Feature Stories

11.07.2017

From the Dean

The ability of digital technology to continue transforming the world of business and finance - and even the basic notion of money - is something we at the Business School have been aware of for some time.

As applications are found for the latest advances in areas such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, mobile communications and autonomous systems, exciting new business models are created. Improvements in, for example, the accuracy of risk assessment and cybersecurity, mean that everything from peer-to-peer lending to niche forms of insurance can be delivered in faster, less expensive, more creative and reliable ways.

Although we are already engaging with these compelling developments in practical and relevant ways, we’ve made it our strategic goal to position the School as a major intellectual power house of FinTech. We aim to achieve this status through our collaborations with financial institutions, regulators, and other research institutions in Hong Kong and beyond. Through quality training we provide timely knowledge to executives and our undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Among the areas the Business School will focus on are blockchain technology, information security research, machine learning applications in finance, and research on FinTech related innovation and entrepreneurship.

By its nature FinTech blurs the boundaries between academic disciplines. That is why the School has established a FinTech Group, comprising 15 faculty members from the Departments of Accounting, Finance, and Information Systems, Business Statistics, and Operations Management (ISOM), to chart our way forward.

In this issue of Biz@HKUST, our faculty write articles expressing their opinions on FinTech and featuring the areas they have been studying. Meanwhile, Professor KC Chan, the third and fourth term HKSAR Government’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, and Mr Nelson Chow, Chief Fintech Officer at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, explain how Hong Kong is preparing for a FinTech revolution. Mr Benjamin Hung, Standard Chartered’s CEO for Greater China and North Asia and member of the HKUST Business School Advisory Council, and Mr Paul Schulte, founder of Schulte Research and author of The Advent of Financial Technology, examine the future of banking. Co-creator of Ethereum (a blockchain platform), Mr Vitalik Buterin, tells us what new forms of business will be made possible by Ethereum, after visited the Business School earlier this year.

Elements and aspects of FinTech have already been introduced into our existing courses and programs, and we are looking at the possibility of offering, jointly with other HKUST Schools, new FinTech programs or courses for students.

Given the way FinTech is opening up new opportunities, and disrupting some old career paths, it’s unsurprising that entrepreneurship is another area attracting increasing interest from our students. Our newly launched entrepreneurship course that integrates crowdfunding into the classroom is just one of the ways in which the School is making sure this need is met.

Our commitment to sharing our knowledge and expertise with the wider society and community takes a number of forms. The School continues to host regular seminars - on FinTech as well as other topics - that are open to members of the HKUST community and the public.

We hope the many steps we take will better prepare the School and our students for the impacts of technologies on the future of finance.