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Elly Hardwick, Head of innovation, Deutsche Bank

Elly Hardwick headshot.jpg

Please give us a bit of background on yourself, and how your organisation plays a leadership role in the financial technology space.

I’m the Head of Innovation at Deutsche Bank. I have a rather unusual background for someone in a bank, but it’s actually pretty relevant for my role. Before joining Deutsche Bank - only late last year in fact – I spent the previous 5 years as Chief Executive Officer of a fintech start-up, working with many of the largest banks across the world. So it’s now very interesting for me to be on the other side to make Deutsche Bank the first place a fintech start-up would think of partnering with.

What are you doing to innovate at your organization?

The Innovation Labs have a simple proposition: Identify the bank’s challenges and help find technology solutions through our global fintech network. In this way, we help Deutsche Bank adopt emerging technologies that enhance, improve and reimagine the way we serve our clients. We have three key goals; technology transfer, contributing to the digital strategy and cultural transformation.

What challenges do you see for Fintech maturation, and how will their business models help deliver future financial success?

In my early days, the buzzword was disruption, especially at the business-to-consumer end of fintech. Today, conversations are much more about partnership, collaboration and enablement. Both groups have matured in the way they deal with each other, because they’ve realized the outcome is better if they work together. Banks deeply value the leaps forward that externally-developed technologies can play in helping them serve their customers better. Entrepreneurs understand that to create long-term value at scale, you need to bring together the ideas and pace of start-ups and the infrastructure and capacity of established financial services players, especially when operating in highly regulated markets.

What will you be discussing at The Economist's Finance Disrupted Conference?

I’ll be part of an exciting conversation about how machine learning is impacting financial services. Companies can benefit greatly from automation, including cost savings, faster time to market, reduced cycle times and IT independence. Here, you are able to automate highly repetitive, manual, paper-based tasks. This means you can reduce human error, increase accuracy and free up process operators to focus on higher value tasks. Automation also helps add the scalability and flexibility of processes that don’t exist easily today. By using cognitive automation, we are looking to automate the process of training and selecting machine learning algorithms for work that’s too complex for robotic process automation (RPA) and training models to automate judgment work in business processes. 


To learn more about the Finance Disrupted event, please click here.