Changing of the guard
James Brown, our Executive Director (ED), has decided to move on from the role after four and a half years. We are incredibly appreciative of all the hard work he has done as an instrumental figure in the development and growth of our FinTechNZ association and community. On behalf of existing and past Executive Council (EC) members, we wish him all the very best in his new endeavour. Fortunately we won’t be losing him entirely, as he is taking on an exciting new role out in the commercial world, in the fintech space!
The EC have been working with James on an exit plan and are pleased to announce that we have appointed a new acting ED, Jason Roberts. Many of you will know Jason from his previous role establishing and chairing InsurTechNZ. He is a passionate advocate for FinTechNZ and has been involved in the association for many years. Jason will ensure member value and project delivery continues as we assess the future needs of the organisation. Thanks again James, all the best, and welcome to Jason.
The FinTechNZ Executive Council
I did say 2021 was going to be an interesting year, with the Global FinTech sector now worth US$5.5tr, we have seen many new partnerships, more collaborative projects and new opportunities. The FinTech ecosystem is thriving regardless of COVID, and the Open Finance project is up and running. I leave on a high and I am very proud of what we have achieved during my tenure.
The last couple of months have been really busy with events on Cyber, Wealth, Regulation and discussions about FTA’s and the opportunity that DEPA represents for the Technology sector here in New Zealand. Our 2022 calendar is progressing very well however if you would like to host, speak or design an event then please do get in touch, we are also looking at venue options for the second FinTech Hui which was a great success. If you have a topic and you want to engage with Government, Regulators and the industry then let’s build it into the program.
Our Open Finance project is well underway, the project team are doing a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes. A very extensive literature review is nearing completion and it has raised some interesting questions. The CDR team in Australia have also been very supportive and engaging. They are keen to see our progress. Speaking with the chief architect of CDR in Australia I was surprised to see they developed the standards on GitHub to provide full transparency, genius move.
The next phase will be around interviews, workshops, surveys and case studies, to help us not only accelerate our thinking but consider what this will look like for New Zealand. Language and education will be critical to the success of this project in order to bring all five million of us on the journey.
FinTechNZ has achieved so much both here in the local market but also around the world, sharing our story about the depth of the FinTech ecosystem and its impact on the New Zealand economy. Supporting over 200 companies to tell their story in the UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Connecting the industry, regulators and Government has helped put FinTech truly on the radar.
This is evident by the fact two New Zealand companies, Capital Preferences and APLYiD were picked from nearly 300 others as semifinalists to pitch at the up coming Hong Kong FinTech Festival. This is a great achievement, Capital Preferences will be presenting in the ESG category and APLYiD will be presenting in the retail banking category, good luck to you both.
There has been much discussion around sustainability across the financial services sector and we recognise the opportunities and challenges this presents. We are currently figuring out how we can make a positive impact in this area, more details to follow so watch this space.
I have enjoyed my time as Executive Director immensely, to the FinTechNZ, ONZL and NZTech teams, a big thanks for your support and patience. I know it hasn’t always been easy, but I hope it has been entertaining.
To the members and the wider ecosystem, for all your support, kind hospitality, speaking at our events and for just being part of this incredible journey, thank you. I will continue to see you at events as I am joining a FinTechNZ member company, APLYiD, as their Director Global Partnerships. A big thank you to my existing board and previous board members for your support and guidance, it has been a real pleasure to work with you all. As I won’t be going very far, I’m looking forward to seeing the progress with the projects and plans for 2022 and beyond.
Finally, it is great news that Jason Roberts will be taking up the role of Executive Director. I wish him all the best, I know you will all make him feel very welcome.
In the iconic words of Vinnie Jones, “It’s been emotional”.
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