Global, national industry giants headline World Fintech Festival

The biggest names in the technology industry, both on an international and national scenes, are set to appear virtually in the World Fintech Festival, one of the most highly anticipated global online tech events that will run from Dec. 7-11.

The Philippine version, also known as WFF-Philippines, will have industry icons led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, its current CEO Satya Nadella, UnionBank Vice-Chairman Tito Ortiz, Lazada President and CEO Ray Alimurung as well as tech investor Manny Pacquiao speaking during the same week.

The WFF is the globalized version of the Singapore Fintech Festival, the most prestigious event in the fintech industry which in 2019 drew 60,000 participants from 140 countries, including heads of state, policymakers, and financial and technology (fintech) leaders.

“The digital platform is the first step for these entrepreneurs to succeed. The whole set of tech enables services for the SMES to grow. That's the new world," said SFF and WFF CFO Sopnendu Mohanty.

A first in the country, the WFF-Philippines is organized by Geiser-Maclang Communications Inc. (GMCI), in partnership with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the SFF.

“The WFF-Philippines is the beginning of a movement to call the industry players and other stakeholders to digitize our country, especially using fintech, towards progress and development, using a whole-of-nation approach, whole-of-government approach. The past few years have seen an unprecedented reverse diaspora of the best and brightest technology players choosing to domicile in the Philippines. It is our time to shine," said WFF Philippines convenor and GeiserMaclang co-founder Amor Maclang.

From the international arena, leading the discussion on how to leverage game-changing trends in fintech are legends like Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Eric Yuan, founder and chief executive officer, Zoom Video Communications, Inc.; Akon, founder of Akoin; NASDAQ President and CEO Adrena Friedman; Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella; Nandan Nikelani, Infosys Co-founder and Chairman; and Dan Schulman, President and CEO of Paypal, among others.

Decades ago, when computers were large cumbersome machines that could only be used by large corporations, Gates broke the mold as the founder of Microsoft, which soon became the world’s largest software company. Today, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is tagged as the world’s largest private charitable foundation and has spent around $300 million (to date) to fund COVID-19 research and treatment.

Friedman will talk about how technology is shaping the future of capital markets. NASDAQ, a global electronic marketplace, provides hundreds of businesses around the world the opportunity to invest in or trade among listed companies.

Like NASDAQ, cryptocurrency company Akoin empowers both ends of the marketplace from buyers to sellers. Founded by Senegalese-American star and philanthropist Akon, it bridges the gap between international investors and Africa’s entrepreneurs struggling against inflation. The culmination is a $6 billion futuristic city at the heart of Senegal.

BlackRock founder, chairman, and CEO Larry Fink will discuss a global CEO’s perspective on leadership, inclusion, and diversity. With a total of $7.4 trillion in assets under management, Fink has encouraged companies BlackRock has invested in to make positive societal contributions.

Joining the WFF-Philippines are the country’s leading tech disruptors who have created massive ripples of change within their industries.

WFF’s first day will banner how digitization can transform a nation. The luminaries in the different panels include Mynt President and CEO Martha Sazon and Commissioner Dennis Funa of the Philippine Insurance Life Commission.

On the second day, discussions will center on digitizing the country and the rise of e-commerce. Speakers include Lazada President and CEO Rey Alimurung and GreatDeals CEO Steven Sy.

Halfway through the convention, hot topics like financial inclusion, data privacy, and the need for a regulatory framework shall be discussed by speakers Commissioner Raymund Liboro of the National Privacy Commission; Anton Bonifacio, Chief Information Officer of Globe; Rajan ‘Piku’ Uttamchandani, Esquire Financing Chairman and CEO; Roy Miclat, 1 Cooperative Insurance President and CEO; and J.J. Disini, Managing Partner of the Disini Law Office.

Two speakers will be sharing their insights on technology’s impact on their industries: Mark Gorriceta, Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra’s Managing Partner, on the legal tech industry and Noel Bonoan, President and COO of auditing firm KPMG, on the importance of artificial intelligence for accounting and law firms. These shall be followed by talks on what investors are looking for led by Minette Navarette, Vice Chair and CEO of Kickstart; CEO Ron Hose and Mica Tan, President and CEO, MFT Group of Companies.

On the fifth and last day of the WFF-Philippines, attendees will get useful pointers about becoming digital superstars, relevant fintech verticals, and industries on their way to transformation. These topics will be led by Ayala Corporation’s Managing Director, CHRO & Group Head, Corporate Resources JP Orbeta; AC Education’s CEO Fred Ayala; AC Healthcare’s President and CEO Paolo Borromeo; Rain Hermans, President and CEO of Singlife; and Globe’s President and CEO Ernest Cu.

Boxing legend and legislator Manny Pacquiao will talk about his latest tech venture, PacPay, a digital payment platform which facilitates cross-border transactions and launched the cryptocurrency known as “Pac Tokens.”

Topics: World Fintech Festival , WFF-Philippines , Ray Alimurung , Sopnendu Mohanty
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