FinTech specialist: technological entrepreneur or programmer?

The expert discussion, Fintech Fight: Participants and Reasons. The Role of Universities, took place on January 17, the second day of the Ninth Gaidar Forum.

Financial technologies – FinTech – are radically changing the way financial companies and the entire economy operates and setting new trends in the way we save, spend and manage money.

Just a few years ago, FinTech was not so well known, but now a whole industry creating new paradigms of financial management has grown out of small startups and individual units of big corporations; it is already entering into a symbiosis with conventional financial systems.

“This is what is happening: capitalization becomes more rapid, and the very speed of how the world is changing is changing,” said Executive Director of Deloitte Analytics Institute Alexei Minin.

The new paradigm of working with finance relies on three basic areas: distributed registries (blockchain technology, smart contracts, ICO, etc.), digital profile (collection and analysis of customer information) and digital currencies. The technological revolution determines the challenges facing financial institutions. “The digital economy is about the world, it’s a global story,” Alexei Minin said.

“Exponential technologies are so fast that the modern world feels too small for them,” the expert added.

The question of field-specific education and universities also arose during the discussion. The experts noted that recruitment of teachers for fintech Master's programs should not be limited to the staff of universities. “A business incubator can teach people that do not come from universities how to teach; for them, it is also a platform for personal growth,” Head of RANEPA Project Stream of Corporate Programs Dmitry Yagodkin explained.

The demand for cross-disciplinary specialties is growing, the experts noted.

“Such competency ‘alloys’ – an economist-programmer or an economist-lawyer – are quite in demand at the moment, and the demand is expected to grow,” RANEPA professor Sergei Studnikov said.


The organizers include the Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute) and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

The program outline is available at the forum website.

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The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom and Gazprombank; strategic partners include Novartis, Johnson&Johnson, RZD, MSD, AstraZeneca, the ACIG Group of Companies, Mastercard, Coca-Cola, Russian Agricultural Bank, Pharmstandard JSC, Microsoft; O1 Group, Unilever, EY, Russian Brewers’ Union, Russian Direct Investment Fund are partners and RVC.

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