Finance, Machine Learning, and DirectBooks
The broad fintech realm—and its disconnect
At lunch this spring, I introduced two friends of mine—both employed by bulge bracket banks—but with very different backgrounds. One, a software engineer, works on a Machine Learning research unit. Employed as the fourth member of their team, that ML division has since grown to 100+ workers.
The other, a trader, jumped when he heard that my friend was a software engineer. “So you work in fintech?” he eagerly asked. “Yep,” my engineer friend replied. “So do you know DirectBooks?”
The conversation stalled, and I realized what a curious situation it was. Here were two individuals, one from the finance world, the other from tech, and they were at an impasse. Neither knew what the other did, despite one being a daily user of fintech and the other a builder of it.
This anecdote serves to show just how broad of a world fintech is—and how much education there must continue to be—to realize the impact of the digital transformation to finance and banking. If two young professionals quickly began talking at cross-purposes, imagine a staid financial veteran chatting with founders. While there’s a gap, there too is a great educational opportunity.