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STAR scholars look forward to their first Sibos

A wide range of financial organisations globally have nominated participants for the inaugural STAR (Sibos Talent Accelerator Route) scholarship at Sibos 2019 London. The STAR scholarship is a new addition to the Sibos programme designed to empower professional women, accelerating their knowledge, skills and self-confidence as future leaders in the financial industry.

The STAR scholarship brings together 30 women from 17 countries, including the UK, Sweden, South Africa, China and Australia, to benefit from the learning and networking opportunities at Sibos. The STARs, aged 24-43, have a collective 310 years of experience, presenting an ideal opportunity to share ideas and approaches across the group.

The dedicated week–long scholarship programme will foster the development of female talent by providing opportunities for participants to expand their networks and expertise, to support their progress to senior levels. The group will meet with Sibos speakers, leaders and senior mentors, access private networking events and participate in conference sessions, including a dedicated Talent Thursday Chat & Connect session entitled ‘What do you think we think?’ where the scholars will present their perspectives on burning issues and the main take-aways from Sibos week. 

Here are some highlights from the STAR scholars on what they are looking forward to most about Sibos:

“I’m really looking forward to soaking up as much as I possibly can from so many inspirational thought leaders in the field, as well as my fellow STAR participants.  I have a background in cyberpsychology so will be focusing on sessions which explore the interplay between humans and machines, in particular concerning the application of technology to augment our business. I consider this an unparalleled learning opportunity.” Eleanor Barlow, Director, Digital and Data, HSBC Securities Services, UK



“I am absolutely thrilled to attend Sibos with its unique opportunities and dedicated sessions on fostering talent development. With so much change taking place, we need a diverse range of skills to adapt. Managing the transition into a more data driven, transparent, and digital world successfully is an opportunity that we must fully embrace. This is a people business and we need flexible career paths and an extremely diverse work force to address the ’unknowns’ of the future effectively.” Claudia Ebel, Vice President, Client Lifecycle Management for Institutional Cash Management & Trade Finance FI, Deutsche Bank, Germany



“Keeping up with the developments in banking technology, regulation and fintech, and getting to know experienced people will all be possible at the same time at Sibos. I am excited to represent Isbank as part of the STAR scholarship programme for the first time in Sibos history.  With some very special planned experiences ahead, it is a thrilling and once in a life time experience.” Hazal Ovadya, Assistant Specialist, International Financial Institutions Division, Isbank, Turkey



"I am looking forward to valuable networking and being part of thought-provoking conversations that will help shape the financial industry and improve its gender balance. As this is my first Sibos, I am excited about being exposed to far-reaching but practical ideas; cutting-edge solutions and genuine thought leadership that I can share with clients and colleagues across our global footprint.  For me, this Sibos is going to be about connections, collaborations and transformations.” Ibiyemi Okuneye, Head of Trade, Nigeria and West Africa, Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, Nigeria



“I’m very much looking forward to my first Sibos. It’ll be great to meet clients at the conference and hear industry leaders expand on this year’s theme - how to thrive in a hyper-connected world.” Louise Wong, Global Clearing Product Manager, Wholesale Payments, J.P. Morgan, UK



"I am excited about my first Sibos. It will be a wonderful chance to meet partners from other banks, reinforce our relationships and work on business opportunities. Looking forward to meeting you in London!" Anne-Fleur Felissent, Cash Clearing Services - Head of Sales Western Europe and North America, Société Générale, France



“I feel privileged to be part of the inaugural Sibos STAR scholarship. The opportunity to meet and network with senior leaders and have a front row seat at the speaker sessions will be an invaluable learning opportunity. I’m particularly looking forward to opening the London Stock Exchange on Sibos Monday –it’s not something you get to do every day!” Mary Duncombe, Vice President, Global Transaction Services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UK



“I can’t wait to attend Sibos for the first time this year. I have high expectations for this important event, looking forward to discussing with “colleagues” from all over the world how to adapt to our changing scenario and how to face the challenges and opportunities linked to mass digitisation and data-driven relationships. The diversity of the participants should bring many new points of view and ideas for the future of banking.” Dalila Cabri, Financial Institutions Cash and Trade Sales, Global Transaction Banking, UniCredit, Italy



“From early in my career in banking I knew Sibos was the place to be to share knowledge and learn from the experiences of unrivalled experts and leaders from the most influential companies in the industry. I am looking forward to learning more about the way in which AI is changing perceptions about the future of payments services, and get insights into how specialisation enables fintechs to offer compelling partnerships to banks for the development of more efficient payments solutions. Taking part in this year’s event through the STAR scholarship is an excellent opportunity to advance my professional career - I can’t wait for the Sibos week to start!” Carmen Arias González, Product Specialist, GTB / Global Cash Management, Banco Santander, Spain