FinTech Daily: Canadian banks adapt to attract top tech talent; Melonport using blockchain to help h
Meet the new Canadian banker: The tech rockstars who are taking over Bay Street
Canadian banks are ramping up efforts to attract tech talent by building fun and vibrant offices for tech employees. Bank of Nova Scotia now has 200 employees that have set up shop at the bank's new 70,000-square-foot "Digital factory" in downtown Toronto, which was officially unveiled late last month. The goal is to provide a dedicated campus where the bank's data scientists, artificial intelligence researchers, and other tech and science mavens have the room to work and play, and, they hope, develop the technological keys to the bank's future prosperity. "We've got a half a dozen, director-level, unbelievable star leaders from places like Netflix that are moving back from the Valley right now," says Shawn Rose, Scotiabank's executive vice president of digital banking who oversees the five new factories, and who is a Silicon Valley veteran himself. The Royal Bank of Canada recently snapped up a Canadian pioneer in artificial intelligence, University of Alberta professor Richard Sutton, as an adviser for its Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce also has digital offices away from Bay Street, which have a casual work environment and collaborative spaces, said Aayaz Pira, the bank's senior vice president of digital. Gabriel Woo, RBC's vice president of innovation, says the bank is also in the market for several hundred tech "Rockstars" - including data scientists and researchers.
Category: Financial Institution
Meet the Ex-Banker Using Ethereum to Take On Traditional Hedge Funds
Founded in February 2016 and formally launched in August, Switzerland-based Melonport consists of a series of ethereum-based smart contracts designed to automate some of the most expensive aspects of building a hedge fund. Taken together, the two elements of the protocol are designed to help managers easily set up hedge funds, code predefined, immutable, investment parameters into the smart contracts that ensure commitments are kept, and leave an auditable track record of a fund's success to help attract future investors and simplify regulatory compliance. If successful, the hedge fund platform could significantly lower the barrier to entry for aspiring hedge fund managers with a new model they want to test and limited funds. "A lot of these processes can be done much more efficiently and faster and more effectively and more transparently to the investors investing in those hedge funds, by using smart contracts," said El Isa.
Blockchain Insurance Consortium B3i Adds 3 New Members
The B3i project - short for the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative - was launched in October, an effort aimed at providing a way for insurers like Allianz and Swiss Re, among others, to swap information and collaboratively test prototypes and use cases for Blockchain. While some insurers have been testing blockchain independently, B3i offered the chance to conduct those experiments under one roof. A trio of insurers - Hannover, Generali Group and SCOR - all announced that they are taking part in the B3i project. "Blockchain technology has the potential to optimize business processes and value chains in the insurance industry. With the B3i initiative we now have a platform of the efficient and trendsetting testing and improvement of inter-company processes." The entry of new members comes amid reports that B3i stakeholders are accelerating a key prototype. The insurers could spin that platform off into a separate company for commercial use by 2018 at the earliest, according to Paul Meeusen, who leads Swiss Re's B3i efforts.