New York Fed Creates Advisory Group Stacked With Fintech Elite

The regulator wants “clear points of contact” in the disruptive fintech industry.

Illustration by II

Illustration by II

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has formed a group of financial technology experts to advise it on the rapidly evolving fintech industry.

The advisory group has ten members, including Google’s Ulku Rowe, the director of financial services for its cloud unit; Moelis & Co. chief data officer Lena Mass-Cresnik; and Lee Braine from the chief technology office at Barclays, according to a statement Friday from the New York Fed. The first meeting is scheduled for April 1.

The regional bank is seeking their view of emerging issues in fintech that could affect its mission, which includes regulating financial institutions to ensure a safe banking system. The Financial Stability Board said in a February report on fintech that many firms in the growing industry offer products that “potentially challenge” traditional business models in finance.

“The fintech advisory group will provide the New York Fed with a more complete picture of the rapidly evolving fintech landscape,” Kevin Stiroh, head of the New York Fed’s supervision group, in the statement from the central bank branch.

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The group will meet twice a year to present views to the New York Fed and establish “clear points of contact” for the regional branch of the central bank. The initial members have a broad mix of expertise, with representatives including incumbent financial institutions that may be disrupted by new fintech entrants.

Andrew Boyajian, head of banking at TransferWise, is part of the initial group, according to the statement. TransferWise, founded in 2010 to cheaply transfer money globally, says on its website that Richard Branson and PayPal founders Max Levchin and Peter Thiel are among its investors.

The other fintech advisory group members are DTCC chief executive officer Michael Bodson; International Business Machines Corp.’s chief analytics officer and chief economist Martin Fleming; Massachusetts Institute of Technology senior advisor and former Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman Gary Gensler; Cooley special counsel Patrick Murck; Sonal Shah, the executive director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation; and David Waller, the head of data science and analytics at consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

“The advisory group will also gather insights that may inform our interaction with market participants and institutions, our training and hiring efforts, and the application of innovative approaches for internal business use,” Stiroh said.