taken the wrong approach. -Symphony's recent explosive growth of 300%-400% in light of COVID-19 and how they have quickly become one of the top mission critical applications for their customers. -His vision of a post-COVID world and the steps Symphony is taking to implement a flexible work policy. -Valuable entrepreneurial advice and achieving childhood dreams.
Jun 29, 2020
Current CEO Stuart Sopp on Banking the Under-Banked During Covid-19
In this episode, Ryan Zauk sits down with Stuart Sopp, CEO and Founder of Current. Current is a leading U.S. based challenger bank enabling access to affordable and premium financial services to people traditionally overlooked by the banking industry. From 1999 - 2014 he spent his career developing and trading financial systems at Morgan Stanley, Citi and Deutsche Bank. He started Current after recognizing that the growing inequality gap could be addressed through innovation in technology to improve financial outcomes for everyone. In this episode, Stuart discusses: - Current’s crucial contribution to the COVID's frontline workers - Why banks have historically overlooked Current’s customers - What’s wrong with the phrase ‘choosing your investors’ - His view on the extremely competitive FinTech space and Current’s key competitive advantage - And much more...including a surprising quarantine hobby
Jun 26, 2020
Empowering Black Millennials with Ras Asan, Co-Founder of BREAUX Capital
On today’s episode of the Wharton FinTech Podcast, Ryan Zauk sits down with Ras Asan, Co-Founder of BREAUX Capital. BREAUX Capital is the first fintech built by and for Black Male Millennials. It is a cooperatively owned and operated financial technology company that provides a software platform and membership community to increase the financial wellness of Black millennials. They accomplish this through savings goals, dividends & revenue sharing, co-investing opportunities, education, community building, and much more. Ras and his team have been: - Named to INC Magazine’s 30 under 30 - Featured in The New York Times, Black Enterprise, The Associated Press, Time Magazine, BET, The Chicago Tribune, American Banker, CNN, Huffington Post, and more - Successfully pitched and secured investment from FUBU Founder and Shark Daymond John - And just announced a partnership with Lenovo In this episode, Ras discusses: - His background and motivations for starting BREAUX Capital - The obstacles his team faced along the way as young, black, first-time founders - How BREAUX Capital's financial and social sides work - Aspects of systemic inequality in the US that have destroyed black wealth creation including over-policing, redlining, and the GI Bill - And much, much more For more content from BREAUX Capital and their team, we encourage viewing Ras's Co-Founder, Derrius Quarles in his Ted Talk on YouTube, "Derrius Quarles: How banks are failing African-Americans," or their website, BREAUXCapital.com.
Jun 24, 2020
The Future of Payments with Frank Young, President of VMSS at Global Payments
In our latest podcast, Peter Jankovsky (WG'20) is joined by Frank Young, President of Vertical Market Software Solutions at Global Payments, a leading worldwide provider of payment technology services. In this role, Frank is responsible for guiding and directing the firm’s efforts to leverage software and services to deliver the next generation of digital commerce solutions on a global basis. He leads the company’s efforts in achieving business results through software-led solutions in all of our markets around the world.   In this extensive interview, Frank shares: - Major themes in the payments industry observed over his ~30 year career, including the evolution of e-commerce and the staying power of the major networks - His view of how COVID-19 is impacting the payments industry - The opportunity that he sees for embedded fintech, and how this represents a natural evolution from "knuckle-busters," electronic terminals, and integrated payments - His views on Big Tech's ambitions in financial services and how those will evolve going forward - Career advice for those beginning their career in FinTech   Prior to joining Global Payments, Frank served as the Global Lead of Payments Partnerships at Google, managing a team of professionals developing and delivering innovations to support Google’s in-store and online commerce goals. Previously, Mr. Young served as Senior Director of Business Development for Qualcomm, a worldwide leader in telecommunications products and services, where his responsibilities were to manage the development of mobile payments and commerce initiatives. Prior to that, Frank held senior roles at Mastercard and Accenture. He began his career with Chase Manhattan Bank.   Franks holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he was honored with the Dean's Award for Excellence, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Rutgers University.
Jun 22, 2020
US Open Banking with Susan French, Head of Product at BBVA Open Platform
In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Miguel Armaza (WG’21/G’21) is joined by Susan French, Head of Product at BBVA Open Platform where she leads the design and development of Open Platform’s suite of white-label, banking-as-a-service APIs in the US. About BBVA Open Platform BBVA Open Platform offers API-driven, white-label banking and payments solutions for the enterprise. Open Platform enables companies to embed end-to-end banking and payments services into their brand to create engaging and intuitive customer experiences . Founded in 2016, BBVA Open Platform works with industry leading companies, at the forefront of digital innovation, to optimize their user experience through API-powered banking and payments solutions provided by leading U.S. bank BBVA USA, Member FDIC. For more information, visit Open Platform at https://bbvaopenplatform.com/ Susan French Susan is Head of Product at BBVA Open Platform. She lead the design and development of Open Platform’s groundbreaking suite of white-label, banking-as-a-service APIs in the US. Susan is a payment, digital commerce and financial services expert, with an unparalleled understanding of what fintech companies navigating this landscape want from an API platform – and how to deliver it. Susan has been working in the financial services sector for more than 25 years, most recently leading the team that created and launched Visa’s Developer Program, a suite of APIs that opened up Visa’s network to all developers, from startups to large financial institutions. A former CTO, Head of Enterprise Architecture and Technology Strategist at Visa, Susan also worked as Chief Operating Officer at Euphorion, a website design and development startup in Silicon Valley, and started her own independent consulting business. In this interview, Susan shares: - Her journey through the financial sector and what led her to BBVA - How BBVA positioned itself as one of the leading proponents of fintech innovation - Some of the reasons why the US has been slower than Europe to adopt Open Banking solutions and why the COVID-19 is forcing the US to catch up - Some of the startups benefiting from BBVA Open Platform’s services such as Azlo, Wise, Catch, and Jet. - The importance of a unified regulatory environment and some of the opportunities currently being developed in the US
Jun 19, 2020
Pooling Career Risk with Charlie Olson, Co-Founder & CEO of Pando
In our latest podcast, Peter Jankovsky (WG’20) is joined by Charlie Olson, CEO and co-founder of Pando. Pando is an innovative new income pooling solution that allows people in high volatility careers to pool their career risk. Since inception, Pando has signed hundreds of professional athletes into income pools and has raised a Series A from top fintech investors. In this extensive interview, Charlie covers a number of topics, including Pando’s value proposition for different customer segments and how it has grown; the challenges Charlie has overcome as an entrepreneur; and his views on how careers will change, especially as a result of the current pandemic. Pando was founded after Charlie and his co-founder, Eric Lax, graduated from Stanford GSB in 2017. Prior to his time at the GSB, Charlie worked for Cheyenne Capital, a private equity firm based out of Jackson, WY. Concurrently, Charlie worked in search fund investing for Professor David Dodson and was a speechwriter and policy analyst for two governors. Charlie also holds two other degrees from Stanford, including a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in US History. Charlie was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30.
Jun 17, 2020
Investing in Latin American Unicorns. Hernan Kazah, Managing Partner & Co-Founder of Kaszek Ventures
In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Miguel Armaza is joined by Hernan Kazah, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Kaszek Ventures, the largest venture capital firm in Latin America, with over $1 Billion dollars of raised capital. Kaszek was launched in 2011 and has invested in more than 75 startups, including at least 5 unicorns. Prior to Kaszek, Hernan co-founded MercadoLibre, the largest technology company in Latin America which is also listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market with a current market cap of over $43 Billion. Here, he worked for 12 years, nine as COO and three as CFO. Hernan received an MBA from Stanford University, and graduated magna cum laude in Economics from the University of Buenos Aires. In this fascinating interview, Hernan shares: - His entrepreneurial journey from zero to a Nasdaq IPO. What led him to Co-Found MercadoLibre with Marcos Galperin and some of the major challenges they faced along the way. - Almost 40% of Kaszek's portfolio is concentrated in Fintech companies and they continue to be extremely bullish on the industry. Technology has opened new opportunities for the financial sector, which has allowed fintechs to vastly expand in a sector with historically-low customer penetration. Tech has also allowed some of their portfolio companies, like Nubank, to build widely scalable platforms. - Kaszek's investing approach. Why the founding team is the most fundamental piece of a startup and why a third of the teams from Kaszek's first fund would not make the cut today. - COVID-19's impact on their portfolio. Why most Fintechs haven't been too affected nor have greatly benefited by this crisis. - Fintech sector focus. The main reasons why Kaszek is interested in backing Financial infrastructure companies and why this sector presents one of the biggest opportunities in Latin America. - Peculiarities and challenges of VC investing in Latin America and Emerging Markets. - And much, much more…
Jun 15, 2020
Investing in The Blockchain with Jalak Jobanputra, Founding Partner of Future Perfect Ventures
In this episode, Ines Gonzales Del Mazo sits down with Jalak Jobanputra, Founding Partner of Future Perfect Ventures to discuss her investing career across FinTech, software, and the blockchain. Jalak Jobanputra is Founding Partner of Future\Perfect Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund in NYC focused on next generation technology such as blockchain and machine learning. FPV’s portfolio includes Abra, Blockstream, Bitpesa, Fusemachines, Everledger and Blockchain. Jalak was awarded Institutional Investor’s Most Powerful Fintech Dealmakers from 2016-2018. In May 2018, Jobanputra was awarded Microsoft’s VC Trailblazer Award for “her early and bold” investments in the sector. She has been listed as a 100 Most Influential Fintech Leader of 2016 and 2017 based on her investment strategy at FPV. In 2017, she was cited as a “Top 5 Investor Powering the Blockchain Boom” and Crunchbase noted FPV as one of the top VC funds in blockchain “before it was cool.” Since founding the firm, she has spoken on blockchain technology, IoT, and artificial intelligence at many global conferences, including the Milken Global Institute, Dutch Development Bank/FMO Annual Meeting, and The Economist Buttonwood Gathering. She also founded Collective Future, an organization to foster diversity and inclusion in the nascent blockchain sector. FPV’s incubator FPV Labs was selected by the NYC Economic Development Corporation in January 2019 to operate the NYC Blockchain Center, a unique private-public partnership formed to serve as an access point to the growing blockchain ecosystem and collaborate with elected officials on policy initiatives. Prior to FPV, Jobanputra was the Director of Emerging Market Mobile Investments at Omidyar Network, a philanthrocapitalist fund started by Pierre Omidyar, co-founder of eBay. Previously, she worked at Intel Capital investing in enterprise software in Silicon Valley from 1999-2003, as well as New Venture Partners and the NYC Investment Fund where she formed one of NYC’s first seed funds and helped establish the Fintech Innovation Lab in 2010. She started her career as a media/tech/telecom investment banker in NYC and London. Jobanputra is also active in supporting education reform and social entrepreneurship. She served as a Trustee of Achievement First Bushwick Charter Schools (Brooklyn). She is on the Board of Directors for the Center for an Urban Future, Advisory Board of L’Oreal’s Women in Digital Initiative, member of Mayor DeBlasio’s Broadband Taskforce, and former Access to Capital Committee member of the US Secretary of State Clinton Women’s Leadership Council. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. in Economics (concentration in Finance) from The Wharton School and a B.A. in Communications from the Annenberg School. She received her MBA from Kellogg in 1999. Her full bio can be found here, and she has been active on twitter since 2007 at @jalak.
Jun 12, 2020
Tackling Big Hairy Problems with Marc Weiser, Founder & Managing Director of RPM Ventures
In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Miguel Armaza (WG’21/G’21) is joined by Marc Weiser, Founder & Managing Director of RPM Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. Marc is also a board member of NASA and the James Beard Foundation. Marc Weiser is the Founder and Managing Director of RPM Ventures, a seed and early stage venture firm where he focuses on investing in mobility and autonomous vehicle companies. Over the last 15 years he has served on over 20 boards of directors and currently sits on the boards of: BountyJobs, the leading contingency recruiting marketplace; Mobi, a machine learning, multi-modal, dynamic route planning system; and Polysync, a platform for delivering safe and reliable autonomous vehicles. Prior to forming RPM, Mr. Weiser was an internet and software entrepreneur. He co-founded and led technology development at QuantumShift, a provider of web-based business-to-business technology and services focused on corporate telecommunications needs. He was also an early employee at MessageMedia (acquired by DoubleClick) where he pioneered some of the original methods for e-commerce and helped lead the company’s IPO. In addition to his board roles for RPM, Marc serves as Vice-Chair of McKinley, Inc., and the Board of Trustees of the James Beard Foundation. Previously he was the founding member of the Board for the Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) and Wolverine Venture Fund at the University of Michigan, where he was adjunct professor. He is the recipient of the University of Michigan College of Engineering Alumni Distinguished Service Award for his efforts in founding the CFE, the TechArb (student accelerator), and the Masters in Entrepreneurship (a joint program between the College of Engineering and Ross School of Business). Additionally, he and his wife led the creation of the Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center at the University of Michigan. This Center provides national leadership in food allergy research and a path to a cure for those that suffer from food allergies. Marc graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan with a BSE in aerospace engineering and an MBA with highest honors. In this interview, Marc shares: - His background and how he landed the role of employee #1 at MessageMedia (acquired by DoubleClick), the first online payments system company in the early 1990s. - Why he decided to Co-Found QuantumShift, a SAS company, in 1996 and the reason why he calls this experience a "successful failure". - Launching RPM and the challenges of starting a Venture Capital fund in the year 2000. - The reason why after several years of operations, RPM narrowed its scope to invest only in Mobility and Fintech. - His conviction that most startups that win are the ones that generally fall over in the right direction and then pick themselves back up and then fall over again in the right direction again. The ones that do this process faster are the ones that win. - His fascinating journey as an early stage investor and advisor of SoFi. - What an RPM entrepreneur looks like. Hint: “We look for entrepreneurs that can run up the beat at the machine gun nest while simultaneously biting the heads off of chickens.” - The importance of investing in companies that have no rational chance of success. - His journey to becoming a board member at NASA and why this is his proudest personal achievement. - Going from restaurant investor to board member of the James Beard foundation. The devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the industry and how the James Beard foundation is helping save the restaurant industry.
Jun 11, 2020
Analyzing the SoFi-Galileo Acquisition with Anthony Noto-SoFi CEO, & Clay Wilkes-Galileo Founder/CEO
In a Wharton Fintech exclusive podcast interview, Miguel Armaza and Guillermo Gonzalez went behind the scenes of one of the most transformational acquisitions in the fintech space to date. We sat down with Anthony Noto, CEO of SoFi, and Clay Wilkes, CEO of Galileo, to discuss their most recent transaction in which SoFi acquired Galileo for the total sum of $1.2 Billion. What prompted SoFi to consider Galileo as a crucial strategic alternative? What were the challenges of executing a landmark transaction amidst a global pandemic? Similarly, we had an opportunity to explore what the future holds for both companies. What products will both companies build by leveraging their unique strengths and capabilities? Wondering about international expansion? Notably, both Anthony and Clay believe in the mission of advancing financial independence and inclusion for millions of historically disadvantaged consumers. This conviction has guided their decision to keep both companies independent, opening the door for far-reaching, industry-wide collaborations. Thrilled enough? Join us for this exciting conversation with Anthony and Clay.
Jun 09, 2020
Investing in Fintech Opportunities with Ryan Falvey, Managing Partner of Financial Venture Studio
In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Miguel Armaza (WG’21/G’21) is joined by Ryan Falvey, Managing Partner of Financial Venture Studio, a venture capital firm that invests in early stage teams who are seeking to improve how Americans conduct their financial lives. Ryan Falvey is the Managing Partner of Financial Venture Studio. He has spent the last 15 years identifying, supporting and leading market-changing innovations in technology. Since 2015, he's invested in 40 early stage fintech firms, which have grown to represent approximately $3 billion in aggregate equity value. Prior to founding the Venture Studio, Ryan led the development of the Financial Solutions Lab, a partnership between JPMorgan Chase and the Financial Health Network. Prior to managing the Lab, Ryan worked with leading tech firms to develop payment solutions at Silicon Valley Bank. He also served as Strategy Group Lead at Enclude Solutions, overseeing global strategy consulting work around mobile-enabled financial products. Financial Venture Studio invests in great early stage teams who are seeking to improve how Americans conduct their financial lives. From more efficient savings to superior investments to faster payments and better information, the promise of today’s financial products has never been greater. Learn more at www.finventurestudio.com. FVS has selected three cohorts of startups for its unique model of support since its founding in 2018. Of the first 13 startups to participate in the firm’s previous two cohorts, 12 have raised subsequent funding—with over $37 million in follow-on capital raised by firms since participating in the FVS program. In this interview, Ryan shares: - Their investment thesis and the type of company FVS invests in. - Details about their accelerator program and its strong partnerships with investors, regulators, operators, and media companies. - Highlights of some their portfolio companies and what drew FVS to invest in them. - His analysis on how technology is breaking down the centuries-old nature of financial services. - His take on the opportunities being exposed by the COVID-19 crisis and why this event will have broader implications on the financial sector for many years to come. - The reasons why you don’t want to be a founder with a pre-COVID mentality in a post-COVID world. - And much, much more…
Jun 05, 2020
The Current State of Payments with Eric Rosenthal, VP & MD of Rapyd
Eric Rosenthal is a Vice President and Managing Director of Rapyd, managing their North American Business Unit. Rapyd is the world's largest global payment network, accepting and disbursing more than 900 payment types in over 100 countries. It connects 2 million global ATM and over-the-counter (OTC) cash access points across the globe.  Before Rapyd, Eric worked in startups and major enterprises including Abra, American Express, First Data, Citigroup and McKinsey.
Jun 03, 2020
Digitizing Financial Services with David Brear, CEO of 11:FS
In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Miguel Armaza (WG’21/G’21) is joined by David Brear, CEO of 11:FS, a challenger consultancy building out new propositions and ventures in the UK, US, Europe and Asia. David Brear is the CEO of 11:FS and since his dream of being a sportsperson was crushed (along with the ligaments in his knee!) and he had to get a proper job, he has worked in pretty much every angle of the financial services industry never losing that competitive desire to win. Having pitched, established and run billion-pound transformations for some of the biggest FS companies on the planet the realization that digital banking is only 1% finished has spurred his desire to establish an organization that can actually make it happen. 11:FS is a challenger consultancy building out new propositions and ventures in the UK, US, Europe and Asia for some of the biggest brands on the planet. Alongside this 11:FS build in-house products from competitor benchmarking tools like 11:FS Pulse, to core banking systems like 11:FS Foundry. Most recently David has led the creation and market establishment of the challenger business bank Mettle for Natwest in the UK as it’s CEO, proving that the big banks can fight back against the fintech threat. He is also a host of the global business podcast, Fintech Insider. In this interview, David shares: - Why he strongly believes digital banking is only 1% finished and what the 11:FS team is doing to change the fabric of financial services. - Culture at 11:FS. The importance of finding people that revere each other’s talents and not just their own. - The reasons why culture and talent are the only two things that really matter in any organization. - His plea to large institutions acquiring fintech companies: Don’t break what you buy! Plenty of examples of fintechs being acquired and eventually being left to die. - The biggest challenges of incumbent banks and why legacy mentality and culture are more impactful than legacy technology systems. - Fintech in the UK. Why the UK regulators took an innovator-friendly approach and how it benefited the local scene by spurring competition and attracting some of the best global talent. - The horrific impact of COVID-19 and why this crisis is unlocking the realization of senior bankers that digitization is not optional, but mandatory. - Why he thinks this is the best time to be working in financial services and what 11:FS is doing to help financial institutions unleash their full potential.
Jun 01, 2020
Entering the US Consumer Banking Market with N26's US CEO, Nicolas Kopp
In our latest podcast, we're excited to speak with Nicolas Kopp, the US CEO of N26. In Europe, N26 is a fully licensed mobile bank offering an effortless, sleek user experience with no hidden fees. It has grown to serve over 3.5 M customers across 24 markets and recently launched in the US with a mobile banking app and Visa debit card together with Axos Bank. In this extensive interview, Nic speaks to: ● N26's founding and how it was built to offer a completely different approach to banking ● The rationale for N26's launch in the US and the opportunity it sees in the market ● N26's plans for expanding in the US to better meet consumers' needs, particularly with its Perks and Spaces offerings ● How N26's culture enables it to innovate and challenge the status quo ● Nic's thoughts on how consumer banking will evolve in the US Nic originally joined N26 in 2015 as one of its first employees heading up Business Development and Operations, which he built from the ground up. Prior to N26, Nic spent several years at Morgan Stanley.
May 28, 2020
Inclusive Banking with Pierpaolo Barbieri, Founder & CEO of Ualá
In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Miguel Armaza (WG’21/G’21) is joined by Pierpaolo Barbieri, Founder & CEO of Ualá, one of the fastest growing fintechs in Latin America. Ualá is an Argentine mobile banking app and lending platform that's also one of the fastest growing fintechs in Latin America. Since launching in October 2017, the company has issued over two million cards, raised almost 200 million in funding, and has grown to over 300 employees. Pierpaolo Barbieri grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He moved to the US to study at Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude. He then moved to the UK to pursue a Master degree in Cambridge and obtained his postgraduate in history and economics. In 2016, he returned to Argentina to launch Ualá. He is fluent in Italian, Spanish and French. In this extensive interview, Pierpaolo shares: - What motivated him to move back to Argentina and launch Uala in 2017 with the vision of building an inclusive financial company - The challenges of building a banking institution from scratch - Why simplicity can be transformational and why this philosophy drives Uala’s mission to build a beautiful and simple product that is easy to understand - The importance of providing “skin in the game” to your team and why over 15% of the company is owned by Ualá employees - His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and why he is convinced this is the best environment to test the feasibility of a business idea - And why it’s hard for him to stop answering to clients directly on his own personal Twitter feed!
May 26, 2020
Empowering Underserved Markets with Monica Brand Engel, Co-Founder & Partner at Quona
In our latest episode of the Wharton FinTech Podcast, Miguel Armaza (WG'21/G'21) is joined by Monica Brand Engel, Co-Founder and Partner at Quona, a venture capital firm that invests in growth-stage financial technology companies in emerging markets. Quona Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in growth-stage financial technology companies in emerging markets. The firm was formed with a simple idea - technology has the power to radically improve the quality, access, and affordability of financial services for underserved consumers and businesses in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Quona invests in disruptive innovations to create a more financially inclusive world. Monica Brand Engel is a Co-Founder and Partner at Quona, where she focuses on global investments. Monica is an investor and entrepreneur, having launched a number of investment vehicles and products aimed at broadening financial inclusion. Before co-founding Quona, Monica was the founder and Managing Director of Accion Frontier Investments Group, a growth stage fintech portfolio. She also launched and managed Accion's Marketing and Product Development Unit, where she oversaw the creation of new financial services to move the industry beyond microcredit, and worked in Mexico with Compartamos Bank, the largest microfinance institution in Latin America which IPO'd in 2007. Monica started and co-taught a graduate level course on financial inclusion and impact investing for over a decade at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, with the goal of disseminating lessons learned and promoting investment approaches that will help mainstream the industry. She has also co-authored a chapter on equity in impact investing in a book, New Frontiers of Philanthropy, and was a founding member of the Impact Investment Advisory Council established by the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. Monica has served on the boards of Sokowatch, Yoco, Azimo, Zoona, GloboKasNet, Shubham Housing, Paralife, Compartamos Bank, and Pay Rent Builds Credit. Monica chairs the Investor Representative Committee of LeapFrog Financial Inclusion Fund I, the world’s first microinsurance fund. Monica holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a Master of Arts from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Williams College. In this extensive interview, Monica shares: -Her personal background. How growing up in a multicultural and multi-religious family, shaped her belief that what connects us is much more powerful than what differentiates us -Why she is convinced Venture Capital can be a powerful tool for good How she became a big believer in the power of financial services to affect change in underserved markets -The notable challenges of launching a VC firm aimed at financial inclusion in 2014 -The most important lessons she learned from her mentor and former boss, Michael Chu -How to succeed in VC. The importance of building a good team with strong track record and relevant operational expertise, while having a clear and specific thesis -Why "panicking" early is an important philosophy in business and the value of always preparing for the worst -Monica's take on the lessons COVID-19 has brought to light and why Quona could not have existed 15 years ago -Why Quona remains super bullish about the future of financial services and financial inclusion and why she's excited about the Alternative Lending and Neobanking spaces
May 21, 2020
Ron Quaranta, Founder & Chairman of The Wall Street Blockchain Alliance
Ron is the Chairman and CEO of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, the world’s leading non-profit trade association promoting the comprehensive adoption of blockchain technology and crypto-assets across global financial markets. Prior to this, Ron served as CEO of DerivaTrust Technologies, a pioneering software and technology firm for financial market participants. Ron also wrote “Blockchain in Financial Markets and Beyond: Challenges and Applications. He is a well-known speaker in the fields of financial technology and innovation, serving as an advisor to multiple startups and corporations focused on fintech innovation & blockchain technology. For more information on WSBA please contact: info@wsba.co Twitter handle: @WallStreetBTC @ronqman
May 18, 2020
Solving Credit Access for Immigrants with Nicky Goulimis, COO & Co-Founder of Nova Credit
In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Miguel Armaza (WG'21/G'21) is joined by Nicky Goulimis, COO & Co-Founder of Nova Credit, a mission-driven company solving the problem of credit access for immigrants. Join us as Nicky shares her inspiring story. Nicky Goulimis is the co-founder and COO of Nova Credit. Prior to Nova, she was a consultant at Bain & Company where she worked with a number of European Retail Banks. Nicky began her career in the international development space working for Ethiopia's Ministry of Agriculture on its smallholder farmer financial access initiatives. Nicky is originally from Greece and grew up in the U.K. She holds a BA from Cambridge and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was awarded the Miller Social Change Leadership Award. Nova Credit is a mission-driven company solving the problem of credit access for immigrants. The company's platform offers cross-border consumer credit services that passes reports onto lenders, property managers and other domestic businesses so that they can make more informed determination on whether to accept or reject a credit application, enabling immigrants to seek financial services, housing and more when moving abroad through a digital credit passport software that helps lenders to view creditor's history. In this extensive interview, Nicky shares: (i)How the challenges Nicky faced as an international student at Stanford drove her and her co-founder, Misha, to build and launch Nova Credit (ii)Why she considers herself an accidental founder, what led her to fall in love with the entrepreneurial process, and how she decided to take Nova Credit from a class project to a full-fledged company (iii)Some of the nuances of launching a startup as an MBA student, including submitting Nova Credit's Y-Combinator application from the Mongolian mountains (iv)The initial steps they took to build Nova Credit and the importance of validating and iterating an idea with potential partners and customers (v)The process and reasons behind their rapid client transition from servicing small credit unions to quickly landing some of the biggest financial institutions in the world (vi)Their value proposition to international credit bureaus and the nature of their strong relationships with multiple regulators around the world (vii)The company's multifaceted recruiting approach to building a world-class team and their conscious effort to attract diverse talent and create a scalable culture of radical ownership (viii)Nicky's advice and words of wisdom for current and aspiring founders
May 14, 2020
Andrée Simon - President and CEO of FINCA Impact Finance
Andrée is the President and Chief Executive Officer of FINCA Impact Finance, or FIF, a global network of microfinance banks and institutions. FIF’s network of 20 community-based banks provides responsible financial services such as affordable loans and saving products that empower more than two million low-income women and men to take control of their financial futures in countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Afghanistan and more. Previously, she served as Co-CEO of FINCA Microfinance Holding Company as well as VP and COO of FINCA International, returning to the organization after serving for several years as the President and COO of Women for Women International - a humanitarian organization dedicated to financial, educational, and interpersonal support of women survivors of war, poverty, and injustice. Prior to Women to Women, Andrée served as Deputy to the President & CEO of FINCA, where she was critical in redesigning the organization’s business model from a donor-based non-profit to a for-profit operating structure still doing good. She earned her undergraduate degree in international relations from the University of Virginia, an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and her M.B.A. in Finance right here at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School as part of the Class of 1999.
May 11, 2020
Omri Dahan, Chief Revenue Officer at Marqeta
Omri serves as Marqeta’s chief revenue officer and is accountable for the company’s growth and financial performance. After joining Marqeta’s early team, he helped pioneer the organization’s customer acquisition and growth strategies which, along with Marqeta’s award- winning technology, catapulted Marqeta’s modern card issuing platform into a global, industry-defining business. Omri began his career within the White House, eventually transitioning to the private sector, where he established a reputation for building world-class teams who develop transformational ideas into high-growth businesses. As a partner at The Trium Group, he advised CEOs and executive teams of multinational organizations including AXA, Barclays, and Virgin Atlantic, helping the firm to grow into a leading global strategy consultancy. Omri is a frequent speaker at international and domestic conferences and is a featured guest lecturer at the Columbia Business School’s Institute for Personal Leadership. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
May 06, 2020
Rachna Ahlawat, co-founder and EVP of Ondot systems
Rachna Ahlawat is co-founder and executive vice president of Ondot systems, a leading mobile payment service provider. Ondot Systems is the creator of Mobile Card Services, a white-label solution that gives consumers control over payment cards. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Ondot brings together an experienced management team from mobile, security, and payment card industries who share a vision of transforming how consumers interact with their financial institutions. Rachna shares her experience founding a company, Ondot's mission, key features such as data enrichment and the increasing role of smartphones in the banking system.
May 01, 2020
Arpit Ratan, Co-Founder and Head of Business Development of Signzy
In our latest podcast, recorded late last summer, Shompa Choudhury (WG ’20) is joined by Arpit Ratan, Co-Founder and Head of Business Development of Signzy (https://signzy.com/). Signzy is a FinTech startup offering digital onboarding solutions to enable secure digital compliance via artificial intelligence and blockchain. In this interview, Arpit explains how he chose to embark on a career in FinTech after studying and practicing the law. India’s ever-growing FinTech landscape features a plethora of players – from incumbents to digital players to the government. With Signzy’s role as a data and technology-based enabler for financial services, Arpit provides valuable insights into the dynamics between various players as well as the role of data and regulations in the future of Indian FinTech. Amidst the economic and social challenges that have arisen from the current crisis, it has become even more important to evaluate how data and technology can enable various FinTech players without sacrificing the security of customers. Established in 2015, Signzy aims to build a global digital trust system with three components: (1) the ability to uniquely identify and authenticate entities, (2) the ability to access background information on these entities, and (3) the establishment of a system of rewards and punishments to reinforce trust. Today, Signzy offers a digital on-boarding solution for banks, NBFCs and other financial institutions. While most banking services in India are transitioning to digital, regulatory compliance remains largely offline and hampers consumer experience. Changing consumer preferences demand a shift to digital regulatory processes (including KYC or Know-Your-Customer), however moving to digital can expose higher risks. Signzy believes that through a combination of artificial intelligence and blockchain, they can ensure that digital compliance is convenient yet secure. Arpit studied and practiced law before founding this startup with his brother – and has ever since embarked on the journey to make digital financial services more secure and accessible through what he calls a global digital trust system. He co-founded Signzy in 2015 with his brother Ankit, who is currently the Head of Product. Along with the various accolades that Signzy has received for its innovative approach to solving regulation with data, Arpit himself has been recognized as Forbes 30 Under 30.
Apr 28, 2020
Alok Mittal, Founder & CEO of Indifi
In this podcast, recorded late last summer, Shompa Choudhury (WG ’20) is joined by Alok Mittal, Co-Founder and CEO of Indifi (https://www.indifi.com/). Indifi is a leading online lending platform for businesses in India. In this extensive interview, Alok explains how Indifi is leading the way in India’s competitive but growing small-business lending space. Alok also lays out the landscape for lending in India including the competitive dynamics between incumbents and new players, as well as new opportunities and challenges as technologies, regulations and consumer behavior evolve. Amidst the economic and social challenges that have arisen from the current crisis, it has become even more important to evaluate the role of FinTech innovation in sustaining growth.
Apr 24, 2020
Terry Angelos - SVP and Global Head of FinTech at Visa
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) is joined by Terry Angelos, SVP and Global Head of FinTech at Visa (NYSE: V) (https://usa.visa.com). In this interview, Terry explains how Visa uses its global network to help the world’s most innovative FinTechs by collaborating to develop new modes of commerce and new ways to pay.  Terry also discusses the Visa Fast Track program (https://usa.visa.com/partner-with-us/info-for-partners/info-for-fintechs.html) for FinTech partners, exciting trends in the payments space, and how Visa is building a network of networks to facilitate more payment flows. Visa is the world’s leader in digital payments. Visa’s mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Their advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. Visa’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. Terry Angelos is SVP and Global Head of FinTech at Visa. At Visa, Terry is responsible for leading global strategy and programs focusing on how Visa engages with, invests in, and partners with innovative FinTechs that are creating new payment solutions and capabilities that drive the payments ecosystem. Previously, Terry was Global Head of Commerce & Merchant Data Products at Visa, helping merchants grow their businesses and build customer loyalty through a suite of data-driven products and services built on the world’s largest electronic payment network. Prior to his role in Commerce & Merchant Data Products, Terry led Visa Commerce Network. In 2006, Terry co-founded and served as CEO of TrialPay, which was acquired by Visa in 2015. Terry has over 15 years of experience in product strategy, development, and management. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from WITS University, an SM in Engineering Science from Harvard University, and an MBA from MIT Sloan.
Apr 21, 2020
Tradeblock: Nitai Bran, CEO, and John Todaro, Director of Research
In this podcast, Ines Gonzalez del Mazo speaks with Nitai Bran, CEO of Tradeblock and John Todaro, Director of Research. Tradeblock is a company leader in the provision of institutional trading tools and research for digital currencies. It was founded in 2013 and has its headquarters in NYC. More specifically Tradeblock: - Provides a professional platform for institutional bitcoin traders, featuring market analytics, blockchain insights, order management, trade execution, team communication, and compliance automation. - Creates and publishes a robust bitcoin index, uniquely designed to prevent manipulation, serving as the reference rate for tens of millions of dollars of registered derivative products. - Provides data services: analyses on market data relating to cryptocurrencies, trading, regulations, mining, protocol updates, blockchain analysis, and economic developments. Nitai Bran Bio: Nitai Bran is the CEO of TradeBlock. Prior to joining TradeBlock, Nitai worked for a technology consultant leading ERP implementations for Fortune 500 companies operating across Latin America. Soon after, he designed a platform to visualize SAP data on mobile devices. Based on initial success, the product was spun-off into a dedicated Business Intelligence company that was established in NYC and operated for four years. John Todaro Bio: John Todaro is the head of digital currency research at TradeBlock. TradeBlock reports have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Reuters, CNBC, Coindesk, Cointelegraph, and other media outlets. Prior to joining TradeBlock, John founded and managed a digital currency fund and began his career in the sales & trading division of Citigroup. John is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania
Apr 18, 2020
Pedro Conrade, CEO & Founder of Neon and Marcelo Haddad Silva, Group Product Manager at Neon
In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Miguel Armaza (WG’21/G’21) is joined by Pedro Conrade and Marcelo Haddad Silva from Neon Bank, one of the fastest growing Neobanks in Brazil and around the world. Join us as they share some great anecdotes and advice on a variety of topics. Pedro Conrade Pedro Conrade is the CEO and founder of Neon, one of Brazil’s top challenger banks. After a frustrating episode with his bank, he decided to drop out of university and launch Neon in 2016 with the goal of liberating its customers from the bureaucracy of traditional banks. Today, the company has grown to over 3 million clients and hundreds of employees across Brazil, offering a wide range of banking products. Marcelo Haddad Silva Marcelo is a Group Product Manager at Neon. In this role, he oversees the digital account for individual consumers, including payment methods, investments, and core banking transactions. Prior to joining Neon, Marcelo worked almost 10 years in strategic planning in firms such as BRK Ambiental, Whirlpool Latin America, and Booz & Company. Marcelo holds an MBA/MA from the Wharton School and the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, and a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia. In this extensive interview, Pedro and Marcelo share: - Pedro's serial entrepreneurship, how he went from launching a bikini shop at only sixteen years old to dropping out of college to found Neon Bank - How high fees and poor customer service from his old relationship bank, motivated Pedro to start Neon in 2016 without any prior professional banking experience - The multifaceted challenges of building a financial institution from scratch and the steps Neon took to develop their initial products - How Neon's focus on understanding customer needs helps them analyze and decide their expansion efforts - The duo's management approach to ongoing monthly double-digit growth and why finding the right talent and technology are Neon's biggest challenges - Neon's relationship with the Brazilian banking regulator - A look forward to Pedro's vision of the Brazilian banking industry in the next decade - The factors that drove their September 2019 acquisition of MEI Facil, a fintech startup servicing Brazilian micro-entrepreneurs - The duo's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, including the importance of finding the right investors and why attractive unit economics matter greatly Interview recorded February, 2020.
Apr 16, 2020
Pedro Conrade, CEO & Founder of Neon and Marcelo Haddad Silva, Group Product Manager at Neon
In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Miguel Armaza (WG’21/G’21) is joined by Pedro Conrade and Marcelo Haddad Silva from Neon Bank, one of the fastest growing Neobanks in Brazil and around the world. Join us as they share some great anecdotes and advice on a variety of topics. Pedro Conrade Pedro Conrade is the CEO and founder of Neon, one of Brazil’s top challenger banks. After a frustrating episode with his bank, he decided to drop out of university and launch Neon in 2016 with the goal of liberating its customers from the bureaucracy of traditional banks. Today, the company has grown to over 3 million clients and hundreds of employees across Brazil, offering a wide range of banking products. Marcelo Haddad Silva Marcelo is a Group Product Manager at Neon. In this role, he oversees the digital account for individual consumers, including payment methods, investments, and core banking transactions. Prior to joining Neon, Marcelo worked almost 10 years in strategic planning in firms such as BRK Ambiental, Whirlpool Latin America, and Booz & Company. Marcelo holds an MBA/MA from the Wharton School and the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, and a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia. In this extensive interview, Pedro and Marcelo share: - Pedro's serial entrepreneurship, how he went from launching a bikini shop at only sixteen years old to dropping out of college to found Neon Bank - How high fees and poor customer service from his old relationship bank, motivated Pedro to start Neon in 2016 without any prior professional banking experience - The multifaceted challenges of building a financial institution from scratch and the steps Neon took to develop their initial products - How Neon's focus on understanding customer needs helps them analyze and decide their expansion efforts - The duo's management approach to ongoing monthly double-digit growth and why finding the right talent and technology are Neon's biggest challenges - Neon's relationship with the Brazilian banking regulator - A look forward to Pedro's vision of the Brazilian banking industry in the next decade - The factors that drove their September 2019 acquisition of MEI Facil, a fintech startup servicing Brazilian micro-entrepreneurs - The duo's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, including the importance of finding the right investors and why attractive unit economics matter greatly Interview recorded February, 2020.
Apr 15, 2020
Steve McLaughlin, Founder, CEO, and Managing Partner of FT Partners
In our latest podcast, Miguel Armaza (WG’21/G’21) is joined by Steve McLaughlin. He is the founder, CEO and managing partner of FT Partners. Steve started his investment banking career at Goldman Sachs covering financial technology companies in 1995. Seven years later, he left Goldman to launch FT Partners at the age of 32. He has been successfully running and growing the firm for almost 20 years and is one of the undisputable leaders in Fintech capital raising and M&A advising. McLaughlin has been recognized with multiple industry awards, including Investment Banker of the Year by The Information, and is consistently ranked as one of the most influential people in Fintech around the world. Steve holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a BSBA from Villanova University. FT Partners FT Partners is the only investment banking firm focused exclusively on providing strategic and financial advisory services to clients and CEOs in the dynamic global FinTech sector. The firm offers strategic advisory services in mission-critical transactions including mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, LBOs, refinancings, recapitalizations and private capital raises. San Francisco-based FT Partners has the largest and most senior group of dedicated bankers focused on FinTech. For additional information, please visit www.ftpartners.com. In this extensive interview, Steve shares: - How he launched FT Partners in 2002, some of the challenges they encountered early on, and how the firm has grown to 160 employees in 2020 - The company’s data and analytical driven coverage model, led by a dedicated 30 person internal research team - FT Partners’ close relationship with the Fintech ecosystem, including Venture Capital funds and entrepreneurs - Why Steve believes we are only at the early innings of the Fintech revolution and some of the verticals and companies he is excited about - The road ahead for FT Partners and their role in the industry Interview recorded on March 6, 2020.
Apr 09, 2020
Podcast with Alexander Lebow, Co-Founder of Say
In this podcast, Sam Werther (WG ’20) is joined by Alexander Lebow, co-founder of Say. Alex talks about how he and his co-founders came up with the idea for Say. As a lawyer specializing in M&A transactions, Alex had first hand experience working with incumbents in the shareholder communications industry. He and his co-founders realized how the incumbents were operating without any incentive to improve the process for stakeholders or shareholders. Alex talks about what differentiates Say, the partnerships they’ve built in fintech, challenges they’ve faced since founding the company, trends and regulations impacting Say’s business, and what’s coming next for the company. To learn more about the company visit saytechnologies.com. Say is a New York City-based technology company disrupting the $4B investor communications industry. Say serves millions of investors as a full-service proxy processing and shareholder communications provider in partnership with leading brokerages and investment platforms. Say is also pioneering new modes of shareholder engagement for investors, funds, and companies, including a high-profile engagement with Elon Musk and Tesla for their earnings calls, annual shareholder meetings, and product launches. The company has raised $18 million to date. This podcast was originally recorded in 2019.
Apr 05, 2020
Anoushka Vaswani, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners
In our latest podcast, Shayaan Khanna (WG '20) is joined by Anoushka Vaswani, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. Anoushka is an investor in growth-stage companies in the enterprise software and infrastructure ecosystems. Companies she covers (or has covered) include Earnin, PayRange, Side and Open Listings. Anoushka has worked across finance, consulting & investing, largely focused on the tech sector. She also has a global childhood, growing up in the UAE, Turkey, Belgium and the United States. During our interview, we learn some insights on how Anoushka got a role in VC and what she is most excited about in the FinTech space. We also discuss gender diversity and how best to foster an inclusive environment in typically male-dominated industries. Anoushka runs a monthly newsletter called Monthly M(AI)L (http://anoushkavaswani.com/newsletter) focused on enterprise applications of AI & ML, showing us how to scale enterprise startups. She also shared with us the inside scoop on some of the opportunities and challenges startups have partnering with larger financial institutions.
Mar 31, 2020
Anoushka Vaswani, Partner at Lightspeed Ventures
In our latest podcast, Shayaan Khanna (WG ’20) is joined by Anoushka Vaswani, Partner at Lightspeed Ventures. Anoushka is an investor in growth-stage companies in the enterprise software and infrastructure ecosystems. Companies she covers (or has covered) include Earning, PayRange, Side and Open Listings. Anoushka has worked across finance, consulting & investing, largely focused on the tech sector. She also has a global childhood, growing up in the UAE, Turkey, Belgium, and the United States. During our interview, we learn some insights on how Anoushka got a role in VC and what she is most excited about in the FinTech space. We also discuss gender diversity and how best to foster an inclusive environment in typically male-dominated industries. Anoushka runs a monthly newsletter called Monthly M(AI)L (Sign up here) focused on enterprise applications of AI & ML, showing us how to scale enterprise startups. She also shared with us the inside scoop on some of the opportunities and challenges startups have partnering with larger financial institutions.
Mar 17, 2020
Husayn Kassai, Co-Founder and CEO of Onfido
In our latest podcast, Shayaan Khanna (WG ’20) is joined by Husayn Kassai, CEO and Co-Founder of Onfido (onfido.com). Husayn talks about the inspiration behind founding Onfido: his own experience when his parents moved to the UK which made him realize how broken the process of identity verification was. He discusses how Onfido, through identity verification, is enabling financial services players across the world to provide access to formal finance to the unbanked. He also shares his thoughts on the latest trends in FinTech and advice for students considering entrepreneurship in colleges / schools. Onfido is a software company that helps businesses verify people's identities using a photo-based identity document, a selfie and AI algorithms. Founded in 2012 by Husayn and his two co-founders while studying at Oxford, Onfido is taking on today’s sophisticated fraud landscape. It counts Square, Revolut and Zipcar among its 1,500 clients. Today it has over 250 employees across the world, with offices in London, San Francisco, New York, Lisbon, Paris, New Delhi and Singapore.
Feb 07, 2020
From Money20/20 USA: Adam Hughes - President & COO of Amount
In our latest live interview from Money2020, Peter Jankovsky (WG'20) is joined by Adam Hughes, the President and COO of Amount. Amount is a leading-edge technology company dedicated to creating and enhancing the digital credit offerings of financial institutions. Built by lending industry veterans, Amount’s multi-purpose lending products help partners go digital with a suite of proven product modules for credit decisioning, fraud prevention, account verifications, servicing engines and CRM solutions. In this extensive interview, Adam shares: * How Amount grew out of Avant and the opportunity that Adam sees for the company today * Plans for Amount's growth, including a recently-announced POS lending solution * Adam's views on how partnerships will become key to success in consumer banking going forward * Adam's advice for entrepreneurs and those entering the FinTech space Prior to his role at Amount, Adam was President & COO for Avant, where he was the first employee hired.
Jan 25, 2020
From Money20/20 USA: Jeffery Kendall – EVP, North America Sales and Distribution at Temenos
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) is joined by Jeffery Kendall, Executive Vice President of North America Sales and Distribution at Temenos (https://www.temenos.com/us/). In this extensive interview, Jeffery explains how Temenos Infinity helps banks and credit unions become digital through their foundational low code platform.  Jeffery also discusses how digital service has evolved to drive growth in deposits and how digital transformation and evolving consumer preferences are changing the way in which banks interact with their customers to provide a better user experience. Founded in 1993 and listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX: TEMN), Temenos AG is the world’s leader in banking software, partnering with banks and other financial institutions to transform their businesses and stay ahead of a changing marketplace. Over 3,000 firms across the globe, including 41 of the top 50 banks, rely on Temenos to process the daily transactions of more than 500 million banking customers. Temenos Infinity (https://www.temenos.com/us/products/infinity/) is a digital banking front office product focused on customer experience. Temenos Infinity delivers a cloud-native, cloud-agnostic, independent digital banking solution. This customer-focused experience operates on any core banking system. It incorporates an omnichannel experience and real-time engagement, a best-in-class onboarding, and origination capability, along with rich functionality to support personal financial management and customer servicing. As the Executive Vice President of North America Sales and Distribution for Temenos, Jeffery is responsible for driving solutions for growth for Temenos' North American customer base of 1,400.  Jeffery also manages partnerships with the rest of Temenos to ensure the global success of Temenos Infinity, their market leading digital front office product.  Jeffery was previously the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Banking at Kony (acquired by Temenos in 2019 for $580mm), where he led sales, marketing, professional services, and product management functions for Kony's digital banking portfolio.  We would like to thank the team at Money 20/20 USA (https://www.money2020.com) for hosting Wharton FinTech in Las Vegas during their annual conference to meet with and interview thought leaders in the FinTech Industry. Money20/20 is the premier global event on Payments, FinTech, and Financial Services where C-Level Executives, renowned speakers, innovators and disruptors from across the world unite to drive change in the future of money. We would also like to thank Wharton FinTech's platinum sponsor, the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance at Wharton (https://stevenscenter.wharton.upenn.edu). The Stevens Center is the premier research, education, and thought leadership institution in the world for financial technology.
Jan 16, 2020
From Money20/20 USA: Jay Dearborn - President of WEX Corporate Payments
In our latest interview from Money20/20, we're excited to welcome Jay Dearborn to the podcast. Jay is the President of WEX Corporate Payments. He joined WEX in 2016, bringing to the company more than 15 years of experience driving strategic growth, marketing, and operational performance improvement. As president of corporate payments, Jay is responsible for WEX’s commercial card and other payments solutions. In this extensive interview, Jay shares: 1. The opportunity that WEX sees in the multi-trillion-dollar B2B payments space 2. WEX's history as an innovator in B2B payments and how WEX is partnering with both FinTechs and incumbent financial institutions to simplify payments for businesses 3. How WEX has maintained a nimble, non-hierarchical culture despite seeing rapid growth 4. Advice that Jay has for those just entering the FinTech/payments space. Jay previously served as WEX’s VP of strategy. Prior to joining WEX in January 2016, Jay was a partner at McKinsey & Company and held a variety of roles at American Express. Jay and his wife Nisha are both double Wharton alum, having both graduated with undergraduate and MBA degrees. Jay also holds a Masters degree in Foreign Policy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Jan 10, 2020
Richie Serna - CEO of Finix
In our latest podcast, Meghna Sreenivasan (WG ’20) is joined by Richie Serna, CEO and Co-Founder of Finix (https://finixpayments.com). Richie discusses the inspiration behind Finix: seeing the difficulties companies faced when creating payments infrastructure in-house, and the opportunity this presented. He also shares his thoughts on other innovative payments companies, the future of the industry, and lessons learned from his journey as an entrepreneur. Richie co-founded Finix with Sean Donovan in 2015 to redefine the economics of payments. Finix allows growing businesses to own and make money from their payments systems (vs. paying “rent” fees to third-party processors). Finix’s software allows companies to bring payments in-house, a process that previously took 2-3 years and cost millions of dollars. With Finix, they can do the same in as little as one month, and at a fraction of the cost. Finix is trusted by companies that process over $1 billion in payments like Lightspeed POS Inc. and Clubessential to build and scale their payments infrastructure. Finix is headquartered in San Francisco, with an additional office in Cincinnati, Ohio. Finix has raised funds from Bain Capital Ventures, Homebrew, Insight Venture Partners, Visa and several others.
Jan 04, 2020
From Money20/20 USA: Rob Krugman - Chief Digital Officer At Broadridge
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) is joined by Robert Krugman, Chief Digital Officer at Broadridge (https://www.broadridge.com). In this extensive interview, Robert explains how Broadridge helps its customers enrich client and shareholder engagement. Robert also discusses how digital transformation, changing consumer preferences, and an evolving regulatory landscape are changing the way in which Broadridge’s clients communicate with their customers to provide a better user experience. Broadridge began as the brokerage services division of ADP in 1962. Since becoming independent in 2007, Broadridge has grown into a global Fintech company with over $4 billion in revenues and is recognized as an invaluable partner for the world’s leading companies and financial institutions. Broadridge helps drive business transformation for their clients with solutions for enriching client engagement, navigating risk, optimizing efficiency and generating revenue growth. Broadridge handles millions of trades a day involving trillions of dollars, support communications that reach 75% of North American households, and manage shareholder voting in 90 countries. As Chief Digital Officer for Broadridge, Robert leads the digital strategy and innovation for the customer communications group. His team ensures banking, telecom, utility, insurance and healthcare brands are engaging with their customers where consumers already frequent online. By supplementing traditional channels with new and emerging digital ways of engaging, the customer communications team helps businesses reduce costs, improve customer relationships, and make every touchpoint a meaningful interaction. We would like to thank the team at Money 20/20 USA (https://www.money2020.com) for hosting Wharton FinTech in Las Vegas during their annual conference to meet with and interview thought leaders in the FinTech Industry. Money20/20 is the premier global event on Payments, FinTech, and Financial Services where C-Level Executives, renowned speakers, innovators and disruptors from across the world unite to drive change in the future of money. We would also like to thank Wharton FinTech's platinum sponsor, the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance at Wharton (https://stevenscenter.wharton.upenn.edu). The Stevens Center is the premier research, education, and thought leadership institution in the world for financial technology.
Dec 23, 2019
From Money20/20 USA: Tim Chen - Co-Founder and CEO of NerdWallet
In our latest podcast, live from Money20/20, Peter Jankovsky (WG'20) speaks with Tim Chen, the CEO and co-founder of NerdWallet. NerdWallet is a leading personal finance content platform with over 100 million users that provides users clarity around all of life's financial decisions. In addition to leading NerdWallet, Tim sat on the most recent Consumer Advisory Board of the CFPB, and was appointed to the board of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). In this extensive interview, Tim shares: • NerdWallet's founding story and how he's grown the company from an $800 investment into a $500 M company serving 100 M+ customers • The future vision for NerdWallet and how Tim is using machine learning to better understand and serve customer needs • Lessons learned from his experience as an entrepreneur, particularly on how he finds and evaluates talented executives • Advice for investors or young executives choosing FinTechs that will be successful in the long-run Prior to NerdWallet, Tim was a hedge fund analyst and also worked in equity research at Credit Suisse First Boston. We would like to thank the team at Money20/20 USA for hosting Wharton FinTech in Las Vegas during their annual conference to meet with and interview thought leaders in the FinTech industry. Money20/20 is the premier global event on Payments, FinTech, and Financial Services where C-level executives, renowned speakers, innovators, and disruptors from across the world unite to drive change in the future of money. We would also like to thank Wharton FinTech's Platinum Sponsor, the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance. The Stevens Center is the premier research, education, and thought leadership institution in the world for financial technology.
Dec 17, 2019
Luvleen Sidhu - Co-Founder and CEO at BankMobile
In our latest podcast, Shompa Choudhury (WG ’20) is joined by Luvleen Sidhu, Co-Founder, President, and Chief Strategy Officer at BankMobile (https://www.bankmobile.com/index). In this extensive interview, Luvleen explains how BankMobile is leading the way in mobile-first banking by making banking more accessible and affordable. Luvleen also lays out the landscape for digital banking in the U.S. and explains how BankMobile’s B2B2C white label model allows them to create high volume customer acquisition at a low cost through partnerships with large consumer aggregators. Established in 2015, BankMobile is a division of Customers Bank and among the largest and fastest-growing mobile-first banking platforms in the U.S., offering checking and savings accounts, personal loans and credit cards. BankMobile employs a “Bank-as-a-Service” (BaaS) model, which enables BankMobile to acquire customers at higher volumes and substantially lower expense than traditional banks. Its low-cost operating model enables it to provide low-cost banking services to low/middle-income Americans who have been left behind by the high-fee model of “traditional” banks. Today, BankMobile provides its BaaS platform to universities and large consumer aggregators, such as T-Mobile, and currently serves over 60 million members as a top 15 bank in number of consumer checking accounts. Luvleen Sidhu is the Co-Founder, President, and Chief Strategy Officer at BankMobile. She is also a member of the BankMobile Board of Directors and Director & Founder of the BankMobile Foundation, where she identifies and funds budding entrepreneurs and organizations that promote financial literacy. Prior to becoming a well-recognized name in the industry, she earned her MBA here as part of The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania as part of the Class of 2013.
Dec 15, 2019
Sergio Furio - Founder and CEO of Creditas
In our latest podcast, Ronak Mehta (WG ’20) is joined by Sergio Furio, Founder and CEO of Creditas (www.creditas.com.br). In this extensive interview, Sergio explains how Creditas improves the lives of Brazilians by providing access to affordable credit. Sergio also provides context on the Brazilian retail banking and lending industry, shares his vision for Creditas’ future, and reflects on key learnings from his journey as an entrepreneur. Creditas is the leading secured lending platform in Brazil. With 1,000 employees and $315 million USD in VC funding, Creditas is one of the top fintech companies in Latin America. Creditas’ backers include Softbank, Kaszek, Redpoint eVentures, Vostok Emerging Finance, QED Investors, the IFC, Quona Capital, Santander Innoventures, among others. Creditas reduces the high interest rates paid by the Brazilian population by using borrowers’ assets, such as home and automobile, as collateral for loans. Before founding Creditas in 2012, Sergio was an executive at The Boston Consulting Group and in Deutsche Bank’s investment banking division.
Dec 09, 2019
Amias Gerety - Partner at QED Investors
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) is joined by Amias Gerety, Partner at QED Investors (https://qedinvestors.com). In this extensive interview, Amias describes QED’s investment philosophy and how they selectively provide capital and add value to emerging financial services companies. Amias also dives into his experiences at Treasury, the current US regulatory landscape for emerging FinTechs, and how QED’s portfolio companies are disrupting financial services. Amias joined QED as a Partner in 2017 focusing on supporting the portfolio and finding new investment opportunities with a focus on back office technologies and infrastructure companies. Amias brings a deep background in financial markets, compliance, and RegTech to the QED team.  Prior to joining QED, Amias served as the President’s nominee and as Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In that role, he was the lead advisor to the Secretary on policies affecting financial institutions.  He also oversaw a number of programs focused on supporting small business lending and community development. Prior to Treasury, Amias was a management consultant at Oliver Wyman.  Amias is a recipient of the Alexander Hamilton award, the Treasury’s highest honor. Amias graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard with a BA in Social Studies. QED Investors is a leading boutique venture capital firm based in Alexandria, VA. QED focuses on investing in early stage, disruptive financial services companies in the U.S., U.K. and Latin America. QED is dedicated to building great businesses and uses a unique, hands-on approach that leverages their partners’ decades of entrepreneurial and operational experience, helping their companies achieve breakthrough growth. Notable investments include Credit Karma, ClearScore, SoFi, Avant, Nubank, Remitly, GreenSky and LendUp. We want thank Wharton FinTech's platinum sponsor, the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance at Wharton (stevenscenter.wharton.upenn.edu). The Stevens Center is the premier research, education, and thought leadership institution in the world for financial technology.
Nov 26, 2019
Dr. Jing Wang - Assistant Professor Of Interactive Media & Business At NYU Shanghai
In our latest podcast, Anna Li (WG’20) is joined by Dr. Jing Wang, the Assistant Professor of Interactive Media & Business at NYU Shanghai. As China has been in the forefront of financial innovation and received a lot of venture funding in the FinTech space, the Wharton FinTech Club invited Dr. Wang to discuss the FinTech landscape in China as well as the evolving regulatory environment in the region. Dr. Wang focuses on studying how information technologies reshape the financial domain in the global context. At NYU Shanghai, Professor Wang teaches the course "Understanding Financial Technologies" and mentors students in the Program on Creativity and Innovation. Prior to joining NYU, she taught at Tulane University in Louisiana. Her writings are published on peer-reviewed journals and business and financial news.   In this interview, Dr. Wang covers the following:  1. Overview of the rapid financial innovation that has taken place in China over the last couple of years and how the regulatory environment has supported and then contained the rapid development of FinTech companies  2. Overview of the main regulatory bodies in China for FinTech (see details in Dr. Wang's forthcoming article in The China Quarterly) 3. Comparison of the FinTech companies in the US versus China and how the regulatory framework differs in the two countries 4. The difference in regulatory controls between China and Hong Kong 5. How social scoring is implemented in China and how the government collaborates with FinTech/Tech firms to set those standards 6. Chinese government oversight on different sub-sectors within FinTech (i.e. P2P, payments, wealth management, etc.) 7. Regulation of virtual currencies in China 8. Types of companies that will experience headwinds and tailwinds from Chinese government policies
Nov 22, 2019
Sankaet Pathak – CEO Of Synapse
In our latest podcast, Meghna Sreenivasan (WG ’20) is joined by Sankaet Pathak, CEO of Synapse (https://synapsefi.com). In this extensive interview, Sankaet explains how Synapse offers developer-facing APIs for companies building innovative financial products and bank-facing APIs so banks can automate their back-end operations. Sankaet also does a deep dive in how customers interact with Synapse, the trend from enablement to high fidelity user experience in financial services, and his journey as an international entrepreneur. Synapse provides payment, deposit, lending and investment products as APIs to FinTech companies who build and launch their financial innovations on top of their banking infrastructure. Synapse enables everyone around the world to access best-in-class financial products, regardless of their net worth. Sankaet Pathak came to the US from India to study computer engineering at the University of Memphis.  His experience of not being able to open a bank account due to his immigrant status, prompted him to launch a financial services company that could reduce barriers of entry for underbanked or unbanked folks. Through his efforts, Sankaet found that the true barrier to entry was an outdated infrastructure that kept everyday people from accessing best-in-class financial products. Today, Synapse services over 1.8 million end-users and processes over $10 billion in deposits. Many of Synapse’s clients are small FinTech companies offering innovative financial solutions that are both accessible and affordable for end users.
Nov 19, 2019
Pranav Barthwal - Co-Founder of SaveAbhi
In our latest podcast, Shompa Choudhury (WG ’20) is joined by Pranav Barthwal, Co-Founder of Save Abhi. In this extensive interview, Pranav discusses the evolution of payments in India and how Save Abhi has re-envisioned savings and wealth management for millennials in India. Save Abhi enables easy building of savings by rounding transactions to the nearest rupee and saving the change for investment. Previously, Pranav was in the payments space, heading a joint venture between ICICI Bank & First Data - a leading FinTech payments player providing POS terminals to over 400,000 merchants across India. Pranav studied engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and completed his MBA from INSEAD. Overall, Pranav has over 17 years of experience across payments, consumer goods and online learning organizations like First Data, Amex, and Reebok.
Nov 12, 2019
Omer Ismail - Head of Marcus U.S. (Goldman Sachs' Consumer Business)
In our latest podcast, Peter Jankovsky (WG'20) is joined by Omer Ismail, the head of Goldman Sachs' US consumer business. In this role, Omer oversees the Marcus by Goldman Sachs and Clarity Money businesses as well as the Goldman Sachs/Apple credit card partnership. Omer was originally the consumer business' first employee, and under his leadership, Goldman Sachs' US business has grown to over 4 million customers, $5 B in loan balances, $50 B in deposits, and 1,300 employees.*   In this extensive interview, Omer dives into: • The story behind Goldman's decision to enter consumer banking and how it went about understanding consumer pain points to deliver a unique value proposition • How the consumer business operates as a distinct business within the broader Goldman umbrella, and how its focus on constant iteration of design and UX delivers a differentiated customer experience • Surprises and challenges that Goldman tackled as it scaled its consumer business • Thoughts on what's next for Goldman in the consumer banking space, as well as Omer's view on opportunities/challenges in the market   Prior to launching Goldman's consumer business, Omer spent a decade in the private equity division at Goldman Sachs, focused on investing in technology-enabled businesses in the financial services, media and healthcare sectors. Omer grew up in Karachi, Pakistan and earned a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Forbes, Fast Company and American Banker. He has been recognized as one of Business Insider’s 100 People Transforming Business, Crain’s 40 under 40 and Bank Innovation’s Innovators to Watch. Omer lives in New York with his wife and two kids. * Stats mentioned in audio may slightly differ; podcast was recorded at start of summer 2019.
Sep 15, 2019
Andrew Endicott - CFO, Co-Founder, & President of Petal
In our latest podcast, Peter Jankovsky (WG'20) is joined by Andrew Endicott, the CFO, President, and Co-Founder of Petal. Petal is a new kind of credit card company on a mission to make credit honest, simple, and accessible. Petal is one of the fastest growing fintech companies in the United States and is pioneering the next generation of consumer lending through its proprietary cash flow underwriting strategy, which promises to serve tens of millions of creditworthy borrowers that are currently ignored by traditional underwriting approaches. In this extensive interview, Andrew shares the founding story of Petal and how it expands access to safe and affordable credit by using underwriting cash flows instead of just credit scores; how Andrew tested the concept before launching, the unique challenges that lending companies face in establishing product-market fit, and Andrew's advice for entrepreneurs; and Andrew's thoughts on the industry's broader evolution, among other topics. Prior to co-founding Petal, Andrew was an investment banker at Lazard and focused on buy-side and sell-side acquisitions involving consumer-facing companies and non-bank lenders. Prior to that, Andrew practiced corporate law at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, where he focused on public and private M&A, along with securities offerings, including IPOs, equity and debt offerings, and other transactions. Andrew holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School as well as a B.S.B.A. from the University of Arkansas and is a periodic lecturer on strategic transactions at the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, where he is also a member of the Dean’s Alumni Advisory Council.
Aug 27, 2019
David Lessing – Chief Revenue Officer at Addepar
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) is joined by David Lessing, Chief Revenue Officer at Addepar (https://addepar.com). In this extensive interview, David explains how Addepar empowers financial advisors and investors to navigate the increasingly complex world of investment management. David also discusses how the wealth management industry has evolved with the proliferation of breakaway advisors, the regulatory hurdles that financial advisors and wealth tech platforms face, and how Addepar’s data aggregation, financial operating system, and real-time analysis help investors monitor their portfolios. Addepar works with hundreds of family offices, wealth advisors, and private banks representing more than $1 trillion of assets on their platform. Addepar gives investors and advisors a clearer financial picture at every level of their portfolios. With real-time analysis and customizable reporting, financial advisors can visualize and communicate relevant information to their clients. David Lessing recently joined Addepar after serving as a Board member, advisor, and CEO of several financial services startups over the past four years. He has spent most of his career in senior leadership roles in the wealth management industry, serving as Chief Operating Officer for Morgan Stanley’s U.S. Field Management Group and Head of Merrill Lynch’s Global Private Client Direct Division.
Aug 20, 2019
Chris Britt, CEO and Co-Founder of Chime
In our latest podcast, Peter Jankovsky (WG'20) is joined by Chris Britt, the Co-Founder and CEO of Chime. Chime is a challenger bank that was founded with the mission of helping its members achieve financial peace of mind. Since launching in 2013, it has become one of the fastest-growing challenger banks with over 4 M accounts and recently raised $200 M in funding at a $1.5 B valuation. In this extensive interview, Chris dives into: * His motivation for founding Chime and the distinct value prop it offers in the market today * How Chime's customer-centric approach is fueling its rapid growth with a revenue model that is aligned with the happiness of its members * What's next for Chime, including how Chris thinks about partnerships and his thinking on whether or not to pursue a bank charter * The future of the US retail banking market and how it will evolve to the benefit of consumers * Advice for entrepreneurs in the FinTech space Chris Britt is the co-founder & CEO of Chime. Before founding Chime, Chris was the Chief Product Officer and SVP, Corporate Development at Green Dot. Prior to that, Chris held roles as a senior product leader at Visa and as one of the first executives at ComScore. In addition, Chris is a Board Member of coachart.org, a non-profit that connects chronically ill kids with free lessons in the arts and athletics.
Aug 12, 2019
Thomas Sponholtz, CEO and Chairman at Unison Home Ownership Investors
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) is joined by Thomas Sponholtz, CEO and Chairman at Unison Home Ownership Investors (https://www.unison.com). In this extensive interview, Thomas explains how Unison helps first time homebuyers by co-investing in their down payment. Thomas also discusses homeowner’s equity as an asset class, how Unison uses data analytics to forecast the value of its portfolio, and how Unison is revolutionizing the industry by unlocking homeowner’s equity. Unison is pioneering a smarter and better way to buy and own homes by helping homebuyers with their down payment in exchange for a portion of their home’s appreciation when they sell. At Unison, Thomas has built a team of financial and real estate professionals who are committed to helping homebuyers get the home they want, and homeowners finance their life needs without adding debt. Unison believes in a world where buying and owning a home is not a zero-sum game, and that with the right partners, everyone can win. Thomas founded Unison and leads the company’s overall strategic direction. He has more than twenty years of experience building large-scale consumer finance and investment management businesses at companies such as Barclay’s Global Investors, where he managed the $28 billion residential mortgage portfolio, built the first Fixed Income ETF (iShares) and developed Barclay’s Global Multi-Strategy and Credit Long/Short fund.
Aug 07, 2019
LendIt Fintech USA: Ryan Rugg, Global Head of Industry Verticals at R3
In this broadcast from LendIt Fintech USA in April 2019, recent alumna Dipika Sen (WG'19) speaks with Ryan Rugg, R3's Global Head of Industry Verticals. In this role, Ryan oversees the global team that is responsible for helping industry leaders understand and navigate the forces reshaping their businesses, including blockchain technology. Previously, she led the Global Insurance businesses for R3, which has become one of the largest ecosystems building and deploying on R3’s Blockchain Platform, Corda. Prior to R3, Ryan worked for Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan where she gained extensive experience in financial services covering a broad range of institutions including insurance, hedge funds, banks, and asset managers.
Jul 28, 2019
FinTech Innovation Lab for New York 2019 Demo Day
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) attends the FinTech Innovation Lab 2019 Demo Day in New York, where 11 enterprise tech companies got to showcase innovative products and services. In this podcast, Keane is joined by Maria Gotsch of the Partnership Fund for New York, Hans Morris of Nyca Partners, George Hessler of Magma Trading, and Nir Perry of Cyberwrite. The FinTech Innovation Lab (https://www.fintechinnovationlab.com) was founded in 2010 by Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City. The Lab provides early- and growth-stage FinTech companies with access to the world’s leading financial institutions. The Lab was established to help make New York a leader in FinTech and to grow technology jobs by leveraging the concentration of large financial institutions and deep domain expertise that exist in New York. Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City The Partnership Fund (https://partnershipfundnyc.org) has invested $173mm to preserve New York City’s competitive edge and to mobilize the city’s financial and business leaders to help build a stronger and more diversified local economy. In addition to leading the Fund’s investment operations, Maria has spearheaded the creation and operation of a number of the Fund’s strategic initiatives, including the FinTech Innovation Lab for New York. Hans Morris, Managing Partner of Nyca Partners Nyca (https://www.nyca.com) is a leading venture capital firm focused on connecting innovative companies to the global financial system. In addition to being the Managing Partner of Nyca, Hans also serves as chairman of the board of Lending Club and as a board member of AvidXchange, Boomtown, Payoneer, and SigFig.  Prior to Nyca, Hans held several senior management positions at General Atlantic, Visa, and Citigroup. George Hessler, CEO and Founder of Magma Trading Magma Trading (https://www.magmatrading.com) has created a new kind of stock market that allows broker-dealers to trade large blocks of equities. This structure allows market-making firms to post large potential trades without fear of getting run over by high-speed electronic sweeps. Nir Perry, CEO and Founder of Cyberwrite Cyberwrite (https://cyberwrite.com) enables insurers, brokers, and agents to cyberprofile and benchmark the cyber insurance risk of small-medium businesses worldwide and to estimate the financial impact of potential cyber incidents on their businesses using their unique Cyber Profiling technology. Fintech Innovation Lab Demo Day Press Release: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190627005121/en/11-Enterprise-Tech-Companies-Showcase-Inventive-Products Fintech Innovation Lab Demo Day Archived Video Presentations: https://www.fintechinnovationlab.com/new-york/live/
Jul 15, 2019
Dov Marmor, GM & Head of Banking as a Service at Green Dot
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) is joined by Dov Marmor, GM & Head of Banking as a Service at Green Dot (https://www.greendot.com). In this extensive interview, Dov dives into the proliferation of prepaid cards and Banking as a Service in the U.S.  Dov also discusses Green Dot’s unique and vertically integrated value proposition for companies looking to provide banking services, how to land a job in fintech, and the evolution of the fintech industry. Dov Marmor leads Green Dot’s Banking as a Service (BaaS) division, which is the platform used by companies like Uber, Intuit, Apple, and Stash to create custom financial products for their customers.  He is also a fintech lecturer at Cornell University’s Johnson Business School where he earned his MBA and serves on the alumni board. Prior to joining Green Dot, Dov led the US launch of Currencycloud, a Google Ventures funded fintech platform that processes billions of dollars in payments globally for major tech companies.  Earlier in his career, Dov held leadership roles at Super Derivatives (Sold to Intercontinental Exchange) and Standard & Poor’s. He has extensive experience across fintech, Cloud Platforms, Payments, and digital innovation.    Linked in article link about how to land a job in FinTech: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-land-job-fintech-dov-marmor/ For more information on Banking as a Service: https://greendot.com/business
Jul 02, 2019
Ray Martinez, Co-Founder and President of EVERFI
In our latest podcast, Peter Jankovsky (WG'20) speaks with Ray Martinez, the Co-Founder and President of EVERFI. EVERFI is a recognized leader in financial literacy education that uses digital learning platforms to power financial wellness products for many of the country's leading institutions. Founded in 2008, EVERFI is backed by some of America's leading CEOs and VC firms, including Amazon founder/CEO Jeff Bezos, former Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, Advance Publications, Rethink Education, and Rethink Impact. In this extensive podcast, Ray dives into: * The founding of EVERFI and how it developed a unique revenue model in its early days * How EVERFI's new Achieve platform delivers engaging, personalized financial education to consumers * How financial institutions can use Achieve to better understand and engage with their customer base * Learnings from EVERFI's K-12 educational offerings that informed the design of Achieve * EVERFI's ambitions to build out additional educational offerings for healthcare finance, savings/retirement, emotional learning, and mental wellness, among other areas Ray's learnings from his experience as an entrepreneur boot-strapping EVERFI in its early days As President of Financial Education, Ray is responsible for leading the Company's financial education business, which powers financial capability programs for hundreds of financial institutions across the country. He also oversees EVERFI's Financial Capability Network which has grown to include over 850 financial institutions, thousands of teachers, government officials, Advisory Board members, and non-profit partners. The Financial Capability Network is committed to delivering critical financial education to K-12 students and adults in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada, while also leveraging best practices and technology solutions to yield maximum impact within their communities. Ray has spent over 20 years in the education industry, having served in leadership roles at Kaplan prior to co-founding EVERFI. Questions? Comments? Want to get in touch? Send us a note at whartonfintech@gmail.com
Jun 26, 2019
Colin Walsh, CEO and Co-Founder of Varo Money
In our latest podcast, Peter Jankovsky (WG'20) is joined by Colin Walsh, the CEO and Co-Founder of Varo Money. Varo Money is on track to become the first mobile-centric national bank in US history after gaining approval for a national bank charter. We previously spoke with Colin in the early days of Varo's launch and are excited to welcome him back to the podcast to share his experience in the market. In this extensive interview, Colin shares: * His unique founding story and the value proposition behind Varo * The rationale for Varo's decision to pursue a national bank charter * His vision for what's next for Varo - including both product and geographic expansion * Challenges that Varo has overcome since launching in the market * Advice for entrepreneurs seeking funding * His views on the competitive landscape for consumer banking in the US Prior to starting Varo, Colin spent over 25 years working in consumer banking at global financial institutions. He was previously an EVP at American Express, leading Europe's largest credit and charge card business, and an MD at Lloyd's, leading the UK's largest mortgage and savings businesses. Feedback? Questions? Send us a note at whartonfintech@gmail.com
Jun 05, 2019
Gerry Tsai, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) is joined by Gerry Tsai, Director of Applications and Fintech in the Financial Institution Supervision and Credit Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (FRBSF) (https://www.frbsf.org). In this extensive interview, Gerry dives into the evolution of the Fintech industry and the U.S. regulatory response. Gerry also discusses the FRBSF’s Fintech Navigate program, regulatory sandboxes, and the various regulatory regimes that apply to the use of consumer financial data. In his Fintech role at the FRBSF, Mr. Tsai leads a team of analysts that focus on better understanding the opportunities and regulatory questions posed by the Fintech industry, as well as related impacts on the banking sector.  In his applications capacity, he oversees a team that reviews and acts on regulatory applications by banking institutions to engage in mergers, acquisitions, and other expansionary activities. Mr. Tsai previously served both as Corporate Secretary and as Associate General Counsel for the Reserve Bank’s Legal Division where he focused on payment systems and bank regulatory matters. Before joining the Reserve Bank, Mr. Tsai was vice president and counsel at a large financial institution in Los Angeles, and was an attorney with the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. Mr. Tsai graduated from Johns Hopkins University and Boston University School of Law; he is admitted to the bar in California and Massachusetts. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco:  Fintech Navigate https://www.frbsf.org/banking/fintech/navigate/ U.S. Department of the Treasury:  A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities: Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation https://home.treasury.gov/sites/default/files/2018-08/A-Financial-System-that-Creates-Economic-Opportunities---Nonbank-Financials-Fintech-and-Innovation_0.pdf
May 10, 2019
Zor Gorelov, CEO and Co-Founder of Kasisto
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) is joined by Zor Gorelov, the CEO and Co-Founder of Kasisto. In this extensive interview, Zor dives into Kasisto’s sophisticated conversational AI platform that powers virtual assistants for financial institutions. Zor also discusses his fascinating background as a four-time entrepreneur and how Kasisto’s KAI is revolutionizing the way customers interact with their banks. Kasisto (https://kasisto.com) is the developer of KAI, a conversational AI platform that powers virtual assistants and bots on mobile, web, messaging platforms, and voice-enabled devices. The world’s most innovative financial institutions license KAI to create intelligent conversations that fulfill requests, solve problems, and predict needs for their customers. Zor has over 20 years of experience in the software industry. He was the CEO and co-Founder of SpeechCycle, a market leader in cloud-based contact center optimization solutions for the telco market. SpeechCycle was acquired by Synchronoss Technologies (SNCR). Prior to that, Zor founded and ran BuzzCompany.com, a provider of enterprise collaboration and messaging software, which was acquired by Multex.com (MLTX).
May 06, 2019
Karn Saroya, CEO and co-founder of Cover
Karn Saroya, CEO and co-founder of Cover by WFT
Apr 30, 2019
Clay Wilkes, CEO and Founder of Galileo Processing
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) is joined by Clay Wilkes, the CEO and founder of Galileo Processing. In this extensive interview, Clay dives into Galileo’s sophisticated payments platform and how Galileo inspires and connects the most exciting fintechs and financial institutions via its open APIs and simulator sandbox. We also cover Galileo’s growth since its founding, emerging payment adoption trends, and valuations and consolidation in fintech. Galileo Processing (www.galileoprocessing.com) was founded in 2000 and has grown to become one of the largest payments processors and program managers in North America. Galileo applies technology and engineering capabilities to empower fintechs and financial institutions to unleash their full creativity to achieve their most innovative goals. Galileo leads the industry with superior fraud detection, security, decision-making analytics, and regulatory compliance functionality combined with customized, responsive and flexible programs to accelerate the success of all payments companies and solve tomorrow’s payments challenges today. Under Clay’s leadership, Galileo developed the technology that powers the most successful fintechs, financial institutions and investment firms in North America. His love of technology began early, while hunkered down in high school and university computer labs in his native Oregon. He launched his career developing communications and operating systems for Sperry, IBM, and Novell. In 1994 Clay founded I-Link, which developed Voice Over IP. As CEO, he took I-Link public and authored patents for VOIP. A dedicated humanitarian and environmentalist, Clay says Galileo’s Core Values are the embodiment of what he believes as a business leader.
Apr 08, 2019
Braden More, Head of Partnerships and Industry Relations at Wells Fargo
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) is joined by Braden More, Executive Vice President and Head of Partnerships and Industry Relations at Wells Fargo. In this extensive interview, Braden dives into Wells Fargo’s tech enabled payment offerings and discusses Wells Fargo’s strategy for partnering with and investing in emerging fintech start-ups. We also cover U.S. payment adoption trends, how Wells Fargo is helping consumers manage their digital financial footprint, and Braden’s experience as co-founder of the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator. Braden More leads business development, partnerships, and industry relations for Wells Fargo’s payments business. He and his team work across the consumer and commercial bank to grow Wells Fargo’s deposit and payment franchise by focusing on customers, partners, and regulators. Before assuming his current role in 2017, Braden was the head of payment strategy at Wells Fargo. He and his team worked across the enterprise to coordinate strategy, incubate new initiatives like Apple Pay, and represent Wells Fargo in the payments industry. He also cofounded the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator, a venture capital program that mentors and invests in innovative companies. Braden graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin College with a degree in government and legal studies. He earned his M.B.A. with distinction from NYU’s Stern School of Business and obtained a CPA license in New York. Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator (https://accelerator.wf.com/) Control Tower (https://www.wellsfargo.com/online-banking/manage-accounts/control-tower/) Greenhouse by Wells Fargo (https://www.wellsfargo.com/greenhouse/)
Mar 29, 2019
Dan Westgarth, North America General Manager for Revolut
In our latest podcast, Peter Jankovsky (WG'20) is joined by Dan Westgarth, head of Revolut's North America expansion. Revolut is a UK challenger bank that launched in 2015 with the mission to build the world's first truly bank. Today, it supports customers in over 30 countries and has over 4M users. Podcast overview: * How Revolut thinks of a "stack of niches" in building its customer base and creating a ripple effect to grow to 4M+ users * Revolut's planned product expansion, including its new Perks program and wealth/trading product, and how it goes about launching new products * Revolut's plans for international expansion to create the world's first truly global bank * A comparison of the regulatory environment in North America and the UK/EU, and how this affects Revolut's business model * Plans for Revolut's launch in the US, challenges it has had to work through, and how it's adapting to the US consumer * Revolut's culture and what Revolut looks for in potential hires Dan Westgarth is the General Manager for North America at Revolut, currently responsible for local operations across North America. Before taking on his current role, Dan was part of the Revolut international launcher team, which collectively set up local businesses in 8+ international markets. Prior to that, as one of Revolut's early employees, Dan established several early partnerships and business critical deals within the partnerships and business development team which was based in Canary Wharf's Level39 FinTech hub and accelerator.
Mar 26, 2019
Frank Rotman, Founding Partner of QED Investors
In our latest podcast, Christian Rolon (WG '19) is joined by Frank Rotman, one of the founding partners of QED Investors. QED Investors invests in early-stage Fintech companies based in the US, UK, and Latin America. Based in Virginia, QED was founded in 2008 by Rotman, Caribou Honig, and Nigel Morris (co-founder of Capital One). QED Investors has invested in Avant, AvidXchange, ClearScore, Credit Karma, Nubank, Remitly, and SoFi. Their exits include Braintree, Klarna, and Orchard. Frank Rotman is a founding partner of QED Investors. Frank's portfolio companies include Avant, Credit Karma, GreenSky, LendUp, Prosper and SoFi. Frank publishes his thoughts on Fintech on his personal blog Confessions of a Fintech Junkie. Frank began his career at Capital One as one of its earliest analysts. At Capital One, Frank spanned a number of roles across subprime and upmarket cards, focusing on managing Capital One's credit exposure and expanding new business lines. After leaving Capital One, Frank created a Student Lending company. Frank received his BS in Applied Mathematics and his MS in Systems Engineering, both from the University of Virginia.
Feb 26, 2019
Blockchain Applications in Capital Markets with Michael Tae, Head of Strategy and M&A at Broadridge
In our latest podcast, Vivek Chauhan (Wharton MBA '19) chats with Michael Tae, Head of Strategy and M&A at Broadridge. Broadridge Financial Solutions, a $4 billion global fintech leader, provides investor communications and technology-driven solutions for broker-dealers, banks, mutual funds and corporate issuers globally. With over 50 years of experience, Broadridge's infrastructure underpins proxy voting services for over 90 percent of public companies and mutual funds in North America and processes more than $5 trillion in fixed income and equity trades per day. Broadridge is part of hyperledger project, a minority investor in the blockchain startup Digital Asset Holding, and has received an award for its blockchain initiatives. Michael is the head of strategy and M&A at Broadridge and leads strategy, acquisitions, partnerships, and other growth-related activities. He began his career at McKinsey where he provided consulting services to the financial services industry before moving to Merrill Lynch where he was the Vice President of their Financial Institutions Group. In 2009, at the height of the financial crisis, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked in the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Financial Stability as Director of Investments and Senior Policy Advisor. Most recently, he was the Senior Executive Vice President of Worldwide Services for Microstrategy. In this engaging podcast, Michael shares more about Broadridge's industry-leading initiatives using the blockchain technology for proxy voting and talks about opportunities and challenges in the adoption of blockchain technology in capital markets.
Feb 22, 2019
Brandon Krieg, CEO and Co-Founder of StashInvest
In our latest podcast, Keane Ehsani (WG ’20) and Peter Jankovsky (WG ’20) are joined by Brandon Krieg, the CEO and Co-Founder of StashInvest. In this extensive interview, Brandon dives into StashInvest’s offering as an enabler for consumer investing. We also cover Brandon’s experience at EdgeTrade, Knight Capital, and Macquarie, the process of founding Stash, and how Brandon sees disruptive innovation affecting financial services. StashInvest (https://www.stashinvest.com), one of the fastest growing consumer investing apps in the U.S., simplifies the financial services experience, offering education and opportunities that help improve the financial well-being of millions of people across the U.S. By breaking down barriers and building transparent, technology-driven products, Stash helps the 99% build smarter financial habits so they can confidently save more, grow savings, and enjoy life. Stash currently has over 3 million customers.  As Co-founder and CEO, Brandon’s core focus is finding new ways to harness technology to simplify the financial services industry and create opportunities for people of all demographics and financial backgrounds. He has over 20 years of experience in the FinTech industry, most notably as Co-founder of EdgeTrade, one of the first and largest electronic trade execution and software firms (later acquired by Knight Capital Group), and as Head of Electronic Execution at Macquarie Securities Group.
Feb 19, 2019
Mary-Catherine Lader, COO of Digital Wealth at BlackRock
In our latest podcast, Christian Rolon (WG ’19) is joined by Mary-Catherine Lader, the Chief Operating Officer of Digital Wealth at BlackRock. In this expansive interview, Mary-Catherine dives into BlackRock’s digital strategy, technology as an enabler for asset management businesses, and how FinTech startups are partnering with incumbents and expanding their product lines to become the center of consumers’ financial lives. The BlackRock Digital Wealth Group provides software solutions to help retail advisors and institutional investors build better investment portfolios by leveraging the Aladdin operating system. BlackRock has made a number of investments in WealthTech startups and incumbents, including Acorns, Personal Capital, Scalable Capital, Envestnet, and iCapital Network. BlackRock also acquired the robo-advisor FutureAdvisor in 2015. BlackRock has nearly $6 trillion in assets under management, serving retail and institutional investors across the world. Mary-Catherine Lader is the Chief Operating Officer of Digital Wealth at BlackRock where she focuses on improving BlackRock’s product offerings for retail advisors and investors through partnerships, acquisitions, and internal projects. Prior to BlackRock, Mary-Catherine was the co-founder of hiWatson, a Fintech startup managing online benefits for independent contractors. Mary-Catherine also worked in Goldman Sachs’s Special Situations Group as an investment analyst focusing on clean energy. She was also on the Media team for the World Economic Forum. During business school, Mary-Catherine interned at Comcast Ventures. Mary-Catherine Lader received her JD/MBA from Harvard University, and her A.B. from Brown University.
Feb 14, 2019
Tom Fortin, COO and Managing Partner of iCapital Network
Caroline Kremer (WG '19) speaks with Tom Fortin, the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner of iCapital Network. iCapital is an alternative investments technology platform that serves investors, fund managers, and financial advisors. iCapital's platform digitizes the subscription, reporting, and administrative aspects of alternative investments. Additionally, iCapital's platform provides private investment fund due diligence for high-net worth investors and financial advisors. iCapital was named to the 2019 Forbes Fintech 50 list. iCapital recently raised a round of funding from strategic investors including BlackRock, Blackstone, Carlyle Group, BNY Mellon, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, and UBS. Tom Fortin is the Chief Operating Officer at iCapital, responsible for the Administration, Investor Services and Technology departments. Prior to joining iCapital, Tom was a Managing Director at BlackRock from 2001–2017. He was most recently the Global Head of Retail Technology where he was responsible for the strategy, design, and development of BlackRock's retail sales enablement and digital distribution solutions. In addition he was a member of BlackRock's Global Operating Committee, Human Capital Committee and Enterprise Risk Management Committee. Prior to joining BlackRock in 2001, Tom spent ten years with Wall Street Systems in the design, development and implementation of a front-to-back integrated fixed income and FX trading system for global financial institutions. From 1988 to 1991, he traded FX and interest rate derivatives at Chemical Bank (now JP Morgan Chase) in New York. Through a joint engineering program, Tom earned a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University and a BS degree in engineering from Providence College, and an MBA degree in Finance from New York University.
Feb 12, 2019
Lowell Putnam, CEO and Co-Founder of Quovo
Jeff Leathers (WG ’19) interviews Lowell Putnam, the co-founder and CEO of Quovo, a financial data platform that provides companies with connectivity and insights for millions of consumer financial accounts across more than 14,000 different institutions. In January 2019, Quovo was acquired by Plaid. In this podcast, Lowell covers the recent acquisition, the current and future use cases for account connectivity, the regulatory environment, and his takeaways from his journey as a technology entrepreneur. Prior to founding Quovo, Lowell worked in the Investment Banking Division of Lehman Brothers/Barclays. At Lehman Brothers, Lowell worked in the Financial Institutions Group, specializing in consumer credit companies and structured finance transactions. Lowell has been named to the InvestmentNews 40 under 40 and WealthManagement.com Top Ten to Watch in 2016 lists. He serves on several advisory boards for technology companies and non-profits. Lowell attended Harvard College and lives in New York City with his wife, Brynn, and son, George.
Feb 06, 2019
Jamie Finn, President and Co-Founder of Securitize
Christian Rolon (WG '19) is joined by Jamie Finn, the co-founder and President of Securitize. Securitize is a platform for digitizing securities, facilitating the issuance of securities for assets including companies, funds, and other equity holdings. Founded in January 2018, Securitize has already helped a number of customers digitize their portfolios and assets on their platform. Securitize raised a Series A from investors including Coinbase Ventures, Ripple, and Blockchain Capital in November 2018. Jamie Finn is the co-founder and President of Securitize. Prior to Securitize, Jamie held leadership roles at helloNetwork, Zingy, Ericsson, Thumbplay, RingRing Media, Telefonica, Kontera, Sansa Security, AT&T, and Aki Technologies. Jamie has his Bachelor's degree from Babson College.
Jan 28, 2019
Rex Salisbury, Founder of Fintech Dev and PMs
Christian Rolon (WG '19) is joined by Rex Salisbury, the founder of the Fintech Devs and PMs Meetup based in San Francisco. The Fintech Devs and PMs community has roughly 2,000 members, hosting monthly events highlighting many exciting Fintech firms in the Bay Area. Past Meetups have featured speakers from: a16z, Affirm, Branch, EarnIn, Plaid, SoFi, Wealthfront, and many others. Learn more at: https://www.fintechdevsandpms.com/. Rex Salisbury is the founder of the Fintech Devs and PMs Meetup in San Francisco. Rex is a product engineer at Checkr. Prior to Checkr, Rex worked at Sindeo as an engineer, and Merrill Lynch in investment banking on the real estate team. Rex has his BA in Economics and History from Davidson College.
Dec 11, 2018
Jason Brown, CEO and Co-Founder of Tally Technologies
Christian Rolon (WG '19) is joined by Jason Brown, the co-founder and CEO of Tally Technologies. Tally is the first automated debt manager, helping consumers pay down high interest rate credit card debt. Tally was founded in 2015, and was launched on iOS in October 2017. Tally now manages hundreds of millions of dollars in credit card debt and has saved people millions of dollars in interest and late fees since its launch. Tally has raised $42m in total from investors including Kleiner Perkins, Shasta Ventures, and Cowboy Ventures. Jason is the co-founder and CEO of Tally Technologies. Tally is Jason's third startup. His second startup Gen110 was also co-founded with his Tally co-founder Jasper Platz and was invested in by Kleiner Perkins. Gen110 was acquired by Solar Universe in 2013. Jason also worked at Voyager Capital, a VC firm focusing on early-stage software firms. Jason has his MBA from Chicago Booth, where he ran the Venture Capital and Private Equity Club and concentrated in Finance and Entrepreneurship. Jason received his BA from Boston University, graduating summa cum laude.
Dec 03, 2018
Nick Shalek, General Partner at Ribbit Capital
In our latest podcast, Christian Rolon (WG ‘19) is joined by Nick Shalek, a general partner at Ribbit Capital. Ribbit Capital is a leading venture capital firm focused on early stage firms across fintech verticals such as lending, insurance, wealth management, and blockchain. Ribbit Capital has made a number of investments across the fintech space, including: Affirm, Brex, Coalition, Coinbase, Credit Karma, Funding Circle, Gusto, Nubank, Revolut, Robinhood, Upgrade, and Wealthfront. In this podcast, Nick speaks about his path to venture capital, Ribbit's investment approach, regulation affecting fintech, and his view on the current investing and valuation landscape. Nick is a General Partner at Ribbit Capital, investing and serving on the board of a number of Fintech firms. As a firm, Ribbit Capital has made investments in many of the Fintech space’s leading startups - such as Coinbase, Revolut, and Robinhood. Nick has been at Ribbit Capital since 2012. Prior to Ribbit, Nick worked in Yale’s Investments Office, which manages the Yale University endowment. Nick also has experience as an operator, across Verne Global, Facebook, and Aspire Public Schools. Nick has a BA from Yale University, as well as an MBA and an MA in Education from Stanford University.
Nov 12, 2018
Garry Reeder, Vice President of Innovation and Policy at Center for Financial Services Innovation
In this podcast, Christian Rolon (MBA '19) interviews Garry Reeder, Vice President at the Center for Financial Services Innovation. This episode was recorded live at the Financial Inclusion Summit. Garry leads the Financial Solutions Lab at CFSI. In this podcast, Garry discusses CFSI's mission and investing activities, regulatory developments in fintech, and fintech and blockchain applications for the underbanked. Garry Reeder is the Vice President of Innovation and Policy at the Center for Financial Services Innovation. Garry also leads the Financial Solutions Lab at CFSI. The Financial Solutions Lab is a partnership between CFSI and J.P. Morgan Chase. The Financial Solutions Lab invests in entrepreneurs and startups that are working on improving the financial health of consumers around the world. Past startups that have gone through the program include: Dave, Digit, EarnUp, LendStreet, Nova, Scratch, and WiseBanyan. Prior to his current role at CFSI, Garry had an extensive background in the public and private sector. Within the private sector, Garry has a decade of asset management experience, spanning across Ziff Brothers Investments and Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Garry later went on to co-found Fenway Summer Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm investing in Fintech firms. Garry has also advised a number of financial service institutions around the regulatory landscape, first at BlackRock, where Garry led the Consumer Financial Services Advisory Practice, and then at Chain Bridge Partners, where Garry was a Managing Director. Garry also spent time in the public sector, specifically at the U.S. Treasury. At Treasury, Garry worked on the Auto Team, overseeing TARP's investments in the auto sector, and the General Motors IPO. Garry went on to serve as the Chief of Staff for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, helping to develop Project Catalyst. Garry has his BA from Yale, and his MBA from Columbia Business School. The Financial Inclusion Summit was organized by Rex Salisbury, the founder of Fintech Devs and PMs Meetup. The community has roughly 2,000 members, hosting monthly events highlighting many exciting Fintech firms in the Bay Area. Past Meetups have featured speakers from: a16z, Affirm, Branch, EarnIn, Plaid, SoFi, Wealthfront, and many others. Learn more at: https://www.fintechdevsandpms.com/.
Nov 11, 2018
Jennifer Fitzgerald, CEO and Co-Founder of Policygenius
In this podcast, Jacob Decter (Wharton MBA ’19) speaks with Jennifer Fitzgerald, CEO and Co-founder of Policygenius. Policygenius is an online insurance marketplace that aims to streamline and simplify insurance buying for consumers, offering a wide array of insurance products including life insurance, disability insurance, renters insurance, and pet insurance. Beyond its product offering, Policygenius also offers practical financial and insurance advice and information in a digestible way for the average consumer. Policygenius is backed by investors including Norwest Venture Partners, Revolution Ventures, Susa Ventures, and AXA Venture Partners. In this podcast, Jacob and Jennifer explore the founding of Policygenius, the evolving insurance customer, some of the operations and operational challenges of running a start up in the insurance industry and the future of Policygenius and insurance distribution. Jennifer was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2018 and is one of only four women founders in Fintech to raise over $50 million in funding. Before starting Policygenius in 2014, she and her co-founder, Francois de Lame, were management consultants at McKinsey & Company. Jennifer has shared insights in major publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and more. Early in her career, she was a Peace Corps volunteer and used to do standup comedy. Jennifer is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Florida State University.
Jun 12, 2018
Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga
In this podcast, Justin Karfo (WG ’19) chats with Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga. Founded in 2009, Paga is a Nigerian mobile payments company that allows users to send money, pay bills and receive payments easily from any mobile phone. Today Paga is the largest fintech company in Nigeria, with over 8.5 million users, 15,000 agents across Nigeria and 200+ employees. During this podcast, Justin and Tayo discuss the African and Nigerian fintech ecosystems and highlight the challenges associated with building an organization such as Paga. Tayo also shares his entrepreneurial wisdom and journey so far. This podcast was recorded at the Africa Fintech Summit in Washington DC. Tayo has over sixteen years of experience in a variety of technical and business roles in high−tech and Private Equity. Most recently, he was Vice President at Travant Capital Partners where he was responsible for executing the firm's investment strategy in West Africa. Prior to joining Travant, Tayo was a Manager, Corporate Development, at Cisco Systems in San Jose California. In that role, he was responsible for strategy, acquisitions, and private equity investments in four technology sectors − Virtual Computing, Application Networking, Security, and Network Management. Tayo also helped lead Cisco's investment expansion in Africa. At Cisco, Tayo led numerous acquisition and private equity investment opportunities, including the $130m acquisition of Reactivity, and investments in Aquantia (10G Base−T, Series A), and Guardium (Database Security, recently sold to IBM). Tayo was also responsible for the private sale of 22% of Cisco's South African operations to a consortium of investors in 2007. Prior to Cisco, Tayo was a Senior Consultant at Deloitte Consulting in the CRM and Technology practice. At Deloitte he worked on cases in five industries − high tech, telecom, pharmacy retail, government, and healthcare. He was primarily responsible for leading technical implementation teams. Tayo also had stints at start-ups Biomorphic VLSI as a Semiconductor Chip Design Engineer, and Event411 as a Software Engineer. Outside of work, Tayo is passionate about encouraging entrepreneurship across various sectors. He believes entrepreneurship is a major driver of sustainable change and growth across the continent. This passion has led Tayo to work with entrepreneurs to develop their ideas as an Angel investor and adviser. He is currently an investor and adviser in Yswara, Africa's home-grown luxury brand; ReelFruit, a Nigerian fruit processing agribusiness; and ChopUp, a mobile gaming start−up. Tayo also takes time to volunteer at the Bake for Change charity organization, working with young kids who have been displaced from their homes. Alongside Paga's numerous achievements, Tayo has been nominated for the West African Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2013 All African Business Leaders Awards. He is also an Ambassador for Junior Achievement − working with one of the largest non-profit youth groups, to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Tayo earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, cum laude, from the University of Southern California. He also has a Masters in Business Administration from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.
May 07, 2018
Eghosa Omoigui, Founder and Managing General Partner of EchoVC
Justin Karfo (WG ’19) chats with Eghosa Omoigui, the founder and Managing General Partner of EchoVC Partners, a seed and early-stage venture capital firm. Based in Silicon Valley, EchoVC has invested millions of dollars in promising innovative African ventures. In this podcast, Eghosa discusses his firm's investment philosophy, the key themes in the African startup ecosystem and his firm’s key strategic partnership with TPG Growth. This podcast was recorded at the Africa Fintech Summit in Washington D.C. Eghosa Omoigui is the founder and Managing General Partner of EchoVC Partners. Before this, Eghosa was with Intel for nearly 10 years and his last role was as Intel Capital Director, Strategic Investments, Consumer Internet & Semantic Technologies, where he acted as a senior investment professional focused on platform-agnostic consumer web services and digital media-based investment opportunities. Omoigui also drove ICap's investment focus on next generation semantic technologies, smart data and the realtime web. Eghosa was personally responsible for (developing supporting theses for and) sourcing investment opportunities in various companies including AdMob, Jaiku, Powerset, Facebook, LinkedIn, Teracent and Pandora. Prior to this role, Omoigui was Chief of Staff to the President of Intel Capital (the largest global tech corporate VC), and, before that, Chief of Staff for Intel’s Treasury organization, helping oversee an $18B cash platform. Omoigui attended UPenn Law School and Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.
May 07, 2018
Abby Chao, Co-Founder and COO of CollegeBacker
Fei Ye (WG ’19) chats with Abby Chao, Co-Founder and COO of CollegeBacker. CollegeBacker helps parents open a tax-advantaged 529 College Savings Plan in minutes, and then invite family and friends to contribute. With CollegeBacker Gifts, anyone can kickstart a child’s college fund. During this podcast, Fei and Abby deep dive into the college savings sector and highlight the current challenges associated with saving for college. They also discuss the transition to entrepreneurship from professional services.
Apr 22, 2018
Michael Sonnenshein, Managing Director at Grayscale Investments
Wharton Alternative Investments Initiative and the Penn Blockchain Club hosted a fireside chat with Michael Sonnenshein, Managing Director at Grayscale Investments. With $3bn AUM, Grayscale Investments is the sponsor of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, the Ethereum Classic Investment Trust, and the Zcash Investment Trust. Sarah Hammer, Senior Director of the Wharton Alternative Investments Initiative, speaks with Michael about the basics of blockchain, the growth of cryptocurrencies, and the dynamics of and changing regulatory environment for digital investing. Michael Sonnenshein joined Grayscale Investments in January 2014. As Managing Director, he is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and growth of the Grayscale business, spanning sales, operations, product development, and investor relations. With $2+ Billion in assets under management, Michael is responsible for maintaining many of the firms’ key client relationships including family offices, hedge funds, and other institutions as well as forming strategic partnerships and evaluating service providers. Prior to joining Grayscale, Michael was a financial advisor at JP Morgan Securities, covering HNW individuals and institutions. He also worked in a similar capacity at Barclays Wealth, providing coverage to middle‐market hedge funds and institutions. Mr. Sonnenshein earned his Bachelors of Business Administration from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and an MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. He holds his Series 7 and 66 licenses.
Apr 14, 2018
Joel Frisch, Head of Americas at Prodigy Finance
Vivek Chauhan (Wharton MBA ’19) chats with Joel Frisch, Head of Americas at Prodigy Finance. Prodigy Finance is a peer-to-peer platform offering loans to international post graduate students using an innovative credit model. In this engaging podcast, Joel talks about his own trajectory from banking into fintech, Prodigy’s unique approach to credit modeling, impact investing, and opportunities and challenges in the P2P space. Educated in Philadelphia and London, Joel had a successful career on Wall Street and co-founded a software startup in the employee management industry prior to joining Prodigy Finance. As the first US-based employee at Prodigy Finance, Joel has helped build both the team and the market while balancing the complexities of a fast scaling company in a highly regulated space across the UK & US.
Apr 09, 2018
Colleen Briggs, Executive Director of Community Innovation at JP Morgan Chase & Co
Caroline Kremer (WG '19) speaks with Colleen Briggs, Executive Director of Community Innovation at JP Morgan Chase & Co, about JP Morgan's approach to incubating and growing new financial technology companies. In this podcast, Colleen discusses the business opportunities for fintech companies focused on serving the underbanked, as well as her work with the Financial Solutions Lab and the Catalyst Fund. Colleen is responsible for helping establish and execute JP Morgan Chase & Co's global philanthropic strategies on financial health and community development, including two signature initiatives – the Financial Solutions Lab and PRO Neighborhoods competition. The Lab is a $30 million, five-year initiative that convenes leading experts in technology and design to improve consumer financial health for underserved populations. PRO Neighborhoods is a five-year, $125 million program that works to increase the availability and accessibility of vital economic opportunities in distressed neighborhoods. Colleen also manages numerous programs across both topics designed to surface new approaches to community challenges, as well as explore global cross-cutting themes across the Foundation’s work, such as women’s empowerment, peer learning, evaluation, and attracting additional investment in JP Morgan's projects. Colleen is a member of the Asset Funders Network Steering Committee and the Innovations for Poverty Action Policy Advisory Group. She earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Apr 02, 2018
Jungwon Byun, Head of Growth at Upstart
Dipika Sen (Wharton MBA '19) chats with Jungwon Byun, Head of the Growth Team at Upstart, the first lending platform to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to price credit and automate the borrowing process. In this engaging podcast, Jungwon talks about her own trajectory from consulting into FinTech, discusses her initiative to foster the professional development of women at Upstart, and shares her insights on the importance of diversity in the industry. Jungwon oversees all of Upstart’s user acquisition strategies across digital, offline, and lifecycle channels. She was previously a management consultant at Oliver Wyman, where she assessed the risk exposure of international banks’ capital markets businesses for regulatory stress testing. She brings experience from her time as the CEO and co-Executive Director of a domestic microfinance non-profit. Jungwon graduated cum laude from Yale University, with a B.A. in Economics.
Mar 21, 2018
Marc Andrews, Vice President of IBM Watson Financial Services Solutions
Justina Gallegos (WG '19) speaks with Marc Andrews, Vice President of IBM Watson Financial Services Solutions. Marc has led the creation of a new organization within IBM to build industry specific solutions for the financial services industry. He is driving the design, development and delivery of offerings that apply analytic and cognitive technologies to streamline regulatory compliance, combat fraud and financial crime, and generate increased customer insights. Marc meets with business and technology leaders from financial services organizations across the globe to share best practices and help them identify how they can apply cognitive capabilities to drive new business value. Marc is a fellow Wharton alum - we are always happy to host Wharton alums in fintech on our podcast.
Mar 15, 2018
Andrew Robinson, Senior Executive Insurance, Oak HC/FT
Kylie Francis(Wharton MBA'18) chats with Andrew Robinson, Executive in Residence at Oak HC/FT, a premier venture growth equity firm investing in healthcare and financial service technology, where his focus is on Insurtech. In this insightful podcast, Andrew talks about his foray into the insurance industry and shares his perspectives on the most interesting activity in the insurance space today, and where this is scope for further disruption.
Feb 12, 2018
Julien Courbe, PwC U.S. Financial Services Advisory Leader
Fei Ye (WG '19) speaks with Julien Courbe, Partner and Head of PwC's U.S. Financial Services Advisory practice. Fei and Julien discuss PwC's top 8 digital predictions in financial services for 2018. PwC's trends cover a range of topics including digital banking, insurtech and blockchain. Check out the Wharton FinTech Medium for more details on PwC's report. Julien leads PwC’s US Financial Services Advisory practice, covering banking, capital markets, insurance and asset & wealth management companies. He advises C-suite executives at major financial services institutions on how to address issues related to growth and performance improvement, digital transformation, FinTech, financial crime and regulatory compliance, as well as technology and operations effectiveness.
Feb 06, 2018
Dan Aisen, Co-Founder and Head of Quantitative Strategy at IEX
Brian Shah (WG '18) speaks with Dan Aisen, Co-Founder and Head of Quantitative Strategy at IEX. Dan discusses the founding of IEX and the future of high frequency trading. IEX is the subject of Michael Lewis' bestselling book Flash Boys. As part of the founding team, Dan was responsible for building out the core functionality of IEX as a trading venue. As the company grows and evolves, he continues to develop new products and tactics that IEX can use to protect investors from predatory strategies and build a more sustainable and equitable market. Prior to IEX, Dan worked at RBC Capital Markets.
Jan 30, 2018
Jani Valjavec, Co-founder of ICONOMI and Chairman of Columbus Capital
John Pennington (WG '19) speaks with Jani Valjavec, co-founder and CTO (Trading) of ICONOMI, the world’s first blockchain-based digital asset management platform for the decentralized economy. A well-known member of the blockchain community, Jani is a crypto and app token expert and was an early blockchain enthusiast. In 2013, he co-founded Cashila, the first registered Bitcoin company in Europe to acquire a license for the execution of banking transactions via bitcoin. In 2016 Jani co-founded ICONOMI, the world’s first digital assets management platform, in order to provide access to a variety of digital assets and the ability to combine and trade them. Jani also serves as Chairman of Columbus Capital, ICONOMI’s first partner to serve as a dedicated Digital Asset Array manager.
Jan 28, 2018
Catherine Flax, CEO of Pefin
Elena Gerasimova (Wharton 2018) and Nipun Jasuja (Wharton 2018) chat with Catherine Flax, CEO of Pefin, the world’s AI financial advisor. Established in 2011, Pefin is a fintech company based in New York City. Pefin, which stands for PErsonal Financial INtelligence, uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide fiduciary financial advice at the fraction of a cost of a traditional financial advisor. On the day this podcast was recorded (November 30, 2011), Pefin went live to end consumers! And we couldn’t be more thrilled about that. Tune in to learn how Pefin is different from traditional roboadvisors that we’ve come to know, what really is the “AI” behind Pefin and why it took six years until product launch, and some invaluable nuggets of professional wisdom from Catherine.
Dec 16, 2017
Charles Birnbaum, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners
David Gogel (WG'18) speaks with Charles Birnbaum (WG'11), Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. BVP is a multi-stage venture capital firm that invests across enterprise, consumer and healthcare. Charles focuses on financial services, consumer and education investments. David and Charles speak about building investment and industry theses, opportunities in the cryptocurrency market, trends in insurtech, and the evolution of the tech-enabled specialty industry. Charles is a partner in Bessemer's New York office. He focuses on financial services, consumer and education investments. Charles is actively involved with many BVP portfolio companies, including Main Street Hub, BrightBytes, Bread Finance, and August Home. He currently serves on the board of Zopa, United Capital, Fabric, Spruce and Eave and was involved in the exits of Yodle, 2U, and Kroll Bond Ratings. Charles’ startup experience has been important to BVP’s early stage financial services portfolio, which includes high-potential companies such as Betterment and Quantopian. Prior to joining BVP in 2013, Charles spent more than three years at Foursquare, the location-based mobile application company based in New York, helping create and bring to market some of Foursquare’s first merchant-facing tools. As the company grew, Charles became the director of mobile and international business development, where he focused on building strategic partnerships with carriers and OEMs while leading the company’s business development efforts in key growth markets such as Brazil, Russia and Turkey. Prior to Foursquare, Charles spent six years in investment banking and equity capital markets focusing on the technology, media and telecom sectors, and executed more than 50 equity and equity-linked public offerings. Charles holds a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School, a Master of Arts in international studies from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Northwestern University.
Dec 08, 2017
Amy Nauiokas, Founder and President of Anthemis Group
Brian Shah (WG '18) chats with Amy Nauiokas, Founder and President of Anthemis Group, a leading financial technology investment and advisory firm. In this podcast, Amy discusses why she started Anthemis and the rationale behind providing both investment and strategy capabilities under one roof. She explains her guiding investing philosophy and how the team sources and evaluates new opportunities. At the end, Amy shares her perspective on U.S. vs. European startups and key trends in the financial technology space.
Nov 28, 2017
Sarina Siddhanti, Head of Direct Business, Funding Circle (US)
Jess Douglass, Wharton MBA 2018, chats with Sarina Siddhanti, Head of Direct Business, Funding Circle US. Funding Circle is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace that allows investors to lend money directly to small and medium-sized businesses. Funding Circle was the first website to use the process of peer-to-peer lending for business funding in the UK, and now operates in the UK, US, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. In this exciting podcast, Sarina shares her thoughts on how financial services can be used as a catalyst for small business growth, explains Funding Circle's business models and her journey at this exciting company, and shares some valuable insights on how to think about working in the Fintech space and finding companies whose "heart is in the right place".
Oct 26, 2017
Bastiaan de Goei, Director New Ventures at AXA Next
Antonio Munoz chats with Bastiaan de Goei, Director of New Ventures at AXA Next. In this informative podcast, Bastiaan demystifies the insurance industry, talking about emerging trends, and the need for using data better and creating simpler risk products. He also discusses strategies for disrupting insurance based on the level of control a firm wishes to have across the value chain. Bastiaan started his career working in strategy consulting and private equity. He then moved to AXA where he has been for the last 6 years. At AXA, Bastiaan has transitioned from a strategy and M&A role into his current position as director new ventures for AXA in San Francisco. Bastiaan received his Masters in Management from the London School of Economics and PhD in Business Economics from the University of Cambridge. He contributes to AXA’s endeavors in developing new business models that provide unique customer experiences that give AXA sustainable competitive advantage. These new business models can leverage new partnerships, strategic acquisitions & investments, and AXA's own IP.
Oct 16, 2017
Tobin McDaniel, President of Schwab Wealth Investment Advisory
Nipun Jasuja (Wharton 2018) chats with Tobin McDaniel, president of Schwab Wealth Investment Advisory, a registered investment advisor and the sponsor of Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, Charles Schwab’s new automated investment advisory service. In this insightful podcast, Tobin shares his views on the evolution of the wealth management landscape in the US, the importance of incorporating the human element when you are responsible for the hard-earned money of your customers, and the thrills of running a venture within one of the most trusted brands in financial services. To top it all, Tobin also gives tangible advice for budding entrepreneurs and MBA students, reflecting on his own experiences and career trajectory.
Sep 19, 2017
Matt Miller, Founder and CEO of Embroker
Antonio Munoz (Wharton MBA’17) chats with Matt Miller, founder and CEO of Embroker, which is a leading tech-enabled commercial insurance broker. Embroker’s new, all-digital approach to business insurance combines the ease of technology with expert advisors to take the pain out of getting the right coverage for your business. In this engaging podcast, Matt talks about what made him change career trajectories and start Embroker, about challenges in insurance and disrupting the insurance industry, how Embroker is creating a new way of buying business insurance, and more broadly about why and how to go behind solving hard problems.
Jul 23, 2017
Arthur Hayes, CEO and Co-Founder of BitMEX
David Gogel chats with Arthur Hayes, CEO and Co-Founder of BitMEX, aka the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, a cryptocurrency-based derivatives exchange based in Hong Kong. They discuss Arthur’s background, the launch of BitMEX, Bitcoin, Ethereum, derivatives trading, exchange business models, regulation, security, initial coin offerings, and the future state of cryptocurrencies. BitMEX handles on average $100 million dollars per day in the total value of products traded.
Jul 10, 2017
William Hockey, Co-founder and CTO of Plaid
Ruhi Dang (Wharton MBA '18) chats with William Hockey, co-founder and CTO of Plaid. Plaid is the tool that empowers a large number of applications you use today. In very simple terms, Plaid allows a variety of financial-technology startups to access their customers’ bank account information. Tune into this podcast to hear William discuss the story of Plaid, the emerging industry trends and talk about how some out-of-the-box startups are using Plaid today. What’s more you ask? Some xkcd humor and a dive into Plaid’s APIs for the tech geek in you! William hopes to see some of you use Plaid to build groundbreaking applications and transform the industry in the coming years. Check out https://plaid.com today!
Jul 02, 2017
Iwan Kurniawan, Co-founder and COO of Modalku
Happy Summer! Volunteering, internships, and general travel has taken Wharton students to all corners of the world this summer. Wharton FinTech has also made its first foray into Southeast Asia. Check out this latest podcast, where Kevin Vichyastit (Wharton MBA 2018) chats with Iwan Kurniawan, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Modalku, a P2P lending platform in Indonesia for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Modalku is funded by Sequoia Capital, and founded by locals, hoping to make an impact in Indonesia. In this informative and heartwarming podcast, Iwan talks about the exciting MSME market in Indonesia, describes his startup journey, gives some candid advice on coming down from our ivory towers and watching our blind spots, and makes a passionate plea for MBA students and budding entrepreneurs to look South East! Iwan has been featured in CNN, Jakarta Post, Bisnis Indonesia, Tech in Asia, Metro TV and other major media for the platform’s early successes. Prior to Modalku, Iwan was a management consultant with global consulting firm Oliver Wyman, specializing in strategy development and risk management within the Financial Services industry, with experience across Southeast Asia and China. Iwan is a proud graduate of Cornell University. He has lived and worked in 5 countries (Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, China, United States), and is conversant in 5 languages (English, Bahasa Indonesia, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Thai).
Jun 13, 2017
David Klein - Co-founder and CEO, Common Bond
David Gogel (MBA '18) chats with David Klein, co-founder and CEO of CommonBond. David discusses a wide range of topics in FinTech, student lending, and entrepreneurship. He goes deep on CommonBond’s student loans products, business model, and future prospects. He discusses how the Wharton MBA experience helped him launch CommonBond. We also cover David’s views on the FinTech industry more broadly, blockchain, and advice for student entrepreneurs. David Klein is CommonBond’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to pursuing his Wharton MBA, David worked in consumer finance at American Express, as Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development, where he led a team that managed a $250M annual portfolio. Prior to American Express, he worked at McKinsey & Company, where he advised clients in the financial services industry. David graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in Politics, Economics, and International Business. He is an alumnus of Wharton Business School and served on the Board of the Bronx Charter School for the Arts in New York. Get a free MBA student loan rate quote in minutes at www.commonbond.co, and see how YOU can save an average of EIGHTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. Check out a smarter MBA student loan today at www.commonbond.co. Savings calculation is based on the difference in the CommonBond and Federal Grad PLUS interest rate. NMLS Number: 1175900.
May 12, 2017
Kaz Nejatian - Co-founder and CEO, Kash
Nipun Jasuja (Wharton MBA 2018) chats with Kaz Nejatian, Co-founder and CEO of Kash, a Y Combinator Summer 2014 payments startup. Kash's mission is to make payments simple by getting rid of interchange, chargebacks, and everything merchants hate. In this fun podcast, Kaz fondly speaks about his memories as an immigrant kid that incepted the seeds of entrepreneurship, his obsession with consumer behavior, the story of Kash, and his insightful perspectives on digital payments, both in the US and internationally. Do not miss this one! #wharton #fintech #kash #payments
May 03, 2017
Will Janensch, Co-Founder of Concur Reference Data, on Blockchain and Capital Markets
Matt Applegate chats with Will Janensch, Co-Founder and COO of Concur Reference Data, about blockchain solutions for capital markets. Will has over 15 years of experience in market and reference data at Thomson Reuters as VP of Strategy and senior roles in Marketing and Operations at Thomson Reuters and First Data. Will led the strategy on multiple $100M+ M&A transactions, including the $625M acquisition of FXAll. He holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. http://concurreferencedata.com http://twitter.com/WJanensch
Apr 24, 2017
Andy Rachleff, Co-founder and CEO, Wealthfront
Christophe Williams (MBA '18) chats with Andy Rachleff, co-founder and CEO of Wealthfront. Andy discusses a wide range of topics in FinTech, investing, and how to grow tech companies. He goes in-depth on Wealthfront's competitive advantages in automated investing and how he approaches product/marketing strategy to grow sustainably. Also covered are Andy's background in venture capital, the process of founding Wealthfront, and how he sees disruptive innovation affecting financial service incumbents. As a bonus, we have a special Wealthfront sign-up link for our listeners. To get your first 15,000 dollars managed for free, sign up using: http://www.wealthfront.com/whartonfintech Andy Rachleff is Wealthfront's co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer. He serves as a member of the board of trustees and vice chairman of the endowment investment committee for University of Pennsylvania and as a member of the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches courses on technology entrepreneurship. Prior to Wealthfront, Andy co-founded and was general partner of Benchmark Capital, where he was responsible for investing in a number of successful companies including Equinix, Juniper Networks, and Opsware. He also spent ten years as a general partner with Merrill, Pickard, Anderson & Eyre (MPAE). Andy earned his BS from University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Apr 18, 2017
Michael Tannenbaum, Chief Revenue Officer, SoFi
Brian Shah (MBA '18) chats with Michael Tannenbaum, Chief Revenue Officer of SoFi. As CRO, Michael is responsible for driving successful execution and growth across SoFi’s core lending products. In this podcast, Michael discusses the company's foray into new financial products, its unique membership perks, and its recent acquisition of Zenbanx. He also shares his perspective on the current fundraising environment and the future of financial technology.
Apr 10, 2017
Ram Ahluwalia, Co-founder and CEO, PeerIQ
Aditya Goel chats with Ram Ahluwalia, Co-founder and CEO, PeerIQ. This New York-based financial information services company is creating tools to analyze, access, and manage risk in the peer-to-peer lending sector. In this podcast, Ram discusses the trends, evolution and future of alternative lending markets and the role of analytics and platforms in this asset space, sharing both his own perspectives and insights from recent industry conferences. Ram also provides precious nuggets of wisdom for future entrepreneurs and MBA students looking to enter FinTech.
Mar 22, 2017
Brandon Yahn, Founder of Student Loans Guy
Nipun Jasuja chats with Brandon Yahn, Founder of Student Loans Guy - a brand new FinTech startup. Brandon started Student Loans Guy to help people better understand their student loans and more easily navigate the lending and refinancing marketplace. In this podcast, Brandon shares his perspectives on the student loan market in the US, describes the mission and vision behind Student Loans Guy, and walks us through his exciting professional journey, sharing candid advice for budding entrepreneurs.
Mar 16, 2017
Virraj Jatania, Co-founder and CEO, Pockit
Ruhi Dang chats with Virraj Jatania, Co-founder & CEO of Pockit. Pockit is a digital banking alternative for the unbanked, underserved and low income consumers in the UK. Virraj talks about his journey from a family business in Nigeria to building Pockit – a new front door that’s open to all, especially those shut out or short-changed by traditional high street banks. Listen to him talk about Pockit’s plans to expand into Europe and into newer product lines for their existing market as he discusses industry trends and contrasts Pockit with traditional solutions in the FinTech space.
Mar 13, 2017
FinTech - Opportunities and Challenges Ahead with Howard Lindzon
Uday Seth chats with Howard Lindzon, a Canadian author, financial analyst, technical analyst and super angel investor. Lindzon manages a hedge fund, serves as managing partner of the holding company Social Leverage, limited partner at Knight's Bridge Capital Partners, and is the co-founder of StockTwits. In this podcast, Lindson shares his perspective on FinTech, and the opportunities and challenges ahead.
Jan 28, 2017
Future of Financial Advice with Ed O'Brien, CEO of eMoney Advisor
Bobby Rosenbleeth chats with Ed O’Brien, CEO of eMoney Advisor, a financial technology company serving more than 40,000 financial professionals nationwide. Featuring an industry leading client portal, collaborative financial planning capabilities, powerful data aggregation services, deep integrations with top third-party applications, and robust business analytics, eMoney’s product suite helps financial advisors build trust, strengthen their relationships, and succeed. Fidelity Investments acquired eMoney in 2015.
Jan 19, 2017
Insurtech Trends with Drew Aldrich of ASV
Adam Chadroff chats about insurtech trends with Drew Aldrich, Associate at AXA Strategic Ventures (ASV). ASV is a $250 venture fund that makes seed and growth equity investments in enterprise software, financial technology, insurtech, and related sectors. In this podcast, Drew shares his thoughts about trends in insurtech and insurance innovation.
Dec 23, 2016
Wharton FinTech Lemonade FinTech Interview
David Gogel chats with Daniel Schreiber, CEO and Co-Founder of Lemonade, an insurtech startup based in New York. The property and casualty insurance company offers fast and low cost homeowners and renters insurance powered by technology, honest culture, and a commitment to social good. The company just raised $34 million in series B financing and is backed by top Venture Capital firms including Sequoia, General Catalyst, and Google Ventures.
Dec 19, 2016
Maex Ament, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Taulia
Uday Seth chats with Maex Ament, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Taulia. Taulia works with the world's largest and most innovative companies to transform the way they partner with their supply chains. Through a mix of supplier self-services, e-invoicing, and flexible supplier financing, Taulia enables organizations to turn every invoice into a revenue opportunity while drastically strengthening supplier relationships. A few of Taulia’s clients include Coca-Cola Bottling, eBay, John Deere, Hallmark, and Dominion Energy. https://twitter.com/maex242 https://twitter.com/taulia https://taulia.com/en/
Nov 15, 2016
Colin Walsh, Co-Founder and CEO of Varo
Christophe Williams chats with Colin Walsh, Co-Founder and CEO of Varo. Varo is redesigning mobile banking and the personal financial management experience. Before founding Varo, Colin held a number of senior executive posts at American Express, Lloyds, and Wells Fargo. https://twitter.com/colindwalshsf https://twitter.com/VaroMoney www.varomoney.com/
Nov 03, 2016
Atish Davda, CEO and Co-Founder of EquityZen
Katie Koh chats with Atish Davda, CEO and Co-Founder of EquityZen. Atish received an undergraduate degree in Economics from Wharton. EquityZen is an online marketplace for trading pre-IPO employee shares from privately held companies. The platform often links employees from private companies with investors who would not otherwise be able to invest in the company prior to an IPO. https://twitter.com/adavda https://twitter.com/EquityZen https://equityzen.com/
Oct 03, 2016
Aaron Frank and Ben Apel, Co-Founders of Final
Abhi Agrawal spoke with the co-founders of Final: Aaron Frank, CEO, and Ben Apel, VP of Marketing. Final's mission is to eliminate the hassle associated with credit card cancellations, fraud, and theft. Final allows its customers to generate a unique credit card number for every merchant, or a disposable one-time use number for one-off purchases. Final allows consumers to control their credit card experience by removing the hassle of re-establishing payment relationships, missing important bills, or checking statements for suspicious charges. https://getfinal.com/ twitter.com/arfrank twitter.com/final
Sep 21, 2016
Gary Lieberman, Chairman of DRB
Gabriele Pigoli chats with Gary Lieberman, Chairman of the Board of Darien Rowayton Bank (“DRB”). With over three decades of experience building and restructuring businesses in the financial industry, Gary has helped transform DRB from a local retail bank into a national, technology-driven financial company. Under his leadership, DRB is the fastest lender in industry history to reach $1 billion in student loan refinancing originations. In addition to his role at DRB, Gary is also the founding member and President of West Side Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor established in 1997. Gary received a B.A. from Emory University and an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. https://twitter.com/drbstudentloan https://student.drbank.com/
Jul 05, 2016
Dan Burkhart, Co-Founder and CEO of Recurly
Matt Applegate chats with Dan Burkhart, Co-Founder and CEO of Recurly. Recurly was born in 2009 from the changing needs of businesses. With the industry’s movement to subscription-based models, the need for a sophisticated recurring payment management platform has exploded. By automating the complexities of subscription billing management, Recurly helps businesses eliminate the pain of scaling recurring billing operations with an easy, self-serve, pay-as-you-go platform. https://twitter.com/danburkhart https://twitter.com/recurly https://recurly.com/
May 23, 2016
Patricia Kemp, General Partner at Oak HC/FT
Neha Goel chats with Patricia Kemp, General Partner at Oak HC/FT. Patricia focuses on growth equity and early-stage venture opportunities exclusively in financial services technology. Since Oak HC/FT’s launch in September 2014, Patricia has led the fund’s investments in Fastpay, Feedzai, Insureon and Trov among others, and sits on the boards of each. She is also a Board Observer on Poynt. https://twitter.com/_patriciakemp https://twitter.com/oakhcft http://oakhcft.com/
May 11, 2016
Jeff Stewart, Founder and Chairman of Lenddo
Uday Seth interviews Jeff Stewart, Founder and Chairman of Lenddo. Founded in 2011, Lenddo leverages non-traditional data for credit scoring and social verification. Lenddo partners with financial institutions and other firms so its customers can use data from social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Yahoo, and Twitter to prove their identity and creditworthiness. Before founding Lenddo, Jeff served in advisory, investing, and operating capacities. He also served as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and founded two companies: Urgent Group and Mimeo. https://twitter.com/UrgentSpeed https://twitter.com/lenddofriend https://lenddo.com/
Apr 20, 2016
Phin Upham, Principal at Thiel Capital
Wharton FinTech President Uday Seth interviews Phin Upham, Wharton MBA and PhD alumnus and principal at Thiel Capital. Phin has spent the last 8 years at Thiel Capital working on investments in the specialty finance and financial technology space. He has extensively researched disruption in the banking sector. The main theme of this interview is the “unbundling” of banks and the disaggregation they face. The views expressed in this podcast are Phin's; they do not represent the views of Thiel Capital. https://twitter.com/phinupham http://thielcapital.com/
Mar 31, 2016
Hardeep Walia, Founder and CEO of Motif
Matt Applegate chats with Hardeep Walia, Founder and CEO of Motif and Wharton MBA ’01. Motif offers baskets of up to 30 stocks or ETFs intelligently weighted to reflect an investment theme, market insight, or innovative trend. Hardeep shares his view on customers, competitors, growth opportunities, market trends, innovation, and lessons he’s learned during his career. https://twitter.com/hardeepw https://twitter.com/MotifInvesting https://www.motifinvesting.com/
Mar 24, 2016
Alex Sion, President and Co-Founder of Moven
Matt Applegate chats with Alex Sion, President and Co-Founder of Moven - a company that's reinventing retail banking for the mobile age. Moven provides a digital bank account, paired with an innovative app, to help consumers track finances in real time and make informed decisions about spending and saving smarter. https://twitter.com/asion1 https://twitter.com/getMoven https://moven.com/
Mar 10, 2016
Asad Ramzanali, Financial Solutions Lab at Center for Financial Services Innovation
Matt Applegate chats with Asad Ramzanali, Manager of the Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI). CFSI's Financial Solutions Lab, in partnership with JPMorgan Chase, sponsors a series of competitions for social entrepreneurs to identify and enhance tech-enabled innovations that address consumer financial health needs. https://twitter.com/asad09 https://twitter.com/CFSInnovation http://www.cfsinnovation.com/
Feb 25, 2016
David Klein, CEO and Co-Founder of CommonBond
David Klein, CEO and Co-Founder of CommonBond by WFT
Dec 21, 2015
Leigh Drogen, Founder and CEO of Estimize
Daniel sits down to chat with Leigh Drogen, Founder and CEO of Estimize, to hear what it's like launching a venture in the FinTech space and what Estimize is doing to help fix a broken financial system. Estimize crowdsources earnings and economic estimates from more than 7,000 hedge fund, brokerage, independent and amateur analysts. https://twitter.com/LDrogen https://www.estimize.com/
Nov 29, 2015
Drew Kese, Managing Partner at MissionOG
Daniel sits down to chat with Drew Kese, Managing Partner at MissionOG, to talk the early stage FinTech landscape, the history of finance in technology, and where the biggest opportunities are for blockchain technology. MissionOG provides human and financial capital to early and growth stage B2B technology companies, including those in the FinTech space.
Nov 21, 2015
Gautham Sastri, CEO of iSENTIUM
Nikhil Srivastava talks with Gautham Sastri, CEO of iSENTIUM - a NYC-based FinTech startup that measures sentiment in Twitter data to predict stock prices. Nikhil and Gautham discuss iSENTIUM's technology and business model, as well as Gautham's views on FinTech entrepreneurship.
Nov 06, 2015
Doug Nelson, F-Prime Capital Partners
Daniel McAuley chats with Doug Nelson from F-Prime Capital Partners, Fidelity's venture capital group. F-Prime invests in healthcare (formerly Fidelity Biosciences) and in technology (formerly part of Devonshire Investors). Daniel and Doug discuss the themes and ideas that the F-Prime team is exploring in FinTech and some of the investments they have made around those trends.
Oct 26, 2015
Sarah Millar on Financial Inclusion and FinTech in Latin America
Daniel McAuley sits down with Sarah Millar to discuss financial inclusion and the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Latin America. Sarah Spent her summer working with both Petsy.mx and IGNIA in Mexico and is heading back into impact investing after Wharton.
Oct 18, 2015
Matt Carey and Nimish Shukla of Abaris
Daniel McAuley sits down with Matt Carey and Nimish Shukla of https://www.myabaris.com/ to discuss InsuranceTech, the experience of being student founders and what the startup has in store to disintermediate the U.S. annuities market.
Sep 28, 2015
FinTech Startup Internships and Recruiting
In this pilot episode of the Wharton FinTech podcast Eva Wei, Sasha Dobrolioubov and Daniel McAuley chat about startup recruiting at Wharton and share their experiences working at FinTech startups in the Bay Area over the summer.
Sep 19, 2015