This one is simple. If you have any interest in marketing and/or insurance, then you should be following Danielle Guzman. Danielle the global solutions marketing leader for Mercer. She has over 20 years of experience as an insurance marketer and is quickly becoming one of the top voices in the space. She was recently ranked #2 in the InsTech Power 100 leader board and #5 in the Women in Finance 100.
“We were fintech before there was fintech!” I hear this claim all the time and it usually is BS. Not so with Steve McLaughlin, the founder of FT Partners. Steve left a successful career at Goldman Sachs, where he led what today would be called an internal fintech team, and started FT Partners back in 2002. For the past decade and a half FT Partners, an investment banking firm focused exclusively on the financial technology sector, has been recognized as one of the top firms to partner with.
I love Dave. Seriously, I absolutely love this man. Why, you may ask? Because he is one of the funniest, brightest, sarcastic, dry-witted, and pleasant people I know. Probably most important, Dave is able to hold my attention when he presents on topics as complicated as distributed ledgers by explaining the impact of sensors and distributed ledgers with respect to one’s undergarments. Seriously, he’s done that.
Oh yeah, Dave’s also the Director of Innovation for Consultant Hyperion.
Oliver Bussmann earned his stripes when it comes to financial services innovation. He has a long career in banking and technology leading digital and innovation transformation projects as Group CIO at UBS; and leadership roles Allianz, Deutsche Bank, and IBM.
Oliver is recognized globally as a fintech influencer and thought leader. His blog on the Bussmann Advisory site and frequent posts on LinkedIn and other media outlets are a must read for those interested in the financial services industry.
Faisal and I first met in Istanbul at a payments conference in 2014. We immediately hit it off thanks to our love of innovation, everything payments, and the impact technology on the banking industry. One thing I really appreciate about Faisal is the vast amount of content he is able to produce. He is active across social networks, whether it be Quora, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. or his participation with one of my favorite podcasts Around the Coin. I consistently look to Faisal as a information resource when it comes to financial services.
The term “thought leader” is handed out a bit too easily these days, especially when it comes to FinTech. That said, Chris Skinner is without a doubt one of the top two or three thought leaders in financial services today. Chris has been on the leading edge when it comes to consistently predicting, writing, and speaking on the concept of digital disruption for well over a decade. His blog, https://thefinanser.com, is a wealth of information and inspiration for those of us in the financial services space.
And Chris is an all around nice guy. Just don’t let him know I said that.
I first met Huy at London’s Canary Wharf a few years ago. Several of my friends in the industry were meeting up for a drink or two and Huy joined us. He was still working for Citi at the time as a MD and we immediately hit it off. We both share a passion for the ongoing digital revolution in banking and finance. Huy is a well known mentor and influencer in the London fintech scene. It makes perfect sense that he would start an organization like The Distruptive Group.
Alessandro Hatami – his name alone tells a wonderful story. Part Italian (a true Roman) and part Iranian, Alessandro is both both the nicest and most well dressed man I know in FinTech. He is the classic networker and matchmaker for companies which is perfect for his role at The Pacemakers. He is also one of the most active mentors for startups I know in the fintech space.
If you haven’t heard of 11:FS, the consultancy / media group founded by David Brear, then you simply aren’t paying attention. David has assembled a remarkable and talented team for the new company including Simon Taylor and Jason Bates based out of Level 39 in London.
David’s CV speaks for itself. His past roles include Global Director for Digital at Garner, and multiple leadership roles at Lloyds, HBOS, and Aviva. But most importantly, Dave’s home office in Norwich rivals my own when in comes to comic book memorabilia. And he rocks a mean beard.
BTW – Nick Fury is Samuel L. Jackson’s role in “The Avengers” movies. He put the team together.
Sting once had a hit song titled “An Englishman in New York”. Liz is an “American in London”. And, unlike many Yanks, I’m sure her fellow Londoner’s are thankful for her presence. Liz is the Managing Director at Rainmaking. And what is Rainmaking you ask? Listen to the podcast and find out!
Liz is also an outspoken advocate for women in technology which I personally am very thankful for. If you are ever at a conference and you see Liz on the agenda as a speaker or panelist – make sure you go hear her. She is 1) hilarious, 2) very, very smart, 3) well connected / networked, and 4) did I mention she is hilarious?