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"How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services?"

and thanks to our sponsors:

If you want to read testimonials...

 

If you haven't been to one of our events before you can use the link below to read some testimonials:

When and where is the meeting?

 

Registration is at 9AM for a 9:30 start; ending at 4PM  on Wednesday 11th September at:

 

Grant and Eisenhofer:

485 Lexington Ave,

New York,

NY 10017.

If you already know you want to attend

 

Click on the button below to secure your place and note that you have 3 ticket options: Standard, Reduced and Free. 

 

To explain:

 

The Transparency Task Force is a not-for-profit and we are desperate for funds to help keep our efforts going - we’re just about surviving, but it isn’t easy. 

 

If you can afford it, please select the Standard Ticket Price ($245) but if that is genuinely beyond your budget, not to worry - select the Reduced Ticket price option and pay what you are comfortable with. Furthermore, if for any reason you do not want to make a contribution at all, select the Free Ticket option.

 

Regardless of which ticket option you select you'd be equally welcome to attend.

 

You can pay through PayPal or invoice. 

 

Thank you!

What can you expect at your meeting?

 

You can expect to be amongst progressively-minded and collaboratively-minded people who are keen to understand how they can get involved with a truly pioneering project that is dedicated to reforming the financial services industry.

 

We are working together to help rebuild trust and confidence in financial services and help consumers get a better deal.

 

You will learn all about the project - how it started; what has happened so far; what is going to be happening in due course and so on. 

 

In particular, you will be able to learn about and feed into the creation of a “Framework for Finance Reform.” At the heart of the “Framework for Finance Reform” are “The 12 Finance Development Goals.”

 

The 12 Finance Development Goals are a similar concept to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals but instead of dealing with issues such as hunger, climate change, access to clean water and gender equality; they deal with well-known financial services problem areas such as conflicts of interest, the “profits before principles” mindset, the need for better governance and the desperate need for greater transparency.

 

The development of the Finance Development Goals (FDGs) is bringing together a very wide cross-section of stakeholders, right around the world, including politicians, policymakers, financial regulators, financial trade bodies and professional associations; plus many commercial organisations, leading academics and think tanks etc. 

 

You will learn how the project is gaining traction amongst a wide cross-section of stakeholders including policymakers, politicians, regulators, professional associations, trade bodies, academics, thought leaders, commercial organisations; plus investment, insurance, banking and pension professionals, and so on.

 

There will be presentations from individuals with interesting insights and experiences to share; plus a panel session.

 

There will be ample scope for discussion and debate so that all attendees will be able to share their views and ideas.

 

You can expect the meeting to function as a highly interactive and highly engaging workshop, where everybody gets the opportunity to participate as much as they would like to.

 

We know that using that approach we will be able to harness the camaraderie, collegiality and willingness to collaborate that the project is already cultivating, right around the world. 

Here's the programme, so far*

 

09:00 

Registration, refreshments and networking

 

09:30

Welcome to the event by 

Olav Haazen, Director, Grant & Eisenhofer

 

09:35

Andy Agathangelou, Founder of the Transparency Task Force to introduce the Transparency Task Force and set the scene for the event; explaining the overall rationale for this major international project; and how we plan to make it a success. 

 

Andy will shine a light on:

  • What the trust deficit is and why it must be dealt with
  • Why all stakeholders should be working together
  • "The Framework for Finance Reform"
  • "The 12 Finance Development Goals"
  • "The book that is much more than just a book"
  • "The Subject-Matter Experts"
  • "The Scientific Committee
  • The output so far from meetings in Europe and the USA

 

10:40

Presentation by

Olav Haazen, Director, Grant & Eisenhofer

 

11:00

Refreshments and further networking

 

11:30

Presentation by

Stefan Pagacik, Founder, AI 4 Impact; Ambassador of the Transparency Task Force

How can we make the idea of a "Financial Consumer's Bill of Rights" work well?

 

11:50

Presentation by

To be advidsed

 

12:10

Presentation by

To be advised

 

12:30

Presentation by

Georges van Hoegaerden, Managing Director, The Venture Company  

 

12:50

Presentation of the Transparency Trophy; a special trophy is awarded to a champion of transparency and finance reform at each of our symposia around the world

 

13:00

Lunch and networking

 

14:00

The Power Panel, where selected participants will have the opportunity to share their reflections on the presentations and discussions; and to share their thoughts on our primary question:

 

"How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services?"

 

Our Power Panellists are:

 

 - Aivars Lode, Chairman, IT Capital LLC; Published Author; Ambassador of the Transparency Task Force

 

 - Andreas Dal Santo, Founder & Managing Director, BlueVal Group

 

 - Panellist to be added

 

14:50

The Open Debate; where all attendees, panellists and speakers will have the opportunity to freely discuss the key issues raised through the course of the symposium.

 

We will be considering question such as:

 

 - Which individuals and organisations govern the way the financial system works?

 

 - What should we have learned from the past? …and have those lessons actually been learned?

 

 - What more could the government and the financial regulators be doing to create a financial services market that the public can have trust and confidence in?

 

 - Which non-government and non-regulatory organisations have the potential to play a part in driving the change that we want to see?

 

 - Are there forces at work slowing down or even preventing the progress that is needed?

 

15:25

Andy Agathangelou, Founder of the Transparency Task Force to cover off key conclusions and suggested next steps

 

15:30

Refreshments and further networking

 

16:00

Final close

*The programme will continuously evolve so is subject to change

For more detail about the project...

 

Click on the button below to get to a special web page that provides a full and detailed explanation of the project:

Places are limited; to secure yours:

 

Click on the button below to secure your place and note that you have 3 ticket options: Standard, Reduced and Free. 

 

To explain:

 

The Transparency Task Force is a not-for-profit and we are desperate for funds to help keep our efforts going - we’re just about surviving, but it isn’t easy. 

 

If you can afford it, please select the Standard Ticket Price ($245) but if that is genuinely beyond your budget, not to worry - select the Reduced Ticket price option and pay what you are comfortable with. Furthermore, if for any reason you do not want to make a contribution at all, select the Free Ticket option.

 

Regardless of which ticket option you select you'd be equally welcome to attend.

 

You can pay through PayPal or invoice. 

 

Thank you!

Further information about us

 

You can click on the button below to read about the 130+ Transparency Task Force Ambassadors. The list includes world class academics and highly respected thought leaders from right around the world. 

You can click on the button below to read about the Transparency Task Force Advisory Board, which is Chaired by the former Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority's Financial Services Consumer Panel.

Bios of key participants

provided thus far

Andy Agathangelou FRSA,

Founder, 

Transparency Task Force

 

Andy will be Chairing the Symposium. His overall objective is to galvanise support for the idea that greater transparency in financial services can drive positive, transformational change for the benefit of all.

 

Andy formed the Transparency Task Force following a meeting he led at Senate House, University of London on 6th May 2015. The meeting was the about the trust deficit that is impacting financial services and how harnessing the transformational power of transparency can drive the change that is needed.

 

That meeting set off a chain of events that led directly to the creation of the collaborative, campaigning community that is the Transparency Task Force.

 

Our activity is is built on the idea that 'Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant' and our guiding "North Star" question is "what is best for the consumer?"

 

The mission of the Transparency Task Force is

 

"To help protect consumers' financial interests by reforming the financial services industry around the world, through harnessing the transformational power of transprency"

 

We have many Special Interest Groups made up of subject-matter experts working collaboratively:

https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/teams-of-volunteers/

 

We are building a global network of Ambassadors:

https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/ttf-ambassadors/

 

We are working hard to rebuild trust and confidence in financial services through creating a Framework for Finance Reform built on the Finance Development Goals:

https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/rebuilding-trust-confidence-in-financial-services/

 

We have a highly credible Advisory Board:

https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/about-1/advisory-board/

 

Andy is also:

  • Chair, the Interoperability Steering Group
  • Governor, Pensions Policy Institute
  • Fellow, the RSA
  • Former Chair, Pensions BIB
  • Former Founding Chair, Friends of Auto Enrolment
  • Former Founding Chair, Friends of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees

Olav Haazen PhD,

Director, 

Grant & Eisenhofer

 

Olav Haazen, PhD, is a director at Grant & Eisenhofer. His areas of practice include cross-border securities fraud and antitrust litigation. 

 

Mr. Haazen has significant experience representing foreign and domestic plaintiffs in a variety of antitrust and fraud actions. Most recently, he successfully represented a class of Fortis investors for whom he helped negotiate a record-high $1.5 billion settlement of all investment fraud claims in the Netherlands and Belgium.  Other representations, past and present, include:

 

  • nearly 300 institutional investors from around the world seeking recovery from Volkswagen in German court in connection with its well-publicized manipulation of emissions controls;
  • a large group of Laiki and Bank of Cyprus bondholders and depositors with ICSID arbitration claims against Cyprus, whose interests were wiped as part of the 2013 Cyprus bank bail-out;
  • foreign Madoff investors on fraud and negligence claims against feeder fund defendants and their auditors, custodians, and administrators;
  • a French qui tam plaintiff in litigation arising out of the sale of Executive Life Insurance Company; and
  • a large regional bakery in its successful monopolization suit against a competitor.

 

Mr. Haazen has also represented two classes of professional fashion models in price-fixing and consumer fraud actions, which resulted in a virtually unprecedented 100% recovery of all claimants’ losses, as well as substantial injunctive relief, which Justice Ramos of the New York Supreme Court lauded as a model for legislative reform.

 

Prior to joining G&E, Mr. Haazen was counsel at a prominent national law firm, where he successfully represented major corporate clients and individuals in several high-profile RICO, securities, and government investigation matters and commercial disputes, including a well-known playwright against a civil forfeiture claim arising out of Kenneth Starr's “Ponzi” scheme; a utilities company in a significant contract dispute with Enron; and one of the largest franchisors in professional sports in a $1.2 billion monopolization suit.  He has also represented several government entities and officials, including a Westchester County municipality in a $600 million lawsuit by Donald Trump’s Seven Springs LLC, as well as the City and Mayor of Amsterdam, and a foreign country’s former Secretary of State. 

 

From 2010-2011, Mr. Haazen served on the American Bar Association’s seven-member Standing Committee for Amicus Curiae briefs and the Third-Party Litigation Funding Study Group.  From 1996-2001, he served as a Country Reporter for the Netherlands for the European Restatement of Torts, and recently as a Netherlands Reporter to the 17th International Congress of Comparative Law. Mr. Haazen teaches comparative civil procedure and cross-border litigation at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and previously taught at Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford.  He has written several books and over 40 articles and case notes. He is admitted as solicitor in England and Wales, and as arbitrator at the Netherlands Arbitration Institute and at the Center for Dispute Resolution (CEDIRES) in Belgium.

Aivars Lode,

Chairman,

IT Capital

 

Aivars is a global entrepreneur and Founder of IT Capital. Aivars is best known for his skills in identifying new business opportunities and re-engineering existing businesses to make them profitable. His ability to identify patterns in business cycles as they occur across the globe led him to start blogging in 2006 about global economics and he accurately predicted the 2008 financial crisis.  He is the author of three books on the future of global economics (available at aivarslode.blogspot.com). Aivars continues to identify best practices, people, processes and technology deployed elsewhere in the world and bring them to the USA.

 

In the early 2000s Aivars founded Avantce, a private equity firm, in order to invest in software companies. Aivars was instrumental in a number of investments including Robocom Systems International, Select, Radcliffe, ADT, Aviva Solutions and ROI. In addition to his own investments Aivars has been retained by private equity firms CVC Capital Partners, Golden Gate Capital, Bain Capital and Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe to advise on their acquisition strategies in Software.

 

Aivars successfully participated in creating the strategies for companies like IBM’s EDI business, Inovis, Infor and Mincom. Further, Aivars created a consortium to acquire the major airline cargo space for optimization, this resulted in private equity firms Welsh Carson and General Atlantic investing in 3rd party logistics providers.   

 

Prior to founding Avantcé, Aivars was Group President of Descartes Systems Group, a publicly traded supply chain solutions company, based in Canada.  As Group President, Aivars led the company's global expansion efforts, achieving profitable growth as well as completing the successful acquisition and consolidation of two EDI businesses, TDNI and TranSettlements.

 

Prior to joining Descartes, Aivars was with Oracle heading up Applications Software for Australasia. He led the organization’s change from a direct aggressive customer relationship model to that of a consultative business partner.

Aivars first entered the technology industry in 1991, when he joined Dun & Bradstreet Software.  Prior to that he held various management positions, including COO, CFO and CIO roles in both public and private corporations.

 

Throughout his career Aivars has lived in Australia, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and has conducted business in most of the industrialized countries in the world.  Aivars holds a Bachelors of Business, Accounting from Swinburne University in Melbourne Australia.  Aivars is a past member of the Board of Directors at First Bank and Trust of Illinois.

Stefan Pagacik

Co-Founder,

AI4Impact

 

Stefan Pagacik’s career has spanned several industries and roles, most recently as co-founder of AI4Impact, an artificial intelligence platform focused on building next generation impact financial products. Previously, he built two impact themed cloud and mobile platforms (8 of 9 LLC and my4.com) for retail and institutional investors interested in aligning their values and criteria with their portfolios. His prior entrepreneurial experience involved starting a marine science accelerator in Southeastern Massachusetts (the Regional Technology Development Center of Cape Cod) that commercialized scientific developments in partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the Marine Biological Laboratory.


His work in the impact space started with a project building a model for an energy transition solution from fossil fuels to biofuels for the government of Chile. He also designed a social enterprise plan for the city of Detroit aligning entrepreneurs and city agencies to stimulate business opportunities for blighted areas of the city including a sustainable food corridor and an incubator focused on women and minorities.


Stefan’s technology background includes retail sales consulting for Apple Computers in the Northeast and building a channel strategy for an emerging leading-edge motion graphics software company (The Company of Science and Art) that was later acquired by Adobe. He opened the Boston office of IT consulting firm Eclipse Information Systems that was later acquired by Century Services of Washington, D.C.


Stefan also has an active speaking practice centered around his experience in building innovation teams in large and small companies. You can find more information at his website: www.direct-ly.net


Professional Affiliations:
Board member, New England Impact Investing Initiative (current)
Ambassador, The Transparency Task Force (current)


Education:
B.A., English, Harvard College
MBA, Marketing and Finance, Suffolk University


Advisory Skills:
Impact and sustainability mapping and measurement, building and managing diverse teams that drive innovative solutions, communication strategies to build trust and transparency, product design and development, entrepreneurial leadership

Georges van Hoegaerden,

Managing Director,

The Venture Company

 

Georges van Hoegaerden is the managing director of The Venture Company (venturecompany.com)

 

Georges is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, CEO, board member, venture capitalist turned innovation economist and futurist (by fate). His emphasis on the excellence of the theory that determines what humanity can discover led him to reinvent the operating-system for humanity, impacting the disciplines of policy, capital, and innovation.

 

His work is closely watched and praised by the some of the largest pension funds, asset management firms, economics organizations and world leaders, including members of Congress and The White House. 

Andreas Dal Santo,

Founder & Managing Director,

BlueVal Group

 

Andreas Dal Santo, CFA, ARPM

Andreas Dal Santo is Founder and Managing Director of BlueVal Group LLC.  Andreas has more than twenty years of experience in investments, business valuation and management consulting. Prior to founding BlueVal, Andreas has managed more than $1 billion in European, North American, and Emerging Market assets for Arca Fondi, a $35 billion investment manager based in Milan. As Head of Global Emerging Markets for Arca, Andreas has invested in more than 20 countries and analyzed a broad range of securities, gaining experience in business modeling and valuation in a variety of sectors. Prior to that he was a specialist in North American Tech, Media and Telecom investments for Arca, which he followed from the Y2K bubble through the recession of 2008. As a Consulting Director of Research for the New York representative office of the Italian Central Bank,  Andreas has insight into the U.S. banking sector and how monetary and fiscal policy, trade, interest and currency exchange rates affect the environment for business and managements’ strategic decisions.

 

Andreas couples experience in investments, business analysis and valuation with a deep passion for mathematics and computer science that has led him to venture into the areas of quantitative finance, business innovation and Fintech. Andreas brings to his valuation work significant insights into emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain, and solid experience with quantitative valuation modeling, including Black-Scholes, binomial option pricing and Monte Carlo simulation.

Andreas obtained a Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance with distinction from Ca’ Foscari University, Italy; he is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA); holds an Advanced Risk and Portfolio Management (ARPM) Certificate, and has taken coursework in Fintech as part of the Future of Commerce program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

Andreas has served as a member of the board of CFA Society of New York from 2013 to 2017. He is currently a member of the board of CFA Society Italy.

The Great Divide

You can read the speech by  Andrew G. Haldane, FAcSS (the Bank of England's Chief Economist and Executive Director of Monetary Analysis and Statistics) that he gave on 18th May 2016 at the New City Agenda Annual dinner.

 

The speech is entitled The Great Divide and it is a first class explanation of why the trust deficit really matters and why it makes sense to try to do something about it.

 

Please click on the green button to access it; if you're not convinced of its relevance to our initiative, here's part of it:

 

..."The most important and compelling message the Bank received at the Open Forum came in the first session. The Bank had conducted some polling of perceptions of the financial sector – for example, by asking people what one word best described the future of financial markets. Among the Bank’s usual contacts, including those in the financial sector, the most used word was “regulated”. Many of us will have heard that message from financial insiders concerned about the perils of over-zealous regulators.

 

For me, the more revealing responses came from the general public, from the customers, rather than the producers, of financial services. The word most used by them when describing financial markets was a rather different one: it was “corrupt”. Not far behind were words like “manipulated”, “self-serving”, “destructive” and “greedy”. I am sure many of you have heard those messages too. They are certainly ones I have encountered frequently on my visits around the country."...

 

Please click the green button  below to access the full speech. If you need to read another piece first, here it is:

 

..."At least until recently many economists like me, when faced with this evidence, might have shrugged our shoulders. Social capital had no real role in our models of economic growth, unlike physical capital and human capital. Trust did not butter our parsnips and nor did it enter our production functions.

 

Recently, however, that orthodoxy has changed and the importance of trust has become clearer.

 

Evidence has emerged, both micro and macro, to suggest trust may play a crucial role in value creation. At the micro level, there is now ample evidence the degree of trust or social capital within a company contributes positively to its value creation capacity. 

 

At the macro level, there is now a strong body of evidence, looking across a large range of countries and over long periods of time, that high levels of trust and co-operation are associated with higher economic growth.

 

Put differently, a lack of trust jeopardises one of finance’s key societal functions – higher growth.

 

Those social capital effects appear to be particularly potent when it comes to financial decisions. Evidence suggests that a lack of trust leads people to retreat from the stock market and banks and to move towards cash holdings and informal sources of credit, such as payday lenders and loan sharks. That jeopardises the second key benefit of finance to society – improved risk-sharing by households and companies.

 

So a lack of trust in finance potentially hobbles both economic growth and financial stability.

 

That lack of trust is the mirror-image of the perception gap between the financial sector and wider society, the Great Divide.

 

The Great Divide matters because it signals a pronounced and protracted erosion of social capital. It puts finance on notice for losing its social licence. And, unaddressed, that jeopardises future wealth and well-being."...

 

Please click on the green button to access the full speech. If you're not yet convinced you should, here's a final snippet:

 

..." As a survey in 2013 of financial professionals found, rather remarkably, that over half believed their competitors engaged in illegal or unethical behaviour.  A smaller, but still high, fraction of 24% believed their own company engaged in such practices. Similar percentages believed their industry did not fulfil its fiduciary function of putting clients’ interests first.

The significance of these findings is not the precise percentages, as striking as these are.

 

More fundamentally, it is because of what they reveal about finance’s perception of itself, the mirror it holds to the social identity of finance."...

 

Click onto the button below to access the full speech; you'll be glad you did, it's profoundly thought-provoking for anybody interested in the future of the financial services industry:

If you are not already on the right page and want to read about our major international project to help rebuild trustworthiness and confidence in financial services, click on the orange button below:

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