Judges

Innovation Circle Judges

The Innovation Circle is a select panel of distinguished judges and advisors from around the world, who are at the forefront of innovation. Together with BAI, they will identify potential award nominees, review applications and select the category finalists and winners. BAI and The Innovation Circle will treat all applications, finalists and award winners with respect and confidentiality.

Alex Sion
Alex Sion
Director & Co-Head, D10X
Citi

Alex joined Citi Ventures in 2018. He is the Global Consumer Banking lead for the D10X program, which incubates new products and businesses designed to generate new, organic growth for Citi.

Prior to joining Citi, Alex was the General Manager of Mobile for JP Morgan Chase, responsible for Chase Mobile Banking and mobile channel governance for the Consumer and Community Banking Group. Prior to JPMC, Alex co-founded Moven, the world’s first mobile “neobank” and an award-winning, globally recognized fintech pioneer which has nearly 2 million global users and raised over $20M in venture financing during Alex’’’s tenure. Alex has been a financial services practice leader at both CapGemini and Sapient, and has advised large financial institutions, startup organizations, and industry groups.

Chris Skinner
Chris Skinner
Chief Executive Officer
The Finanser Ltd

Chris Skinner is known as one of the most influential people in technology, and known as an independent commentator on the financial markets and fintech through his blog, the Finanser.com. Chris Skinner is known as one of the most influential people in technology, and as an independent commentator on fintech through his blog, the Finanser.com. His latest book (sixteenth!) is called Doing Digital, and shares the lessons of doing digital transformation learned through interviews with BBVA, China Merchants Bank, DBS, ING and JPMorgan Chase. He chairs the Financial Services Club and Nordic Future Innovate, is a non-executive director of 11:FS and on the advisory boards of various firms. Mr. Skinner has been an advisor to the United Nations, the White House, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum, and is a visiting lecturer with Cambridge University as well as a TEDx speaker. He is also co-founder with renowned artist Basia Hamilton of The Portrait Foundation, http://portraitfoundation.com/, a non-profit platform to encourage children and the arts.

David Ehrich
David Ehrich
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Alliance for Innovative Regulation (AIR)

David Ehrich is Co-founder and Executive Director of AIR – the Alliance for Innovative Regulation, a nonprofit dedicated to the digital modernization of the regulatory system.  David has worked in banking for 20 years at McKinsey, American Express where he was a GM in the prepaid group, and JPMorgan Chase where he was the head of credit card strategy and helped design their big data initiative. David is the architect of the Bank On National Account Standards, and he is a Co-Founder of Petal, a fintech credit card pioneering the use of cash flow underwriting to help consumers build safe and affordable credit access. David is a member of the CFPB’s Consumer Advisory Board, where he advocates for technology innovation as an opportunity to drive financial inclusion, and a member of the Marketplace Partner Advisory group for Change Machine. David serves on several nonprofit boards and is an active fintech advisor and investor. David holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and a B.S. from Cornell University.

Guillermo Tolosa
Guillermo Tolosa
CIO
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.

Jennifer Tescher
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.

Melisa Izaguirre
Melisa Izaguirre
Director Innovation
USAA

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.

Ronald Fung
Ronald Fung
General Manager and Chief Digital Officer
The Bank of East Asia Limited

Ronald Fung is the Chief Digital Officer (CDO), General Manager, and Head of Digital & Innovation Office of The Bank of East Asia Limited. He was also the Chief Digital Officer of Noah Holdings Limited, establishing the Group Digital Innovation Center from 0 to 1. Before joining Noah, he was the Director of COO Office of Ping An Group and the General Manager of a data technology company. Fung was also a Junior Partner in McKinsey & Company, responsible for business technology and operation consulting business in Greater China, serving more than 100 clients across 30 countries, focusing in the Financial Institutions on various digital topics.

Sandeep Deobhakta
Sandeep Deobhakta
President & CEO
Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corporation

Sandeep is the President & CEO of Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corporation and is currently based in the Philippines.

Sandeep has over 25 years of banking, wealth management and bancassurance experience in ten countries. He started his banking career with Citibank. His approach to innovation is customer-led and deeply influenced by design thinking and advanced analytics as the two major paths to understand & engage customers. He was part of the leadership team that built Shinsei Bank, Japan’s award-winning digital retail bank, between 2003 and 2010.

Sandeep is a keen observer, influencer, and speaker and is currently writing a book on how banks need to innovate and transform. He believes that banks and financial services firms must work harder to improve customer value propositions and contribute towards financial inclusion and access.

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

Sue Britton
Sue Britton
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
FinTech Growth Syndicate

Sue Britton is the CEO & Founder of FGS (FinTech Growth Syndicate). Sue helps some of Canada’s hottest FinTechs grow, largest corporations innovate and works with the government to define and fuel FinTech growth in Canada. FGS is a team of over 20 transformationists that individually bring a unique skillset and to serving clients.

Sue is a product innovation and growth strategy enthusiast with a passion for customer needs and persevering to get new products to market to address them. Sue has spent her 25 year career in corporate roles in financial technology companies such as Finastra, Symcor, Broadridge Financial and Xerox, both before and after it was cool to be a FinTech. She launched FGS to address a market need: to provide the experts, tools and processes, and market knowledge to help the FinTech space move faster.

Sue’s passion for innovation expands to volunteering and community building initiatives. She holds numerous volunteer advisory roles in the community and speaks at events to help drive global awareness and collaboration in FinTech.

Amy Radin
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.

Conny Dorrestijn
Conny Dorrestijn
Founding Partner
BankiFi

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 www.globalgivebackcircle.org, where she is also active as a mentor for Kenyan pupils and students.

Deborah Bianucci
Deborah Bianucci
President & Chief Executive Officer
BAI

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.

Jason Henrichs
Jason Henrichs
CEO
Alloy Labs

Jason is the CEO of Alloy Labs, a consortium of community and midsize banks working together to drive innovation, develop partnerships and make strategic investments. He co-hosts Breaking Banks, the largest fintech podcast in the world. Jason is a frequent speaker on financial innovation, regulation and compliance as competitive advantage. He served on the fintech advisory boards for the City of Chicago, the AARP, the Financial Health Network Innovation Lab, and the SXSW Accelerator. Jason teaches at the Pacific Coast Banking School, University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking, the Digital Banking School at the University of Wisconsin and Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.

Jason stumbled into financial services in the early 90’s as a manufacturing engineer for Deluxe Corporation. Since leaving paper checks for the digital world, he’s been an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and head of innovation for a public company. In 2008, he co-founded PerkStreet Financial, one of the first challenger banks, helping pave the way for new partnerships between traditional financial service firms and startups.

Matteo Rizzi
Matteo Rizzi
Entrepreneur,
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 Timepledge.org 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.

Patrick D. Smith
Patrick D. Smith
Head of Small Business Banking & Home Lending
Santander Bank N.A.

Patrick Smith is Head of Small Business Banking & Home Lending at Santander responsible for managing and growing both the Bank’s relationships with businesses that have annual revenues up to $3 million and its $11B home lending portfolio.

Patrick joined Santander from KeyBank where he was Executive Vice President and a member of the Executive Council. While at KeyBank, he served as Head of Financial Wellness & Retail Strategy for KeyBank’s $3B revenue Consumer business. His responsibilities include managing HelloWallet, a financial wellness fintech acquired by KeyBank. He was also Head of Digital for the Commercial Bank & Enterprise Payments businesses.

Prior to joining KeyBank, Patrick led Customer Experience and Data & Analytics Strategy for Liberty Mutual. He has also held strategy, client experience, digital, and business growth leadership roles at Capital One, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Accenture.

Patrick received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, an MS in IT Management from the University of Virginia, and a BS in Finance from Tuskegee University.

Sam Kilmer
Sam Kilmer
Senior Director
Cornerstone Advisors

In his role at Cornerstone Advisors, Sam Kilmer specializes in bank strategic and delivery planning as well as advisory for fintech, vendors and investors.

Prior to Cornerstone, Sam was vice president of market development at Harland Financial Solutions, where he was responsible for strategic planning, alliances, selected M&A analysis, content marketing and industry outreach. While at Harland and Marketing Profiles Inc., Sam held positions in marketing, client consulting and training. Sam also held delivery, marketing and planning positions for a regional bank, nationwide lender and community bank. His leadership experience includes delivery channel planning, analytics, marketing, system selection and implementation, contract negotiations, service quality improvement, merger analysis and integration.

Sathish Muthukrishnan
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.

Vikram Krishna
Vikram Krishna
Head – Group Marketing and Customer Experience
Emirates NBD

As the Head of Group Marketing and Customer Experience at Emirates NBD, Vikram Krishna has the mandate to further grow the bank’s dominant market position.

Drawing on his two decades of banking experience with global leaders such as Citi and HSBC, Krishna has played a crucial role in successfully launching the Emirates NBD brand post the merger of Emirates Bank and National Bank of Dubai in 2007.

Krishna drove the bank’s Retail Assets division to greater heights when he joined the bank in 2007 to head the division, and later handpicked to lead the marketing and customer experience function three years later.

Having successfully created a leading brand in the wider Middle East region, Krishna has won several industry accolades along the way, including but not limited to, “The Marketer of the Year” at the prestigious Effie MENA Awards 2013, and “The Marketing Department of the Year” at Stevies® in 2011.

Krishna was also listed in Communicate magazine’s Top 50 Power List for 2011 and 2012, further establishing his position as a thought leader in the UAE’s marketing and customer experience industry.

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