Breaking Banks Europe

Hosted ByMatteo Rizzi, Paolo Sironi, Meaghan Johnson, Nina Mohanty, Ajit Tripathi, Matthias Kröner, and Spiros Margaris

The European Edition of Breaking Banks brings you the European Unicorns, Startups, Founders, Regulators and Leaders innovating the rapidly evolving Fintech scene, with some of the world’s most well-known hosts and influencers in fintech. Produced in cooperation with FintechStage.

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The Breaking Banks Europe Team

Matteo Rizzi

Matteo Rizzi

Author, Co-Founder of FinTechStage, BBE Executive Producer
Matteo is an unconventional entrepreneur and a book author with two decades of experience in Financial Services. For Three years in a row (2014-2016), Financial News has nominated Matteo as one of the “40 most influential FinTech executives in Europe”. In 2008 he co founded Innotribe, the innovation arm of SWIFT, where Matteo worked for 13 years. He also launched the Innotribe Startup Challenge, the first global deal flow of its kind. He left SWIFT in 2013. From 2013 until 2015, Matteo was a Partner in SBT Venture Capital, one of the first funds (100M USD) solely dedicated to FinTech investment (Series A), building a portfolio of 12 startups. In 2015, Matteo created and co-founded, a platform for Investors, Innovators and start-ups to foster FinTech innovation globally, with some 50+ missions and events all over the world. Through it, Matteo founded the initiative, a global program helping African entrepreneurs in several domains of their businesses, from product to strategy to channels management to investors pitching. He is the author of “The FinTech Revolution” (EGEAN, 2016, ITA) and of “Talent & Rebels” (HOEPLI, 2019, ENG and ITA). Recently, Matteo took the position of Executive Producer of Breaking Banks Europe.
Meaghan Johnson

Meaghan Johnson

Digital Maggs
Meaghan has over 8 years experience researching and analysing customer journeys, trends and innovations within the digital financial services space. She also has deep experience in customer testing, the jobs to be done framework, and UI design. She began her journey in digital financial services at Mapa Research, where she worked closely with dozens of financial institutions digital teams including: American Express, Barclays, UBS, Nordea, ING, AIB, RBS and others. Here she informed digital product and strategy teams of competitor mobile and desktop banking initiatives and provided bespoke research and workshops in new product development. After Mapa, she co-founded 11:FS, where she co-build 11:FS Pulse. In addition, she worked closely in the early stages of greenfield digital banking projects where she provided support in market, competitor and customer analysis. Since 2017 Meaghan has been consulting banks of all shapes and sizes, fintechs, company builders, management consultancies and crypto companies as a freelancer in customer experience, design, product strategy and data commercialisation in Europe, Africa, North and Central America. She also creates and executes customer testing programmes, and runs competitor insights and blue sky thinking workshops. Meaghan is also a Partner at Pacemakers, Senior Advisor at EFMA. and Fintech Lead at Solvers.
Spiros Margaris

Spiros Margaris

Margaris Ventures
Venture capitalist, futurist, keynote speaker and senior advisor (some of the advisory mandates: wefox Group, SparkLabs Global, mediastalker, Yield Growth, and F10 Accelerator), is the founder of Margaris Ventures, and is the first international influencer to achieve ‘The Triple Crown’ ranking. He was ranked the international № 1 FinTech, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) influencer by Onalytica. He regularly appears in the top three positions of established global industry influencer rankings. He is a keynote speaker at international FinTech, and InsurTech conferences. He also gave a TEDxAcademy Talk. He published an AI white paper, “Machine learning in financial services: Changing the rules of the game,” for the enterprise software vendor SAP. First non-IBM Keynote Speaker at the biggest IBM event in Europe (10/2019) “2019 IBM Systems Technical University”.
Paolo Sironi

Paolo Sironi

IBM FinTech Strategy and Author
Paolo is one of the most respected voices in the FinTech industry globally, providing business expertise and strategic thinking to a network of executives among banks, insurers, startups and investment firms. Celebrated author on quantitative finance, digital transformation and economics theory, he explores the biological underpinnings of financial markets and how to bolster with technology and business innovation the global economy’s immune system in today’s volatile times.
Matthias Kroener

Matthias Kroener

Fintech Entrepreneur
Matthias 'mk' Kroener has been bringing his visionary brand of thinking to financial services for 25 years. Over this time he has acquired vast insight into corporate strategy, innovation-leadership and M&A during a period of fundamental transformation in the banking industry. His extensive practical knowledge of the regulatory environment combined with a deep understanding of technological trends such as big data, AI, blockchain, open banking and financial inclusion has enabled Matthias to build bridges between the traditional banking world and FinTech-powered digital banking platforms. Matthias' entrepreneurial style was the driving force behind two highly disruptive financial service companies. As Founder and CEO of Fidor Bank and DAB Bank, he built both organisations from scratch, forging his reputation as a key figure in the FinTech movement. The Fidor project began in 2007 - long before the FinTech boom started - and positioned Fidor at the forefront of global FinTech development, becoming known as the "oldest FinTech bank in the world". Under his leadership, DAB Bank and Fidor Bank won numerous awards: Best Banking Innovation in San Francisco in 2013; the Celent Model-Bank-of-the-Year award in 2015 and 2019; and WEF´s Award for young companies in 2015 to name but a few. DAB Bank underwent a highly successful IPO in 1999 at a top valuation of €1.5 billion. Fidor Bank was sold to a major French banking group in one of the very first successful major trade-sale acquisitions within the FinTech industry in 2016. After beginning his career in the hospitality business, Matthias brought his expertise in customer-centric experiences to the world of financial services. The core of his philosophy centred on how financial services organisations can use technology to effectively engage their retail and SME customers with innovative, value-adding business and service models. Matthias was at the helm as Fidor pioneered one of the world's first Banking-as-a-Service offerings, enabling start-ups to achieve scale and become part of the digital ecosystem. Building a bridge from innovation to regulation, he brokered the first cooperation between a regulated bank and cryptocurrency trading platforms. As well as this, Fidor enabled non-banks to offer full banking services for the first time in a collaboration with Telefonica in 2016. Since standing down as CEO of Fidor in March 2019, Matthias has sharpened his focus on how technology can be used to build bridges between financial services and impactful projects that help to make the world a better place. Concepts such as green finance and financial inclusion have the potential to positively affect the lives of millions of people, and his mission is to democratise access to banking and self-determined finance management, using digital financial services to create meaningful, sustainable change. Matthias acts as an advisor to regulators and central banks. He is a member of the international technology advisory panel (ITAP) of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). His geographical expertise covers Europe, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East, and he is recognised as a thought leader, a multi-award-winning inspirational keynote speaker and blogger. He is a senior advisor to several companies, as well as a successful incubator; he is also an investor in several highly innovative start-up companies through his company Professional Development GmbH.
Nina Mohanty

Nina Mohanty

FinTech Contrarian
Nina’s interest in digital technology stems from her childhood growing up in the Silicon Valley, where she was surrounded by the Tech Giants such as Apple, Facebook, and Google and grew to recognise the awesome opportunities for technology to improve processes, functions, and more importantly – lives. This was confirmed during her time on the Digital Payments team at Mastercard, with a focus on digital payment acceptance. While at Mastercard, she was able to see how powerful small changes to a user experience can transform the way people interact with their money. Her time at Starling Bank further solidified the possibilities for tech to help people live healthier financial lives. Since then Nina worked at London-based Open Banking start up, Bud, to build out a financial marketplace and rethink the way we interact with financial servicse. Today, Nina works with the magnificent team at Klarna, making payments smoooth. Nina is a fiercely passionate feminist and vocal advocate of diversity (of all kinds) in the workplace. She volunteers for organisations including I Can Be, a charity whose goal is to share non-stereotypical careers with underprivileged school girls in London as well as Ada’s List, a community of women working to advance women in technology. She is a member of FemTech Global and Tech Ladies, both international communities for women working in technology. Nina is also a mentor to students from her alma mater, the London School of Economics and regularly volunteers her time as a guest lecturer or panellist at LSE events. She is also a regular public speaker at events hosted by Money20/20, Innovate Finance, General Assembly, BrightTalk, Salesforce and more speaking on topics ranging from payments, ethical AI, diversity, the future of work, and tech for good.
Ajit Tripathi

Ajit Tripathi

Founder of Embedded Finance
Ajit is the founder of Asango, a London Based global fintech consultancy that provides advisory services to fintech companies using Machine Learning and Blockchain Technology to deliver superior user experiences in financial services. Ajit is also the blockchain and cryptocurrency correspondent for Breaking Banks Podcast, the number 1 fintech podcast in the world. Prior to this, Ajit was the global Fintech leader with ConsenSys in the London Office and a director in Fintech and Digital Banking at PwC where he co-founded the blockchain practice. Ajit is a well regarded influencer, thinker, blogger and doer in the fintech and blockchain space. In 2017, he was recognised by coindesk as one of the key influencers at large enterprises and served on the Bank of England’s fintech advisory community. He has spoken at prominent fintech and blockchain conferences in the US, UK, Dubai, India, Japan and Hong Kong including Consenus, Money2020 Europe, Finsum Tokyo, Fintech Week and others. He’s been featured in the Breaking Banks, Blockchain Insider and Fintech insider podcasts, contributed to annual coindesk retrospective as well as quoted in the Financial Times, the BBC and a range of other publications. Ajit has served as a mentor at Startup Bootcamp and is currently advising a small number of selected stealth stage startups in fintech and blockchain. Ajit’s previous blockchain engagements include high profile financial services clients such as Bank of England, Nasdaq, Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Boers and MUFG and he’s been instrumental in advising regulators, board level executives and innovation labs across the world in the strategic implications of cryptocurrency, decentralised, peer to peer architectures. Ajit has a rich and varied background in risk and regulatory change program implementation, capital markets technology, distributed systems and telecom protocol engineering. Prior to PwC he served in technology management and innovation roles at Goldman Sachs, Barclays, GE-GXS and Bell Communications Research. Ajit has an MBA from IMD and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. He is also a CFA charterholder and holds a GARP financial risk manager certification.

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