“If banks can’t offer something more valuable than Amazon Prime, then we’re probably in the wrong business, ” said Bradley Leimer, a FinTech influencer and author. Combine expert-level knowledge in finance and a way with words. What you get is a financial influencer who can steer your organization towards emerging trends that you would do well to hop on.
Influencers are driving the conversation in every field, from marketing to finance and everything in between…including how to use the latest smartphone to take a selfie. They are driving change and helping funds flow into areas and technologies that bring in the right results. Social media is the main agency these influencers use to amplify their cause. Then come the blogs, podcasts, newsletters, speaking assignments, and whatnot that takes the message far and wide, covering all the bases as far as providing influence is concerned.
We at IRIS CARBON® have decided to choose our list of the 15 most well-known influencers who you can follow for updates from the world of finance, banking, FinTech, RegTech, InsurTech, and every topic that combines finance and technology. Check out our list.
Alex Jiménez is an influencer in Financial Technology (FinTech), Regulatory Technology (RegTech), Insurance Technology (InsurTech), Blockchain, Innovation, and Digital Marketing. He is currently the managing principal at EPAM Systems, an IT Services and IT Consulting firm in Newtown, PA. Previously, he has held positions in strategic planning, payments, digital banking, operations, program and project management, business process improvement, marketing, and voice of the customer.
Jiménez has been published by The Financial Brand, Finovate, CFO Outlook, CIO Insights, and Credit Union Times. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, The Financial Brand, the American Banker, and the Boston Business Journal. He was a speaker at Money 2020 USA in the Fall of 2021 and the American Banker’s Digital Banking conference in June 2022.
Alicia Garcia-Herrero is the Chief Economist, Asia Pacific, at Natixis, a Paris-headquartered investment banking company. She also serves as a senior fellow at European think-tank BRUEGEL and a non-resident research fellow at Madrid-based political think tank Real Instituto Elcano.
Previously, Alicia has held positions such as Chief Economist for Emerging Markets, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA); Member of the Asian Research Program, Bank of International Settlements (BIS); Head of the International Economy Division, Bank of Spain; Member of the Council to the Executive Board, European Central Bank; and Economist, International Monetary Fund.
Alicia holds a PhD in Economics from George Washington University and is extensively published in refereed journals and books. She is often quoted in the international media Alicia was nominated TOP Voices in Economy and Finance by LinkedIn in 2017 and was Number 6 on Refinitiv’s top social influencers list in 2020.
April Rudin is CEO of The Rudin Group, an advertising services company that works exclusively with financial services firms, offering highly differentiated messaging, positioning, and content creation.
Here’s how April describes the founding of The Rudin Group: “In 2008, not on the back of a napkin, but on the screen of a laptop, The Rudin Group was launched. I imagined that wealth, nextgen and fintech would intersect causing opportunities in wealth management, family office, private banking, and other financial services sectors.
Simultaneously, marketing campaigns, client segmentation, branding, and content were generic, both at the enterprise level and in field advisory groups. Literally indistinguishable between firms. And most of the content was rife with cliches and vague language – not at all targeted. To me, financial services marketing was prime for disruption. One size no longer fit all.”
Speaking of her journey, April says it is exciting to see how the marketing of financial services has changed and how the journey has been rewarding for the Group’s client firms. Rudin participates in well-regarded studies such as the Capgemini World Wealth Report, and in 2019, she was selected by Onalytica as the #1 online influencer in #wealthmanagement.
Bradley Leimer cofounded Unconventional Ventures, a firm that connects founders with those who can fund their enterprises, mentors entrepreneurs, and offers advisory services to corporations. He authored the book Beyond Good: How Technology is Leading a Purpose-driven Business Revolution along with Theodora (Theo) Lau, the founder of Unconventional Ventures. Apart from being a cofounder and an author, Leimer is the host of One Vision Podcast, an advisor, and a keynote speaker.
Leimer was formerly the Head of Innovation and Fintech Strategy at Santander US, where his team connected the bank to the fintech ecosystem and observed trends with the potential to drive expansion.
Leimer writes about banking and technology trends, advises corporates and startups, and addresses key industry conferences in the financial services space. “I play in the intersection between technology and human behavior,” says Leimer on his LinkedIn page. “My mantra is simply to help make banking better. I do this by evangelizing engagement banking strategies, which can be best described as a marketing, sales, and service model that deploys technology to achieve both customer intimacy and scale.”
Brett King wears multiple hats. He is the Founder-CEO of The Futurists Network, a bestselling author, entrepreneur, podcast and radio show host, speaker, and media personality. One of King’s books, Augmented, which is about artificial intelligence, had the honor of being mentioned by Chinese President Xi Jinping in an address to the nation in 2018. In 2019, another book, Bank 4.0, was awarded the Top Book by a Foreign Author in Russia.
King’s achievements are many. Here’s an excerpt from his LinkedIn description: Brett has spoken in over 50 countries, at TED, Wired, Techsauce, Singularity University, Web Summit, The Economist, IBM’s World of Watson, CES, SIBOS and many more.
He has appeared as a commentator on CNBC, BBC, ABC, Fox, and Bloomberg. He has spoken to virtual audiences of over 42 million people live. He previously advised the Obama administration on Fintech policy and advises regulators and bank boards around the world on technology transformation.
King has been named ‘King of the Disruptors’ by Banking Exchange magazine; voted American Banker’s Innovator of the Year; voted the world’s #1 Financial Services Influencer by The Financial Brand; listed by Bank Innovation as one of the top 10 “coolest brands in banking”.
Chris Gledhill, an independent FinTech advisor, futurist, writer, and speaker, is regularly ranked the No. 1 global FinTech influencer. With a technical and business background, Gledhill’s expertise spans a host of disruptive disciplines including Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), application programming interface (API), Big Data, Deep Learning, Virtual Reality, Cryptocurrencies, Biometrics, and Mobile and Wearables. Gledhill’s Twitter handle is a must-follow for anyone who wishes to stay updated on global developments in FinTech. He also frequently writes on Medium.
Here’s an excerpt from Gledhill’s article Can Bitcoin overcome social gravity? on Medium: “It perhaps has not gone unnoticed to you that the big cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges are looking and acting increasingly like the incumbent banks they have previously been flaunted to replace.
There is now Onboarding, Payments, Accounts, Financial Management tools, Support lines, direct paycheque deposits, etc.
Anyone who is a parent will know that moment when they come out with a phrase like “no pudding for you unless you finish your dinner” and instantly have a flashback to their mum/dad telling them the same thing decades earlier and the dawning on them that they have become their parents. The same is true for the crypto industry — one day soon it’ll look at itself in the mirror and see banking staring back.”
Danielle DiMartino Booth
Danielle DiMartino Booth is the CEO and Chief Strategist of Quill Intelligence LLC, market research and analytics firm in Dallas, Texas. Before Quill, Booth was at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas for nine years, serving as an advisor to President Richard W. Fisher on matters of financial stability and unconventional monetary policy. Booth started her career working in the fixed-income, public equity, and private equity markets.
Booth is a global thought leader on monetary policy, economics and finance, having produced institutional research since retiring from the Federal Reserve in 2015. She is the author of FED UP: An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America.
She has been a Bloomberg View columnist, a business speaker, and a commentator frequently featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox News, Fox Business News, BNN Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance, and others. In 2020, she launched Down the Middle with DiMartino Booth, where she conducts long-form interviews with the world’s leading experts on economics, financial markets, and geopolitics.
Booth has also launched #ResearchRevolution, which redefines the conception and delivery of market intelligence to both guide institutional investors and create financial literacy. Booth built Quill by bringing together a core team of investing veterans to analyse how monetary policy drives markets, both in the US and globally.
David J. Maireles
David J. Maireles is Chief Experience Officer and Deputy CEO at TNEX, which is “much more than a digital bank providing lifestyle products and services for GenZ or Millennials”. On LinkedIn, Maireles describes as digital bank builder, inclusion advocate, CX-Obsessed, FinTech entrepreneur, and banking promoter. He has over 12 years of experience as a digital banking strategist in Europe, US, and Asia. David’s experience spans launching digital banks, leading product and customer experience activities, and creating growth strategies and forging key partnerships with FinTech companies and financial institutions. David is also a keynote speaker, blogger, and financial inclusion enthusiast.
Efi Pylarinou is the founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a global finance influencer. She has been named No. 1 female global finance influencer by Refinitive for 2019 and 2020. With a PhD in Finance, Pylarinou is an international speaker on FinTech and Blockchain business trends. The services of Efi Pylarinou Advisory include influencer content services customized to business goals, and Advisory and Board positions.
She has also been among the 2020 Onalytica Top 100 Fintech Influencers; 2019 Onalytica Top 100 Wealth Management Influencers; 2019 Onalytica Top Women in Finance; 2019 Onalytica Top Ten Social Amplifiers in Regtech; 2019 Onalytica Top 100 Gender Equality and Diversity Influencers; 2019 Onalytica Top 100 Finserv Environmental Sustainability Influencers; 2016 and 2017 Innovate Finance Women in Fintech Powerlist; Women in Fintech DACH social ranking; Global Fintech 80; The Planet Compliance Top 50 RegTech Influencers.
Helene Li is the CEO and Co-founder of GoImpact, a financial services firm and a platform for mainstream sustainable finance, in Singapore. She is a leading influencer in sustainable finance and impact investing, digital transformation and financial technology, and a TEDx Speaker. She is a much sought-after speaker at conferences and industry summits. Li has been named the Top Financial Services Influencer in APAC by Refinitiv, and the Top 2 Sustainable Finance Influencer globally by Onalytica. Li comes with vast experience in the finance industry in leadership roles at bulge bracket financial institutions, including JPMorgan Private Bank, Lombard Odier, and BNP Paribas Wealth Management.
Mohamed A. El-Erian
Mohamed A. El-Erian is currently President at Queens’ College, Cambridge, and an economist of world renown. He is a contributing editor at the Financial Times, writes a Bloombert opinion column, and is the author of two New York Times bestsellers. Part-time, he serves as Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz and Chair of Gramercy Fund Management. He also serves on several non-profit boards, including the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and of Barclays and Under Armour. Dr El-Erian, who holds a master’s degree and doctorate (economics) from Oxford and received his bachelor and master degrees from Cambridge, was formerly the CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO. He was also chair of President Obama’s Global Development Council from 2012 to 2017.
An excerpt from Dr El-Erian’s LinkedIn profile description: “Dr. El-Erian has served on several boards and committees, including the U.S. Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, International Center for Research on Women, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Carnegie Endowment, and the IMF’s Committee of Eminent Persons. He is currently a board member of the NBER, Barclays and Under Armour, and co-chairs the capital campaign for Cambridge. He has been chair of the Microsoft Investment Advisory Board since 2007.”
Spiros Margaris is a venture capitalist, advisor, Global No. 1 FinTech Influencer, and Board Member of Margaris Ventures. He joins the ranks of Brett King and Chris Gledhill as a futurist. He is also the first international influencer to get ‘The Triple Crown’ ranking by regularly making it to the top three places of established global industry influencer rankings. A keynote speaker at global FinTech and InsurTech conferences, Margaris has also given a TEDxAcademy Talk. He has published a popular white paper on artificial intelligence, titled ‘Machine Learning in Financial Services: Changing the Rules of the Game’ for SAP, the enterprise software vendor.
Jim Marous consistently makes it to the top of banking and FinTech influencer lists and has been an advisor to the White House on banking policy. He is regularly featured by CNBC and CNN, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Financial Times, The Economist, The American Banker, Accenture and Cheddar and has spoken to audiences worldwide. He is the owner and host of Banking Transformed Podcast, co-publisher of The Financial Brand, and the owner and CEO of Digital Banking Report. There is no component of digital transformation within the financial services industry that Marous does not advise on.
Theodora (Theo) Lau is Founder, Unconventional Ventures, along with Bradley Leimer. She is also the co-author of the book Beyond Good: How Technology is Leading a Purpose-driven Business Revolution along with Leimer. Lau is aso the host of the podcast One Vision, a startup advisor, and public speaker on diversity and inclusion, FinTech, financial inclusion, and Tech for Good. Lau writes a LinkedIn newsletter called The FinTech Prose, which is a commentary on FinTech trends and themes around the world.
An excerpt from Banking in a changing world, a recent article Lau wrote in The FinTech Prose: Much has been written about the demise of bank branches, or even banks.
“Will there be banks in the future” is a topic that has been much debated. But is that the right question to ask? In one form or another, financial services have existed for centuries and will continue to do so in the future. But banks of the future will not be about having an android at the front door of the branch; rather, the winners will be those who can best leverage the power of data and technology to do more for their customers.
Unconventional Ventures, which Lau founded, is focused on building an ecosystem where financial institutions, startups, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and accelerators address consumer interests, especially through women and underrepresented founders. Lau is a mentor for startups in financial services and healthcare.
Xavier Gomez is a thought leader in finance and FinTech with a special focus on banking and private equity. He is the COO and Co-Founder of INVYO, a Data Management marketplace in Paris. He is also co-chief editor of Invyo Insights, which provides data and analysis on global FinTech. In partnership with experts and entrepreneurs in Europe, Invyo insights covers the latest trends in digital banking, payments, InsurTech, blockchain, artificial intelligence, financial inclusion, and financial literacy, among other things. Invyo Insights connects the global FinTech community, helping community members understand the emerging trends in baking. Gomez is also a television columnist in FinTech and an expert in Big Data and machine learning in financial services. He also holds expertise in the digital economy and innovations in finance.