Barefoot Innovation Podcast

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Jo Ann Barefoot discussion disrupting innovation in the financial services sector and beyond.

Jo Ann Barefoot


    • Oct 12, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • monthly NEW EPISODES
    • 53m AVG DURATION
    • 163 EPISODES

    Listeners of Barefoot Innovation Podcast that love the show mention: jo ann, regulation, fintech, host, topics, great, regtech.



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    Latest episodes from Barefoot Innovation Podcast

    Diversifying Tech: Cleve Mesidor, Founder of Women of Color in Blockchain

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 49:29

    Today I have something different for you. Last spring, I recorded a conversation for the virtual South by Southwest conference with Cleve Mesidor. Cleve founded the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain, among other roles. SX had asked us to talk about the lack of diversity in the tech sector, and what to do about it. We had a great conversation, and we got permission to share it with you as a podcast.

    Best of Both Worlds: Goldman Sachs' Stephanie Cohen

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2021 36:32

    My guest today is one of the most high-ranking women in the world of banking. Stephanie Cohen is Global Co-Head of Consumer and Wealth Management, Goldman Sachs. In that role, she co-leads Goldman's digital bank, Marcus.

    Empirical Policymaking: FinRegLab CEO Melissa Koide

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2021 57:27

    Melissa Koide is the CEO of FinRegLab, a nonprofit financial innovation and research center that examines how technology and data can help achieve public policy aspirations, address regulatory requirements, and lead to a more efficient and inclusive financial marketplace. FinRegLab provides an independent platform for financial stakeholders and policymakers to dialogue and gain an evidence-based understanding of new financial technologies.

    Crypto and Climate: Energy Web CEO Jesse Morris

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2021 51:51

    Jesse Morris is the current CEO and former CCO of the Energy Web Foundation. Throughout his career in the electricity sector, Jesse has had one focus: to partner with utilities, technology providers, developers, and regulatory stakeholders to help clean energy become an integral, widely-accessible part of the global electricity system.   Last spring, AIR launched an initiative called the Crypto Climate Accord, a voluntary effort to make the crypto sector carbon neutral by 2030. Our partners in this project are two other nonprofit organizations -- the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Energy Web Foundation. My guest today is Jesse Morris, Energy Web's CEO and one of the most visionary innovators in the climate space.  In this conversation, we talk about the Crypto Climate Accord -- what we're doing and who is joining in. The group includes crypto miners, crypto exchanges, renewable energy providers, and financial services firms offering crypto options. Please note that all kinds of entities that work with crypto are invited to participate.

    The Courage to Step Forward: Kenya Central Bank Deputy Governor Sheila M'Mbijjewe

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2021 58:55

    My guest today, Sheila M'Mbijjewe, is the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya and is helping lead the way to a new world of financial services and financial regulation. In our conversation, she describes what it was like for the regulators who faced that cutting edge situation, new terrain that no one had navigated before them. They saw the powerful potential for full financial inclusion. She says there wasn't much money spent on marketing M-Pesa -- that people just saw immediately what this tool was and they got phones and started using it, and the regulators had to figure out how to enable it, while also managing the risks it could bring. They didn't have laws in place for it, but, as she says, they were shown a solution by the technology world, and so they watched, and learned, and collaborated to figure it out. Today, 83% of Kenyans are served by the formal financial system. Last year, half of Kenya's GDP moved on the M-Pesa rails.

    The Regulatory Engineer: FDIC Chief Innovation Officer Sultan Meghji

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2021 58:07

    In our talk, Sultan lays out the themes of the agency's innovation work and says that the most urgent one is financial inclusion. He says the evolution of the banking system has lagged the evolution of the population, and talks about how it needs to be “engineered.” He also talks about using technology to build the system's resilience, its ability to “take a punch.” He looks, too, at how to “protect the future,” to keep up with trends like digital assets, AI and, as he says, “banking on Mars.”

    The Regulator's Journey: Amy Friend on the UK Financial Conduct Authority

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2021 74:25

    Amy has had a long career in public service with over 25 years of experience in shaping financial services policy and regulatory issues on Capitol Hill in both the House and the Senate, and at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. From February 2013 to November 2017, she was Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Counsel of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, where she oversaw a 200-plus person law division as well as the licensing department. Amy led the agency's efforts to understand financial innovation and its implications for the banking system and to position the agency to support responsible innovation. Those efforts resulted in the establishment of the Office of Innovation and the special purpose national bank charter.  Amy had previously served as assistant chief counsel at the OCC, leading the agency's rulemaking on financial privacy and data security.

    A Financial Health Moon Shot: PayPal’s Dan Schulman

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 4, 2021 45:24

    Dan Schulman is CEO of Paypal. With extensive corporate experience and a lifelong commitment to social justice, Dan Schulman believes the private sector has a responsibility to serve multiple stakeholders and to improve the state of the world. Dan has frequently been recognized by Fortune as one of the top 20 Businesspersons of the Year.

    Networked Supervision: CSBS CEO John Ryan

    Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2021 75:42


    My guest today, John Ryan, is the man of the hour. He is CEO of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, and CSBS is at the vortex of most of the currents of change swirling around the US financial system. What’s the future of banking charters? What’s the future for fintechs that want to operate nationwide? What’s the future for community banks? How will regulators keep up with the technology that’s transforming the markets they oversee? What’s the future of bank regulation itself? CSBS plays a key role in all of it.


    Around the World: Hong Kong University’s Douglas Arner

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2021 59:52

    My guest is Douglas Arner, who is the Kerry Holdings Professor in Law at Hong Kong University, and the Director and Cofounder of the Asian Institute of International Financial Law. I’ve gotten to know Doug over the past year or so, and have been amazed by his kaleidoscopic grasp of the entire global landscape in fintech and regtech. So few people do work that is wide and deep at the same time -- especially in a field where things change at light speed. Douglas does this better than perhaps anyone I know. He’s authored 19 books, and at the same time has kept his finger on the pulse of change throughout the system. When you look at his biography -- and you really should, because it's extraordinary -- you’ll see he is a master integrator, connecting sectors, countries, technologies, professions -- everything. That silo-breaking, I have learned, is the secret to keeping up with how financial services are changing in today’s high-tech world.

    Community Banks in the Digital Age: ABA CEO Rob Nichols

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 23, 2021 54:41

    America has about 5,000 banks -- more than any other country. My guest today leads their national trade group. He is Rob Nichols, CEO of the American Bankers Association. He joined me for a conversation about how technology is changing banking, and especially community banks.

    Power of One: Mojaloop Foundation’s Paula Hunter and Lesley-Ann Vaughan on Financial Inclusion

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 9, 2021 53:13

    In our conversation, Paula and Lesley-Ann tell us about the problem they are solving:  if you live in a developing country and do not have a bank account, how do you go about your daily business? Your life is cash-based. It takes a significant transportation effort to get yourself somewhere to make a payment. That process carries significant costs. Holding cash, and traveling with it, carry risks too. Mojaloop is building a system to help fix all that. 

    Worldwide Financial Inclusion: Sharmista Appaya and Ivo Jenik

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 3, 2021 77:19

    My guests today are leaders in the drive to bring the world’s poor into the formal financial system. They are Sharmista Appaya, Financial Sector Specialist at the World Bank Group, and Ivo Jenik, Financial Sector Specialist at CGAP. CGAP stands for the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor and sits within the World Bank as essentially a financial inclusion think tank.

    Embrace the Heretic -- Hong Kong’s Pindar Wong

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 14, 2021 56:54

    Pindar Wong is the chairman of VeriFi (Hong Kong) Ltd, a discreet Internet financial infrastructure consultancy and founder of Hong Kong's Smart Contracts Initiative that pioneered  the 'Belt and Road Blockchain'.  He is a Bitcoin protocol enthusiast and volunteers to help organise ScalingBitcoin.org.  He co-founded the global blockchain research network 'Bsafe' and organised Coala's first Blockchain Workshop in Asia.  Previously, he co-founded Hong Kong’s first licensed ISP in 1993, was the first vice-chairman of ICANN, chairman of the Asia Pacific Internet Association (APIA), alternate chairman of Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), elected trustee of the Internet Society and Commissioner on the Global Commission on Internet Governance.

    Transforming Credit Access with Machine Learning - Mike de Vere and Teddy Flo of Zest Ai

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 26, 2021 58:51

    My guests today are Mike de Vere, CEO of Zest AI, and Teddy Flo, the company's general counsel. Zest is seeking to revolutionize credit underwriting by leveraging more information and analyzing it through machine learning. They started out as a lender, but have pivoted to selling tools to banks and other lenders, to equip them to make better lending decisions.

    How to Partner -- Advice for banks and fintechs from Partnership Fund for New York CEO Maria Gotsch.

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 18, 2021 63:06

    My guest is Maria Gotsch, CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City. The fund’s goal is to make New York City a technology innovation hub like Silicon Valley but focused on finance, leveraging New York’s role as global financial capital. Maria assembled a group of ten big banks to work with her on how to tap into the innovation wellsprings of tech startups and make them, in effect, the banks’ R&D arm, in ways that make the relationship worthwhile for both sides.

    Open Banking: BBVA’s Susan French

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 4, 2021 44:42

    My guest today has the answers. She is Susan French, head of Products at BBVA’s Open Platform. BBVA, the global bank headquartered in Spain, has long been ahead of the curve in technology innovation in general, and in open banking specifically. “Open banking” is about the movement to make bank accounts easily connectable to other services through API’s. It takes a lot of forms, driven by the wide variety of problems that API connections can solve, for both consumers and providers. Susan leads the design and development of Open Platform’s groundbreaking suite of white-label, banking-as-a-service APIs in the US. She is an expert in payment, digital commerce and financial services, focused on understanding what fintech companies navigating this landscape want from an API platform.

    Bankers’ Core Challenge: Mantl CEO Nathaniel Harley

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 28, 2021 36:09

    When talking about the future of community banks, the elephant in the room is their dependence on legacy core IT providers. Nathaniel has opinions on that technology, the contracts, and its impacts on customers. He shares striking numbers about customer drop off rates in account opening. Consumers today, in their first touch interacting with a new bank (or anything else) instantly size up tech. They know whether it’s good, or whether it ‘s old. If it’s old, and it’s clunky and frustrating, they don’t persist. They walk away immediately to find something better -- since better options are all around. The main solution for this, Nathaniel thinks -- as do I -- will be banks and fintech firms working together.

    A New Kind of Money: Digital Dollar Project Cofounders Christopher Giancarlo and Daniel Gorfine

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 15, 2021 61:01

    My guests are Christopher Giancarlo, former Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Daniel Gorfine, who previously led the CFTC’s innovation program, LabCFTC. When they left the commission, they teamed up to found the Digital Dollar Project, advocating for why and how the United States needs to join the 80-plus other countries that are planning to issue Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC.

    How to Innovate: Inuit Founder Scott Cook

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2020 57:15

    This is our final show of 2020 and I predict it will be an all-time favorite. It is already a favorite of mine. That’s because of who my guest is -- Scott Cook, the legendary founder of Intuit -- and also because of what he says. In this conversation, Scott takes us with him in thinking about the roots of innovation, the wellsprings of creativity. Where does innovation come from? How do you turn a good idea into a great company? What values should drive the effort? Scott shares his thinking on all this, he does it mainly by telling us stories drawn from his own experience.

    Credit Data in the COVID Crisis: Experien’s Alex Lintner

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2020 52:09

    Today’s guest is Alex Lintner, Group President of Experian Consumer Information Services, which provides credit reporting services to lenders throughout the world. In our conversation, Alex shares insights on how the world plunged this year to digital, real time commerce, for people of all ages and backgrounds. He explains the trends we’re seeing in consumer debt and savings -- some of which are counterintuitive. He talks about the urgent challenges facing borrowers in different circumstances, creating the need for lenders to take a surgical approach to consumer and small business lending amidst the crisis, with accurate data being the key.

    Saving Small Businesses through Technology with Ross Buhrdorf and Lamine Zarrad of Zen Business

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2020 50:13

    As the 2020 pandemic continues to threaten America’s small businesses, it makes sense to talk with people who are saving them, by serving them through technology. My guests today do just that. They are Ross Buhrdorf, CEO & Founder of ZenBusiness, and his colleague Lamine Zarrad. Lamine, who is SVP of Financial Services, was a guest on Barefoot Innovation last year, when he was CEO of Joust. Joust was acquired by ZenBusiness earlier this year. In our conversation, Ross and Lamine explain that their target market is service businesses with zero to ten employees. They explain that, in order to thrive, these little enterprises need to digitize every aspect of their activity, from marketing to legal to finance. Reflecting a pattern that I’m seeing everywhere, ZenBusiness is seeing the demand for this digitization soaring in the pandemic, which is driving activity of all kinds into digital and online channels. I’ve been saying that, in finance and financial regulation, we’re seeing a decade of technology adoption and innovation squeezed into a few short months.

    Innovation and Inclusion: The Future of Payments with Mastercard Executive Vice Chair Ann Cairns

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2020 47:51

    Today’s guest has her finger on the pulse of global change in the world of payments, including how the COVID pandemic is changing the world. She is Ann Cairns, Executive Vice Chair of Mastercard. I loved her thinking about the need to develop global standards for technology and data (she said the lack of them is “madness” and I agree!). And she lays out the bedrock principles that need to guide the journey to developing smart standards, ones that will do more good than harm.

    Always Innovating: Upgrade CEO Renaud Laplanche

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 13, 2020 49:07

    Renaud was one of our earliest guests on Barefoot Innovation when he was CEO of Lending Club, and I’m so happy to have him back today in his new role as CEO and co-founder of Upgrade. I wanted to talk with him about Upgrade, and also to get his thoughts about how the fintech sector has evolved since those days. Upgrade is a neobank with a novel strategy that uses the appeal of credit products to attract customers, and then offers more services. It aims to move borrowers off of revolving credit and into loans that people can successfully pay off, incentivizing good consumer financial behavior and discipline. In our conversation, Renaud notes that despite all the innovation in the lending world, consumers still have massive credit balances outstanding in high-interest debt products -- a consumer burden that he thinks shouldn’t exist anymore, now that better products are available.

    A Combinatorial Explosion, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 30, 2020 55:46

    In our conversation, Jeremy explains what’s behind the meteoric rise of digital dollar stable coins. He describes their expansion in 2019 as the crypto ecosystem gravitated to quality, compliant and trusted digital dollar stablecoins, and as hundreds of companies began to adopt USDC and add it to their products. And he talks about the dramatic growth surge in 2020, driven in part by the pandemic, as the infrastructure matures, use cases increase, and major institutional investors increasingly treat stable coins as a legitimate asset class.

    Regulating in the Age of COVID: New York DFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2020 53:36

    Today’s show is a special one because it includes breaking news. My guest is Linda Lacewell, the New York State Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services, and she will not only share her program for innovating in the midst of a pandemic, but will also announce an exciting initiative: that DFS is working with us at AIR to host New York’s first-ever regulatory tech sprint, in partnership with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). The sprint will take on one of the most daunting challenges facing regulators today, namely, how to get more information, faster, about the companies they oversee, without escalating the burdens of regulatory reporting on the industry, in the midst of a crisis.

    Small Business Lending in the Age of COVID: Fundation CEO Sam Graziano

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2020 55:27

    Today's guest is Sam Graziano, the CEO of Fundation. In this episode, Sam tells us about Fundation’s journey, starting with his own very usual mix of skills and then the company’s launch as a direct line-of-credit lender to small businesses. He describes their epiphany, a few years back, in realizing that the technology platform they built was exactly what banks need in order to automate their own small business lending. Fundation had developed automated risk models that enable banks to say yes to business customers that, under traditional standards, would be rejected. Today, the company has a 50/50 split between direct lending and bank partnerships.

    Investing in Financial Health: Sarah Willis and Allie Burns

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2020 57:02

    I’m delighted to say that my guests today are Allie Burns, the CEO of Village Capital, and Sarah Willis, Head of Financial Health Work at JPMChase and former Director at the MetLife Foundation. Our conversation focuses on how to bring more capital into fintech ventures that really advance consumer financial health. Allie lays out today’s venture capital landscape, which is heavily skewed to a few markets and away from startups that work on building financial health. Sarah explains MetLife’s efforts on how to influence the fintech industry to diversify both founders and the customers served.

    Fast-forward on Community Bank Technology: ICBA CEO Rebecca Romero-Rainey

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2020 46:10

    Rebeca Romero Rainey is president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA), the leading advocacy organization representing community banks. A third-generation community banker born and raised in Taos, New Mexico, she is the former Chairman and CEO of Centinel Bank of Taos.

    Programmable Money: Sila Cofounders Shamir Karkal and Angela Wilson

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2020 67:10

    Shamir and Angela explain the fascinating meanings of the word, Sila. They describe their business model, their customer base, and their back-end infrastructure based on Ethereum. They explain their revenue model -- they say their pricing is so good, especially for startups, that they put it right on their homepage. And they share their vision of the money world of the future. They point out that programming has been transformed in the last decade, so that it’s easy today to integrate new technology into existing systems using software development kits, without the need for complex, expensive integrations.. Why, they ask, can’t the world of banking and payments work like that? Why does it take three days for a global bank to move money? And what should a 21st century commerce system look like? Shamir and Angela think it should connect everyone on the planet; it should work over the internet; and it should enable anyone to build and ship applications on top of it, using standardized protocol libraries that developers can draw upon.

    A New World For Broker-Dealers: FINRA’S Haimera Workie

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2020 48:33

    One benefit of my work is that I get to spend time with the innovators who are reshaping regulatory agencies all over the world. I have my favorites, and one of those is today’s guest. He is Haime Workie, who leads the innovation team at FINRA. Haimera Workie is the Head of Financial Innovation and Senior Director at FINRA. He is responsible for leading FINRA’s Office of Financial Innovation, which focuses on analyzing financial technology (FinTech) innovations and emerging risks and trends related to the securities market. As part of these responsibilities, he works to foster an ongoing dialogue with market participants in order to build a better understanding of FinTech innovations and their impact on the securities markets.  

    After the Pandemic: The Future of Financial Regulation with NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2020 27:43

    The triple crises of 2020 -- pandemic, economic contraction, and racial and social upheaval -- are opening up new kinds of conversations. Today’s episode is one of these -- my discussion with Rodney Hood, the Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration.  Chairman Hood is the first African-American, ever, to head a US federal financial regulatory agency -- and one of only eight to hold presidentially-appointed roles in these agencies since the New Deal.  As we continue our Barefoot Innovation special series on financial regulation after the pandemic, we focus closely on the challenges of racial disparity in the financial system, and what to do about them.

    Crypto Innovation: Wyoming Banking Commission Albert Forkner

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2020 62:54

    One evening last October, I was pushing my way through the throngs of people at Money 2020 in Las Vegas, when someone called out my name. I turned and saw today’s guest -- Albert Forkner. He is the Banking Commissioner of the State of Wyoming, and our conversation led to this podcast, because he is doing one of the most innovative regulatory experiments in the United States -- or maybe anywhere. One evening last October, I was pushing my way through the throngs of people at Money 2020 in Las Vegas, when someone called out my name. I turned and saw today’s guest -- Albert Forkner. He is the Banking Commissioner of the State of Wyoming, and our conversation led to this podcast, because he is doing one of the most innovative regulatory experiments in the United States -- or maybe anywhere.

    After the Pandemic: The Future of Financial Regulation with UK Financial Conduct Authority Interim CEO Christopher Woolard

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2020 31:30

    Today’s episode of our special series on the future of regulation after the pandemic takes us   across the Atlantic (virtually) to talk with one of my favorite Barefoot Innovation guests. He is Christopher Woolard, the interim CEO of the UK Financial Conduct Authority. In our conversation, Chris talks about the opportunity to come out of this crisis and “build back better.” He discusses how the FCA has converted to the work-from-home environment and what adjustments may last beyond the crisis. He shares the worry that the economic downturn will follow the common crisis pattern of strengthening large incumbent firms at the expense of smaller ones, and how to avoid wiping out a decade of innovation. He talks about impacts on vulnerable consumers and on the UK’s fabled fintech sector, and describes the government’s efforts to build a bridge over the crisis and get as many people across it safely, as possible. 

    After the Pandemic: The Future of Financial Regulation with FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2020 31:13

    Today in our special series on financial regulation in the pandemic and beyond, we are honored to have with us the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Jelena Mc Williams. She opens a fascinating window into how the FDIC is conducting off-site examinations in the crisis, and especially into the impressive speed with which banks are adopting technology to handle flows of information. She is hopeful that we will be able to find silver linings in how these unprecedented challenges are accelerating technology adoption, and laying the groundwork for a better financial system.

    The First Fintech Comptroller: Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks on His First Day in Office

    Play Episode Listen Later May 28, 2020 61:07

    This morning, Brian Brooks is starting his new job as acting Comptroller of the Currency. I’m fortunate to know Brian well, and over the years he and I have spent many hours talking about all the themes that we explore here on Barefoot Innovation. As he takes on his new role, I’m delighted that we were able to sit down together (virtually) and share some of that conversation with you.

    Calling All Innovators: Andrew McCormack of BIS on the First G20 Global Regulatory Techsprint -- Deadline May 27

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2020 32:46

    Today’s show is both a fascinating story and a call to action. We’re posting it as a bonus episode because my guest, Andrew McCormack of the Bank for International Settlements, is sharing an invitation to innovators throughout the world to apply to compete in the G20’s global TechSprint -- and entries are due in just two weeks!

    After the Pandemic: The Future of Financial Regulation with former Comptroller of the Currency Eugene Ludwig

    Play Episode Listen Later May 13, 2020 28:45

    Welcome to the second in our series of special conversations about how the pandemic may change the shape of financial regulation. Last time we talked with former Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry. Today, my guest is another former Comptroller, and now the CEO and Founder of Promontory Financial Group, Eugene Ludwig.    Gene Ludwig has been a household name in the financial regulatory realm for decades, and it was wonderful to be able to tap into his thinking about how this unprecedented crisis may change that world. He shares his insights about likely impacts for various sectors, for community banks, and for the government’s efforts thus far to provide rescue assistance.    Our listeners will be especially interested in Gene’s thinking about how the crisis will reshape the technology of bank regulation. He foresees accelerating changes in how to conduct examinations, movement toward more shared utilities and third-party providers, and use of new

    After the Pandemic: The Future of Financial Regulation with former Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2020 24:59

    Today’s show is the first in our COVID recovert series. My guest is Thomas J. Curry, who served as the US Comptroller of the Currency from 2012 to 2017. For listeners outside the United States, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, is the US regulator of nationally-chartered banks.

    No Shortcuts - Varo CEO Colin Walsh on how to become a bank

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 30, 2020 54:12

    Trailblazing is hard work. It is not easy to carve out a path no one has followed before, knowing where you want to go but not precisely how to get there. That is exactly what today’s guest has done. Colin Walsh is the CEO of Varo, and Varo is the first fintech startup to become chartered as a national bank.

    Homomorphic Encryption: Enveil CEO Ellison Anne Williams

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2020 54:23

    Our guest today is Ellison Anne Williams, the CEO of Enveil. And she is an expert in the privacy technology known as homomorphic encryption.

    Fintech4Good: Sunrise Banks CEO David Reiling

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2020 55:18

    Today’s guest is David Reiling, CEO and Chairman of Sunrise Banks and author of the book, Fintech4Good. David likes to emphasize the business advantages of being a mission-driven, double bottom line company. He says, for example, that it gives him a huge edge in recruiting top talent. He also believes it also saves on compliance costs. It’s a fallacy, he says, to assume that banks operate in a “scarcity” marketplace in which profits and values have to be traded off against each other. He also offers insights on key steps regulators should consider, including on the need to push their innovation agendas quickly out to their field examiners.

    Financial Regulators’ Dilemma: Regulatory Modernization with Jerry Buckley and Sasha Leonhardt

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 18, 2020 54:57

    In this episode, I talk with Jerry Buckley and Sasha Leonhart of the Buckley firm, who explain how they did the project and what they learned. Jerry, Sasha and I also conducted a briefing on Capitol Hill last month, which was very well-attended and has engendered a great deal of constructive feedback and discussion. I want to thank the Buckley firm for undertaking all this work on a pro bono basis. I also want to mention that the report will be published in the coming weeks by the Business and Finance Law Review at George Washington University School of Law.

    Are you a Bezos or a Musk? Creating Innovation Capital with Jeff Dyer

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 11, 2020 47:12


    Jeff Dyer is a professor of strategy at BYU and the Wharton School. He and two co-authors, Nathan Furr and Curtis Lefrandt, have written the book, Innovation Capital, which explores how to lead innovation work, whether for companies or for projects, in situations where the innovator lacks the formal “power” to cause the needed steps. What do you do, for instance, if your boss doesn’t see the need for innovation? How do you get people to want to join your project?  In our conversation, Jeff says part of the answer is what he calls the human capital skill of forward thinking -- which he likens to mental time travel, envisioning what people in your industry will want next, and what technology is coming that will enable new things to happen. He talks about spotting opportunities -- being a “scout” and learning to see patterns. He talks about getting other people to want to help, so that you can amass the needed resources. And he talks about building an innovation reputation that will continue to attract people to your efforts over time.


    Banking the Innovators: Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 24, 2020 39:38


    Greg Becker has been a champion of the innovation economy since he joined Silicon Valley Bank in 1993 as a banker to fast-growing technology companies. Today, he is the CEO of the world’s only bank dedicated to the innovation sector around the world. Greg is optimistic about tech, including the power of fintech to drive down costs and therefore open financial access to nearly everyone -- he cites the book, How the Poor Can Save Capitalism by John Hope Bryant. He says adding AI to anything is like putting it on steroids, making everything much more interesting and powerful. At the same time, he shares his thinking on what we should worry about, including the ethics and impacts of AI and medical technology.  


    Jelena Mc Williams, Chairman of the FDIC

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 8, 2020 54:45

    In a moment you will hear Jelena tell her story, and I promise, you will see what I mean. Last year the Wall Street Journal ran a profile on her called, America’s Most interesting Bureaucrat. She was born in the former Yugoslavia, grew up in a Communist society, got herself to the US, bootstrapped herself into law school, worked in private practice, and at a bank, and at the Federal Reserve and then at the US Senate in the midst of the financial crisis. Her eclectic background has enabled her to look at today’s financial system from many angles. 

    Joseph Otting, Comptroller of the Currency

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 24, 2020 50:17

    Joseph M. Otting was sworn in as the 31st Comptroller of the Currency on November 27, 2017.  The Comptroller of the Currency is the administrator of the federal banking system and chief officer of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC supervises more than 1,200 national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks operating in the United States. The mission of the OCC is to ensure that national banks and federal savings associations operate in a safe and sound manner, provide fair access to financial services, treat customers fairly, and comply with applicable laws and regulations.  We covered a great deal of other ground. He shares his thinking on how the OCC needs to use technology; on how technology is transforming banks; on top emerging risks, especially in cyber; on the need for banks to use AI in compliance and risk management; and on equipping community banks to compete in today’s high-tech market.  He talks about the increasing level of interagency coordination underway today. The US has five federal agencies that directly supervise depository institutions, which makes coordination complex and sometimes slow. I was pleased to hear that just before we recorded this show, he had been at a recurring lunch meeting he has with two other agency heads. The Comptroller also talks about the OCC’s innovation initiative, which was one of the first set up by a US regulator. In a prior episode we talked about that program with former Comptroller Tom Curry, who established that unit.

    Leapfrogging to Leadership: Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Richard Teng

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 17, 2020 36:44

    Richard Teng is the CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an award-winning International Financial Centre (IFC) in Abu Dhabi. Richard spearheaded the establishment of the financial regulations and financial centre, leading up to the successful launch of ADGM in October 2015.  He oversees the whole spectrum of financial services spanning the banking, insurance and capital market sectors with integrated prudential and conduct supervisory responsibilities. He also leads several innovative ecosystem initiatives and the development of financial services offerings in Abu Dhabi.  

    Congress’ Physicist: House AI Task Force Chair Rep. Bill Foster

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2020 59:05

    We have the perfect show to kick off the new year and new decade in 2020. This is one of the most interesting conversations we’ve ever had, in our hundred-plus episodes of Barefoot Innovation. My very special guest is Congressman Bill Foster, who represents the 11th District of Illinois. He is a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, and was appointed by Committee Chair Maxine Waters to lead the special task force she set up to examine how artificial intelligence will transform finance. And, maybe better yet, he is Congress’ one and only PhD physicist (you’ll enjoy hearing his list of credentials). As he explains in today’s show, he went from working on theatrical stage lighting, to high energy particle physics, to politics -- in our talk, he shares the inspiring family story of what prompted him to enter public service. I love talking with people who “cross the lines” -- who transcend the silos and straddle multiple realms of knowledge. Congressman Bill Foster, the scientist politician, is one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking guests we’ve ever had on the show. I know you’ll enjoy our conversation.

    The Future of Work: Joust CEO Lamine Zarrad

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2019 59:05

    Lamine Zarrad is the co-founder and CEO of Joust. He began his entrepreneurial journey as a refugee, going on to serve in the U.S. Marines, and then building an expertise around banking regulations and financial services. With Joust, Lamine combines his passion for inclusion with his banking skills to create the nation’s first, all-inclusive banking services app for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed.

    The Central Bank of the Future

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 11, 2019 18:53

    Today’s show is a bonus episode, giving a glimpse of an important project that’s underway. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have funded an initiative to think through the future of central banks and how they will, and should, advance the goal of financial inclusion. To lead the work, the foundation selected two leading thinkers in the space. Michael Barr is the Dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He was previously  Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions, in addition to being a law professor (I’ll link in the show notes to our earlier episode with him). Adrienne Harris is a professor at the Ford School and a former (give her old title in Obama White House). They have teamed up to undertake a deep reimagining of central banks, decades and even a half century out.

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