If it seems you can’t go a day without reading something about the world of financial technology a/k/a fintech, you’re probably right. Fintech is on fire. Reports say global investment in financial technology has ballooned from $2.8 billion in 2012 to more than $22 billion in 2015. And the pace of investment is not slowing down: $5.3 billion flowed into fintech in the first quarter of this year, up 67% over the same period in 2015.
Fintech is certainly hot in Trading Technologies’ hometown of Chicago. According to World Business Chicago, our local fintech economy represents $25.9 billion in gross regional product and 123,156 employees from 8,412 companies.
Barchart recently brought together representatives from many of these companies to explore the latest technologies for financial exchanges and trading at the second annual FinTech Exchange.
I don’t think anyone was surprised that the event sold out. As Barchart’s Mark Haraburda explained in his opening remarks, Chicago isn’t just another fintech hub. What differentiates Chicago’s fintech ecosystem from other cities where fintech is strong, he explained, is the enduring leadership we have in the capital markets space. Mark said this became abundantly clear to Barchart’s team as they prepped for FinTech Exchange 2016 by attending events in other cities.
FinTech Exchange put a spotlight on some of these companies by giving more than 20 firms the opportunity to talk about their latest innovations and how they’re being used in the financial markets. Topics spanned from alternative data, artificial intelligence and deep learning to binary options, bitcoin and more. I walked away with a deep sense of appreciation for how our industry contributes to Chicago’s reputation as a leading fintech hub.
Here are some of my key takeaways.