Connecting innovative powerhouses, for financial transformation

  • Freddy Nevison-Andrews

On Thursday 18 April, the latest edition of Canning House’s annual UK-Latin America Finance conference took place at the Citigroup Centre in Canary Wharf, London. Held in partnership with Citi, this year’s conference centred on the theme “Financing Prosperity.”

Connecting innovative powerhouses, for financial transformation

On Thursday 18 April, the latest edition of Canning House’s annual UK-Latin America Finance conference took place at the Citigroup Centre in Canary Wharf, London. Held in partnership with Citi, this year’s conference centred on the theme Financing Prosperity.

At a moment in which the global finance industry is undergoing a profound transition, with new trends in green investment and digital transformation, the conference served as a timely opportunity to bring together two powerhouses: the UK, and London in particular, as a global financial hub; and Latin America, one of the world’s hottest FinTech markets.

In the audience were many senior financial professionals and businesspeople – including many visiting from Latin America, part of a delegation for UK FinTech Week – diplomats, parliamentarians, analysts and others. As the only regional Latin American event taking place during UK FinTech Week this year, the conference connected these visiting innovators with key UK-based stakeholders.

Proceedings began with opening remarks from Erik Arveschoug (Citi), Jeremy Browne (Canning House) and Baroness Hooper (House of Lords, Canning House), welcoming our audience and speakers to Citi’s London HQ. Lady Hooper then invited the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli, to the stage to deliver a keynote speech.

The Lord Mayor spoke on the topic of Connect to Prosper, the theme defining his tenure as the 695th Lord Mayor of London. With the City of London as a major global financial services knowledge base, the Lord Mayor discussed how Latin America’s immense pool of FinTech talent, from all across the diverse region, can take best advantage of relationships and connections with London, catalysing new solutions to global challenges.

Following Alderman Professor Mainelli’s speech, the conference’s first panel discussion, Fuelling Prosperity: London as a Financial Gateway to Latin America, began. Exploring what London can offer Latin American businesses and governments as a global financial centre, the conversation was chaired by Ian Borman, Partner at Winston and Strawn.

Featuring Graham Stock (RBC BlueBay), Dean Tyler (BancTrust), Esther Rodríguez (IDB) and Javier Pollan (Citi), the panel discussed emerging opportunities for UK-Latin American collaboration in financial services. The attractive investment qualities of various Latin American markets were discussed, as well as their respective risks; and, reciprocally, the benefits for Latin American businesses of turning to London, as a “centre of excellence” in investment, as a platform.

Panel two, Innovating for Inclusion: Harnessing the Power of Open Banking, was chaired by Mark Simpson, Head of Financial Services Regulatory at Baker McKenzie. Exploring Latin America’s role as a dynamic, rapidly growing FinTech market, discussion focused on payments and open banking, and their role in expanding financial inclusion in the region.

In a wide-ranging discussion, covering cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, new breakthroughs in Latin Americas payments and open banking scene, and the UK as a source of FinTech capital and expertise, Eduardo Martínez Barrios (Luka), Ernesto Pittaluga (Citi), Tom Duff Gordon (Coinbase) and Diego Perez (ABFintechs) touched on the varied opportunities and challenges presented by financial services innovations that “fall outside the box” of traditional banking.

Closing remarks were delivered by Ulises Garciga (Citi) and Jeremy Browne, speaking further to the importance of UK-Latin America ties in financial services and investment, and highlighting the great value the conference offered as a forum for discussion and connection. A lively networking reception followed.

Canning House warmly thanks Citi for their partnership on this conference, and particularly the Hispanic/Latino Heritage Network; the Lord Mayor of London and all our panellists and speakers for their insights; and our audience for their interest and engagement.

Canning House has several Latin America-focused events upcoming this year, including a series of seminars on Mexico’s 2024 election; a technology conference in June, with more details to be announced soon; and many more. Visit our Events section for all the latest updates.

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