7950735 Speaker bios | QUBE Events

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Julian Sawyer is the European Managing Director for Gemini, the New York Regulated Crypto Exchange and digital asset Custodian.  Prior to joining Gemini to lead the European operation, Julian was a co-founder and former COO of Starling Bank for over four years  with responsibility for running customer services, AML & Fraud, Payment Operations, HR and Supplier Management. He also held P&L responsibility for the B2B business - Starling Banking Services.  Prior to Starling he worked as a management consultant at Accenture and EY and set-up and ran his own financial services consultancy, Bluerock, for 13 years before selling it. Julian is also an Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow at CASS University in the Faculty of Management and a member of the Emerging Payments Association Advisory Board.  He is also an Advisor at Volt Bank Limited, the leading Australian Challenger Bank.

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Thomas Barkias is a Supervisor at the European Central Bank.  Thomas holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics, an M.Sc. in Computer Science and an MBA. His MBA thesis assessed the possible implications of DLT on the economy and society. He is a certified information systems auditor (CISA) and certified in risk and information systems control (CRISC). Thomas has more than 10 years’ experience in supervision and central banking, as well having held positions in several commercial banks. He has vast experience in IT regulation, supervision and onsite inspections, as well as in credit and operational risk, including internal models. Thomas has been involved in policy work at EU level for the Payment Services Directive (PSD) and the PSD2 since 2010. His work at the ECB focuses on the implications of fintech on all SSM banks. Special focus is given to the business models of new and incumbent banks, their internal governance arrangements, as well as their risk management processes in a highly competitive international environment.

Product management, product development and organic and inorganic growth leader. Track record of identifying opportunities for growth and product strategies in cloud computing and payment systems for Fortune 500 firms. Demonstrated ability to contextualize and execute on market, financial and economic data. Skilled in developing and nurturing professional relationships with global teams. 

René Plank is Deputy Head of Unit in the European Commission, DG Competition, Antitrust Payment Systems. He previously worked in Antitrust Financial Services, State Aid Policy and competition law private practice.

Experienced across consumer and commercial banking and payments, Moshe has led a number of strategy and product development programmes for Financial Institutions in the UK and other markets globally. From prepaid to mobile wallets to mainstream credit and Apple Pay from both an issuing and acquiring perspective. Moshe is part of Visa’s Product organisation and has led commercialisation for Visa Direct for the last two years where is he is looking to drive a revolution in real time interbank payments.

Aija Zitcere is director of Financial Market Policy Department at Ministry of Finance of Republic of Latvia, responsible for financial market policy, including anti-money laundering regulation, as well as cooperation with international financial institutions.
Aija has worked at Ministry of Finance since 2002 and has held various positions
there. She has extensive experience in policy and legislative processes at national and
EU level.
Aija Zitcere is also alternate director at board of directors of the European Investment bank. Aija has Master’s Degree in Economics from Riga Technical University.

Mr. Grym is Head of Digitalisation at the Bank of Finland. He manages the digital programme of the bank and projects related to the digital transformation of the financial industry, covering topics such as fintech, distributed ledger technologies, digital currencies, payment technologies, cyber security, and data analytics. Before joining the bank he worked in the consulting and technology investment industry for 15 years.

Mr. Grym holds a double Master’s degree in economics and international business.