Leading global consultants grace the stage for Singapore Fintech Festival

14 November 2018 Consultancy.asia

The highly anticipated Singapore Fintech Festival has finally rolled around for 2018, with a number of high-profile participants from the consulting realm set to speak across the festival’s three-day conference schedule.

Running from the 12th to the 16th at the Singapore EXPO convention and exhibition centre, the Singapore Fintech festival is the world’s premiere gathering of pundits from the fintech community, with 450 exhibitors and nearly 40,000 attendees expected to flock to the event, including banking and financial industry executives, regulatory authorities, fintech entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, and members of the consultancy domain.

With Deloitte a grand sponsor, and other leading global consultancies including KPMG (platinum sponsor), Milliman (silver sponsor) and Synechron (which will launch a its FinLab concept in Singapore to coincide with the event), providing support, the festival will feature a series of events, including a Global FinTech Hackcelerator Demo Day, an Innovation Lab Crawl, FinTech Awards, and a primary Conference & Exhibition.

Also featuring at the event during the conference are 250 expert, regulatory representative, and business executive speakers from across the globe (alongside dignitaries such as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde), drawn from a broad range of leading financial institutions and tech firms, as well as some of the biggest names in the international consulting domain.Global leading consultants grace the stage for Singapore Fintech FestivalBroken into nine primary themes across 70 sessions on five separate stages, including topics on the future of banking and the future of money, AI in Finance, Financial inclusion, InsurTech, and Cybersecurity, TechRisk and RegTech, the schedule includes a number of individual presentations as well as panel discussions – kicked off on the opening day by Ravi Menon, Managing Director of event organiser the Monetary Authority of Singapore.


As to speakers from the consulting domain, event grand sponsor Deloitte will have a number of representatives from the Americas, including US-based Bob Contri, Global Financial Services Industry Leader; Ranjit Bawa, Cloud Leader for Technology in the US; Carlos Orta, Regulatory Risk Leader, Mexico, and; Michael Tang, Partner & Global Financial Services Digital Transformation Leader from Deloitte Canada.

Big Four rivals KPMG meanwhile will be represented by Ian Pollari, Head of Banking, Australia & Co-Head, Global Fintech from KPMG Australia together with Ram Lakshminarayanan, a Partner with the firm’s local branch, while Michal Mazur Management Consulting Partner and Global Head, Drone Powered Solutions (DPS), and Pierre Legrand, Chief Technologist, will take the stage for PwC.

The remaining Big Four member, Ernst & Young – the curator of the Investor Summit’s pre-event start-up/investor match-making platform MATCH, which has to date generated $12 billion in pledged capital – will be represented by Asia Pacific TAS Markets, Accounts & Business Development Leader, Amitava Guharoy (Ernst & Young Solutions) and Brian Thung, a Partner with the firm based in Singapore.

Further speakers from the consulting world include Accenture’s Andreas Braun (Germany) and David Treat (US), respectively Managing Director and Data Business Group lead for Accenture Technology in Europe and Global Blockchain Lead, while the lesser MBB contingent consists of Bain & Company Senior Partner and Asia Head of private Equity Suvir Varma (Singapore) and The Boston Consulting Group’s Senior Executive Advisor Murli Buluswar of the US.

Beijing and Tokyo emerge as serious tech hub rivals to Silicon Valley

12 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

As Silicon Valley struggles with a number of institutional issues, the location of the world’s top tech-hub may ultimately change – with Beijing and Tokyo emerging as serious contenders according to a survey conducted by KPMG.

Now into its seventh edition, KPMG’s Technology Industry Innovation Survey quizzed over 700 global tech executives on their thoughts on the future industry landscape – revealing that for the first time more than half of the respondents (58 percent) believe Silicon Valley will no longer be the technology innovation center of the world in just four years from now, with Beijing and Tokyo seen as two possible usurpers.

“Many factors affect a city’s perception as an innovation hub, including favorable government policies and incentives, accelerators, tech parks, corporate investment, state-of-the-art infrastructure and, in all cases, at least a few highly successful and wildly popular success stories,” said Peter Laco, an Executive Director at KPMG in Slovakia, of the previous survey.Top contenders for the next world-leading technology innovation hubWhile New York remains the most touted hot-spot among respondents, Beijing and Tokyo landed in the second and third spots as likely contenders for the global tech-hub crown, with seven Asian cities featuring among the top dozen; Shanghai (in equal 5th, but overtaken by Beijing), Taipei (in joint-5th as a notable riser), Singapore and Seoul (at 7th and 8th) and Hong Kong, which rounded out the top dozen. Shenzhen, meanwhile, has dropped outside the top 20.

With access to talent and quality infrastructure remaining key attributes for a successful hub, the report states that, despite all the positive business factors present in Silicon Valley, “an escalating cost of living, questions about diversity and corporate cultures, high business taxes, an overmatched infrastructure, and even increasing scrutiny into data privacy and other business practices are contributing to the perception that Silicon Valley may not continue to dominate.”

Still, the US (which also featured seven cities among the top 20) as a whole is still considered the country expected to produce the most disruptive technologies in the coming years, maintaining its top spot ahead of China despite a narrowing of the gap by two percentage points on last year (to 23 percent against 17 percent). The UK meanwhile has gained some separation on Japan in fourth, while Singapore, South Korea and India appear among the top ten.Countries that show the most promise for disruptive technologyTo gain further insight into the likelihood of a burgeoning tech-hub reaching the peak of the global pecking order, KPMG analysed the results of the survey against a range of other city indices, including A.T. Kearney’s 2018 Global Cities report and Mercer’s Quality of Living rankings – identifying Singapore as the most consistent Asia Pacific performer across the board, with Tokyo, Seoul, and Hong Kong lagging in a variety of areas.

“The belief that Silicon Valley will be displaced as the leading hub underscores the continuing decentralisation of technology innovation, spurred by investment in other cities and regions globally, as well as contributing factors in Silicon Valley,” says Tim Zanni, KPMG’s global technology sector leader. “Even when faced with pressing issues that call for funding, cities and countries are carving out significant investment to become a technology innovation hub due to an expected broad economic impact.”