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November 14, 2016
The recent resignation of UBS senior innovation manager
Alex Batlin (No. 28 last year) brought Hyder
Jaffrey into the fintech spotlight at the Swiss
banking giant, which has gained renown as a promoter of
start-up activity and an advocate of blockchain technology.
I enjoy being an instigator of change, says
Jaffrey, a six-year UBS veteran based in London. After
initially working on the UBS Neo multiasset trading platform,
he turned his attention to blockchain and distributed ledger in
2014. As head of strategic investment and fintech innovation,
the 52-year-old currently splits his time between the
investment bank and UBSs Crypto 2.0 lab at the Level39
accelerator in Canary Wharf. The role today focuses on
business model innovation how capital markets business
models can be innovated through the use of financial
technology, he says. In August, Banco Santander, Bank of
New York Mellon Corp., Deutsche Bank, and ICAP joined
UBSs Utility Settlement Coin project for blockchain-based
settlement of securities transactions. Jaffrey sees the effort
as part of a medium- to long-term evolution of a market
space, but it is absolutely fundamental for seeing the benefits
of the distributed ledger technologies that many people are
talking about now. Separately, UBS last year held a
Future of Finance Challenge, offering prizes that included
$50,000 to the winning entrepreneur, algorithm testing and
analysis company Aesthetic Integration. This year UBS joined
with Credit Suisse and other Swiss companies in supporting a
fintech initiative within Zurichs Kickstart Accelerator.
Jaffrey knows entrepreneurship firsthand. After graduating from
Loughborough University in the U.K. in 1988, he went into
computer systems development and consulting. Melding those
skills with a growing familiarity with financial markets, in
2002 he became CEO of start-up, web-based debt issuance
platform Marketpipe. In 2007 the company was acquired by data
and analytics provider Ipreo; Jaffrey stayed on as global head
of fixed income until 2009 just as the fintech
phenomenon was beginning to take off.
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