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Banking and Capital Markets, Finance, Investment and Asset Management

FT Disruptech

Strategies for intelligent growth in a Big Tech world

London |
Speakers include:
Will Sorby

Will Sorby


Marissa Kimball

Marissa Kimball


Alison Rose

Alison Rose



FT Disruptech, part of the annual Banking Summit, will examine the very latest technologies driving seismic change across the financial services ecosystem. Join us to hear a range of banks, insurers, asset managers, start-ups and regulatory bodies engage in frank and timely discussions directed by expert FT journalists, and take advantage of networking opportunities within this very senior peer group.

fallback Add to my Calendar 12/04/2019 14:30:0012/04/2019 18:00:00falseFT DisruptechFT Disruptech, part of the annual Banking Summit, will examine the very latest technologies driving seismic change across the financial services ecosystem. Join us to hear a range of banks, insurers, asset managers, start-ups and regulatory bodies engage in frank and timely discussions directed by expert FT journalists, and take advantage of networking opportunities within this very senior peer group.FT-Disruptechb9d058524414ab75cf59ed08d57a6dcdMM/DD/YYYY

Full Overview

For the first time since 2008, financial services firms across the board are discussing – even expecting – business growth. Despite sluggish interest rates and razor thin operating margins, players across the financial ecosystem are optimistic. New technology has long been hailed as the solution for increasing efficiency and saving money – but while it can fuel growth, it can also camouflage poor processes and disguise a lack of

Installing new technology in the interest of growth is futile, unless the routine processes that are being automated are first closely examined and streamlined. Without a review and revamping of underlying processes, any digital banking initiative will fall short of full optimisation and, at worst, simply automate
already dysfunctional processes.

How can financial firms protect and expand existing revenue streams, while at the same time working out how technology fits into their overall strategy? Which technologies should they use, and where? Leaders in technology, operations and strategy are tasked with driving change across the business – so how can they separate useful technology from inefficient processes, and justify investment in technology to the top level of management? Is it possible to innovate without disrupting day-to-day business, or derailing the cautious growth that had eluded the financial industry for a decade?

FT Disruptech, part of the annual Banking Summit, will examine the very latest technologies driving seismic change across the financial services ecosystem. Join us to hear a range of banks, insurers, asset managers, start-ups and regulatory bodies engage in frank and timely discussions directed by expert FT journalists, and take advantage of networking opportunities within this very senior peer group.


Agenda - 4th Dec

  • 2:30pm
    Opening Remarks from the FT

    Izabella Kaminska, Editor, Alphaville, Financial Times

  • 2:35pm
    The Bank of the Future: built on data?

    It is no secret that financial services are awash with data. Customers, clients, partners, suppliers: new information is generated by the second, and financial services firms are becoming ever more adept at storing it. But data is often segregated by product line, with legacy systems often making it difficult to glean full insight from the numbers or develop agile new products with data strategy at their core. It is also impossible to assess and restructure traditional processes when relevant data is locked into heritage systems, siloed by product and hand-cuffed by channel.

    • Creating an enterprise data architecture is the key to organising enormous databases. Are there industry-wide standards for this? Which parts of the industry are doing this well, and which are lagging behind?
    • What data-led processes are in place at new, start up organisations? Can banks and other financial institutions learn from data strategies developed completely outside their own industry?
    • Each of a bank’s business lines — mortgages, loans, accounts, insurance — has a different owner. How can technology and strategy professionals overcome internal politics and competition to build data-led strategy at enterprise level?
    • How does data strategy affect other new technological solutions? How can banks and financial services firms optimise their data to benefit other transformation programmes, like artificial intelligence, machine learning or automation?

    Marissa Kimball, Head of Financial Services, Palantir

    Alison Rose, Incoming CEO, RBS

    Will Sorby, UK General Manager, N26

  • 3:20pm
    Tech Carousel: the new technologies revolutionising the financial ecosystem

    In this session, technology experts will give snapshot case studies illustrating a range of disruptive technologies, all of which look set to transform the financial industry forever.

    All experts will then join a panel discussion moderated by the FT. 

  • 4:00pm
    Networking Break
  • 4:20pm
    Panel Framer

    Deborah O'Neill, UK Head of Digital, Oliver Wyman

  • 4:30pm
    Build or buy: what is the right balance when it comes to developing new technology?

    For legacy banks and financial services institutions, replacing or rebuilding core systems is costly and time inefficient. What new opportunities are there to fast track innovation through technology acquisition rather than in-house development? What can be done to harness business and cultural synergies and enable a more seamless integration post-merger? How can organisations best prepare for potential integration roadblocks?

    Vishal Garg, Founder and CEO,

    Michal Kissos Hertzog, CEO, Pepper

    Deborah O'Neill, UK Head of Digital, Oliver Wyman

    Rob Swerling, Chief Operating Officer, Corporate & Investment Banking, Investec

  • 5:15pm
    Learning from the Big Techs: what FAANGs can teach banks

    What does the financial landscape of tomorrow look like? Can financial services firms and big tech companies co-exist peacefully in the technology-optimised ecosystem of the future – or will one ultimately buy out the other?

  • 5:40pm
    Closing Remarks from the FT

    Joy Macknight, Managing Editor and Technology Editor, The Banker

  • 5:45pm
    Drinks Reception

Speakers (7)

Will Sorby

Will Sorby

UK General Manager
Marissa Kimball

Marissa Kimball

Head of Financial Services

Marissa Kimball is the Head of Financial Services at Palantir Technologies, where she is responsible for Palantir’s work in areas including risk, financial crime, marketing, and digital transformation. Marissa has led Palantir’s largest partnerships in the US, Europe, Asia, and South America. Prior to joining Palantir in 2012, she worked at several payment and healthcare technology startups in Latin America and as a business consultant. Marissa holds a degree in Public Policy and Economics from Duke University, and currently resides in London.

Alison Rose

Alison Rose


Alison Rose is Deputy CEO of NatWest Holdings and Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Corporate, Commercial & Private Banking business. An influential member of the RBS Executive Management Team, she leads over 12,000 people and is accountable for market-leading brands such as Coutts and Lombard. She has worked at RBS for more than 25 years and prior to her current role was Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Markets & International Banking. Senior leadership roles with RBS have also included Head of Non–investment Grade Origination and Head of Leveraged Finance for the UK and Europe.

Previously shortlisted for the 'most influential woman in investment banking' award by Financial News, Ms Rose is a passionate supporter of diversity and executive sponsor for the bank’s employee-led networks.  Invited to lead a review of the barriers to women starting a business by the UK Government, she also champions NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator programme, an innovative initiative supporting start-up businesses across the UK. 

Robert Swerling

Robert Swerling

Chief Operating Officer

Robert Swerling is Chief Operating Officer of Investec’s Corporate & Investment Banking division. His responsibilities include technology, data, change, legal, client lifecycle management, and lending, trading and securities operations. Prior to this, he was co-CEO of the Up Group, a private equity-backed talent advisory firm focused on the digital economy. Before that, Rob held the role of COO at Bookatable, a venture-backed restaurant technology provider which exited to Michelin. A former commercial barrister, Rob co-founded a credit derivatives software and data business which exited to CME Group, before leading Google’s retail partnerships team in Europe, Middle East & Africa. An investor in, and advisor to, a number of tech start-ups, and a limited partner in several venture funds, Rob is a regular speaker at technology conferences across the world. He has first class degrees from Oxford and Cambridge.

Vishal Garg

Vishal Garg

Founder and CEO
Michal Kissos Hertzog

Michal Kissos Hertzog


Michal Kissos Hertzog leads Pepper, Israel's first mobile-only challenger bank that was launched in 2017. Pepper, part of the Leumi Group, represents a revolution in how millennials think about and manage their money in a digital world. It is based on AI technology that helps customers better manage their finances and make the most of their money. Michal has over 13 years of experience in digital banking, strategy and corporate development within the Leumi Group. In her previous role, Michal served as Head of Innovation and Digital at Leumi. She was responsible for leading and implementing digital innovation across all business lines of the Group, alongside managing 'Leumi Digital' – the bank's digital banking channels. Michal also served as Head of Corporate Development at Leumi's Retail Banking Division and held several managerial positions at 'Leumi Card', Leumi’s credit card company.

Prior to joining the Leumi Group, Michal spent several years as an attorney at GKH law offices, one of Israel’s leading law firms, specializing in corporate and commercial law, securities and M&A transactions. She holds a B.A. in Economics and an LL.B. from Tel Aviv University, and an MBA from IDC Herzliya (Wharton Executive Program, University of Pennsylvania).

Deborah  O’Neill

Deborah O’Neill

Head of UK Digital
Oliver Wyman

Deborah O’Neill is UK Head of Digital and a partner at Oliver Wyman, where she leads complex digital transformations at the world’s largest companies. She helps her clients build out their engineering and delivery capability, making them self-sufficient and able to make changes more rapidly. An expert in untethering businesses from technology systems and approaches no longer fit for purpose, Deborah has recently worked on the build and launch of several Greenfield businesses. She is widely published on issues relating to how financial services companies can free themselves from legacy IT infrastructure, use data to strengthen connections to customers and better use analytics to prepare for AI.

Deborah’s work as a female leader has been recognised with numerous accolades. She is a committed advocate for gender equality who seeks to create mentoring and sponsorship opportunities for future female technologists both within Oliver Wyman and the industries she operates.


FT Co-Chairs (2)

Izabella Kaminska

Izabella Kaminska

FT Alphaville

Izabella Kaminska joined FT Alphaville in October 2008 and reports and blogs on technological, collaborative and digital trends, central banking, money, commodities and markets. Before joining the Financial Times, she worked as a producer at CNBC, a natural gas reporter at Platts and an associate editor of BP’s internal magazine. She has also worked as a reporter on English language business papers in Poland and Azerbaijan and was a Reuters graduate trainee in 2004. She studied Ancient History at University and has always been interested in central banks, commodities and market structure.

Joy Macknight

Joy Macknight

Managing Editor
The Banker

Joy Macknight is Managing Editor at The Banker, having previously been Deputy Editor and Technology Editor, covering transaction banking, fintechs and technology. Previously, she was Features Editor at Profit & Loss, a foreign exchange and derivatives magazine and conference producer. Before that, she was Editorial Director at Treasury Today and Editor at gtnews, which cover corporate treasury. She also worked as a staff writer on Banking Technology and IBM Computer Today, as well as a freelancer on Computer Weekly. She has a BSc from the University of Victoria, Canada.


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The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

The Banker provides economic and financial intelligence for the world's financial sector and has built a reputation for objective and incisive reporting. It leads the debate on all the issues surrounding the global banking industry, providing in-depth news and analysis, exclusive interviews with senior industry figures and definitive regional bank listings, including the internationally acclaimed Top 1000 World Banks.

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Lead Sponsor (1)

Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in 60 cities across 29 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm has more than 5,000 professionals around the world who work with clients to optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. Oliver Wyman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Associate Stream Sponsors (2)

Wipro Digital, the digital services unit of the global IT and consulting company, Wipro Limited, collaborates and iterates with clients to deliver customer-centered digital and business transformation. Working with the 170,000 colleagues in Wipro around the world and with our service design business, Designit, we integrate strategy, design and technology to unlock innovation and business value for our clients and their customers.  In the UK and Ireland, our combined strength of 5,000 employees serve clients out of 18 offices. Learn more at or @WiproDigital.

Palantir Technologies is a software company that builds the world's leading platforms for data-driven operations and decision-making. We create software that optimizes human interaction with massive-scale data, enabling critical institutions to understand, analyze, and act on their data in support of their most important work. Our objective is to produce extraordinary outcomes for our customers. From building safer cars and planes, to discovering new drugs and combatting terrorism, Palantir helps customers across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors transform the way they use their data. Palantir is headquartered in Palo Alto, with major offices in New York, Washington, D.C., and London. Additional information is available at