Ecosystems designed to bridge the culture gap between established financial institutions and technology start-ups and encourage investments in the latter are so commonplace today that more than 30 of them have come together in the Global FinTech Hubs Federation, which SWIFTs Fabian Vandenreydt and Innovate Finances Lawrence Wintermeyer (No. 28) launched in August. Back in 2009 before fintech became a sound bite, Vandenreydt notes there was only Innotribe, an initiative of the Belgium-based SWIFT bank messaging cooperative intended to promote innovation among its membership and by extension throughout the financial services world. A former Euroclear vice president and Capco consultant who joined SWIFT in 2004, Vandenreydt was present at the creation of Innotribe and has been its head since 2013, overseeing, among other activities, an annual competition for start-ups that stages preliminary events beyond the normal hubs, he says, in places like Mexico City and Cape Town, South Africa. This years Innotribe Start-up Challenge winners, crowned during SWIFTs Sibos convention in Geneva in September, were U.K. companies Coin Sciences and RISE Financial Technologies, and San Franciscobased SmartContract. All are working on blockchain, or distributed ledger, systems, which in Vandenreydts view will evolve in certain pockets of the market. It is not ready, though, for broad adoption across the industry. The 51-year-old wears other hats: He is global head of securities markets; head of the SWIFT Institute, which has commissioned academic research on such topics as blockchain, payment innovations, and open application programming interfaces in banking; and is executive co-sponsor of SWIFTs own R&D. The common thread is ecosystem enabling, Vandenreydt explains: I want to weave innovation in with the business. You have to be agile in the way you respond to market opportunities. Otherwise its a hobby.
The 2016 Fintech Finance 35 Click below to view profiles