Celebrating 38 financial innovators – Part 1

In recognition of the 38 Sibos' to date, we are running a three-part series looking at 38 figures, from past and present, who have helped to shape the financial services sector.

As some 8,000 delegates prepare to gather in Switzerland to discuss business strategy and tackle the issues impacting today’s financial landscape, we hope that these inspirational individual stories enthuse attendees about what can be achieved.

Part 1 looks at 12 financial innovators who have shaped global economic policy, steered countries through economic crises, and driven growth at significant financial institutions.

Look out for parts 2 and 3 in the build up to Sibos 2016.


John Maynard Keynes – English economist 

John Maynard Keynes’ innovative ideas changed the theory and practice of macroeconomics and shaped the economic policies of governments across the world.

He built on, and further refined, earlier work on the causes of business cycles. He is cited as one of the most influential economists of the 20th Century and the founder of modern macroeconomics. 


Charles Montagu – Established the Bank of England 

Charles Montagu was an English statesman who was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer as a reward for helping to establish the Bank of England in 1694.

A financial genius responsible for many of the key elements of England’s system of public finance, he devised guaranteed government loans which financed much of Britain’s foreign policy at the time.


Dr. Hans Vontobel – Swiss banker and Honorary Chairman of Vontobel Holding AG

Dr. Hans Vontobel joined the then J. Vontobel & Co. in 1943, and under his leadership it became one of the leading internationally active investment advisory firms. 

For many years, he was also the Chairman of the Zurich Stock Exchange, a member of the Board of Directors of the Swiss Bankers Association and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and Chairman of the German-Swiss Chamber of Commerce. As a philanthropist he will be remembered for having set up the Vontobel Foundation, and the Lyra Foundation, which supports gifted young musicians. 


Janet Yellen – American economist and Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Yale and Brown educated economist Janet Yellen made history in 2014 when she became the first woman chief of the Federal Reserve.

Her ability to connect economic theory to everyday life is considered one of the defining characteristics of her career, and President Obama cited her understanding of the high "human costs" of unemployment when he nominated her to succeed Ben Bernanke.


Mary Callahan Erdoes – CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management 

Mary Callahan Erdoes is CEO of J.P. Morgan's Asset Management division, a global giant in investment management and private banking, with more than $2.3 trillion in client assets.

In addition to being a member of JPMorgan Chase's operating committee, she leads the firm's strategic partnership with Highbridge Capital Management and Gávea Investimentos. In 2014, Forbes ranked her as the 66th most powerful woman in the world.


Alexandre Lamfalussy – Belgian economist and central banker

Alexandre Lamfalussy was a highly-regarded Hungarian-born Belgian economist and central banker.

Between 2000 and 2001, he chaired the Committee of Wise Men on the Regulation of European Securities Markets, whose proposals were adopted by the Council of the European Union. He oversaw the creation of the Lamfalussy process, an approach to the development of financial service industry regulation used most notably in MiFID.


Gill Marcus – Former Governor of the South African Reserve Bank 

Gill Marcus was the ninth Governor of the South African Reserve Bank up until her retirement in 2014, and the first woman to hold the position. 

She had previously served as a Non-Executive Director of Gold Fields Limited and Chair of Absa Group Limited. A respected central banker, she also holds a degree in Industrial Psychology. 


Ho Ching – CEO at Temasek Holdings 

Ho Ching has been with the Singapore state-owned investment firm for 13 years and was appointed CEO in 2004.

She has been on the Forbes Power Woman list every year since it was introduced, also in 2004, and guided the company to a US$162 billion portfolio last year. She is married to Lee Hsien Loong, the nation state’s Prime Minister.


Chanda Kochhar – Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank 

As the driving force behind India’s ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar oversees nearly US$125 billion in assets and is recognised for her role in shaping banking in the country.

She won many plaudits for overseeing the lender’s move in to mobile-based banking in India’s poorer rural communities – seen as a model for low cost expansion in a country with a burgeoning middle class. She has been ranked as the most powerful business woman in India by Forbes.


Mario Draghi – President of the European Central Bank 

Italian economist and experienced banker Mario Draghi is the current President of the European Central Bank. 

He previously worked at Goldman Sachs before becoming the Governor of the Bank of Italy in 2005. He is the influential author of a number of articles on international and European monetary and financial issues, and in 2015 Fortune magazine ranked him as the world's second greatest leader.


Elizabeth Warren – U.S. Senator 

American academic Elizabeth Warren is the senior US Senator from Massachusetts, and previously a Harvard Law School professor specialising in bankruptcy law. 

A noted consumer advocate, following the 2008 financial crisis she served as Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). She later served as Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury for the Consumer Protection Bureau under President Barack Obama. 


Yuzo Kano – Founder and CEO of Bitflyer

Former Goldman Sachs trader Yuzo Kano is the creative force behind startup Bitflyer, now the largest bitcoin exchange in Japan.

He is a supporter of the new digital economy, but also recognises the importance of regulation, for which he is a vocal advocate. While the Mt. Gox scandal has given bitcoin a bad name, he commented that the incident was an important step in bringing the technology into the public eye and moving it forward.