June 2019 | 

Women and Fintech: Wharton Leads the Charge

Women and Fintech: Wharton Leads the Charge

When Wharton Executive Education sponsored the first Fearless in Fintech event in 2018, the “fear” was real. The financial industry was still coming to terms with the disruptive arrival of artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and blockchain technologies. Just a year later, these technologies are being referred to as the new normal.

For women in financial services today, fintech represents a leadership opportunity. If firms are to fully embrace and leverage these new technologies, they need diverse, innovative, value-creating perspectives. The second one-day Fearless in Fintech event provides attendees with the tools to embrace that opportunity, highlighting the latest thinking and practices from the most creative and influential financial services and fintech organizations.

Designed for mid- to senior-level finance executives, the event will be held at the Wharton | San Francisco campus in the scenic Hills Plaza building, in the shadow of the iconic Bay Bridge. Sponsorship reflects Wharton’s commitment to finance education, innovation, and in particular the promotion of women in financial leadership. Speakers include Wharton faculty members David Musto and Kartik Hosanagar, and Wharton alumna Alka Gupta.

Musto, current chair of the finance department, is academic director of the Wharton School’s new Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance. In addition to his work in the MBA program, he teaches in the five-day executive education program Value Creation and Growth through Innovative Corporate Finance.

Hosanagar, author of the new A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence, will lead a session on AI governance in finance. He will discuss a governance framework to address the risks of AI, including algorithm transparency, fairness of automated decisions, and security concerns. He will also examine the designing of an audit process for fintech companies.

In 2019, for the first time ever, Wharton is offering the Wharton Fintech Specialization, an online program focused exclusively on the topic of financial technologies. Designed for executives and sophisticated learners, this new Wharton Online program will provide an introduction and overview of financial technologies that will feature case studies from Wharton alumni currently working in the industry.

Faculty in that program include Musto and:

  • Christopher Geczy, PhD
    Adjunct Professor of Finance Academic Director, Wharton Wealth Management Initiative
    Academic Director, Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research, The Wharton School
  • Natasha Sarin, PhD, JD
    Assistant Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Jessica Wachter, PhD
    Richard B. Worley Professor of Financial Management, Professor of Finance, The Wharton School
  • Sarah Hammer, Esq.
    Managing Director of The Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance, The Wharton School
    Senior Director of The Harris Alternative Investments Program, The Wharton School
    Adjunct Professor of Law, The University of Pennsylvania Law School
    Faculty Director, The Wharton-Lauder Intercultural Venture on Entrepreneurship

Another highlight of this year’s Fearless in Fintech event is a session on the psychological approach to fintech, led by Sheila Warren, the World Economic Forum’s head of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. Because the fintech arena is in a perpetual state of change, an essential element to fostering the adoption of new technologies is psychological readiness. The session will explore the psychological shift and implications around fintech while touching on blockchain and digital currencies.

Last year’s Fearless in Fintech event drew an audience from Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies, start-ups, accelerators and incubators, private equity/VC firms, and academia. Rachel Carpenter, co-founder and CEO of Intrinio, who spoke at the event, says, “I envision a future where the presence and success of women in finance is normalized. It’s a future where there’s no need for female-focused events; instead, we just have events and feature women naturally because they deserve to be there. We are not living in that world yet. Events like Fearless in Fintech give us an opportunity to take a step towards it.”

To register for Fearless in Fintech, and for more information about the agenda and speakers, visit www.fearlessinfintech.com.