UCL Institute of Finance & Technology


IFT Conversations with Industry

A platform to discuss creativity and innovation from across the world of finance

IFT's Conversations with Industry series is designed to bring real-world examples of digital finance innovation and creativity to a classroom setting. Held annually from January to April (UCL Spring Term), these sessions demonstrate how industrial ecosystems in the capital and beyond are approaching the topics of finance and technology.

These sessions are hosted by IFT's Industrial Director Paola Bergamaschi-Broyd. Conversations are open to the general public to attend, particularly to those who have a background or an interest in finance and technology. All conversations are followed by an opportunity for audience Q&A and an informal drinks and networking reception at the venue.

Past speakers include:

  • David Grimm, Albion Capital and UCLTF
  • Dan Cobley, Managing Partner of Blenheim Chalcot
  • Stella Smith, Founder and CEO of Pirkx
  • John Langley, Head of Wells Fargo International

2023 Programme

18 January  The frontier of quant investing
Tommaso Migliore - CEO MDOTM

1 February  Pushing the boundaries with applied machine learning research
Raad Khraishi - Lead Data Scientist, Natwest Group

15 February  How to remain a leading global fin markets infrastructure and data provider
Isabelle Girolami - CEO, LCH

1 March  The power of contextual data analytics
Peyman Mestchian - 
Global Head of MA, Quantexa

15 March  The challenge of innovating as an incumbent
Darren Jarvis - Head of Risk and Controls, Citibank

21 March  The broker dealer of the future
John Langley - CEO International, Wells Fargo

26 April  Venture capital: what is changing?
PANEL - David Grimm, Investment Director, Albion Capital; Kanishk Walia, Partners, Middllegame Ventures

10 May  How to be an innovative regulator
PANEL - to be confirmed, FCA & CONSOB


25 April  Key Drivers in Early Stage Venture Capitalism
David Grimm - Investment Director, Albion Capital, UCL Technology Fund

04 April  Can Incumbents be Disruptors?
John Langley - Head of Wells Fargo International

07 March  Data-driven Outcomes to Solve Complex Business Problems: Entity Resolution and Social Network Analysis
Vishal Marria - Founder and CEO, Quantexa

28 February  How to Become #1: Scaling Ventures
Justin Basini - Co-founder and CEO, Clearscore

15 February  Financial Inclusion Through Technology Innovation: Benefits For All
Stella Smith - Founder and CEO, Pirkx

31 January  Panel: Fintech Platforms for Employees' and Small Businesses' Financial Wellness
Featuring: Asesh Sarkar - Global CEO, Salary Finance; Rob Straathof - CEO, Liberis

17 January  The Art and Science of Venture Building
Dan Cobley - Managing Partner, Blenheim Chalcot (Fintech)


03 March  PANEL
Featuring: Cathrine De Coninck-Lopez - Global Head of ESG Invesco; Peyman Mestchian - Chairman of the Advisory Board for AI Forum and Quantexa, Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management; Georgina Taylor (Moderator) - Fund Manager at Invesco

03 February  Farewill: "the simpler way to deal with death" through technology
Dan Garrett - Founder and CEO, Farewill

20 January  Insurtech: flipping the insurance trade
Tobias Taupitz - Founder and CEO, Laka Insurance


09 December  A disruptive technology to innovate debt capital markets
Torsten Elling - Founder and CEO, Newtrex

25 November  A high impact tech solution for financial and wellbeing benefits for all
Stella Smith - Founder and CEO, Pirkx

11 November  RegTech, a growing industry. Taina a scaled example of a disrupter
Maria Scott - Founder and CEO, Taina Technology
Sally Dewar - CEO, Allen & Overy Consulting

28 October  Venture building disruptive platforms
Dan Cobley - Managing Partner, BCI Ventures

30 April  Disruptive Trends in Technology Start-ups
Inti Paolucci - Founder and Managing Partner, GapMinde

21 April  Tech Disruption of the Traditional Investment Banking Model for Capital Markets
Torsten Elling - CEO, Newtrex
Alicia Reyes - Senior Banker, Wells Fargo

26 March  The Future of Financial Services
Anton Ruddenklau - Head of Digital & Innovation in Financial Services, KPMG

17 March  Venture Building - Supporting the Launch and Growth of FinTech Enterprises
Dan Cobley - Managing Partner (FinTech), Blenheim Chalcot

27 February  AI in Investment Management
Yasin Rosowsky - Co-CEO, Arabesque

18 February  AI and Machine Learning Applied to Anti-Money Laundering
Vishal Marria - Founder and CEO, Quantexa

06 February  Digital Disruptions - Capital Market Trends
Rohit Singh - Director of Innovation and Digital Disruption, KPMG UK

21 January  Key Disruptor for Lending to Small and Medium Sized Businesses
Rob Straathof - Founderand CEO, Liberis


11 December  Digitising Global Trade with TradeLens and Blockchain
Stewart Jeacocke - Associate Partner, IBM

10 December  Impact Investing: Current state and growth prospects
Jeremy Rogers - CIO, Big Society Capital

26 November  The FX Market and the LIBOR Case Study
Budha Bhattacharya - Researcher, UCL IFT

19 November  Blockchain in Financial Services: Application, Adoption, Reality and Myth - Real-World Cases
Ajit Tripathi - Partner (FinTech), ConsenSys

12 November  Payment Systems and Alternative New Platforms
Myles Stephenson - CEO, Modulr

29 October  Credit FinTech
Asesh Sarkar -  Co-founder and CEO, Salary Finance
Stuart Bungay - Co-founder and CEO, Tully

16 October  FinTech: Investing in the Future?
Makoto Goda - CEO, Nippon Biodiesel Fuel

15 October  Machine Learning, Investments and Risk
Richard Saldanha - MD, Oxquant Consulting