Episode 26: UK Fintech Week 2022: State of the Fintech Nation

In this episode of FInsight, London partners Sue McLean, Mark Simpson, and David Hart talk about UK Fintech Week 2022. They cover the biggest trends and developments around fintech in the UK, with special focus on the expected topics throughout the event. The episode takes a closer look at the investment landscape (including the UK's position as a fintech hub, active investors and top sub-sectors) and the current and expected regulatory developments that fintech players need to watch out for.


Episode 25: Sovereigns Series: Compliance in a Changing Landscape

In this episode of FInsight and part of the on-going Sovereigns Series: Worlds in Motion, Pete Chapman and Lucy Shawdon from our Compliance and Investigations team in London take a look at compliance in a changing landscape, specifically in the context of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). The episode goes through current developments, emerging trends, risks, and other important items that sovereign wealth funds need to consider, as we move to the post-pandemic economy. It also covers topics around due diligence and risk management, focusing on geographic, sectoral, litigation, reputational and regulatory risks.


Episode 24: The Year Ahead: Financial Institutions Trends in the Global Disputes Landscape

Baker McKenzie's fifth annual report, The Year Ahead: Global Disputes Forecast 2022, addresses key trends in the evolving disputes landscape. The report includes a new survey of 600 senior legal and risk leaders from large companies across the world.

Amy Greer, a partner from our New York office and co-chair of our North America Financial Regulation and Enforcement practice, Marc Thorley, a partner from our Dispute Resolution practice in London, and Carolina Duque, a partner from our Bogota office, talk about the key findings relevant for financial institutions. The episode examines the factors driving the increase in disputes and emerging concerns related to liabilities. It also covers litigation around digital transformation, tax, 'business-as-usual' conduct, and new environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards.


Episode 23: Financial Institutions Takeaways from the 2021/2022 Digital Transformation and Cloud Survey

In the latest iteration of our Digital Transformation and Cloud Survey, financial institutions (FIs) identify cost reduction and increased security as top benefits from investment in cloud computing. Conversely, data privacy and cybersecurity issues are identified as top concerns.

In this episode, Carolina Duque, a partner from our Bogota office talk to Alessandro Celli, a partner from our Zurich office and global fintech lead and Peter R. George, a partner from our Chicago office who is familiar with the history of the survey and has seen key developments for FIs over the years. They go through the recent findings relevant to FIs and discuss associated risks and vulnerabilities that respondents highlighted. They also cover cyber liability insurance, investment in private cloud offerings, data privacy, cybersecurity, and future challenges that FIs should prepare for.


Episode 22: Sovereigns Series - Navigating Tax Transparency in Europe

In the aftermath of COVID-19 and the resulting low-yielding environment, sovereign actors are looking more than ever to real estate, infrastructure, private equity, private debt and other alternative assets for strategic investment opportunities.

In this second of two episodes, Baker McKenzie partners Pat McDonald (Chicago), James Burdett (London), Matt Legg (London), Guillaume Le Camus (Paris) and Diogo Duarte de Oliveira (Luxembourg) take a close look at sovereign wealth funds — our current observations of our SWF clients' approach to tax governance and structuring. In this episode, we take a closer look at some of the European tax issues currently affecting SWF's investment activity - particularly the increasing volume of tax transparency requirements.


Episode 21: Sovereigns Series - COP26 Key Takeaways for Sovereign Wealth Funds

In this episode of FInsight, Andrew Hedges and Kay She from Baker McKenzie's EMI group in London discuss their experience and observations while on the ground in Glasgow. They cover business imperatives and challenges affecting the global economy and how sovereign wealth funds are well-positioned to influence and make an impact on broader sustainability goals and action plans. As discussions on climate-related issues evolve from commitments to execution in the recent COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, we unpack some of the key takeaways relevant for sovereign wealth funds.


Episode 20: Sovereigns Series - Investment Profile and Tax Focus Areas for Sovereign Wealth Funds

In the aftermath of COVID-19 and the resulting low-yielding environment, sovereign actors are looking more than ever to real estate, infrastructure, private equity, private debt and other alternative assets for strategic investment opportunities.

In this first of two episodes, Baker McKenzie partners Pat McDonald (Chicago), James Burdett (London), Matt Legg (London), Guillaume Le Camus (Paris) and Diogo Duarte de Oliveira (Luxembourg) take a close look at sovereign wealth funds — our current observations of our SWF clients' approach to tax governance and structuring. Our team examines the investment activities of sovereign players in the post-GFC and pandemic environment, and their areas of tax focus in M&A scenarios, including investing in the US.


Episode 19: Crypto around the World (Part 2)

Taking off from the guide Crypto around the World, the second of two episodes takes a closer look at market abuse, sustainability, decentralized finance and future developments. Sue McLean, a partner in our London office, talks to the team that started this project: Iris Barsan, counsel from our Paris office; Julian Hui, associate from our London office; and Chris Murrer, a US attorney in our Zurich office. They also cover specific regulatory and policy considerations, as well as the future impact of central bank digital currencies.


Episode 18: Litigation Readiness for Financial Institutions

Financial institutions (FIs) surveyed by Baker McKenzie spent an average of USD 272 million each on litigation in 2020 higher than any other industry but their readiness strategies may not be keeping up with the scale of the challenge they face.

In this episode of FInsight, Baker McKenzie partners Daniela Fonseca Puggina from our Miami office and Jennifer Semko from our Washington, D.C. office discuss litigation readiness for financial institutions. The episode also covers potential vulnerabilities and disputes that they need to prepare for, current and emerging trends in litigation (from our Litigation Intelligence Tool and Report), and how they can benefit from litigation preparedness.


Episode 17: Sovereigns Series - Key Principles of Investment Treaty Protection

Investment treaties expose sovereigns to significant liability if the rights of foreign investors are encroached on. At the same time, these treaties also grant powerful protections and direct claims to sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) — when they act as foreign investors in other states. In this episode, Andy Moody, partner and head of the dispute resolution practice in London, and Katia Finkel, senior associate in the same practice in London, cover recent examples of SWFs bringing investment treaty claims and how others can obtain access to these protections. The episode also analyzes why investors should consider investment treaties as part of their decision-making process.


Episode 16: Sovereigns Series – Cross-Border Fraud and Asset Tracing in Sovereign Wealth Funds

Fraud poses a particular threat to sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) due to the vast sums of money they invest. They also have a higher risk profile when compared to other funds, with high stakes both politically and financially. In this episode, Charles Thomson and Henry Garfield, partners in Baker McKenzie’s dispute resolution practice in London, talk to Kate Geale about recent developments, legal issues, practical tips, and strategies around cross-border fraud and asset tracing in SWFs. The episode also tackles emerging trends around the growing emphasis on sustainability and the increasing impact of cryptoassets. SWFs may have go through a long process to recover assets, but it is worth it in the end for recovery, punishment and future deterrents.


Special Edition: Finding Balance – Sustainability in Financial Institutions

In this special edition, Eva-Maria Segur Cabanac, a partner in our Vienna office and global sustainability lead for financial institutions, and Jennifer Klass, a partner in our New York office and co-chair of the financial regulation and enforcement practice in North America, talk with Ying Yi Liew on how the COVID-19 pandemic led to the prioritization of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations among financial institutions (FIs). They also cover progress around the creation of common and consistent international standards over disclosure and classification, and the impact of new technologies on sustainability priorities. This episode is part of the sixth installment of Finding Balance: The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions.


Episode 14: Crypto Around the World (Part 1)

Taking off from the guide Crypto Around the World, the first of two episodes takes a broader look at general aspects of cryptoassets. Sue McLean, a partner in our London office, talks to the team that started this project: Iris Barsan, counsel from our Paris office; Julian Hui, associate from our London office; and Chris Murrer, a US attorney in our Zurich office. They cover high-level regulatory issues — both current and emerging — as well as retail investments in crypto.


Episode 13: Operational Risk

Baker McKenzie partnered with Risk.net on their annual ranking of the Top 10 Op Risks for 2021. In this episode, Karen Man and Jennifer Klass, financial regulatory partners, respectively in our Hong Kong and New York offices, talk about this year's list and share perspectives on what clients are experiencing in the market. Our partners provide situational examples in light of the continuing push for digitalization and sustainability, including relevant action items for senior executives. They also take a closer look at how financial institutions can manage current and emerging operational risks.


Episode 12: Singapore – MAS Revises Technology Risk Management Guidelines

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently revised its Technology Risk Management Guidelines 2021 after feedback from a 2019 public consultation and engaging with cyber security experts. In this episode, Stephanie Magnus, Ken Chia, and Ying Yi Liew take a closer look at compliance, regulator expectations, cyber threats, and other important considerations — taking into account that financial institutions encompass large multinational banks, insurance companies and small fintech startups.


Episode 11: Fintech – Trends, Investments, and M&A

In this special edition, Sue McLean, partner and global tech lead for fintech and blockchain, talks to David Hart, a partner in our London office, and Lawrence C. Lee, a partner in our Palo Alto office, to discuss recent trends and developments around fintech. In this episode, they share their observations on recent innovations and take a closer look at various strategies behind the increase in investment and M&A activity. Fintech players, once seen as market disruptors, are becoming essential and critical in the future of financial institutions.


Episode 10: China – Financial Revolution in 2020 and Beyond

China's financial institutions are navigating a rapidly evolving market. Recent government actions further strengthened and opened up the industry to more investors - both domestic and foreign. In this episode, Kevin Yuan and Lucca Li from our Shanghai office talk about the economic and regulatory situation, and how COVID-19 has impacted the industry. They also take a closer look at recent innovations and the future landscape for financial institutions in China.


Episode 9: Financial Institutions in Post-COVID Africa

This episode puts the spotlight on Africa, with a focus on South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. Wildu du Plessis, a partner in our Johannesburg office and head of Africa, talks about the situation in Africa, in the context of the current pandemic and beyond. He shares his observations around regulatory and technological development — focusing on key topics around digitalization, cryptocurrencies, cashless transactions, and sustainability  — and how financial institutions can succeed in the post-pandemic continent.


Special Edition: Finding Balance – Financial Infrastructure

In this special edition, Sue McLean, a partner at our London office, talks with Chris Murrer about the future of the financial infrastructure sector payment providers, exchanges, card schemes, clearing houses and depositories as it transitions into the business renewal phase. Basing on client, industry and legal perspectives, we explore what the post-COVID environment looks like for the sector. This episode is part of the fifth installment of Finding Balance: The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions.


Episode 7: Insurtech (Part 2)

Taking off from the recent publication, Insurtech: Opportunities and Legal Challenges for the Insurance Industry, Chris Murrer and Iris Barsan walk through observations in the market, as well as key developments that define the current insurtech landscape. In this second installment, they take a deeper look into regulations and considerations around recent developments in insurtech. They also touch on important points covering ethical concerns, data privacy, discrimination, and other financial regulations.


Episode 6: Insurtech (Part 1)

Taking off from the recent publication Insurtech: Opportunities and Legal Challenges for the Insurance Industry, Chris Murrer and Iris Barsan walk through observations in the market, as well as key developments that define the current insurtech landscape. This first installment focuses on new capabilities across the US and Europe, and how regulations are moving in response to innovations in the market.


Special Edition: Finding Balance – Insurance

In this special edition, Martin C.W. Tam, a partner at our Hong Kong office, talks with Ying Yi Liew about the future of the insurance sector as it transitions into the business renewal phase. Basing on client, industry and legal perspectives, we explore what the post-COVID environment looks like for the sector. This episode is part of the fourth installment of Finding Balance: The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions.


Special Edition: Finding Balance Financial Sponsors

In this special edition, Michael Fieweger, a partner at our Chicago office, talks with Ying Yi Liew about the future of financial sponsors private equity/credit funds, asset management and sovereign wealth funds  as the industry transitions into the business renewal phase. Basing on client, industry and legal perspectives, we explore what the post-COVID environment looks like for financial sponsors. This episode is part of the third installment of Finding Balance: The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions.


Episode 3: Data Journey Map for Virtual Communications (Singapore)

This episode outlines different steps that financial institutions must consider or take when using virtual communication platforms. Our experts from Singapore — Stephanie Magnus and Ken Chia — examine these steps, which should form part and parcel of financial institutions’ risk and compliance assessments, with a view to mitigating the potential risks of supervisory intervention and litigation.


Special Edition: Finding Balance – The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions

In this special edition, Jonathan Peddie, global chair of Baker McKenzie’s Financial Institutions Industry Group, is interviewed by Ying Yi Liew, a local principal and expert on financial services from our Singapore office. We analyze the future of financial institutions, as the industry transitions into the business renewal phase. Basing on client, industry, and legal perspectives, we explore what the post-COVID environment looks like for four industry segments and five global trends. This episode elaborates on our introductory publication under Finding Balance: The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions.


Episode 1: Data Journey Map for Virtual Communications (US)

This episode outlines different steps that financial institutions must consider or take when using virtual communication platforms. Our experts from the US – A. Valerie Mirko and Harry Valetk – examine these steps, which should form part and parcel of financial institutions’ risk and compliance assessments, with a view to mitigating the potential risks of supervisory intervention and litigation.

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