CFTE at Money20/20 Europe

 Another conference is done and dusted, with the CFTE team spending a few very productive days at the Money20/20 Europe conference held in Amsterdam. Our co-founders, Huy Nguyen Trieu and Tram Anh Nguyen, and Head of Entrepreneurship, Janos Barberis, were certainly kept busy with plenty of panels, speeches and product announcements throughout the entire three days. Here’s a summary of what we got up to:

Day 1

We hit the ground running on the first day! Tram Anh chaired an entire suite of sessions about AI in Finance under the theme of Transformational Technology, where several business cases for disruptive technologies in financial services were analysed and explored.

She also acted as the moderator for an engaging panel discussion titled “AI: Are We Using It Right?”, with participants including Mark Ma (Machine Learning Engineer – SAP), Dror Oren (Chief Product Officer & Co-Founder – Kasisto), Elena Alfaro (Head of Data & Open Innovation, Client Solutions – BBVA) and Devika Daga (Director of Global Partnerships & Operations – Element, Inc.) 

The key takeaway from this panel session can be best summed up in a quote from Tram Anh – “The first ones to be confused – or worried – are certainly those working in financial services.”

It was a busy day for CFTE co-founder Tram Anh Nguyen!

Another important note highlighted by Daga is the fact that AI must be trained and that it will take plenty of time, with Oren also pointing out that executives must think of what’s next tomorrow, in addition to aligning departments and optimising quickly when implementing the technology.

Later in the day, Janos’ session involved a panel discussion about successful and unsuccessful approaches to internal innovation, with Dr. Amy Neale (Vice President, Mastercard Start Path – Mastercard), Nicolas Kozakiewicz (Chief Innovation Officer – Worldline), Grzegorz Pawlicki (Head of Innovation – PKO Bank Polski) and Wincie Wong (Head of Innovation for Supply Chain Services – NatWest).

Thanks to an interesting discussion, panellists highlighted the importance of bringing diversity to thinking, keeping an open mind when exploring change within a Fintech ecosystem, and making sure products have a clear growth path when integrating them into business.

Away from the panels, we were also present for other interesting sessions at the event:

  • Tram Anh announced this year’s AI in Finance Awards, a once in a lifetime opportunity for finance professionals and entrepreneurs, and potential applicants can apply here!
  • CFTE contributing expert Anne Boden (Founder and CEO – Starling Bank) launched her new book “The Money Revolution” – we wish her nothing but congratulations and continued success!
  • Rob Frohwein, the CEO and co-founder of Kabbage, offered advice to all entrepreneurs, urging them to understand “where your business comes from and where it is going”, while also encouraging the audience to embrace digital

Day 2

CFTE contributing experts Claire Calmejane (Chief Innovation Officer – Societe Generale) and Boden were in action at a panel discussion we caught in the morning, talking about the opportunities and challenges of banking in 2019.

It was also a busy day for Huy, first with the announcement of the “Top 50 Fintech (2014) Report: What They Have Become”, which can be downloaded here, as well as moderating a panel discussion between Nordic banks about “Tech Roadmaps in Banking” with Ville Sointu (Head of Emerging Technologies – Nordea), David Grundy (Group Head of Blockchain/DLT – Danske Bank) and Lasse Meholm (Head of Blockchain & DLT Strategy – DNB Bank).

Huy in action as moderator of a discussion panel between Nordic banks

The key takeaway from the panel session was the topic of collaboration, with Grundy emphasising that although “it’s a race to be first”, at the end of the day “technology requires collaboration” as it cannot be done alone.  

We also managed to set some time aside to catch up with Clare Joy of Onfido, regarding the upcoming event “AI in FINANCE, REGULATION and SKILLS” organised by French Tech London. Taking place on June 18, 2019 in London, this special event will see our co-founders Tram Anh and Huy take part as speakers and panellists.

All smiles for the camera!

Day 3

Tram Anh’s first panel session of the day was part of the Rise Up program, where she was a speaker on the topic of “Empowering Women in Leadership”. Practical ways to break the glass ceiling were discussed with Kate Adamson (Head of Mortgage – Plaid), Smriti Vicari (Head of Fintech Europe – Visa) and Sophie Jackson (Joint Publisher & Head of Strategic Content – Treasury Today Group).

The key message that Tram Anh shared was for women to seek opportunities through learning about digital finance and essential learning AI as part of enriching their skill sets. She encouraged women to take control of their path, saying that “Being a leader of the future is allowing yourself to be different, you have to adapt faster than anyone else.”

Tram Anh certainly made the most of her time at Money20/20, and it was hard to find her anywhere other than a stage!

She also managed to fit another panel into her busy schedule, this time chairing a discussion by EWPN on the topic of “How AI Can Promote Gender Equality in the Financial Industry”, and was joined by Beatrice Bouju (Executive Board Member – European Women Payments Network (EWPN)) as moderator, and Shafique R Ibrahim (Group IT Head – Payment – AI Fardan Group) and Miriam Ballesteros (Head of Communications – Strands) as panellists.

Topping off her busy day, Tram Anh encouraged everyone to upskill themselves, seeking and gaining knowledge to take advantage of the burgeoning finance industry ripe with opportunity.

“The world is changing. We’re moving into an AI world and the industry that invests most in AI is financial services. It’s not hyped, it’s really happening. And we need to ensure everyone involved understands AI and no one is left behind” – Tram Anh Nguyen

Janos also had a productive day when he announced the relaunch of the successful CFTEx programme. More details will follow in due course, but it was exciting to see the reemergence of a programme which was well-received by the first cohort of participants!

We also managed to catch CFTE Academic Advisory Board Member, Ronit Ghose (Global Head of Banks Research – Citi), in action. He gave a rousing speech about building a strategy from scratch, which was well-received as evidenced by the healthy crowd in attendance!

It proved to be a wonderful three days in the presence of some of the finest and brightest minds in finance today. We intend to take what we’ve learnt and shared with the world and continue to build the Finance 2.0 community, especially with our next Extrapreneurship programme set to launch in August. It promises to be nothing short of exciting!

We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the team at Money20/20 for putting on such an amazing, engaging and memorable event. We certainly enjoyed our time in Amsterdam and hope to be back for the next edition. If what we saw is anything to go by, the future of finance is very, very bright indeed.

Team CFTE signing off from Amsterdam!


CFTE is the learning and innovation platform for individuals and organisations to act on the transformation of Finance. Learn how to get into Fintech, explore the exciting opportunities at Fintech startups, lead AI projects and develop your career.

CFTE develops leading online courses (Comparable to Harvard Fintech Course, Oxford Fintech programme and MIT Fintech certificate course), Experiential Learning Programmes such as Entrepreneur workshops and also animate a community of 1000 of alumni and experts.

Start with the foundations with our Fintech Foundations Programme and AI in Finance course.

Think and act like an Entrepreneur with our Extrapreneurship Programme.

Meet and get inspired at our Fintech ecosystem