December 13 2022


6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Panel Discussion

Scaling with technology and data teams in financial services

Event Summary

Data and technology have had an extraordinary impact on financial services over recent years, from banking, credit and payments, to insurance, personal finance and even regulation.

But challenges still exist. Progress at scale requires a complex mix of talent and technology, and the right conditions for growth can be difficult for businesses to achieve.

Join us as our panel of industry experts discuss approaches to scaling with technology and data teams in financial services.

Our panelists will discuss:

  • How to build data and technology teams around strategic business priorities
  • Leveraging technology and data solutions to meet your customers needs
  • Key considerations and challenges when scaling your team
  • Why scalability matters in financial regulation


Marilena Karanika, Head of Data Innovation, Experian

Marilena Karanika is the Head of Data Innovation at Experian, providing data and analytics support across different product domains such as affordability, credit risk and insurance. With more than 10 years of experience in Credit Risk Modelling and Analytics in financial services, a key area of her expertise is enabling organisations to make better use of data, reach more informed decisions and support consumers throughout the customer lifecycle. Most recently Marilena and her team created and launched products that helped clients understand the impact of events such as the Cost of Living crisis and COVID to help them navigate these challenging times.

Marilena is passionate about the power of financial education and works with universities and professional bodies to deliver guest lectures and industry talks promoting a better and wider understanding of analytics and responsible data ownership. She has been voted Innovator of the Year 2021 in the Women in Credit Awards.

Robert Betts, Executive Director, JP Morgan

Robert is a non-typical thinker. He is an Open Source and inclusive workplace advocate. A dotcom veteran with many years of experience across Finance, Banking, Investment Management and Fintech startups. Currently an Executive Director at JPMorgan Chase, Asset and Wealth Management and serving as the Regional lead for Managed Accounts, Client Data and Client Service Technology.

Data has been central throughout much of his career from postulating on e-commerce possibilities through personalisation in the 90’s to rolling out investment personalisation at scale today. Data regulation, distribution, aggregation, security are daily challenges he faces when growing teams and building platforms to service the needs of our customers.

Vicky Byrom, Chief Data & Analytics Office Officer at Zumo

Vicky has over 20 years experience delivering analytics projects across both private and public sectors, enabling companies to effectively use their data to make better decisions. She currently is the Chief Data & Analytics Officer for the crypto wallet app Zumo and has previously headed up the data functions within FinTech scale-up Modulr.

She won the Data IQ award 2019 for Data Analytics leader of the year when she led the multi-award-winning Advanced Analytics practice for Merkle UK and was a member of the AI steering committee for the Scottish Government.

Keith Harrison, Head of Software Development at Nude

Keith has over 20 years of commercial experience in software development and has helped many companies in financial services and other sectors to develop software products.
Keith is currently working as Head of Development for Nude, a fintech startup helping people save for their first home.
He’s an active member of the Glasgow developer community and currently organizes Tech Meetup, a monthly developer-focused meetup based in Glasgow.

Gordon Jackson, Head of Personalisation Products, Natwest

Gordon is Head of Personalisation Products at Natwest. He is an established leader of customer experience and digital transformation through data, analytics, and marketing platforms. In his current role, his work is focused on improving the ability of Natwest to personalise customer experiences through advanced analytics and technology. He is actively involved in the development and execution of strategy to create partnerships and offer data products to the market.

In previous roles at Natwest, he has helped to scale an innovation start-up from 15k customers to a set of products that are used to create personalised experiences for all Retail, Wealth, and Commercial customers across the organization’s entire portfolio. He has led a number of teams of highly skilled product designers, engineers, data scientists and cloud platform developers.


Robin Huggins, Client services Director, MBN Solutions

As Director of Client Services for MBN Solutions, Rob has spent over two decades at the sharp end of Talent Acquisition practice for the Data sector. During this time, he has partnered with some of the UK’s leading data-driven businesses to deliver best-in-class talent solutions. In addition, working in an advisory capacity, Rob designed, built, and delivered the Data Lab’s MSc Placement Programme, has contributed to forums including Scotland’s AI Strategy and DMA Council and sits on University of Glasgow’s School of Maths & Stats Industrial Advisory Board.

A regular data industry blogger and event host, Rob also now hosts a data leadership focussed podcast called Boss’n’Data and has been recognised by Data IQ as one of their 100 most influential Data and Analytics practitioners in UK organisations for two years running.


On the 12 May 2022 we were joined by guests from across the FinTech ecosystem in Scotland to discuss “Growing FinTech in Scotland”.


The event was kindly hosted by Data Talent Specialists, MBN Solutions, and we were joined by speakers from Fintech Scotland, Access Fitech, and Soar to hear from industry leaders about the challenges and opportunities for building and scaling a FinTech business in Scotland.


The main takeaways from the event included:


-The FinTech Scotland Research and Innovation Roadmap will form the industry strategy for the FinTech sector here for the next 10 years, with a focus on 4 key areas; Financial Regulation, Payments & Transactions, Open Finance Data, Climate Finance.


-There is no room for complacency from the cluster – Scotland must continue to push forward with more research, collaboration and innovation to continue the growth of the sector and to make Scotland the first choice destination for anyone who wants to scale up a Fintech business.


-There are still many challenges facing the industry, none more so than attracting and retaining talent. Small FinTech firms need to give consideration to how they can compete with larger financial institutions who are now starting to hire inhouse teams for their technology projects.


Organisers at FinTech Tables

Aastha Ahuja

Aastha Ahuja

Business Analyst & Head of Community Development

Michael Young

Michael Young

CEO, MBN Solutions


Robert Betts

Executive Director, JP Morgan

Vicky Byrom

Chief Data & Analytics Office Officer at Zumo

Gordon Jackson

Head of Personalisation Products, Natwest

Keith Harrison

Head of Software Development at Nude

Marilena Karanika

Head of Data Innovation, Experian


Robin Huggins

Client Services Director, MBN Solutions


MBN Solutions, 112 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 1PN




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