Meet the 11-person judging panel behind the FT Future of Fintech awards
Chief executive of Safaricom
Bob Collymore is chief executive of Safaricom, a Kenyan mobile telecoms operator and pioneer of M-Pesa, a mobile money platform.
His experience spans Japan, South Africa and the UK, where he has held senior roles in marketing, purchasing, retail and corporate affairs. Mr Collymore has more than 30 years of commercial experience in the telecommunications sector and is passionate about how businesses can be catalysts in transforming communities.
A successful fintech start-up addresses a clearly defined problem and solves that problem in a scalable way that has not been done before
In April 2015, the then UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon reappointed Mr Collymore to the Global Compact Board, which helps the UN promote corporate sustainability.
Mr Collymore is a board member of the charity Acumen and is one of the leaders of B Team, a non-profit organisation that promotes an environmentally responsible private sector. He currently serves as a commissioner on the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, an non-profit organisation focusing on sustainable business.
Chief executive of PensionBee
Romi Savova is chief executive of PensionBee, one of the fintech start-ups shortlisted in 2016 for the FT Future of Fintech Awards.
After graduating from Harvard Business School, Ms Savova started her career at Goldman Sachs, before moving on to Morgan Stanley and Credit Benchmark.
The idea of PensionBee was born when she tried to move her old pensions to a new provider. The process of calling providers, filling out paperwork and choosing between complicated products convinced her that something needed to change. PensionBee has signed up more than 25,000 people since it launched in 2014.
Ms Savova was featured in a list of “inspiring women” by Startups.co.uk and Grant Thornton named her as one of its Faces of a Vibrant Economy.
Deputy director, Financial Services for the Poor, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Kosta Peric is a technologist, and his interests lie at the point of fusion between technology, finance and innovation. He is the author of The Castle And The Sandbox, a book published in 2012 explaining how to foster innovation in established systems and companies.
Mr Peric leads the Level One Project, a Gates Foundation initiative to foster deployment of payment platforms to serve the poor.
Previously, he was co-founder and leader of Innotribe, the Swift initiative to enable collaborative innovation in the financial industry. At Swifthe was also the chief architect of SwiftNet, the secure network that currently connects 8,000 banks and 1,000 corporations.
Chief executive-elect, GFT Technologies
Marika Lulay was appointed chief executive of GFT Technologies, with effect from May 31, 2017.
Previously she was the company’s chief operating officer, and has more than 25 years of experience in the IT sector.
In 1996, she led the entry of the systems integrator Cambridge Technology Partners into the German market.
Before that, Ms Lulay spent seven years at Software AG in various management positions including regional head of professional services.
Ms Lulay was founder member and associate of Bistec, a software developer for the building industry. When Bistec merged with Bausoft, she became head of the combined company’s research and development team.
Founding partner, APlus
Sheng Xitai is the founding partner of APlus and an experienced investment banker. He is the former chairman of Huatai Securities, the Chinese integrated securities company.
During the past 20 years, Mr Sheng has helped more than 100 companies with acquisitions and stock market listings, and has worked with public companies such as Zoomline, Han’s Laser and Blue Focus. Since moving into venture capital investment a year ago, Mr Sheng has invested in six companies including Zhongshang Huimin and Zhong Zhicheng. All six companies have a valuation of more than $100m.
Chief financial officer, PayTM
As chief financial officer, Madhur Deora is responsible for leading Paytm’s finance function, investments and fundraising activities. He is also responsible for the company’s financial services business. PayTM was the winner of the FT Future of Fintech Impact Award in 2016.
Mr Deora has more than 17 years of experience in investment banking. Before joining PayTM in October 2016, he served as managing director in Citigroup’s investment banking business in a career that spanned New York, London and Mumbai. In his last role at Citi, he was responsible for telecom, media, technology, internet and private equity clients in India and led several transactions for clients such as Just Dial, Makemytrip, Idea Cellular, Telenor, Carlyle, Blackstone, KKR and others. In 2015, he also led Paytm’s fundraising discussions with Ant Financial and Alibaba.
Advisory board member and ambassador, Emerging Payments Association
Neira Jones is a cyber security consultant for financial services firms and a former director of payment fraud and security at Barclaycard. She has more than 20 years’ experience in financial services and technology and advises organisations on payments, cyber crime, information security, regulations and digital innovation.
A successful start-up fills a real gap. It is not a solution looking for a problem
She is a non-executive director for cyber security company Cognosec and chairman for payments company Comcarde. She also chairs the advisory board for mobile innovator Ensygnia and is a partner for the Global Cyber Alliance, an international non-profit organisation focused on addressing systemic cyber risks.
She is an adviser and ambassador for the Emerging Payments Association and is on the City AM FinTech Most Influential Power List.
Deputy editor, The Banker
Joy Macknight is deputy editor at The Banker, sister organisation to the FT, covering transaction banking and technology. Previously, she was features editor at Profit & Loss, a foreign exchange and derivatives magazine and conference producer.
A successful fintech start-up identifies a specific financial pain point and uses technology to solve the problem
Before that, she was editorial director at Treasury Today and editor at GTNews, which cover corporate treasury. She also worked as staff writer on Banking Technology and IBM Computer Today, as well as a freelancer on Computer Weekly.
Financial editor, FT
Patrick Jenkins has been financial editor and assistant editor at the Financial Times since January 2014. In this role, Mr Jenkins shapes the FT’s overall financial coverage, with a focus on financial services and investment. He works closely with the editors of Markets, Lex, FT Money, FTfm and the financial services team. He also contributes to leader writing and comment, while continuing to write for the Inside Finance column.
Previously, Mr Jenkins had been banking editor since June 2009. He was Companies editor and assistant editor, and before that he was the editor of the international company news section.
He joined the FT Group in 1996 as editor of the newsletter FT World Insurance Report, before becoming a UK companies reporter in 2000.
Banking editor, FT
Martin Arnold has worked for the Financial Times since 1999 and been the FT banking editor since January 2014. Before that he was deputy Companies editor for almost three years, overseeing business and financial coverage.
A successful fintech uses technology to make finance easier, safer, more efficient or even more fun
Between 2007 and 2011, he covered private equity, winning the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association award for private equity correspondent of the year and being shortlisted for scoop of the year at the Business Journalist of the Year awards.
Mr Arnold’s other roles at the FT have included Paris correspondent for five years, covering a wide beat including politics and finance. He has also written about technology, media and telecoms in London and consumer industries in New York.