Hong Kong FinTech Week 2017 to deep dive on disruptive innovations

Why call an event a “week” if it’s going to take 3 weeks to complete? That was my thought when I received the 18 page Hong Kong Fintech Week 2017 Storyboard dished out at the inaugural party to kickstart preparations for the 2017 Hong Kong FinTech Week.

Held at what’s been positioned as home for entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) brought in the big guns of the city to get media interest going starting with Shu-pui Lin, executive director of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Julia Leung, executive director of Intermediaries Division, Securities and Futures Commission, and John Leung Chi-yan, CEO, Insurance Authority.

They were joined by representatives from participating event organizers: Juwan Lee, founder and CEO of NexChange and Anthony Sar, founder and CEO of Finnovasia. Also joining the event was Henri Arslanian, member of the Temporary Board of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong.

Stephen Phillips, Director-General of Investment Promotions, InvestHKDirector-General of Investment Promotions, InvestHK, Stephen Phillips (photo right), in his welcome remarks announced the “theme for 2017 will ride on the core strengths of Hong Kong, including fund raising hub, Blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), the vibrant incubator and accelerator programs, and the close connection with mainland China under the Belt & Road Initiative. He hinted that Fintech in China will be a hot topic throughout the Week.”

The presence of the city’s three regulators at the inaugural event reveals that RegTech, InsurTech and WealthTech will be featured strongly, alongside cysecurity.

According to Phillips, InvestHK’s goal is to attract top innovative Fintech enterprises, start-up entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders from all over the world to Hong Kong. InvestHK markets itself a facilitator for foreign companies wishing to set up business in the city.

Phillips reiterated that Fintech in Hong Kong is an organic ecosystem largely driven by the private sector. “There are about 130 FinTech start-ups in Hong Kong, we have four Fintech accelerators and the calendar is filled with more than 200 FinTech-related events here,” he added.

Industry representatives flanked Investhk's Stephen Phillip at the opening of the Hong Kong Fintech Week 2017

Industry representatives flanked Investhk’s Stephen Phillip at the opening of the Hong Kong Fintech Week 2017

For HKMA’s Li collaboration will be the central theme for the regulator’s contribution to FinTech Week. “Collaborations, both at domestic and cross-border levels, are the key to a sustainable Fintech ecosystem. The HKMA will unveil its domestic collaboration with the industry on its release of the second distributed ledger technology white paper and cross-border collaboration on trade-finance cooperation, and make known other collaborative initiatives on the FinTech Day,” he enthused.

“Financial innovation is changing the way in which securities products and services are being delivered to investors,” commented SFC’s Leung. Among the topics that she hopes the industry will cover during FinTech Week is the growing interest and activity around Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs, which itself drew most of the media queries during the inaugural event.

The CEO of the Insurance Authority, Mr John Leung, added, “The upcoming FinTech Week serves as an excellent platform to share and engage with market participants regarding new FinTech initiatives.”

NexChange’s Lee believed that Hong Kong has come to a crossroad where the baseline Fintech innovation infrastructure and awareness is here. “Now, entrepreneurs and financial institutions have to take it to the next level and create products that consumers need,” he suggested.

The main tent for this year’s FinTech Week will be the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre where delegates will listen to presentations, discussions and debates over artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, Big Data and IoT, cybersecurity, mobile banking, payments, innovations around InsurTech and WealthTech, as well as the evolution of RegTech in the city and around the world.

Outside of the convention center, complementary events will be taking place concurrently at different locations including those organized by the HKMA, SFC, Finnovate Asia and Accenture.

A satellite event to FinTech Week is the 7th annual Fintech Innovation Forum brings together some of the industry’s technology and business leaders to tackle the hard issues of integrating emerging technologies into the working environments of financial institutions, and in the process potentially transforming business models.

To be held at the Mira Hong Kong on October 26, 2017, the 2017 Fintech Innovation Forum will feature Alex Lau, Executive Director, Head of Digital Innovation, Institutional Banking Group at DBS Bank, Raphael Randa, Managing Director – South East Asia for Investment Banking Group and Eva Law, Founder & Chairman of the Association of Private Bankers Greater China Region.

Source: Enterprise Innovation