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Alternative Finance in the Digitised Economy

Alternative finance in the digitised economy


The financial services industry is undergoing rapid and far-reaching transformation, underpinned by new and emerging technologies and a range of socio-economic drivers. This transformation is fundamentally changing market structures and opening opportunities for both incumbents and challengers to create innovative, game-changing alternative products and services. 

Many thousands of new firms, products and services are creating an extremely vibrant global alternative finance ecosystem. Everything from blockchain-based digital assets to new wealth management services serving the masses, from online capital raising channels and instruments such as marketplace/peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, initial coin offerings (ICOs) to new payment systems, e-money, remittance services and digital banking services – the financial services system is undergoing a full-scale, technology-driven transformation. 

Experts and academics from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) based at Cambridge Judge Business School and leading practitioners from around the world, offer the opportunity for international participants of this course to get fully immersed in and up-to-speed with the rapidly changing dynamics of the ongoing transformation. This programme enables participants to collaboratively and interactively build a deep understanding of a broad range of key concepts, trends, developments, technologies, risks and opportunities.  

This programme draws upon the most up-to-date and insightful case studies, data and examples from many different geographies, business models and economic contexts, while benefitting from the expertise and experience offered by the CCAF at Cambridge Judge Business School and its global partners. This programme provides an efficient, timely opportunity for industry leaders and decision-makers to be fully prepared, aware and equipped to deal with the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities posed by the alternative finance industry in the digitised economy. 


The topics, carefully selected for this programme, are the essential building blocks of the emerging financial transformation in the digitised economy. These themes are encapsulated and explored through analyses of existing case studies and examples drawn from multiple financial activities in many jurisdictions globally. 

The pedagogy consists of simulations, exercises, role-playing activities, cases, discussions and lectures, ensuring that all sessions are highly interactive and applied to the most cutting-edge state of the industry. Each session has key lessons that can be adopted in practice.

Participants will leave the programme with a clear understanding of concepts and practical tools which they can directly apply, harness and transfer to their own businesses, firms and contexts.

Thematic course modules:

  • Understanding Alternative Finance in the Digitised Economy: Drivers & Trends
  • Alternative Finance Channels and Instruments I: Marketplace/Peer-to-Peer Lending
  • Alternative Finance Channels and Instruments II: Equity & Reward-based Crowdfunding
  • Distributed Ledger Technology & Applications I: Crypto-Currencies, ICOs & the Tokenised Economy
  • Distributed Ledger Technology & Applications II: Blockchain/DLT & its Use Cases
  • Alternative Credit Analytics & New Forms of Data
  • Alternative Investment Analytics & New Forms of Data
  • Alternative Payment Channels & Systems: Mobile, e-Money, Machine-to-Machine Payments
  • Alternative Insurance, Wealth Management & Banking: InsureTech, WealthTech, e-Banks
  • Alternative Finance Regulations & Policy: Frameworks, Approaches, Landscape, RegTech
  • Alternative Finance: Developing Economies and Financial Inclusion


  • Get an in-depth review of the most cutting-edge trends, technologies and business models of the emerging alternative financial services landscape.
  • Study interactive case studies to get to grips with the nuances and differences between different alternative finance services providers and technical approaches.
  • Build capacity to identify risks and opportunities and manage change in the context of the emergent alternative finance industry. 
  • Understand and use the tools and frameworks to assess different alternative financial services business models.
  • Review existing regulatory and policy approaches in different jurisdictions globally.
  • Receive a Certificate of Attendance from Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education to demonstrate new knowledge.
  • Connect with a global network of like-minded peers in an interactive and engaging way.
  • Receive full support along the way with a dedicated administrative contact and tutor.
  • Gain access to and feedback from University of Cambridge faculty and fellows.
  • Enjoy discussion and debate with Cambridge Judge Business School faculty, tutors, as well as between fellow participants. 

This programme counts as one course for those completing the Cambridge Judge Business School General Management Certificate of Achievement. On completing the GMCA you will be eligible to become an associate member of Cambridge Judge Business School's global network of graduates and business-focused University of Cambridge alumni, faculty and staff.

Who should attend

This programme will be suited to executives from financial services firms and corporates, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs as well as leaders within government and policymaking bodies, and international organisations.

It provides a superb opportunity for you to engage intelligently with the key issues, business models, trends, technologies, regulatory implications, risks and opportunities presented by alternative finance in the digitised economy. 

Faculty & speakers

Robert Wardrop

Robert Wardrop

Co-founder and Director, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance 

Read more about Robert

Robert is a sociologist in the Finance & Accounting subject group at Cambridge Judge Business School. He has a successful track record of investing in and advising small and mid-sized firms in North America, Europe and Asia spanning over 30 years, and this experience led to his interest in understanding how and why alternative channels of finance emerge outside the traditional banking and capital markets system. His current research focuses on small and mid-sized firms that issue bonds as an alternative to bank financing, with the aim of better understanding the decision-making behaviour of firm owners and classes of investors across different economies. In addition to his academic role at Cambridge, Robert currently serves on the Global Advisory Boards of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the School of Business at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada.

Raghavendra Rau

Raghavendra Rau

Co-founder and Director of Research, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

Read more about Raghu

Raghu is currently the Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School. He is also Head of the School's Finance & Accounting subject group and a past president of the European Finance Association. Raghu is Co-Editor of Financial Management and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Banking and Finance, the International Review of Finance and the Quarterly Journal of Finance.

Visit Professor Raghavendra Rau's faculty webpage

Bryan Zhang

Bryan Zhang

Co-founder and Executive Director, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

Read more about Bryan

Bryan is trained in economic geography and public policy. His research examines the accumulation and allocation of capital for start-ups and SMEs through alternative circuits of finance in a geographical and comparative context. Since 2013, Bryan has led and co-authored some of the most influential industry reports on the state of alternative finance both at national and international levels. He has advised and collaborated with numerous institutions and organisations including the Financial Conduct Authority, the British Business Bank, the Department of International Development, the European Commission, the World Bank, Oxfam and Unilever. Bryan is also a Research Fellow in Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School and a Senior Fellow at the Financial Innovation Lab.

Kieran Garvey

Kieran Garvey

Policy Programme Manager, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

Read more about Kieran

Kieran is the co-author of nine alternative finance industry reports covering market activity globally, as well as more specifically within regulation in East Africa and UK sustainable energy. He is leading the Cambridge-World Bank 2017-2019 Regulator & Policymaker Surveys in addition to a research programme to develop a technology solution to more efficiently conduct regulatory reviews of different FinTech business models in developing and emerging countries. Kieran previously worked at the UK Crowdfunding Association, as a UK parliamentary crowdfunding advisor and has aided a large number of companies to secure finance via equity crowdfunding. He also helped establish a microfinance social enterprise in Northern Vietnam, inspired by Kiva. Kieran holds an MSc from Imperial College London and a BSc from the London School of Economics.

Tania Ziegler

Tania Ziegler

Research Associate, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

Read more about Tania

Tania is a Research Associate at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Tania's research interests include small business economics and SME utilisation of alternative funding models to access finance. She was the Programme Manager of the Alternative Funding Network at the London-based Knowledge Peers. Previous to her work in alternative finance, Tania specialised in Chinese outward direct investment and was a Fulbright Scholar. Tania studied economics and holds an MSc in China in Comparative Perspective from the London School of Economics.

Headshot of Michel Rauchs

Michel Rauchs

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Lead, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

Read more about Michel

Michel Rauchs is Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Lead at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance. He co-authored two influential benchmarking reports on the state of global cryptocurrency and blockchain industries in 2017. He holds a Bachelor in Economics from HEC Lausanne and graduated from Grenoble Ecole de Management with a Master’s degree in International Business with a thesis on the evolution of the Bitcoin business ecosystem from 2010-2015 using a unique longitudinal dataset of 514 companies and projects.

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Dates & fees

Dates Duration Fees *
23-25 May 2018 3 days £2,995 + VAT

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate, which is currently 20%; e.g. £2,995 + 20% = £3,594.

* Fees include instruction, materials, lunch and breaks. Preferential rates may be available for groups, University of Cambridge alumni and members of the School's Alumni Association. Please note prices pre-registration are subject to change.

For information regarding payment terms, cancellation rights, transfer policies and fees, please see our terms & conditions documents:

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (pdf, 233KB) (updated 31 January 2018)
Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (pdf, 250KB) (updated 31 January 2018)

Registration closes at midday two working days before the programme start date.

Participants are expected to attend the full programme.

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about this programme and how it could benefit you or your organisation, please get in touch with the programme advisor:

Jasmin Abdel-Moneim

Sales & Business Development Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1223 768071

Jasmin Abdel-Moneim

Version 1 (27 November 2017)

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