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CCAF annual conference

Since 2016, the CCAF has held an annual conference in Cambridge, UK. This year the conference will take place over three consecutive days from 28 June to 30 June. It is an international academic boutique conference led by CCAF Co-founder and Academic Director, Professor Raghavendra Rau.

Select a year to view conference details.

Sixth Annual Conference on Alternative Finance

Dates & times

  • 28, 29 and 30 June 2021

Sessions will take place daily at:

  • 08:00-11:00 EDT (New York) / 13:00-16:00 GMT+1 (UK) / 14:00-17:00 CEST (Paris) / 20:00-23:00 CST (Beijing)

Format

Online – via Zoom

About the conference

The conference is hosted by the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. Eight high-quality academic papers have been selected for presentation, covering a wide range of research topics including crowdfunding, fintech disruption, AI, labor economics and corporate finance, and financial intermediaries. The keynote speaker for the conference will be Stefan Nagel (University of Chicago).

Day 1 programme: Crowdfunding

28 June

Welcome

  • Raghavendra Rau, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance, Co-founder and Academic Director, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

28 June

Opening Remarks

  • Colin Fitzgerald, Head of EMEA Distribution, Invesco

28 June

Presentations

Information Cascades and Threshold Implementation: An Application to Crowdfunding
  • Lin William Cong, Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management, Yizhou Xiao, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Do FinTech Lenders Fairly Allocate Loans Among Investors?
  • Li Ting Chiu, Bentley University, Brian Wolfe, University of Texas at San Antonio, Woongsun Yoo, Central Michigan University

28 June

Keynote Speech

Runs 15:00-16:00 GMT+1

  • Stefan Nagel, University of Chicago

Professor Nagel’s research focuses on asset pricing, investor behavior, and risk-taking of financial intermediaries. His most recent work explores the role of personal experiences in shaping expectations about the macroeconomy and financial market returns, novel approaches for measurement of bank tail risk exposures, and the application of machine learning techniques to understand the risk and return of investment strategies in the stock market. Professor Nagel currently serves as the Executive Editor of the Journal of Finance, one of the leading academic finance journals in the world. Previously, he was an editor at the Review of Financial Studies from 2014-2015 and an associate editor at various top journals.

Professor Stefan Nagel (Keynote speaker)

Fama Family Distinguished Service Professor of Finance, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

Day 2 programme: Labour economics and corporate finance

29 June

Presentations

Surviving the Fintech Disruption
  • Wei Jiang, Columbia Business School, NBER and ECGI, Yuehua Tang, University of Florida, Warrington College of Business, Rachel Xiao, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Vincent Yao, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University
Artificial Intelligence and High-Skilled Work: Evidence from Analysts
  • Jillian Grennan, Duke University, Fuqua School of Business, Roni Michaely, University of Geneva and SFI Geneva Finance Research Institute
How to Talk When a Machine is Listening: Corporate Disclosure in the Age of AI
  • Sean Cao, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Wei Jiang, Columbia Business School, NBER, and ECGI, Baozhong Yang, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Alan L. Zhang, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University

Day 3 programme: Financial Intermediaries

29 June

Presentations

Fintech Lending and Sales Manipulation
  • Kumar Rishabh, University of Basel, Jorma Schäublin, University of Basel
Trust as an Entry Barrier: Evidence from FinTech Adoption
  • Keer Yang, University of Minnesota
Open Banking: Credit Market Competition When Borrowers Own the Data
  • Zhiguo He, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, and NBER, Jing Huang, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, Jidong Zhou, Yale University, School of Management

Fifth Annual Conference on Alternative Finance

Dates & times

  • 29 June 2020, 12:00-15:00 GMT+1
  • 30 June 2020, 12:00-15:00 GMT+1
  • 1 July 2020, 12:00-15:00 GMT+1

Format

Online – via Zoom

About the conference

The conference is hosted by the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. Eight high-quality academic papers have been selected for presentation, covering a wide range of research topics including crowdfunding, marketplace lending, cryptoassets, blockchain and social issues in alternative finance. The keynote speaker for the conference will be Campbell Harvey, Duke University.

2020 programme

29 June

Welcome

  • Raghavendra Rau, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance, Academic Director and Co-founder, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

29 June

Opening remarks

  • Henning Stein, Invesco

Dr Henning Stein is the Global Head of Thought Leadership for Invesco. Henning and his team of strategists and researchers provide valuable insight and perspectives to the institutional investor and financial advisor global communities. Henning joined Invesco in 2016 from DWS where he led a global research initiative working together with the CIO office and management teams in the wealth and asset management businesses in addition to his role as Head of EMEA Marketing for the active management business. He also served on the Board of Deutsche Bank Switzerland’s pension fund and on its Investment Committee. He has 22 years of experience, including senior executive, business development and consulting roles, across pension funds, platforms, academia, asset management, and insurance working with boards and CEOs. He currently serves as a fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

29 June

Cryptoassets

Collectibles Tokenization & Optimal Security Design
  • Blair Vorsartz, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
What Keeps Stable Coins Stable?
  • Ganesh Viswanath Natraj, Warwick Business School and Richard Lyons, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and NBER

29 June

Keynote speech

Runs 14:00-15:00

  • Campbell Harvey, Duke University

Professor Campbell Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Finance at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is known as the economist who discovered a crucial bellwether of coming recessions: the inverted yield curve. He served as President of the American Finance Association in 2016. He has received eight Graham and Dodd Awards/Scrolls for excellence in financial writing from the CFA Institute. Professor Harvey is a Founding Director of the Duke-CFO Survey, a widely watched quarterly survey polls over 1,500 CFOs worldwide. His current teaching includes two blockchain-themed courses: “Innovation & Cryptoventures” and “Tech Driven Transformation of Business”.

30 June

Big data and behavioural finance

Financial Inclusion and Alternate Credit Scoring for the Millennials: Role of Big Data and Machine Learning in Fintech
  • Sumit Agarwal, National University of Singapore, Shashwat Aloky, Indian School of Business, Pulak Ghoshz, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and Sudip Gupta, Fordham University
Human vs. Machine: Underwriting Decisions in Finance
  • Mark Jansen, University of Utah, Eccles School of Business, Hieu Nguyen, University of Utah, Eccles School of Business and Amin Shams, Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business

Attention Triggers and Investors’ Risk Taking
  • Marc Arnold, University of St. Gallen, Matthias Pelster, Paderborn University, and Marti Subrahmanyam, Stern School of Business, New York University

1 July

Crowdfunding

With a Little Help from Friends: Strategic Financing and the Crowd
  • Sudipto Dasgupta, CUHK Business School, Tingting Fan, CUHK Business School, Yiwei Li, Lingnan University and Yizhou Xiao, CUHK Business School
Are All Heuristics Created Equal? Evidence from P2P Investments
  • Maggie Rong Hu, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Xiaoyang Li, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Yang Shi, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Michael Xiaoquan Zhang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Consumers as Financiers: Consumer Surplus, Crowdfunding, and Initial Coin Offerings
  • Mina Lee, Olin Business School, Washington University and Christine Parlour, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Fourth Annual Conference on Alternative Finance

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s fourth annual Conference Transforming Alternative Finance: Innovation, Trust and Impact, took place on 1 and 2 July 2019 at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Following the successes of our annual conferences in 2016, 2017, and 2018 – the 2019 conference theme reflected the Centre’s global research activities in alternative finance/FinTech and the need to critically examine the evolution of this rapidly maturing industry.

The first part of our Annual Conference was a boutique academic conference that took place on 1 July at Cambridge Judge Business School. Following an open call for  submission, eight high-quality academic papers were selected for presentation, covering a wide range of research topics including crowdfunding, marketplace lending, cryotoassets, blockchain and social issues in alternative finance. On the 2 July, the CCAF Annual Conference brought together academics, industry practitioners, policymakers, regulators and business leaders to discuss global market trends, the latest technology-enabled business models, the application of financial innovation in developing and developed economies and the related regulatory challenges and opportunities. It provided the opportunity to share learning, transfer knowledge and leverage our collective network to tackle emerging challenges and find practical solutions.

Download the 2019 conference programme

Keynote addresses

This 2019 conference was structured around four keynote addresses and five panel discussion sessions. After the welcome introduction by Bryan Zhang, the Executive Director of CCAF, Robert Wardrop, the Director of the Centre will gave an opening address expanding on the themes of innovation, trust, and impact in alternative finance and the roles that they have played and will play in the continued development of the sector. The four keynote addresses explored the following themes:

FinTech and Financial Inclusion: Perspectives from the World Bank 

Speaker: Alfonso Garcia Mora, Global Director, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, the World Bank

View the keynote

Creating Value Through Collaboration: FIntech and Traditional Financial Services

Speaker: Bob Wigley, Chair, UK Finance

View the keynote

Banking Regulation in Fostering Financial Inclusion: the Angolan Case

Speaker: José de Lima Massano, Governor, Banco Nacional de Angola

View the keynote

Regulating Financial Innovation – Going Behind the Scenes

Speaker: Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, Financial Conduct Authority

View the keynote

Third Annual Conference on Alternative Finance

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s third annual Conference Reimagining Alternative Finance: Global Perspectives and Local Insights, took place on 29 and 30 June 2018 at Cambridge Judge Business School.

It was attended by 150 speakers and delegates from the global alternative finance industry, academics, policymakers, regulators and corporate leaders.

Following the success of the Centre’s previous conferences in 2016 and 2017 – the 2018 conference theme reflected the Centre’s global research activities and the need to critically examine the state, purpose, framework and impact of a rapidly maturing and constantly evolving alternative finance industry. 

The conference programme consisted of four panel sessions and five keynote speeches exploring the four keys themes of ‘Researching Alternative Finance: Global Perspectives and Local Insights’, ‘Inclusive Financial Innovation in Developing Countries & Emerging Markets’, ‘Financial Innovations and Regulatory Challenges: Frameworks, Tools and Data’ and ”Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Finance: Progression or Disruption?’. Keynote speakers included: Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands (The UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate in Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA)), Greg Medcraft (Director of OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs), Professor Njuguna Ndung’u (The immediate former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya), Miriam Koreen (Deputy Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities OECD) and Ann Cairns, the Vice Chairman of Mastercard.

Download the 2018 conference programme

Speeches

Download Greg Medcraft’s keynote speech “The Global Forces Shaping Finance”

Download Naoyuki Yoshino’s panel presentation “Hometown Investment Trust Funds: Finance for Start-up Businesses”

Download Njuguna Ndung’u’s keynote speech “Regulation and Innovation: The Experience of Regulating Kenya’s M-Pesa”

Download Miriam Koreen’s keynote speech "SME Financing: The Role of Alternative Instruments"

Download Ann Cairns’s keynote speech “Financial Inclusion Making the Most of Public Private Partnerships”

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance third annual conference, Reimagining Alternative Finance: Global Perspectives and Local Insights, was opened by Bryan Zhang, Executive Director and Co-founder, CCAF, who emphasized the needs to reflect and reimagine financial innovation and regulatory innovation.

The opening address “Operationalising Financial Innovation” was given by Robert Wardrop, Director and Co-Founder, CCAF, who discussed the role of regulation in financial innovation and diverse regional patterns of innovation, and asked, “does the system kill innovation, or does it change following such innovation?”

Greg Medcraft, Director of OECD for Financial and Enterprise Affairs delivered the first keynote address, highlighting the global forces shaping finance with an emphasis on the OECD and the Development of Blockchain.

The first-panel discussion “Researching Alternative Finance: Global Perspectives and Local Insights”, led by Raghavendra Rau, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance & Director of Research, CCAF, analysed the new forms of innovation – whether they pose a threat to existing institutions, and whether regulators should worry about financial innovation. Ross Levine, Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley; Naoyuki Yoshino, Dean of the Asia Development Bank Institute and Rotem Shneor, Professor of Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Agder joined the panel.

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate in Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), addressed the conference via a live video link. She discussed the importance of financial inclusion and how we should seize FinTech’s potential to provide vital access to finance for millions of unbanked and underbanked populations.

The second-panel discussion focused on “Inclusive Financial Innovation in Developing Countries & Emerging Markets”. Chaired by by Robert Wardrop, panelists included Juan Ketterer, Director, Connectivity Markets and Finance, the Inter-American Development Bank; Matthew Saal, Head of Digital Finance, International Finance Corporation (IFC); Lotte Schou-Zibell, Financial Sector Group, Asian Development Bank; Kabir Kumar, Director of Policy and Ecosystem Building, Omidyar Network and Paul Musoke, Director for Competitive Strategies, FSD Africa.

The third, and penultimate panel session “Financial Innovations and Regulatory Challenges: Frameworks, Tools and Data”, was moderated by Jon Frost, FinTech Lead, Financial Stability Board, saw the panellists discuss both FinTech regulations and regulatory innovation in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Europe. Panelists include Nick Cook, Head of RegTech and Advanced Analytics, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Dirk Schrade, Deputy Head of the Payments and Settlement Systems, Deutsche Bundesbank; Patrick Armstrong, Senior Advisor, the European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA) and Mirtel ter Braak, Senior Policy Advisor, Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).

Mark Napier, Director, FSD Africa, introduced third keynote Professor Ndung’u, the immediate former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, who explored how Kenya regulated M-Pesa, the mobile phone accessible bank with “Regulation and Innovation: The Experience of Regulating Kenya’s M-Pesa”. The fourth keynote speaker, Miriam Koreen, Deputy Director and Head of SME & Entrepreneurship Division, OECD discussed the role of alternative instruments for the financing of SME with a presentation entitled “SME Financing, Entrepreneurship and Alternative Finance”.

The final panel, chaired by Jesse McWaters, Financial Innovation Lead, the World Economic Forum, discussed the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in Finance. Panelists included Michael Janiszewski, Managing Director, Global Head of Investment Services, Invesco; Lesly Goh, Chief Technology Officer and Director, Enterprise Architecture & Technology, the World Bank; Keith Bear, Global Leader for Financial Markets, IBM; Claire Calmejane, Transformation Director, Lloyds Banking Group and Robert Reoch, Global Head of Digital Lending Innovation at HSBC.

The closing keynote was delivered by Ann Cairns, Vice Chairman, Mastercard. She discussed the importance of making the most of public and private partnerships to further the cause of financial inclusion globally.

Photo gallery

Second Annual Conference on Alternative Finance

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance second annual Conference Navigating the Contours of Alternative Finance, took place on 28 and 29 June 2017 at Cambridge Judge Business School.

It was attended by 150 speakers and delegates from the global alternative finance industry, academia, corporate sectors, multilateral institutions, national and supranational policymaking and regulating bodies. 

Following the success of the inaugural conference in September 2016, the 2017 conference focused on the continuously evolving global alternative finance landscape in the broader context of FinTech and highlighted the latest market trends, regulatory and policy developments and research advancements in this exciting space. 

The conference programme consisted of five peer-led panel sessions and three keynote speeches exploring the four keys themes of ‘Regulatory and Supervisory Issues Raised by Fintech,’ ‘Corporate Adaption of Alternative Finance,’ ‘Making Crowdfunding Work in the Interest of Consumers’ and ‘Opportunities and Challenges in Regulating Alternative Finance’. Notable keynote speakers included: Svein Andresen (Secretary General, Financial Stability Board), Sarah Rapson (Director of Authorisation, Financial Conduct Authority), and Mario Marcel (Governor, Central Bank of Chile).

Download the academic conference programme (28 June 2017)

Download the conference programme (29 June 2017)

Download Svein Andresen’s Keynote Speech “Regulatory and Supervisory Issues Raised by Fintech”

The conference provided a thermometer for FinTech industries, corporates, investors, policymakers and regulators on the current temperature of alternative finance, while elucidating new areas for study and refined methodologies.

In the first keynote address, Svein Andresen highlighted the regulatory implications of new financial technology or ‘FinTech’ innovations—how it should be regulated and what societal implications of new technologies in the alternative finance space might exist?

Mario Marcel, the Governor of the Central Bank of Chile, in his keynote noted that he does not see ‘FinTech’ to be in conflict with central banking, its regulatory architecture, or its current financial stability mandates.

“Yet, the pace of ‘FinTech’ innovation has left many recent developments comparatively unregulated, such as initial coin offerings (ICOs). And with a lack of data, experience, and market penetration, assessing risks for regulatory purposes is particularly complicated as governing bodies seek to ensure fair-play without stifling innovation.  As a result, most regulatory efforts have focused on crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, as it is amongst the most visible application of technology for alternative capital funding. Even here, however, regulatory authorities have to cope with a fast-evolving set of industry players and investors.”

Sarah Rapson, Director of Authorisation at the Financial Conduct Authority, noted that firms under regulation have increased and diversified their activities due to swelling consumer demand and continual financial innovation. This, coupled with the global nature of alternative finance, has brought a need to better understand the associated regulatory risks and challenges.

To help contextualize this new industry for regulators and industry players, Raghavendra Rau (CCAF), Stijn Claessens (Bank for International Settlements), and Luigi Zingales (University of Chicago) highlighted the current state of affairs globally in alternative finance, and shed light on the importance of trust in alternative finance markets. The largest markets can be found in the US, the UK and China. And while the success of China and the US can be explained by their relative size, that of the UK cannot be.

The second panel discussion turned its attention towards the corporate perspective of alternative finance. Representatives from the CME Group, Microsoft, IBM, the World Economic Forum, and BBVA were on-hand to discuss various topics including blockchain’s effect on existing financial infrastructure, cryptocurrency, its implications for investment management,  and the continued development of online channels

The global character of alternative finance was the theme of the third panel session on emerging markets and developing countries. Representatives from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development bank, FSD Africa, Lend Academy and YingCanGroup discussed how to leverage financial innovation to promote financial inclusion via online alternative finance channels, the eradication of chronic poverty through digital leapfrogging, and the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and investors.

The last panel discussion on regulation was conducted under Chatham House Rules and chaired by a member of the Financial Stability Board’s Secretariat. Regulators from the SEC, the Abu Dhabi Financial Services Regulatory Authority, the Malaysian Securities Commission and the European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA) discussed varied approaches in regulating alternative finance and how best to forge an evidence-based, appropriate and proportionate regulatory regime.

Photo gallery

Inaugural Annual Conference on Alternative Finance

The Inaugural Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance Conference: Mapping the Landscape of Alternative Finance Conference took place at Downing College, Cambridge on 29 September 2016. 

Download the conference programme