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LJD Week 2021 | FinTech and Racial Equity in Global Perspective

November 10, 2021

Virtual | Live Broadcast & Recorded



A session co-organized with the International Finance Corporation

Emerging technologies, and most notably Artificial Intelligence (AI) have pervasive and global implications transforming whole economic sectors. Algorithms are becoming ubiquitous in our lives, as part of decision-making with far reaching impacts in education, healthcare, employment, but also access to credit and financial services, more generally. 

Financial technology (FinTech) is a generic term to describe new tech that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services. ​​​Some recent studies indicate that 70% of FinTechs already use AI today, and it is predicted that AI will dominate the market as soon as 2025. FinTech providers, relying on big data analytics, are able to harness the power of AI systems to build innovative products and decision-making financial-service solutions that assist business and individual clients, while also reducing operational costs.

Some of the most prominent examples of AI uses in finance include: 

  • Loans approval–probably the most popular way in which FinTech companies are benefiting from AI, is through money lending apps that analyze financial habits and credit exposure of individuals to calculate their credit scoring, making the underwriting process more efficient, often without the need for human intervention; the thesis being that such loan approval process is also more accurate and less biased, thanks to improved client risk profile analysis. 

  • Insurance policy issuance–AI, in combination with Internet of Things (IoT) and external data sets can interact with clients in real-time and determine risk levels, e.g., by calculating person’s risk levels on the basis of assessment of their driving skills through a mobile app or assessing health risks on the basis of information not included in their personal medical records. 

  • Forecasting–AI solutions are able to assist users perform robust calculations on their spending habits at a very low cost and personalized way, using consumer insights through key data points, in order to keep track of individual’s spending and calculating if they would meet their financial goals, which can predict credit scores and prevent bad loans.

These are all exciting and important benefits that AI systems in FinTech can deliver, allowing for substantive economic and social gains, ability to radically improve services and increase efficiencies. But they also have potentially far-reaching risks, that are still not fully understood, with possible disparate effects across users and social groups. These risks may arise from nonrepresentative data, bias inherent in representative data, choice of algorithms, and human decisions, based on their AI interpretations, incl. whether humans are involved at all in the AI-supported decision process. 

The panel will discuss:

  • the key technologies and their respective applications in FinTech solutions, primarily focusing on AI, but also its interactions with IoT, blockchain and edge computing, in order to provide technology foundation of the discussion. 

  • the key risks stemming from applications of such technologies in FinTech, and how are those risks manifesting in different social contexts, esp. in developing markets. The discussion will also look into possible risk mitigation approaches, both in term of quality of data, but also testing of algorithms and models, as well as outputs and their explainability.  

  • the relevant standards and emerging reference regulatory frameworks, with focus on the intersections between soft-law approaches of good practices and envisioned regulators’ approaches, again primarily in emerging markets. 

  • developments in FinTech companies including in anticipation of the forthcoming regulations and market expectations, i.e. what are currently FinTech companies doing to address the key risks and how they are preparing for the forthcoming regulations.

  • Speakers


    Tatiana Campello

    Partner, Demarest, Brazil

    Tatiana Campello is a partner at Demarest and head of the Intellectual Property and Innovation and Data Privacy and Cybersecurity areas. Tatiana Campello holds a specialization in Business Law from PUC-SP and a BA in Law from Faculdades Integradas Cândido Mendes. Recognized nationally and internationally in her field, she participates in several national and international associations and acts as a lecturer and speaker on topics related to her areas of expertise.


    Kareem Saleh

    Founder and CEO, Fairplay AI, USA

    Kareem Saleh has been working on financial inclusion and underwriting hard-to-score borrowers his entire career. At ZestFinance (now he worked with lenders to adopt AI underwriting. At SoftCard he worked with retailers, financial institutions and tech companies to democratize mobile payments. In the Obama Administration he helped manage the team that negotiated the Paris Climate Agreement, and oversaw $3B in annual investments into development-friendly projects in emerging markets. He’s a contributor to Forbes on AI in financial services and loves boxing, poker and hip hop.


    Avi Gesser

    Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

    Avi Gesser is a litigation partner and a core member of our Data Strategy & Security practice. Having joined Debevoise in January 2020, Avi Gesser brings to the firm extensive experience advising major companies on a wide range of data, cybersecurity and incident response matters, including artificial intelligence and data minimization. He has represented international financial services firms, private equity firms, hedge funds and media organizations throughout full cybersecurity incident cycles, including managing large-scale data breaches, coordinating with law enforcement, responding to regulatory investigations, advising boards and executives on critical data liability issues, and defending against civil lawsuits. Avi Gesser is a primary author of the firm’s Data Blog and the architect of the Firm’s Data Portal, an online tool that helps clients quickly assess and comply with their cyber breach notification obligations. Avi Gesser also represents companies and financial institutions in investigations relating to anti-money laundering, sanctions and FCPA compliance. He has advised several U.S. and international financial institutions on cross-border tax investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Department of Financial Services and on the subsequent enhancement of their compliance policies.


    Anna Gressel

    Associate, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

    Anna Gressel is a senior commercial litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and a member of the firm’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications and Data Strategy & Security groups. She actively advises clients on the legal and regulatory implications of artificial intelligence (“AI”) and other emerging technologies. Her practice includes not only representing companies in regulatory inquiries concerning AI, but also assisting companies in developing AI principles and governance mechanisms. Anna Gressel also regularly speaks on issues concerning AI regulatory and litigation trends. She is a member of the Law Committee of the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, and she also participates in industry efforts to establish best practices in the areas of AI explainability, risk assessment, and governance.


    Kiril Nejkov (moderator)

    Senior Counsel, International Finance Corporation

    Kiril Nejkov has been working in IFC since 2006 focusing on corporate governance, particularly on control environment. Before that he worked on alternative dispute resolution. Kiril Nejkov has comprehensive experience in corporate governance from South-East Europe, the Caucasus and South Asia, including through provision of tailored support to over 50 companies and work on over 20 national and sector-specific regulations and standard. Kiril Nejkov developed a number of publications and tools, including sections of the Control Environment Toolkit of IFC’s Corporate Governance Methodology. Before joining IFC, Kiril Nejkov worked as adviser to the President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia, as well as expert for the EU, UNDP and the World Bank. Kiril Nejkov holds a PhD in corporate governance from the University of Skopje and LL.M in International Law from Cambridge University.


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