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HKU FinTech Day 2021

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Digital Finance Outlooks

Panel discussion chaired by Prof Douglas Arner with Henri Arslanian, Janos Barberis, Urszula McCormack, Syed Musheer Ahmed, and Huy Nguyen Trieu

1 Nov, 2021 | 5:30 - 7:00 pm HKT |  HKU Law Moot Court


HKU FinTech Day 2021 Series | Day 1 Opening - Ep.1 Digital Finance Beyond COVID.  Thinking forward, as the world gradually moves beyond COVID, what are the big issues for digital finance’s expansion? This episode features the voices of The University of Hong Kong's Professor Douglas Arner moderating with panelist Huy Nguyen Trieu, Co-founder of the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE).

FURTHER READING:  .SSRN: Digital Finance, COVID-19 and Existential Sustainability Crises

Digital Finance Beyond COVIDDouglas Arner with Huy Nguyen Trieu
00:00 / 04:25

Ep. 2 Outlooks on Digital Finance and Non-digitised Financial Systems. Professor Douglas Arner started with the question: What are the possible risks for financial systems that have not been digitised yet, and can non-digital elements be integrated into the financial system? In this episode, you will hear voices of Janos Barberis (Supercharger Ventures), Urszula McCormack (King and Wood Mallesons), and Syed Musheer Ahmed (Finstep Asia) as they share their outlooks on various aspects of digital finance.


FURTHER READING: SSRN Sustainability, FinTech and Financial Inclusion

Outlooks on Digital Finance and Non-digitised Financial SystemsArner, Barberis, McCormack, Ahmed
00:00 / 15:34

Ep. 3  Open Banking/Digital Platforms. Telcos (and other platform beneficiaries), data, and DeFi were discussed in this episode, featuring the voices of Professor Douglas Arner, Huy Nguyen Trieu, and Henri Arslanian (PwC).

FURTHER READING: SSRN BigTech and Platform Finance

Open Banking/Digital PlatformsArner, Trieu & Arslanian
00:00 / 09:02

Ep. 4  Centralised vs Decentralised Systems and Governments.  Metaverse, fragmentations, and the need for a crash to clarify how players and regulators will settle in were discussed in this episode, featuring the voices of Prof Douglas Arner, Syed Musheer Ahmed, and Janos Barberis.

FURTHER READING: SSRN Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

Centralised vs Decentralised Systems and GovernmentsArner, Ahmed & Barberis
00:00 / 09:16

Ep. 5  Sustainability Initiatives.  From the standpoint of different sustainability initiatives, how can digital finance help with this transformation? Prof Douglas Arner posed this question in this episode featuring the voices of Henri Arslanian, Urszula McCormack, Syed Musheer Ahmed, Janos Barberis, and Huy Nguyen Trieu.

FURTHER READING: SSRN BigFintechs and International Governance, Policymaking and the UN SDGs

Sustainability InitiativesArslanian, McCormack, Ahmed, Barberis and Trieu
00:00 / 16:32

Ep. 6  Q&A - Constructive Engagements Between FinTech, DeFi and Regulations.  This episode features a question from our in-person attendee: How do you fill the gaps between FinTechs, decentralised finance or DeFi, and regulatory and arbitration and improve engagements between them? This episode features the voices of Urszula McCormack and Henri Arslanian.

FURTHER READING: SSRN The Transnational Data Governance Problem

Constructive Engagements Between FinTech, DeFi and RegulationsMcCormack & Arslanian
00:00 / 05:32

Supporting organisations, programme and platform

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Participating organisations

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Professor Douglas Arner (Panel Chair)

Douglas W Arner

Douglas W. Arner is the Kerry Holdings Professor in Law, an RGC Senior Fellow, and Associate Dean (Taught Postgraduate) of the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong.


He is currently leading a major 5 year Hong Kong Research Grants Council Senior Research Fellowship project on the role of FinTech and RegTech in financial inclusion and the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as a 4 year RGC Research Impact Fund project focusing on FinTech policy and regulation. From 2012-2018, Douglas served as Project Coordinator of a major five-year project funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council Theme-based Research Scheme on “Enhancing Hong Kong’s Future as a Leading International Financial Centre”.


He is currently one of the core team of another TRS project focusing on digital finance, financial stability and financial inclusion. He led the development of one of the world’s largest massive open online courses (MOOC) on financial technology: Introduction to FinTech.

About the speakers




Syed Musheer Ahmed, Founder & Managing Director of FinStep Asia


FinStep Asia is building Asia’s next generation of Businesses. FinStep Asia enables Corporates and Scaleups in their innovation journey through Corporate innovation, venture building, growth advisory, bespoke research and accelerator programs.  Musheer is one of the main contributors in building the Fintech ecosystem in Hong Kong as the cofounder and inaugural General Manager of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong. Having been engaged in Fintech since 2016, he has worked closely with several regulators and government bodies on fintech and digital economy policy, providing advisory and delivering workshops on a range of topics.

He is on several advisory boards and a mentor/advisor to several startups, while a regular guest lecturer at many universities in Hong Kong and Singapore. He is cofounder of IndiaTech HK, a platform bridging Indian & Chinese tech ecosystem via Hong Kong and is also the Global Ambassador for Tokyo Metropolitan Government.  He is a regular contributor and author of articles on Fintech, Digital Banking, Islamic Fintech and Investment Banking and been quoted in various media channels, including on CNBC, Bloomberg, SCMP, Financial Times, Asian Investor, Economic Times, etc.

Henri Arslanian, PwC Crypto Leader and Partner,


Henri is the former Chairman of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Hong Kong where he teaches the first FinTech university course globally.

Henri advises many of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, investors, financial institutions and tech firms on their FinTech and crypto initiatives as well numerous governments, regulators and central banks on Fintech and crypto regulatory and policy matters.

With over 500,000 LinkedIn followers and 40,000 newsletter subscribers, Henri is a TEDx and global keynote speaker, a best-selling published author and is regularly featured in global media including Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, BBC, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and the Financial Times.

Henri’s latest book “The Future of Finance: The Impact of FinTech, AI and Crypto on Financial Services” published by Palgrave Macmillan, was ranked as one of Amazon’s global top 10 best-sellers in financial services and was recognized as one of the “Best FinTech Books of All Time” by Bookauthority.


Janos Barberis, Co-Founder, SuperCharger Ventures


About to re-invent himself, this time in EdTech. Previously Janos, has established a track record in the FinTech Industry (named 32nd Most Powerful Dealmaker globally, Institutional Investors, 2018) and in academia (13th legal scholar in the world, SSRN, 2018). The 49 start-ups across Janos’ accelerator cohorts have raised over US$500 million and are regularly listed as leading FinTech companies, globally. He trained over 100,000 people in the last 4 years through online courses (x2), books (x3) and academic papers (5) in order to raise market awareness on FinTech & Regtech. He was on the FinTech board of the World Economic Forum and Securities & Futures Commission in Hong Kong.

Urszula McCormack, Partner, Cross-Border Finance and Technology, King & Wood Mallesons

Urszula is one of Asia’s leading regulatory and digital economy lawyers, with a focus on emerging technologies.  

Urszula advises global banks, payment institutions, large technology companies, exchanges, virtual asset issuers and software developers on new products, cross-border transactions, compliance and licensing.   In her data practice, Urszula advises on privacy regulation, algorithmic design, encryption technologies and data-sharing arrangements.  Urszula is a leading specialist advising governments, multilaterals and regulators on building robust enabling environments for digital payments, digital identity, financial crime controls, cross-border data flows and innovation.  

Urszula is a member of multiple advisory bodies and has been appointed to the Panel of Recognised International Market Experts (P.R.I.M.E.). She is regularly invited to brief governments, regulators and transnational policymakers.  Urszula is admitted to practice law in Hong Kong, Australia and England & Wales and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).

Huy Nguyen Trieu, Co-founder of the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE)


CFTE is one of the largest education platforms in digital finance. Huy is also Venture Partner of Mundi Ventures and CEO of The Disruptive Group.

After graduating from MIT, he co-founded and led Ukibi, a precursor to Linkedin in 1999. He then joined a number of international banks where he built high growth businesses for more than a decade, with his last position as a Managing Director at Citi. He has been very involved in the development of Fintech in Europe and Asia and is recognised as one of the thought leaders in that space. He is a Founding Partner of SuperCharger, the largest Fintech accelerator in Asia, writes the blog Disruptive Finance and was the first Fintech Resident Expert at Oxford Said Business School.

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