Georgia Seminar Day (Session 2)

Collaborative Fintech Community: Building on the Middle Corridor Momentum

Thursday, 2 May 2024, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm (Asia/Tbilisi)
Biltmore Hotel, Ballroom

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The seminar discussed creating a regional fintech hub in the Middle Corridor countries, focusing on why, who, what, and how. Georgia's open fintech strategy, legal alignment with the EU, tech talent, growing e-commerce, and appeal to digital nomads position it for success. Middle corridor and fintech could drive development of regional financial infrastructure.

Panelists

Sopnendu MohantyChief Fintech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore

Sopnendu Mohanty is responsible for creating development strategies, public infrastructure, and policies around technology-driven innovation at the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Mr. Mohanty has over two decades of public and private sector experience in technology, operations, digital finance, and investment strategies. He extensively engages with global technology and financial services ecosystems and has championed notable collaborative public goods like API Exchange, Singapore Fintech Festival, Payment Rails, data exchange platforms, and experimental programs like Project Ubin. In addition, Mr. Mohanty advises many international global advisory bodies on fintech, innovation, and inclusion. Within 5 years of his leadership, Singapore has become a leading global fintech hub producing unicorns and home to many vibrant fintech companies. He has coauthored several patented works in the application of digital technology in finance and won many industry recognitions.

Natia TurnavaActing Governor and First Vice-Governor, National Bank of Georgia (NBG) 

Natia Turnava has been the first vice-governor and acting governor of the NBG since June 2023. She has been a member of the NBG Board since June 2022. Prior to this, she was the minister of economy and sustainable development of Georgia, and was deputy minister before that. Previous roles include deputy executive director of the Partnership Fund, member of the Board of Directors of Georgian Industrial Group, general director and chairperson of the Board of Directors of Georgian International Energy Corporation, and first deputy minister of economy of Georgia. She holds a PhD in economics and has an MBA from the University of Cumbria. During her career, she has been engaged as a lecturer by several higher educational institutions in Tbilisi.

Tamaz GeorgadzeCEO and Co-Founder, Raisin

Tamaz Georgadze is CEO and cofounder of Raisin, a German finech company founded in 2012 that has since become the leading marketplace for savings and investment products, operating in the EU, UK, and US. Prior to Raisin, Mr. Georgadze spent 2003 to 2012 as a partner at McKinsey, and the last 3 years as a principal leading McKinsey's savings and investment products service line for EMEA countries. In addition, he has been a nonexecutive board member at Bank of Georgia since 2014. He earned a PhD in economics as well as an honors law degree from the University of Giessen after obtaining an international economics degree from Georgia, where he also served as advisor to then president Eduard Shevardnadze. Throughout his career, Tamaz Georgadze has been a sought-after expert on a wide range of topics. He is involved in the fintech and startup scene, particularly in the areas of open banking, digitization, and regulation. He has been a member since its introduction in 2022 of the Digital Finance Forum, a platform established by the German Federal Ministry of Finance.

Chang Yong RheeGovernor, Bank of Korea and Member of the Board of Directors, Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Chang Yong Rhee has accumulated more than 30 years of professional experience as an economist, financial advisor, and academic, attesting to his extensive knowledge and expertise in these fields. Recently, he chaired the BIS Committee on the Global Financial System. Prior to assuming his current role in April 2022, Mr. Rhee served as the director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the IMF, where he oversaw its work across the region. Before joining the IMF, he was the chief economist at ADB. Mr. Rhee has also held several high-profile positions in the Korean government, including serving as the secretary general and sherpa of the Presidential Committee for the 2010 G20 Seoul Summit, as well as vice chair of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and chair of the Securities and Futures Commission of Korea. Mr. Rhee has published extensively on macroeconomics and financial economics, as well as on the Korean economy. He holds a PhD in economics from Harvard University, and an undergraduate honors degree in economics from Seoul National University.

Simonas KrėpštaBoard Member, Lietuvos bankas (Bank of Lithuania) 

Simonas Krėpšta started his professional career in one of Lithuania’s commercial banks in 2006. In 2008–2019, he worked at the Bank of Lithuania, having started his career there as economist at the Financial Stability Division and holding senior positions as head of the Macroprudential Policy Division of the Financial Stability Department and director of the Financial Stability Department. For the last couple of years, he chaired the Economic and Social Policy Group of the presidential office, which coordinates economic, financial, innovation, health, and social policy issues. Simonas Krėpšta holds an international executive MBA from the Baltic Management Institute as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics (finance and banking) from Vytautas Magnus University. He also studied at Cracow University of Economics under the Lithuanian-Polish bilateral cooperation agreement. For several years, he worked as a lecturer in financial intermediation and international finance at ISM University of Management and Economics. Mr. Krėpšta also completed his traineeship at the Bank of England as well as deepened his financial knowledge in other internships and trainings. As member of the board of the Bank of Lithuania, he is in charge of the field of supervision and the Centre for Digital Excellence.

Moderator

Anna MajChief Executive Officer, CreatLink 

Anna Maj is a founder and CEO of CreatLink, a consulting company connecting dots in fintech and innovation. She brings 25 years of experience in driving banking and payments innovation in Europe and Asia. She introduced one of the first online payment gateways in the CEMEA region as well as the first digital wallet and mobile payment platform. Ms. Maj also acts as a senior advisor at Truffle Capital, a board member of fintech companies, as well as an expert at the European Innovation Council. Previously, she was a fintech leader at PwC and CEO of the payment company PayTel. She lectures on open banking and open innovation at the Asian Institute of Digital Transformation, at the Warsaw University of Technology, School of Business, as well as at the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship in London. She coauthored The PayTech Book and The AI Book. She is also a keynote speaker at flagship industry conferences as well as an experienced trainer for banks and payment companies. Ms. Maj has been recognized as one of the TOP 10 FinTech Influencers, TOP10 FinTech Innovators, and TOP10 Women in FinTech.