51 episodes

Welcome to Regulatory Ramblings, a new podcast from a team at The University of Hong Kong on the intersection of all things pertaining to finance, technology, law and regulation. Hosted by The Reg/Tech Lab, HKU-Standard Chartered FinTech Academy, Asia Global Institute and the HKU-edX Professional Certificate in FinTech, with support from the HKU Faculty of Law. Join us as we hear from luminaries across multiple fields and professions as they share their candid thoughts in a stress-free environment - rather than the soundbites one typically hears from the mainstream press.

Regulatory Ramblings Reg/Tech Lab - HKU-SCF FinTech Academy - Asia Global Institute - HKU-edX Professional Certificate in FinTech

    • Government

Welcome to Regulatory Ramblings, a new podcast from a team at The University of Hong Kong on the intersection of all things pertaining to finance, technology, law and regulation. Hosted by The Reg/Tech Lab, HKU-Standard Chartered FinTech Academy, Asia Global Institute and the HKU-edX Professional Certificate in FinTech, with support from the HKU Faculty of Law. Join us as we hear from luminaries across multiple fields and professions as they share their candid thoughts in a stress-free environment - rather than the soundbites one typically hears from the mainstream press.

    The Intersection of Digital Assets and Data Protection

    The Intersection of Digital Assets and Data Protection

    Episode 42 - Jonathan Crompton, Reynolds, Porter & Chamberlain

    Jonathan Crompton is a Hong Kong-based partner at the law firm of Reynolds, Porter & Chamberlain (RPC) where he helps companies and individuals navigate complex cross-border disputes and investigations involving their Asian operations, specialising in commercial matters (in particular for the retail industry), financial services and technology related disputes and cyber incidents.

    And as the lead for RPC’s 'ReSecure' cyber incident response service in Asia, he advises local and multinational clients on cyber-attacks, data privacy and law enforcement investigations, as well as helping clients across the globe to recover money transferred to Hong Kong bank accounts as a result of cyber and other frauds.

    Jonathan advises on all forms of disputes including litigation before national courts and arbitral tribunals operating under various rules (in particular, the HKIAC, ICC and UNCITRAL), and on investigations by regulators (notably financial services regulators such as the Securities and Futures Commission). His clients include senior individuals, asset managers, and leading multi-national corporations and brands. As a result of RPC's predominantly 'conflict-free' model for financial services disputes, Jonathan represents senior individuals and companies in claims brought by or against leading banks where other firms are often unable to act.

    He is also a founding member of the Hong Kong chapter of the Crypto Fraud and Asset Recovery (CFAAR) network, the first global association for such professionals. The London chapter was launched in London in 2021, with the Hong Kong chapter formed in August 2022.

    In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, Jonathan chats with host Ajay Shamdasani about his background, upbringing and how he ended up in the legal profession. The bulk of the conversation, however, is devoted to data protection and digital assets, specifically the February raid of the offices of WorldCoin by the Hong Kong Office of the Privacy Commissioner (PCPD). They discuss the PCPD’s expression of concern about WorldCoin's collection and storage of iris scans in exchange for its WorldCoin token (WLD).

    As Jonathan points out, the case was a clear example of the increasing intersection of personal data protection principles and digital assets. The conversation also covers his recent LinkedIn post in which he stated that the Privacy Commissioner Ada Chung’s action was further proof that she was flexing her existing powers – even before the amendments to the territory’s Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance are expected to be enacted within the next year.

    They also discuss what shape Jonathan envisages those amendments taking, as well as what cases he has seen in his practice in recent times involving virtual assets, digital contracts and cybersecurity, as well as related emerging methodologies, trends and themes.

    USEFUL LINKS

    Jonathan Crompton on RPC page and on LinkedIn
    CFAAR – About Us
    PCPD warning on World Coin Project
    New book - FinTech: Finance, Technology & Regulation
    HKU-SCF Fintech Academy
    Asia Global Institute
    Professional Certificate in FinTech

    HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    The Challenges of Taking Startups Public in India

    The Challenges of Taking Startups Public in India

    Madhurima Mukherjee Saha
    Partner, J Sagar Associates 

    Madhurima Mukherjee is the New Delhi-based head of the J Sagar Associates law firm’s capital markets division. She has over two decades of experience in securities offerings in both the domestic and international markets – including initial public offerings (IPOs), further offers, rights offers, qualified institutional placements and block trades. 

    Sometimes referred as India’s “queen of capital markets,” Madhurima has been part of some of the country’s highest profile capital raising efforts, including the 2010 Coal India IPO, which eventually raised over US$ 2.5 billion and remains one of India’s largest IPOs. 

    Prior to joining JSA, she was a Senior Partner at AZB & Partners until April 2020. She has also worked with Luthra & Luthra as a national head and partner until 2013 and before that, she was a partner at the firm of Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co, as a partner until 2006. 

    Madhurima had taken credit courses and some seminars in Capital Markets at The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences and National Law School, New Delhi. 

    Given that India is currently in strong growth mode compared to much of the rest of the world, it’s no surprise that such an environment has birthed a budding start-up scene. Indeed, in the three-plus decades since the Indian economy liberalized, even more young entrepreneurs have arrived on the scene – many with dreams of becoming publicly listed companies via the IPO route. Yet, being a developing nation, myriad challenges remain for start-ups seeking public listings in India, which Madhurima delineates in her chat this episode with Regulatory Ramblings host Ajay Shamdasani. 

    She discusses how she found her way in the legal profession, her passion for working with startups and the challenges that they face in India beyond those of legal, regulatory, financial/liquidity and managerial issues. Madhurima stresses the challenges of getting and retaining talent, as well as the degree of governmental support – or the lack thereof – in the form of red tape, tax and support programs that Indian startups face. 

    The conversation concludes with her views on how the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) – the country’s capital markets watchdog – can improve securities and listing rules to make it easier for the country’s startups to go public. 

    HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Super Apps, FemTech and Financial Resilience

    Super Apps, FemTech and Financial Resilience

    Ep 40 - Neha Mehta, Founder & CEO, FemTech Partners

    Neha Mehta is a member of the department of mathematics at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She also teaches in that institution’s Master of Science program in FinTech.

    Among her interests are financial inclusion using FinTech as a vehicle to achieve it, as well as climate sustainability, innovating for a blue economy and greener future, and encouraging more women to enter the tech space – evidenced by her work with the group SG Women In Tech.

    Neha is also a FinTech lawyer, former diplomat, and social entrepreneur, in addition to being the author of a new book called “One Stop” on the topic of Super Apps. 

    As she points out new software applications are churned out every day to respond to meet people’s needs. “Super Apps,” she says, are apps that allow users to access several services from one single application. Super Apps like Grab and WeChat are gaining popularity and tech giants and FinTechs looking to stake their claim in this digital revolution. In “One Stop,” Neha traces the history of Super Apps and analyses the cultural differences in their adoption and popularity – and in some cases, the lack thereof – in the East versus the West. Through stories of well-known Super Apps and in-depth interviews with central banks, entrepreneurs, and FinTech industry experts, Neha’s book illustrates how the Super App revolution disrupts, innovates and creates opportunities. 

    With the COVID-19 pandemic as a background highlighting the need to move to digital platforms, “One Stop” also examines how Super Apps can potentially create an inclusive and sustainable world for all, in a future that looks increasingly digital. 

    With that as a launching pad, Neha shares with Regulatory Ramblings host Ajay Shamdasani about her upbringing in Bangalore, as well as how she first got interested in matters of financial inclusion, climate sustainability, the green economy and women in tech, and what she sees as the interconnections between them – namely, economic growth and good stewardship of the planet. 

    The discussion also delves into creating talent pools in the tech entrepreneur and/corporate realms with an eye towards seeing more women at the decision-making table in boardrooms. A key part of the equation, Neha says, is getting more females enrolled in STEM subjects earlier in life. In that vein, she stresses the need for policy frameworks incentivizing parents of young girls to send them to schools which are focused on how they can be software engineers, or enter the emergent fields of artificial intelligence or data management. 

    She goes on to share her views about the tech ecosystem and entrepreneurial environment in Singapore, drawing on her experiences. In 2019, Neha set up a company called FemTech Partners with the aim of representing women in tech – especially the fintech space. The focus was on how to make them financially resilient and receive the pro bono mentorship they need. 

    The conversation includes Neha’s thoughts on being a member of the math faculty at NTU, as well as summarizing the key conclusions, observations and policy recommendations of her book. 

    HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Money and Payments – The Decade Ahead

    Money and Payments – The Decade Ahead

    Yesha Yadav is the Milton R. Underwood Chair at Vanderbilt Law School, the Robert Belton Director of Diversity, Equity and Community and , and Associate Dean in addition to being a Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director of the school’s LLM program at Vanderbilt University Law School. 
    Her research interests are in financial market and securities regulation, and corporate bankruptcy law – focusing on market structure, exchange design, payments, digital asset regulation, distressed debt and restructuring.  


    Before joining Vanderbilt's law faculty in 2011, Yesha worked as a legal counsel with the World Bank in its finance, private-sector development and infrastructure unit, where she specialized in financial regulation and insolvency, and debtor-creditor rights. Before joining the World Bank in 2009, she practiced from 2004-08 in the London and Paris offices of Clifford Chance in the firm's financial regulation and derivatives group. As part of her work in the area of payments regulation, she advised the European Payments Council on the establishment of the Single Euro Payments Area. 


    Since joining Vanderbilt, Yesha has served as an honorary advisor to India’s Financial Services Law Reform Commission and on the Atlantic Council’s Task Force on Divergence, Transatlantic Financial Reform and G-20 Agenda. She has served as a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Technology Advisory Committee, where she sat on the Distributed Ledger Technology and Algorithmic Trading Subcommittees. 


    She earned an MA in Law and Modern Languages at the University of Cambridge, after which she earned an LLM at Harvard Law School. She was a Vanderbilt University Chancellor Faculty Fellow for 2019-21 


    In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, she chats with host Ajay Shamdasani on the future of money and the shape currency and payment mechanisms will take in the coming decade. Money and payments have experienced a significant redesign over the last decade with money becoming increasingly digital cash use declining rapidly – especially since the pandemic, in countries like Sweden and urban China where cashlessness is the norm. 


    Yesha shares her views on technologies combining digital banking and smartphones spurring a rapid restructuring of the payments architecture for everyday consumers and businesses. The conversation looks at the design of payment systems, the inefficiencies that exist even as such systems have been scaled – including financial exclusion for lower income communities and communities of color – as well as the efficacy of emerging digital asset solutions such as stablecoins, where tokenized representations of currencies like US dollar or the Euro move on rapidly computer networks (blockchains), transferring money in minutes and cheaply. 


    The discussion moves on to exploring the risks emerging with a highly bank centric payments system (as is the case in the US less so in EU). As shown in the U.S. in March 2023, bank collapses mean that payment systems can also be disrupted (e.g., the collapse of Signature Bank caused a big disruption to the Signet payment system). Further, money kept by non-bank payment providers at US banks was also in peril where accounts exceeded the federal insurance limit (e.g., Circle had over US$3 billion in cash reserves held at SVB). 


    The chat concludes with Yesha’s thoughts some of the tensions arising from the current trend toward digitization and the potential for blockchain-based decentralized finance to take off and gain more mainstream acceptance. 

    HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.

    • 55 min
    Digital Payments, Innovations, and Financial Inclusion

    Digital Payments, Innovations, and Financial Inclusion

    Lisa Nestor is a Los Angeles-based fintech expert and pioneer in the field of electronic payments. She currently serves as the chief strategy officer at AirTM. Under her watch, AirTM has successfully facilitated over 26 million transactions, and expanded access to commerce to international businesses both large and small, creating a user-friendly tool benefiting millions of people worldwide.  
    After just a year in the FinTech field, Lisa introduced by a UCLA professor from her MBA days, to Jed Michaela, then CEO of the Stellar Development Foundation - a non-profit foundation supporting the Stellar ledger: an open, decentralized blockchain ledger focused on payments and providing open financial infrastructure. Before transitioning to AirTM, Lisa spent five and half years at Stellar, where she focused on partnerships and later, ecosystem development. As she puts it, the beauty of AirTM is that it leverages Stellar ledger.  

    With a passion for innovation, implementation and strategy within the shifting fintech landscape, Lisa’s knowledge is much sought after by entrepreneurs, developers and C-Suite executives. 

    In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, she talks to our host Ajay Shamdasani about her time in the Peace Corps, how she got into FinTech and payment systems as a ‘non-techie’ as well as AirTM’s long term goals and achievements thus far. Their conversation also delves into how firms operating in the FinTech and crypto realms should they adjust their business strategies to factor in digital money and cross-border payments and the attendant regulations that go along with them.   

    Lisa also shares her views on financial inclusion, making money easily accessible and immediately available, and utility of decentralized ledgers. She also talks about the challenges of operating across 190 countries with 400 unique payment methods globally. The discussion underscores the need for proper cross-border payment infrastructure to support the digital economy, which begs the question – who will set the rules of such new financial architecture – the industry or governments? 

    The conversation concludes with Lisa’s thoughts on stablecoin digital currencies outside national currencies (especially amongst those concerned about digital financial sovereignty), whether self-custody wallets the solution to digital financial sovereignty and what parts of the world beyond Dubai are worth watching for developments in FinTech and payment systems. 

    HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Respect Personal Data – A Look Into India’s New Personal Data Privacy Law

    Respect Personal Data – A Look Into India’s New Personal Data Privacy Law

    In our latest Regulatory Ramblings episode, Anandaday Misshra meticulously unpacked India's groundbreaking Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023 (DPDPA). The legislation, signifying a significant stride for India in the digital era, emphasizes individual empowerment over personal data while imposing stringent guidelines for responsible data handling. Anand sheds light on the comparison between the DPDPA and the EU's GDPR, examining their similarities and potential conflicts. The discussion with host Ajay Shamdasani extends to the potential impact on legal and compliance staff in banking, financial institutions, and multinational corporations operating in India.
    Anand, founder and managing director of AMLEGALS, provides depth to the conversation with his 27 years of expertise, specializing in arbitration, data protection, contracts, employment law, taxation, and white-collar crime.
    Regulatory Ramblings podcasts is brought to you by The University of Hong Kong - Reg/Tech Lab, HKU-SCF Fintech Academy, Asia Global Institute, and HKU-edX Professional Certificate in Fintech, with support from the HKU Faculty of Law (celebrating 55 years of excellence).

    HKU FinTech is the leading fintech research and education in Asia. Learn more at www.hkufintech.com.

    • 1 hr 10 min

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