The Innovation Circle is a select panel of distinguished judges and advisors from around the world, who are at the forefront of innovation in the financial services sector. Together with BAI leadership, they will review submissions, identify potential award nominees for consideration and select category finalists and winners.

Aldo Bruschi

Banking Senior Advisor

Aldo Bruschi is an executive cross-cultural leader with an exceptional record of boosting business growth and transformation through organizational change.  In the financial technology arena, he combines predictive analytics and product development expertise with a holistic approach to strategic design and a powerful execution roadmap.  He brings thirty years of international business experience in Europe and the USA in innovating and identifying opportunities for product launches and market penetration.

Aldo serviced CRIF for several years. As President of CRIF North America, he turned around the business repositioning the company to become one of the leading players in the crowded arena of client onboarding solutions.  Previously, as a Senior Vice President of CRIF, he led the value-added solution Division in Central and Eastern Europe.  Earlier, Aldo was responsible for the innovation and delivery of predictive analytics, software application and data-based solutions.

Before joining CRIF, Aldo developed the business in Southern European countries for FICO.  Aldo started his career at Experian as a data scientist consultant.

He holds a Bachelor degree of Political Science and Statistics from the Milan University and an Executive MBA from the Business School of University of Bologna.

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Amy Radin

Advisor, Director,
Award-Winning Author

Amy Radin is a down to earth and visionary innovation expert. She was Citi’s first Global Chief Innovation Officer, and has held executive positions across American Express, E*TRADE Financial and AXA. She now works with leaders faced with the imperative to innovate, helping them pursue new sources of growth and value while navigating – and surmounting – the inevitable risks.
Amy has had the unique opportunity to lead or advise on digital transformation, marketing and innovation programs at both Fortune companies and startups. She has produced results with a customer-focused, collaborative mindset and a willingness to question and depart from the status quo when what worked in the past constrains creating the future.

Amy is the author of The Change Maker’s Playbook: How to Seek, Seed and Scale Innovation in Any Company, named the Book Excellence Best Business Book of 2020 and one of this year’s InsideOutside Innovation Top 20 Innovation Titles.

Amy is a graduate of The Wharton School and Wesleyan University and lives in the metro NY region.

Andres Fontao

Co-Founder and Managing Partner

Andres Fontao is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Finnovista, an ecosystem-driven innovation and venture capital firm focused on Spanish-speaking Latin America that helps transform finance and insurance for the better. Finnovista connects and facilitates the Fintech ecosystem across Latin America to enable the transformation of the financial services industry. Prior to starting Finnovista, Andres spent time with a Silicon Valley-based Fintech startup leading expansion into Europe and LATAM. Before that, he was head of mobile banking at Bankinter in Spain. Andres has also worked as a strategy consultant to mobile operators in Europe and Mexico. Andres holds a BA from Middlebury College in Vermont (USA) and MBA from IE Business School in Madrid.

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Conny Dorrestijn

Founding Partner

Listed on the Global 50 most Influential Women in Fintech, Conny Dorrestijn is a Founding Partner of BankiFi and has worked in the international financial technology industry in a wide range of marketing and business development roles (Nixdorf, ACT, Clear2Pay, FIS) while at the same time developing study trips, projects and concepts around fintech and innovation.

Speaking frequently at international events such as BAI, EBA and Money2020, she is an Advisory Board Member to Holland FinTech and AdviceRobo, Associate of the Digital Insurance Agenda (DIA) and a Global Innovation Awards Judge at BAI.

As Financial Services Associate Partner at the European Centre for the Experience and Transformation Economies she contributed to the recently published book Economy of Experiences. Her passion for generation Y and Z is translated in her voluntary work as Financial Literacy Advisory Committee Member for the Global Give Back Circle in Kenya, where she is also active as a mentor for Kenyan pupils and students.

Chris Skinner

Chief Executive Officer
The Finanser Ltd

Chris Skinner is known as one of the most influential people in technology and a best-selling author. He is an independent commentator on the financial markets and fintech through his blog, the His latest book (seventeenth!) is Digital for Good, focusing upon how technology and finance can work together to address the environmental and social issues we face today and make a better world. His previous books include Doing Digital, which shared the lessons of how to do digital transformation through interviews with leading global banks such as BBVA, China Merchants Bank, DBS, ING and JPMorgan Chase. He is a non-executive director of 11:FS and on the advisory boards of many FinTech and financial firms. Mr. Skinner is a visiting lecturer with Cambridge University as well as a TEDx speaker. In recent years, he has been voted one of the UK’s foremost fintech observers by The Telegraph and one of the most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News and Thomson Reuters. Chris is also a successful children’s author with a series, focused upon Captain Cake and the Candy Crew, released in 2021 Captain Cake. He is also co-founder with renowned artist Basia Hamilton of The Portrait Foundation, Portrait Foundation, a non-profit platform to encourage children and the arts.

Deborah Bianucci

President & Chief Executive Officer

Debbie Bianucci is President & Chief Executive Officer of BAI and is a member of the BAI Board of Directors.

BAI is a leading industry organization that provides powerful tools, relevant content and meaningful connections to financial services leaders. BAI delivers trusted information through objective research and comparative analytics, comprehensive training and valuable networking opportunities through executive roundtables and exciting strategic programs including BAI’s Global Innovation Awards. For more than 95 years, BAI’s mission has been to empower financial services leaders to make smart business decisions that impact their organizations, their bottom line and ultimately, the consumers and businesses they serve.

Debbie has been in financial services for more than 40 years, including senior positions with several major financial services companies. She is recognized as an industry thought leader and is a frequent speaker at industry events. Debbie has authored numerous books and articles on a wide range of financial services topics.

Debbie holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Journalism and a Masters of Business Administration Degree, both from Drake University.

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Guillermo Tolosa

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Argentina)

Guillermo Tolosa has an IT degree in CAECE University of Argentina and is currently CIO and member of the Excecutive Committee at ICBC Argentina, the biggest overseas subsidiary of the largest bank in the world

He leads, jointly with his colleagues and the customers, the bank transformation process that is resulting in a more mobile, smart, open, data-driven, robust and customer-centric bank. Technologies such as mobile facial recognition, big data, machine learning, chatbot, APIs, among others, support the innovative services provided to ICBC Argentina customers, delivered with a Design Thinking approach.

One of the Guillermo’s main contribution to the bank’s transformation has been the creation and development of the UX Designers & Researchers team, the Data Scientists team, and the Open Banking team inside IT.

Previously he worked 14 years at Accenture helping to execute transformational projects at many leading financial institutions from Argentina, Israel and Chile.

Gordon Campbell

Chief Product Officer and Co-founder
Rich Data Corporation [RDC]

Gordon Campbell is the Chief Product Officer and a Co-founder of Rich Data Corporation [RDC]. In this role he brings his more than 30 years of experience working with enterprise software applications to bare in designing and delivering RDC’s innovative AI Decisioning platform.

Gordon has been actively involved in product strategy and product development within three international software organizations, driving new capabilities from inception to market. As a senior industry solution leader at Oracle, Gordon focused on transformation and innovation. He was responsible for all pillars of technology and applications from Oracle with engagements at various blue-chip companies across Australia and New Zealand. His varied background across Manufacturing, Telco, Financial Services, Customer Experience, Software Design and Architecture enables diverse and creative thinking to drive innovative problem solving.

Gordon’s career began in chartered accountancy in New Zealand, and later completed APICS CPIM, post graduate studies in Information Management, as well as leading projects in MRP, ERP, CRM, ISO9001 and ITIL certification.

Jeet Bhatti

Fahtom4sight Inc.

Surinderjit Kaur Bhatti (Jeet) has vast experience in FinTech ranging from the venture capital world to the financial innovation labs. Passionate about FinTech and formally trained in innovation practices, Jeet has enabled the transformation of traditional organizations into the industry’s leading innovative companies.

Her areas of expertise include Payments, Digital Banking, Open Banking, Alternative Lending, Crowdfunding, Corporate Innovation, and Digital Customer Experience. Her latest venture – Fathom4sight is a knowledge-as-a-service (KaaS) offering in the FinTech & financial product innovation space, that provides access to both an online intelligence platform and strategic foresight advisors who help industry leaders plan and prepare for the future.

Jennifer Tescher

President & Chief Executive Officer
Financial Health Network

Jennifer Tescher is the President & CEO of the Financial Health Network, the leading authority on financial health and a trusted resource for business leaders, policymakers and innovators working to improve the financial health of their customers, employees, and communities.

Tescher founded the Financial Health Network (known until 2019 as the Center for Financial Services Innovation) in 2004 and has since achieved notable success in envisioning and championing a future where all people, especially those who are most vulnerable, have the day-to-day financial systems they need to be resilient and thrive. The Financial Health Network engages with over 160 member organizations, consults with companies across the globe, and has invested in tech startups that now reach more than 2 million customers.

She has become a nationally known expert on financial health, frequently quoted in national and financial press including The New York Times, NPR’s Marketplace, and the Washington Post, with major speaking engagements across a broad spectrum of industry and policy convenings. She is currently a member of the board of Elevate Energy, an advisory council member of Accion’s Center for Financial Inclusion and a member of Bank of America’s National Consumer Advisory Council. She is a regular contributing writer to Forbes on the intersection of financial health and innovation.

She lives in Chicago with her husband, Jonathan Eig, and her children, Lillian, Lola, and Jeffery.

Lisa Skiptunis

Managing Director, Head of Core Segment Sales & Distribution, Consumer Banking
JPMorgan Chase

Lisa Skiptunis has spent her career in the financial services industry working across multiple business functions including product, sales strategy, business development, and strategic relationship management. Lisa is a passionate customer advocate who has championed innovation throughout her career as a means of enhancing realtime business performance and creating breakthrough products and services.

Lisa is currently the Managing Director for sales and distribution of consumer products through the Chase Consumer Bank network of 4800+ branches in the United States. She is responsible for creating go to market strategies that enable consumer bankers to meet the needs of their customers in a retail branch environment. Lisa has also worked in Chase Digital focusing on payment and small business innovation.

Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Lisa spent 22 years at American Express where she held a variety of positions including Vice President & General Manager of the Global Commercial Payments Client Group, Vice President NYC Client Management, and Vice President of Customer Development.

Lisa is a graduate of New York University. She is based in Wilmington, DE where she lives with her husband John. She is proud step-mom to two adult children.

Matteo Rizzi

Investor & Author

Matteo Rizzi is a polyglot executive with 20+ years of experience in technology and financial services. He spent 13 years at SWIFT – where he co-founded Innotribe, the innovation arm of the cooperative. He then launched with Innotribe the first global challenge for fintech entrepreneurs. Since 2013 Matteo has a FinTech Investor and/or Venture Partner role with global VCs and CVCs. In 2015, created FinTechStage, a platform for Investors, Innovators, and start-ups to foster FinTech innovation globally. Matteo founded a global iniciative to foster financial inclusion and entrepreneurship. He is the executive producer of Breaking Banks Europe. Matteo has been appointed several times one of the most influential fintech executives in Europe.

Melisa Izaguirre

Director Innovation

Melisa Izaguirre is the Director of Innovation for Emerging Technologies at USAA Labs focusing on member and employee experiences. She leads a team of innovation and technology minded experts with a passion on research and development for the enterprise and lines of business. With over 15 years in marketing, advertising, innovation and user experience she has worked with companies of all sizes; both nationally and internationally. Additionally, Melisa also holds 6 patents for banking and saving solutions through the United States Patent Office.

Michele Mattei

Senior Manager
Finleap Connect

Michele is an investor, manager, and advisor in the fintech sector in Europe. His background is in management consulting, with previous experiences at Accenture and KPMG, focusing on M&A and financial services. As senior manager at Finleap Connect, an open banking platform part of the finleap ecosystem in Germany, he has also been involved in strategy and innovation projects in Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands. Additionally, Michele is an active investor in the fintech environment in Europe, with an exit from the fintech startup Freetrade. He also serves as a mentor and advisor for many different acceleration programs, including Techstars, Founders Institute, and StartupBootcamp. He has extensive experience in digital banking, payments, and open finance.

Nollie Maoto

Chief Data and Analytics Officer
FNB South Africa

Nollie Maoto is an FNB South Africa, Chief Data and Analytics Officer within the Merchant Services business unit. She also has a significant profile and responsibilities outside of the FirstRand Group within the data and analytics community in South Africa, Africa and internationally. She is the acting CEO of SAWIL (Strategic African Women in Leadership) and the CDO Ambassador for South Africa as approved by MIT CDOIQ, CDO Magazine and the International Institute of Chief Data Officers. She is also an editorial committee member of CDO Magazine, an internationally recognized American tech magazine.

Amongst her many achievements, Nollie has also been recognized for her leadership and mentorship role of women in data and analytics across the African continent, including being the only South African invited to speak at Open Data Science Europe in 2022 and 2020. She runs a female only mentorship program and currently mentors 12 ladies within and outside of FNB South Africa. She is a InspiringFifty SA 2021 nominee and a 2022 SAWIL Trailblazers Awards 4th overall winner for displaying unparalleled leadership values and advocating for gender equality. In 2022 alone, she was selected as one of the Global Top 100 Data & Analytics Leaders, CDO Global Power Women and winner of the Data Analytics Leader of the Year 2022 award at the Dalebrook Media Awards as of the 5th of July 2022 and more recently on the 26th of July 2022, she won the coveted Finnovex CDO of the Year 2022 award. Lastly, she is a contributing author to the soon-to-be-launched “Women in Leadership” book project currently underway by Professor Mazwe Majola from the University of Pretoria.

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Sam Kilmer

Managing Director
Cornerstone Advisors

Sam Kilmer leads Cornerstone Advisors’ fintech advisory practice working with industry providers, fintechs, and investors. He also leads select strategy engagements with banks and credit unions.
Sam is a nationally sought-after speaker, industry research author, regular contributor to Cornerstone’s blog, GonzoBanker, and moderator of the Fintech Hustle podcast. He is often quoted in industry publications and serves as a judge for Finovate and BAI Global Innovation awards. He is an active member of the Association for Financial Technology (AFT).

Prior to Cornerstone, Sam was with two midsize banks and two fintech firms where he provided leadership across diverse areas including digital banking, strategic planning, partnerships, industry outreach, content marketing, system selection and implementation, contract negotiations, merger analysis and integration, and client consulting.

Sandeep Deobhakta

Former President & CEO
Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corporation

Sandeep was the President & CEO of Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corporation and was based in the Philippines until July 2022. Sandeep has over 30 years of banking, wealth management and bancassurance experience in ten countries with a significant concentration in emerging markets.

He started his banking career with Citibank. He was part of the leadership team that built Shinsei Bank, Japan’s award-winning digital retail bank, between 2003 and 2010. He used a similar approach to drive VP Bank, Vietnam to a leadership position in many retail banking categories by 2018.

Sandeep is a keen researcher, influencer, and speaker and is currently writing a book on how emerging market retail banks need to innovate and transform. He believes that banks and financial services firms must work harder to create purposeful innovation. That requires significant efforts and focus in building design, AI and predictive analytics capabilities.

Sandeep is a Sloan Fellow and has an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management.

Sathish Muthukrishnan

Chief Information, Data and Digital Officer
Ally Bank

Sathish Muthukrishnan was named chief information, data and digital officer for Ally Financial Inc. in December, 2019. In this role, Muthukrishnan is responsible for advancing Ally’s technical and digital capabilities, including cyber security and infrastructure, and accelerating the company’s growth and evolution as a leader in the digital financial services sector. He is based in Ally’s Charlotte corporate center and reports to Ally CEO Jeffrey J. Brown.

Muthukrishnan has held a number of senior technology leadership roles with substantial scale and global reach, and previously served as the chief digital and information officer for Honeywell Aerospace, a nearly $14 billion revenue business within Honeywell International. He brings to Ally more than 20 years of technology leadership experience in complex businesses with high availability and reliability requirements on their technology, ten of which were spent in financial services with American Express prior to joining Honeywell.

Muthukrishnan graduated from University of Madras with a degree in engineering specializing in computer science. He is a member of the Advisory Board of WIT International and was recipient of the Chairman’s Award for Innovation for several years at American Express. Muthukrishnan has over 25 filed patents in the manufacturing, payments and the digital technology space.

Yossi Erez

Head of Digital Banking
Israel Discount Bank

Yossi Erez is the Head of Digital Banking at Israel Discount Bank.

In this role for the past 7 years, he has been responsible for managing the bank’s various digital interfaces and tools, leading the institution with a client focused approach across multiple platforms. His efforts have been highly successful, as the bank’s app and website are leaders in the Israeli market.

Erez boasts over 20 years of experience in advertising, marketing and digital products, having held leading positions in digital agencies and business ventures.

He has a relentless drive for innovation and exceptional customer experience and is always eager to discover the next groundbreaking achievement in the digital sphere.