One word truly describes Adizah – hustle. You will be hard pressed to find someone in the fintech community who is always “on” quite like Adizah. She began her career blogging about tech on WordPress and was one the key catalysts for the growth of Level 39 in London. Now she is working as the Director of Marketing EMEA for Token where she is focused on evangelizing the concept of open banking via APIs.
Creating a “FinTech Influencer List” is one of the riskiest moves you can make in the industry. Many complain about who is in the list and who isn’t. That said, Jay’s FinTech Influencers to Follow is one of the top ones globally and one I actually recommend. Full of great thinkers and doers worth following. And Jay deserves to be on the list. He is to humble to include himself so I’ll go ahead and nominate him.
And yes, this is proof positive that Jay once had a lot of hair. And worked for Greenpeace.
Na’ama has an inherent love of community, food, and technology. Mix these three elements and you end up with Sourcery, the company she co-founded and is the CEO of. I asked Na’ama where she believes these three foundational elements came from and she continues to point back to her time living in a kibbutz in Israel.
I’m not the only fan of Na’ama. She was recognized in 2017 as the Top Woman in Foodservice.
No time for B.S., or cliche’s, Ron Shevlin walks through life saying “WAIT A MINUTE? What are you really trying to sell me???” He is wise, he is funny, and he is the most honest man in banking. In other words, everything you need in a consultant and commentator in an arena that can feel too full of hype that needs to continually refocus on substance.
And take a minute (or a life time; you’re choice) to read some of Ron’s great work. You’ll thank me later once you calm down: The Financial Brand’s Snarketing archive
There’s a lot of reasons I always enjoy chatting with April Rudin, founder of The Rudin Group. She is funny, bright, and incredibly knowledgeable with respect to marketing in the digital age. And, at least most important to me, she is from my original home town of Detroit. I love nothing more than to hear success stories coming out of the Motor City.
You know that really anal, detailed oriented (borderline OCD) friend you have that has the patience to read through and analyze every word and nuance of a white paper or article? Meet my good friend James Wester, Research Director, for Worldwide Payment Strategies, IDC. All kidding aside, James is perfect for this type of position. He does have the patience and subject matter knowledge to call BS on the FinTech & Payments industry when we (okay – me) over hype a give technology solution.
And I love him for that.
Duena Blomstrom is the antithesis of everything you think of when you imagine a banker. Talented, brash, and never shying away from controversy, she always goes right to the heart of the matter. She has created a platform for what she calls Emotional Banking which is all about understanding the customer’s emotional experience with their money and how banks can connect to that to build stronger ties with their customers through positive UX and EX.
One of the hottest topics in the financial services industry is “Open Banking”. While it is true the barbarians are at the gates, the reality is the gatekeepers at the banks need to provide access past their walls and unfortunately, this concept blows most bank executives’ minds. That is where an expert at API development and working with 3rd parties is a most. And that is exactly what Dan is – the Key Master. Simple put – he is a genius.
And his wife’s company is also incredible: CampEats – Be sure to check it out.
Linda wears many hats at Citi FinTech, as someone with her experience and passion for the customer should. She is the Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director – Head of Growth for Citi’s innovation team. Or, as she puts it, she’s the voice-of-the-customer. And what a fun voice to have on your side.
Linda combines her extensive experience implementing digital solutions for banking customers with a pragmatic and candid lens always focused on what consumers are really looking for from the bank when it comes to engagement and products.
And if you really want to get her talking, ask her about “disruption”.
The ‘startup’ Wise Banyan has received quite a few accolades from industry experts and the media this past year. All of it well deserving. The company’s co-founders Vicki Zhou and Herbert Moore are the quintessential fintech founders. Both are young, urban, bright, and idealistic entrepreneurs striving to put a dent into the wealth management space. And they are both a lot of fun to interview.
A little fun fact: I recommended Herbert name his boat “Moore’s Flaw”. This will make a hell of a lot more sense once you listen to the podcast. Enjoy.