Organization aims to provide an avenue for shared R&D across financial services and a concrete path to production adoption of transformative technologies in the financial services industry through open source
London, UK – June 14, 2023 – The Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS), the financial services arm of The Linux Foundation, will announce today at the FINOS Open House at J.P. Morgan its efforts to spearhead the growth of emerging technologies with the launch of the Zenith Special Interest Group (SIG). The SIG will be co-chaired by Peter Smulovics, Executive Director at Morgan Stanley; Keith O’Donnell, Director at Feynic Technology; and Patrick Downing, Vice President, Identity and Access Management at Morgan Stanley, to promote the exploration and adoption of revolutionary and transformative technologies in the financial services industry.
The Zenith SIG will enable the broader financial services industry to use open source to identify and evaluate emerging technologies that have the potential to transform the sector - sharing best practices, use cases, and insights for the broader community in the form of webinars, podcasts, and articles. Through this, Zenith will provide a roadmap for emerging innovations to come to fruition, rather than being stuck in innovation departments and never reaching the stage of widespread adoption, as we have seen historically in the financial services industry.
“Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and quantum are revolutionizing the financial services industry, very much redefining the very nature of this like every other industry,” said Gabriele Columbro, Executive Director of FINOS and General Manager of The Linux Foundation Europe. “Unfortunately though financial services investments in these technologies are way too often relegated to the innovation departments and seldom make it into production. That’s why I’m excited for the huge potential Zenith has to not only provide an avenue for shared R&D for FINOS Members, but to offer a very viable path for its pilots to reach critical mass of adoption through open source.”
The convergence of artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, quantum technology, and more holds immense potential to disrupt the industry. However, the path to harnessing this potential faces challenges at every stage. Barriers such as high costs associated with research and development, the complexity of integrating diverse technologies, the need for specialized expertise, navigating regulatory frameworks, and ensuring security and privacy standards all pose additional hurdles.
Through the Zenith SIG, the industry can pool resources, knowledge, and expertise to foster an environment of shared learning and accelerated progress. Open source methodologies allow common challenges to be solved collectively and eliminate duplicative efforts - providing shared research and development, mutualized innovation, interoperability, cost effective implementation and a new avenue for innovation departments to bring transformative technology to production. These key open source areas offer a solution to the technology barriers that the industry as a whole will need to invest in to adopt emerging technology, such as:
- Artificial Intelligence: enables automated decision-making, fraud detection, personalized customer experiences, predictive analytics, revolutionized risk assessment, customer service, and investment strategies in financial services.
- Blockchain & DLT: provides transparent, secure, and decentralized systems for transactions, smart contracts, and identity verification. Can streamline cross-border payments, enhance supply chain financing, and enable secure digital asset management.
- Cloud Computing: provides scalable infrastructure, data storage, and computing power, allowing fintech startups to launch innovative services quickly and financial institutions to streamline operations and enable remote work.
- Robotics & RPA: enables real-time data collection, risk monitoring, and personalized services, enhancing areas like insurance underwriting, asset tracking, and customer experience.
“Together, we can unlock the transformative power of emerging technologies,” said Keith O'Donnell, Managing Director at Feynic Technology. “We can harness the capabilities of more nascent technologies like neural interfaces, harnessing the potential of space technology, and other cutting-edge advancements currently in the lab. By breaking down barriers and embracing open collaboration, we pave the way for a future where financial services are revolutionized, becoming more accessible and efficient.”
“FINOS has always been an incubator of ideas and innovation, and Zenith is a natural progression with the potential to be one of its most important initiatives,” said Rhyddian Olds, Head of Citi's Open Source Program Office (OSPO).
"FINOS' collaboration with Zenith is a testament to their dedication towards building a thriving open source ecosystem in the financial industry,” said Kim Prado, Chair of the FINOS Governing Board and CIO, US Capital Markets, I&CB and Office of the COO at BMO. “By joining forces, they are driving innovation and transforming the way financial services are delivered, making it more accessible, efficient, and secure for everyone."
Join the Zenith brain trust, a dedicated panel of emerging tech experts that’s recruited from FINOS Members, and actively steer emerging technologies within the financial services open source industry - Become a FINOS member today.
FINOS (The Fintech Open Source Foundation) is a nonprofit whose mission is to foster adoption of open source, open standards and collaborative software development practices in financial services. It is the center for open source developers and the financial services industry to build new technology projects that have a lasting impact on business operations. As a regulatory compliant platform, the foundation enables developers from these competing organizations to collaborate on projects with a strong propensity for mutualization. It has enabled codebase contributions from both the buy- and sell-side firms and counts over 50 major financial institutions, fintechs and technology consultancies as part of its membership. FINOS is also part of the Linux Foundation, the largest shared technology organization in the world. Get involved and join FINOS as a Member. To stay up to date on FINOS news, events, podcasts, blogs, and more, sign up here.
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