Banks and other financial services firms are more willing to test new technologies than in years past, and Haytham Kaddoura, CEO of SmartStream Technologies Group, is very encouraged by this development.
Kaddoura, who has been CEO since May 2016, spoke to FTF News during the SIBOS conference last month in Toronto. In a wide-ranging chat, the CEO talked about his background, the growing acceptance of mutualization and the utility model among firms trying to optimize securities operations, and the industry issues that will be the top concerns for SmartStream over the next three years.
“Previously, most of the big institutions were conservative,” Kaddoura says. “Now they’re actively looking at distributed ledgers, e-currencies, A.I., robotics and machine learning. The adoption of new technologies within banks is no longer being opposed. I think it’s something that’s being accepted culturally and expected.”
Yet these hot trends are also among the issues that are causing Kaddoura the most concern because some of these emerging technologies and trends will be “short term bubbles that will surface and die,” he says. “We don’t want to jump ship onto new technologies and then realize … a few years down the line they’re no longer valid.”
Before moving up to the CEO’s post, Kaddoura, who has more than over 20 years of experience in the securities industry, has been as a member of SmartStream’s board of directors since 2007.
Before his time at SmartStream, Kaddoura joined a Dubai Government initiative to set up the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and he helped establish DIFC Investment, where he served as the manager for part of the quasi-sovereign wealth fund’s portfolio, officials say.
Over his career, he has served in a variety of capacities: investment advisory, asset management, corporate restructuring, strategy formulation and execution for the boards of major corporations across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the greater Middle East and North Africa region. He began his career via management consulting firms such as Accenture, Booz Allen and Hamilton, PricewaterhouseCoopers and BearingPoint.
Interview conducted by: Eugene Grygo, chief content officer, FTF News
The video was produced by Financial Technologies Forum (FTF).