Global Speakers


Bharat Panchal

SVP & Head – Risk Management

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

Bharat Panchal is working as Senior Vice President and Head – Risk Management for National Payments Corporation Of India (NPCI). He is one of the strong pillars since inception of NPCI, an umbrella organization for entire retail payments system in India. NPCI is one of the fastest grown organizations in last few years with products like RuPay, BHIM, AEPS, and IMPS etc.

At NPCI, Bharat is responsible to Monitor, evaluate and implement improvements for Risk management, controls and governance areas focusing on Enterprise Risk Management, Operational Risk Management, Cyber Security, and Fraud Management. He is responsible to design and implementation of security controls in every product of NPCI. He has established himself as cyber security thought leader for digital banking in India with his immense knowledge of risk and cyber security area and his contribution to make the ecosystem risk free. He is part of many committees of Govt. of India and RBI on cyber security.

He is an MBA in Information systems and has around 22 + years’ experience mainly in the banking and telecommunication industry. He is one of the most sought speaker on cyber security in India. He has been keynote speaker or panelist in around 250 + conferences in India and almost 20+ conferences across world. He is winner of many prestigious awards including “Security Leader of the year” by DSCI in 2014     and “Best CRO of the year” by CSI in 2016.


Martin Markiewicz


Silent Eight

Martin Markiewicz is the CEO and co-founder of Silent Eight. Based in Singapore, he is the creator of the long-term vision and the driving force behind the company’s pursuit of artificial intelligence powered solutions for client screening and transaction monitoring. The solutions of Silent Eight are utilized by leading banks for AML and CFT purposes.

Martin is a mathematician by education, and a serial entrepreneur by passion, with strong startups (in both Europe and Asia) and a successful IPO.  He has over 16 years of experience with software and artificial intelligence solutions covering a wide range of applications. His first startup,, was established in 2001 and offered software & hardware development solutions for SME’s. He then joined Wola Info, one of Europe’s leading IT firms, as a strategic sales director, and went on to create SevenFlow Investments – a multidisciplinary engineering firm that grew quickly, ultimately becoming a part of a highly successful IPO.


Naby Mariyam

Founder & CEO


Naby Mariyam has 20 years of experience in research, Education, Management consulting and start-ups in the last 5 years. She is passionate about AR/VR, Machine learning and Technology. She Represented Australian and the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summit in berlin 2017. She is an advocate for Diversity of thought in technology and women in leadership.

Coverhero is an intelligent insurance Robo advisor that helps to understand, buy and manage your insurance in one place. When you download the app, the first thing you do is upload your existing insurance policies (incredibly easy with the Gmail Scanner). Coverhero advisor analyses your insurance needs and gives you visibility on where you are underinsured. Coverhero intelligently shops the market on your behalf, keeping your insurance portfolio optimised.


Dr. Xu Guandong

Associate Professor

UTS Sydney

Dr Xu Guandong is an Associate Professor at School of Software and Advanced Analytics Institute at Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Technology, Sydney. After he gained his PhD degree in Computer Science, he has held various research positions in Australian, European, and Asian Universities. Currently he leads the Data Science and Machine Intelligence lab consisting of 15 Postdocs, Research Associates, and HDRs, and takes the role of Computing Science (honours) Program Coordinator at FEIT. Guandong has had 190+ publications in the areas of Data Science, Machine Intelligence, Recommender Systems, NLP, and Social Computing. Since 2015, he has led a dozen of research and industry projects in data science, predictive analytics, behaviour analytics, risk modelling, and customer engagement, gaining income totalling over $3M from ARC, governments, and industries. As recognition of his research impact and industry contribution, his team has been awarded the 2016 Censuses BigInsight Data Innovation Award in “Best Customer Insights”, 2017 AMI Awards for Marketing Excellence National Final and NSW winner in “Consumer Research Insights” and “Customer Retention”, and 2018 Australasian Database Conference “Best Student Paper” award. His proven experience in data analytics engagement involves federal and state government organisations, corporates as well as SMEs.



Evan Wong

Co-Founder & CEO


Evan Wong is the co-founder and CEO of Checkbox (, a platform that enables subject-matter experts to transform regulation into software without touching a single line of code. Checkbox has won a series of accolades both in Australia and globally, including RegTech of the Year, the Westpac Innovation Challenge, and was the Australian representative at the Startup World Cup in San Francisco. Evan is also the Founder of Hero Education, an award-winning social enterprise for youth empowerment.


Rimon Rony

Founder & Chief AI Engineer

Rimon is the Founder & Chief AI Engineer of Bluebeak is an AI platform that empowers decision makers with real-time, actionable insights. We provide Demand Data and Market Insights / Risk as a service.

Rimon is a new member of the LGSherlock Data Science Team (at LGAQ). As the Chief/Principal AI Data Scientist, Rimon is responsible for leading, designing and supporting Sherlock’s ‘AI Data Products’. Sherlock is the world’s first data storage and AI/ML tool, which is being introduced across an entire tier of local government.
His immediate past role as the Global Principal Data Scientist for the world’s largest building materials company HeidelbergCement, saw him deliver multiple products in the Engineering / Construction space. Rimon started the world’s first AI project in this industry to create disruption.

Rimon led and delivered numerous million-dollar projects in the past 10 years utilising artificial intelligence in diverse industries ranging from energy/resources, utilities, IoT, Automations, Asset Maintenance, Finance and many more.



Katherine Heathcote

Senior Trade & Investment Advisor, Fintech

Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)

Katherine is a senior trade & investment advisor for Fintech at Austrade since June 2017. Her remit is to support Australian Fintech companies to go global and foreign companies into Australia. Before being appointed at Austrade, she works at the UK Department for International Trade as an investment manager for 4 years. In that role, she was the Fintech champion for Australia and New Zealand and successfully ran Australia’s very first Fintech mission to the UK and Australia’s first start up games. She is a mentor at the Blockchain Centre in Melbourne.

She holds a masters in international relations and a bachelor of economics and finance. Before joining Government, she worked in the superannuation industry at KPMG.


Tom Higgins

VP Business & Technology Strategy

Axe Group

Tom is a very experienced leader, technologist, visionary entrepreneur and aspiring coder. He has held significant CTO and CIO roles and led large IT teams with major Australian corporations over his career. He was CTO for Goldman Sachs JBWere, headed the Insurance tech division for Westpac, and CIO for the NRMA brand at IAG. His last role at IAG was in non-insurance product innovation in IAG’s Firemark Labs.

In his spare time, Tom has been involved in many startups long before disruption and startups were fashionable. His usual corporate role is that of helping IT organisations that have lost their way recover, but his real interest is the application of technology to enable businesses to transform themselves.

Having worked in one of the first industries to be disrupted, private client stockbroking in early 2000’s, Tom’s understanding of the impacts of technology disruption are from personal experience. With formal qualifications in a Bachelor Business (Economics & Finance) he has a strong base in both the technology and business domains; he understands markets, impacts and opportunities, but more importantly the systemic implications for organisations who need to radically update their technology to compete.

His current role of driving the business and technology strategy for Axe Group which includes ensuring Axe’s Axelerator insurance platform is engineered to support AI and Machine Learning across omni-channels as first-class citizens and not tacked on as an afterthought.


Nicholle Lindner

Vice President & Transformation Partner Consulting in AI, Robotics and Digital


Nicholle is a senior finance and tech leader, mentor, VC advisor, founder, strategist and innovator. Her expertise includes domain expertise in banking, payments, FinTech, RegTech, InsurTech, Blockchain, and technical skills in CX, Biometrics, Lean Digital, Robotics, AI & Agile.

Nicholle has worked in top tier organisations such as Merrill Lynch, CBA, NAB, Westpac, Unisys and AT Kearney / EDS. Nicholle also acts as an entrepreneurial coach and mentor to new fintech start-ups. She holds a BEc / LLB (USyd) and an MCom (IT) from UNSW AGSM. In 2016 she completed programs at LSE in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
In 2017 Nicholle became a globally recognised advisor on Blockchain and became a member of the Advisory Board of Arkratos Blockchain Solutions, a new blockchain platform based in Singapore in 2018. Nicholle is currently the Vice President and Partner for Genpact leading AI, Robotics and Lean Digital Solutions for APAC.
Nicholle’s professional attributes include strategic and innovative design thinking, strong relationship capabilities, innovative technology commercialisation and business development skills and a strong sense of entrepreneurship.
Nicholle has successfully launched and founded new businesses and products, managed complex M&A, transformed businesses and turned around and repositioned them for success. Her experience in major corporates has included playing key leadership roles in significant initiatives such as the “Which New Bank” transformation at CBA, the “Fair Value” strategy and new digital brand (UBank) at NAB, the integration and turnaround of cards at Westpac, the re-launch of the Bank of Melbourne brand, the design of a new digital customer model for St George, the launch of a new challenger financial services & payments business at Flexigroup; and working with Fintechs in global hubs Stone &Chalk, Level39 and Lattice80.


Anu Kukar

Director Risk Innovation


Anu brings 17 years of experience across Risk & Compliance management, Governance, Regulatory, Internal Audit, Management Consulting and Tax. She has worked across many industries: Insurance, Bank, Government, Manufacturing, Energy and Telecommunications.

Anu has assisted clients and worked hands-on in industry to identify risks and build solutions to manage them across all types of financial and non- financial risks. The work Anu and her team did around advanced risk management was awarded an Australian Bank CEO Employee of the year award. 

Anu is currently focussed on Risk Innovation, assisting businesses through designing and developing new business risk & compliance solutions to support their future business needs.

Anu is a graduate from Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), a Chartered Accountant (ICAANZ) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Information Systems (UNSW).


Samantha Clarke

Co-Founder and Director

Advice RegTech

Samantha Clarke is a Co-Founder and Director of Advice RegTech, a consultancy for InsurTech and regulatory technology solutions.  Her 25 years of industry experience includes Executive Director roles at blue-chip multi-nationals in Australia and globally, plus government and regulator relations for NFPs, as well as start-up development, commercialisation and advisory.

Advice RegTech is a member of both the RegTech Association as well as FinTech Australia, and was selected for ASIC’s first RegTech showcase event this September. Samantha was recognised in the 2017 Money Management Women in Financial Services Awards for IT Innovation and Industry Advocacy. Also by the Women in Finance awards for association Leadership. Plus by the Business Fintech Awards, for Compliance Innovation.


Claire Vines

Principal-Head of Technology


Claire is an IT expert and commercial lawyer with 10 years of in-house experience. With lexvoco, Claire has advised our clients including a Singaporean infrastructure business on a range of commercial and IT legals, an entertainment business on procurement and IT, and one of our retail clients on IP and ACL issues.

Claire often provides consulting advice to lexvoco’s clients regarding third party technology due diligence and suitability (cutting through all the slick marketing and tech talk), and achieving optimal results from existing systems and processes, whether involving tech or not.

Claire also spends her time developing and designing lexvoco’s proprietary systems and applications for common in-house legal inefficiencies. Some of Claire’s previous experience has included: Working at IBM closely with the General Counsel to review software licences, processing contracts and managing the contract database. RMIT University, managing IT services and IP commercialisation and disputes. Working with Dell across general commercial legals, including marketing, advertising material, drafting and negotiating all standard and non-standard NDAs, and brand protection/IP work.

At Nissan a key achievement was working closely with IT and Procurement to create, design and project manage implementation of a new SharePoint based enterprise knowledge management system. Working for Australia Post to re-design and implement their contract management lifecycle.


Aamer Fattah

Research Innovation & Development Specialist

Munich Re

Aamer is the Research Innovation & Development Specialist at Munich Re.

Initially qualified as a medical scientist, Aamer has over 14 years of experience in the insurance industry, including strategic digital innovation, design thinking, insurance medicine, actuarial R&D and risk management.

Aamer’s areas of research expertise include artificial intelligence, digital healthcare, social robotics, human augmentation and other emerging trends.

Aamer holds two medical science degrees from the University of Otago, a graduate business degree from the University of New South Wales, and is a graduate of the University of Oxford’s Fintech Programme.


Phillimon Zongo

Head of Cyber Security & IT Risk

Crestone Wealth Management

Phil Zongo is the Head of Cybersecurity at Crestone Wealth Management. He is the author of The Five Anchors of Cyber Resilience, a contemporary cyber security strategy book that will be published in June 2018. He is also a globally recognised cyber resilience thought leader, with his most notable award received at the Annual ISACA 2017 Awards held in Chicago, USA where Phil was honoured with ISACA’s Michael Cangemi Best Book/Article Award, that recognises individuals for significant global contributions to publications in the field of IS audit, control and/or security. The book will be published in June 2018.

Over the last 14 years, Phil has advised several business leaders on how to cost-effectively manage business risk in complex transformation programs. Phil regularly speaks at conferences and leading universities on disruptive trends, such as cyber resilience, Blockchain, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.


James Ward

Managing Director


James Ward is a leading thinker and practitioner in the art of applying Artificial Intelligence to the challenges of business strategy, with a particular focus on marketing and distribution in Financial Services. He is the CEO of Epistemology, which is an AI consulting and products business.

Prior to that, he was the former Head of Analytics for IAG Satellite who developed group wide Artificial Intelligence strategy using the power of Machine Learning, to increase IAG’s ability to keep policyholders safe while delivering a beautiful customer experiences. James was also the former Senior Manager of Analytics for McKinsey & Company as well as former Director of Technology Advisory for Deloitte as an industry insider working with some of Australia’s largest Financial Services companies in Banking and Insurance, and as a fundamental academic researcher with the Key Centre for Advanced Computing Sciences.


Anthony Scott

Chief Intelligent Automation Officer (CIAO)

illion Australia and New Zealand

Anthony is currently the Chief Intelligent Automation Officer (CIAO) of Illion Australia and New Zealand. He has strong skills in RPA Strategy and Development, Business Process Design, Business Case and IT Service Management. Prior to joining illion Australia and New Zealand, Anthony was the General Manager of Robotics, Automation & Transformation for Equifax as well as several senior management role in the financial services such as TAAl Life, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, BT Financial Group and Barclaycard.


Markoss Martina

Head of Customer Success and Enablement

The Éclair Group

Markoss has more than 10 years’ experience within Financial Service Industries. He worked for multiple top 30 global banks on global and regional level. He has hold multiple Senior Management positions within the Transformation & Automation as well as in operational role.

He set up from scratch, designed, developed, lead and managed Robotics and Cognitive Automation (AI & Machine Learning) Strategies, Business Units, Approaches and Programs for multiple top 30 global banks.

He lead, set-up and managed large-scale multi-million dollar transformation & Automation programs.

He lead large business units, managed costs and ensured that business unit objectives are delivered.

Markoss is currently engaged with Eclair Group. Eclair combines cutting edge technology with an innovative service offering to collaborate with our clients in realising transformative benefit from automation.


Adrian Cartland


Cartland Law & Creator of Ailira

Adrian Cartland has worked as a tax lawyer in top tier law firms as well as boutique tax practices. He is now the Principal of Cartland Law, a boutique tax and commercial law firm. Adrian is also the Creator of Ailira, the Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Research Assistant, which automates legal research and advice. Ailira is currently used by hundreds of Australian tax lawyers and accountants from the ‘Big 4’ to small practices, for tax research, and is currently expanding into other legal areas. Ailira can also provide tailored legal information to consumers, initially in the areas of Domestic Violence (for which Cartland Law has already delivered a SA Government funded prototype), Business Structuring, and Wills and Estates. Adrian is known for his innovative advice and ideas and also for his entertaining and insightful professional speeches.


Gaurav Patni

Director - CIO Advisory


Gaurav Patni is globally recognized as a Retail, Consumer Goods and Digital Innovation thought leader, speaker, and author.

He has over 20 years of executive leadership experience, developing winning strategies and technology focused innovation programs for global household name brand organizations like Walmart, Nordstrom, Best Buy, Procter & Gamble, Tesco, JCPenney, David Jones, Woolworths, etc.

He works with CXOs to define and plan for business and technology shifts required to support the digitization agenda for their organization; serves as an expert advisor to clients and leads advisory efforts to help clients innovate through the use of new technologies and ways of working.