Managing Director at CBDC Think Tank
From 2005 to 2021, John was a Senior Financial Sector Expert at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Prior to that, he was at the Bank of Canada for 25 years, where he spent most of his time managing the funding and investment of the government’s foreign exchange reserves, including running its interest rate and currency swap book. At the IMF he was part of the team that produces the semi-annual Global Financial Stability Report. More recently he has been focusing on fintech issues, OTC derivative market infrastructure, and longevity risk transfer markets.
How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?
Over my 40 year+ career I’ve always managed to put myself on the cutting edge of financial and financial technology developments by stepping forward to whatever is the next new thing. That was interest rate and currency swaps 30-some years ago when I was at the Bank of Canada, and more recently Fintech while at the International Monetary Fund. And throughout it all, I’ve built up and depended on a vast network of other experts, largely by putting myself out there and sharing my knowledge via mailing lists and blogs.
What challenges are brands facing in this space?
In the Fintech space the main challenges come from pushback from incumbents (banks and others in the TradFi space) and the seemingly slow adaption of government authorities (central banks, finance ministries and regulators). With respect to the latter, the so-called “agile” approach that drives the Fintech space, is slow to being adopted by the official sector, although I’m seeing signs of change there (e.g., the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hubs).
What do you think the future holds in this space?
Fintech is here to stay, and I think the incumbents will either adopt (and adapt), and the official sector will catch up.
If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?
What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?
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