The 2015 Fintech Finance 35: Alex Batlin, UBS

No. 28 Alex Batlin, UBS

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< The 2015 Fintech Finance 35

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28
Alex Batlin
Senior Innovation Manager
UBS

A 1998 computer science graduate of the University of Bristol, Alex Batlin is no stranger to advanced technology. While in school he experimented with neural networks and sound-detection systems for locating fighter planes. As senior innovation manager of UBS, running the bank’s FinTech Innovation Lab in London’s Level39 acceleration venue, the 38-year-old is pushing well beyond what was until very recently considered leading-edge. “A lot of the stuff I do is well understood, whether introducing mobility or big data to banking,” he says. “You know the rough size of the prize.” Now the subject is blockchain: “We’re not proving the concept. We’re defining the concept at this stage. If our hypothesis is correct, then blockchain could be pretty important and potentially have a wide-ranging impact on the way we do banking and finance.” Determined to prove that, Zurich-based UBS in February funded Batlin’s Crypto 2.0 Pathfinder program, which grew out of an innovation initiative launched four years ago, with teams in Switzerland, the U.K. and U.S. looking into emerging technologies, start-ups and their potential impact on the bank. A companywide innovation board, set up two years ago by chief information officer Oliver Bussmann to invite proposals from senior business and information technology executives, green-lighted Batlin’s idea to create a blockchain center of excellence. Batlin, who worked earlier in his career at J.P. Morgan & Co. and Nomura International and joined predecessor bank UBS Warburg in 2001, says the lab has demonstrated how a bond can be issued, and aspects of the transaction automated, using blockchain and a virtual currency. UBS has joined Barclays, Credit Suisse and other top banks in backing New York–based blockchain consortium R3CEV. It also put up $300,000 in prize money for a Future of Finance Challenge, a single-bank version of entrepreneur competitions like the New York FinTech Innovation Lab (see Maria Gotsch, No. 11).


The 2015 Fintech Finance 35

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1. James Robinson III
& James Robinson IV
RRE Ventures

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2. Jane Gladstone
Evercore Partners

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3. Matthew Harris
Bain Capital Ventures

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4. Steven McLaughlin
Financial Technology Partners

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5. Jonathan Korngold
General Atlantic

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6. Richard Garman &
Brad Bernstein
FTV Capital

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7. Amy Nauiokas & Sean Park
Anthemis Group

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8. Thomas Jessop
Goldman Sachs Group

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9. Meyer (Micky) Malka
Ribbit Capital

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10. Hans Morris
Nyca Partners

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11. Maria Gotsch
Partnership Fund for New York City

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12. Marc Andreessen
Andreessen Horowitz

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13. Barry Silbert
Digital Currency Group

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14. Jay Reinemann
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria

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15. Mariano Belinky
Santander InnoVentures

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16. François Robinet
AXA Strategic Ventures

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17. Vanessa Colella
Citi Ventures

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18. Alan Freudenstein & Gregory Grimaldi
Credit Suisse
NEXT Fund

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19. Justin Brownhill & Neil DeSena
SenaHill Partners

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20. Rodger Voorhies
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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21. Michael Schlein
Accion International

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22. Kenneth Marlin
Marlin & Associates

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23. Rumi Morales
CME Ventures

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24. Mark Beeston
Illuminate Financial Management

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25. Vladislav Solodkiy
Life.SREDA

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26. Fabian Vandenreydt
Innotribe SWIFT

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27. Derek White
Barclays

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28. Alex Batlin
UBS

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29. Jeffrey Greenberg
& Vincenzo
La Ruffa
Aquiline Capital Partners

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30. P. Howard Edelstein
REDI Holdings

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31. Nektarios Liolios
Startupbootcamp FinTech

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32. Roy Bahat
Bloomberg Beta

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33. Andrew McCormack
Valar Ventures

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34. Lawrence Wintermeyer
Innovate Finance

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35. Janos Barberis
FinTech Hong Kong


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