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September 8, 2020

HPC + AI Wall Street Spotlights Cryptocurrencies, Infrastructure, More

Editorial Staff

(Pixels Hunter/Shutterstock)

High performance computing has long been a driver of competitive advantage in banking and finance. Some of the first supercomputers deployed by industry were used to deliver fast analysis and decisive trading execution. Recently AI has entered the fray with equally high expectations. This month, the annual HPC on Wall Street conference, now expanded to HPC + AI on Wall Street, turns 20 years old and will again dig into technology innovation and deployment in the fast-moving world of ‘Wall Street’.

Now co-owned and produced by Tabor Communications and BluSky Consulting, this year’s HPC + AI on Wall Street will be a virtual conference, held September 15.

It’s worth noting that while the brutal pressure on financial industry execs to perform or suffer the consequences is widely-known, it’s less well appreciated that pressure on IT personnel within the financial industry is also intense. Tom Tabor, industry observer and CEO of Tabor Communications, captures the pressure succinctly:

“Most of the IT guys are under SLA (service level agreements) within their organizations. If the data does not move within sub 100 milliseconds, they’re fired or their bonus could be disrupted. So when they’re looking at high performance systems, it’s very personal because they are on the same SLAs as the vendors and consultants to deliver these solutions.”

Jem Pagán, long-time chair for the conference and CEO of BluSky, adds:

“When we talk about high performance, what we’re really talking about is risk mitigation against latency, workload execution and performance in the market. Because these market executions happen in sub-milliseconds, it’s critical to be in a first-mover position to take advantage of revenue opportunities, whether it’s an investment, or it’s a trade, or it’s a risk analysis, or running a lot of algorithms to try to figure out from a prescriptive analytics perspective, who’s going to do what in the market and how can they best position themselves to take advantage of it.”

There’s not a lot of room for error.

This year’s 2020 HPC + AI on Wall Street agenda tackles four themes – analytics and data; crypto innovation in a highly-regulated environment; security and risk; and infrastructure development. There are two tracks, one for leadership focusing on issues and strategies, and another for developers focusing on best practices.

There are two timely keynotes. One explores emerging digital asset classes and the other examines the evolution of open banking towards open financial services.

Morning Keynote: Leaning Into Digital Assets Guided by the Voice of the Consumer

In her talk, Sunayna Tuteja, head of digital assets and blockchain at TD Ameritrade, will look at trends, challenges, and opportunities within emerging digital assets with a focus on distributed ledger technologies. It’s an area that is ripe with potential as what may seem like a novelty today can rapidly become a necessity tomorrow.

“The topic of digital assets is mired in a lot of confusion and complexity,” says Tuteja, with Wall Street displaying its usual cautious and contrarian perspective about blockchain, the technology, and bitcoin, the asset class. “I’m hoping that sharing aspects of our journey [in those areas] will show why it’s imperative for incumbents like us to lean into this technology and asset class.”

She notes this year has been especially challenging, “2020 has stress-tested institutions and individuals on so many levels. It’s not always survival of the fittest but it’s survival of the most adaptable.” Whether you are crypto-savvy, crypto-curious, or crypto-skeptical, Tuteja says she hopes to provide concrete insight to help attendees chart their own crypto courses.

Afternoon Keynote: It’s Not About Open Banking, it’s About Open Finance

In the afternoon keynote, Ritesh Jain, former COO, Global Head of Digital Technology Foundation, HSBC, tackles another timely topic. Open banking, he says, has broken up the silos around one of banking’s main functions – payments. Now, he argues, open financing is the next stage of open banking’s development and will open doors to new FinTech, new business models, and personalized, cheaper and faster services to customers.

Broadly, open banking started with Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2) in Europe. Jain says, “Open banking has proven the model that open finance regulatory bodies needed to navigate through risks of data abuse, security standards, use of ethical AI to name a few.” Now it’s time to take the next steps with open finance, he contends.

In terms of enabling technology, he cites API, cloud, and AI as key players. Jain’s talk will cover – what is open banking, the global landscape and business models; why open finance is a natural next step form open banking; and threats and opportunities in open finance.

Also speaking are Addison Snell (Founder and CEO, Intersect360 Research), Chris Brummer (Co-Founder, Fintech Beat), Charles Fan (Co-Founder and CEO, MemVerge), Nick Curcuru (Data Scientist, Advanced Analytics Partners), Shimon Ben-David (Field CTO, WekaIO), Shahin Khan (Founding Partner and Analyst, OrionX), Kristin Boggiano (Co-Founder and President, CrossTower) and Kurt Kuckein (Vice President of Marketing, DDN).

Here’s a snapshot of the HPC + AI on Wall Street agenda:

9-10 am Registration

10:00 am Opening Remarks

10:10 am Morning Keynote, Leaning Into Digital Assets Guided by the Voice of the Consumer

11:00 am Fintech Beat Weekly Podcast Broadcast LIVE from HPC + AI Wall Street

11:45 am Session 1, Infrastructure Development

12:30 pm Lunch

1:40 pm Afternoon Keynote, It’s Not About Open Banking, it’s About Open Finance

2:00 pm Session 2, Data and Analytics

2:45 pm Networking Lounges / Virtual Exhibit Floor

3:15 pm Session 3, Crypto Innovation in a Highly-Regulated Environment

4:00 pm Virtual Cocktail Hour/Conference Party

5:00 pm Tech Meetup: Advanced Reconfigurable High Performance / AI Computing

Link to HPC +AI on Wall Street agenda: https://www.hpcaiwallstreet.com/conference/agenda/

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