Oxford University Fintech & Smart-Law Society
Student Association Profile
Club Type: Fintech& Smart-Law
Club Size: 250+
Student Backgrounds: Finance, Computer Science, Economics & Law
I am a penultimate year History undergraduate at Balliol College, Oxford, and this perhaps in itself illustrates the diversity of experience that runs deep at the Oxford Fintech and Smart-Law Society.
My commercial experience spans ‘Big Five’ commercial banking, boutique investment banking, legal chambers, in-house commercial legal offerings, and legal practice. As such, I see myself in perfect alignment with the two arms of the society, which in practice display more accurately the span of material that we cover than a reductive explanation of what we focus on.
As the Undergraduate Representative, I see myself as supplying the momentum the OXFSS needs to grow, and actively network and seek out speakers and opportunities to collaborate with the global fintech ecosystem.
CryptoTalent provides a fantastic hub through which I hope to nurture those connections, and begin linking students at the best university in the world to the start-ups that are shaping tomorrow.
Oxford may be steeped in heritage, but this should not be misunderstood as inertia. There is a very healthy tradition here of treating market disruptors as tomorrow’s commercial realities, and the explosive success of the OXFSS is a testament to the Oxford ecosystem’s appetite.
I wanted to explore disruptive-tech in a role that I could shape, in a committee that operated without enormous bureaucratic constraints, and found that the OXFSS could provide a spectrum of practical, career-oriented commercial offerings and a creative hunger that other, more long-standing societies were far less effective at. I came across the OXFSS while in the elementary stages of establishing a Fintech Society of my own, and was delighted that there was already a group that shared a strong industry and academic focus.
Together we are providing industry exposure to students, and are tying Oxford into the global disruptive-tech ecosystem. The OXFSS brings the hype and chaos of disruptive technology to Oxford in a structured and accessible fashion.
For my part, having my finger on the pulse excites me, and being part of a community with its feet on the ground but its eyes to the sky is exactly what I wanted from my undergraduate experience. Though challenging, the journey so far has been a very gratifying experience, and every successive day validates the issues that we address, and the importance we place on our offering.
The OXFSS operates on a simple premise – maximise the quality of our offering, and the number of people we can get excited about it. This growth mindset flexibly permits us to provide presentations and panel discussions to allow experts in industry and academia to share their wisdom.
Though our inaugural ‘Introduction to the Fintech Ecosystem’ was a huge success that we are following with a discussion of the impacts of Brexit on Fintech, we are not limited to fintech or smart-law exclusively, and our events have also explored the fascinating prospects and challenges of Open Banking and the intersection between blockchain and AI.
We are fortunate to have exclusive access to the world’s leading intellectuals and academics, and can offer unparalleled quality in our presentations as our presenters typically advise on, consult, practise, and even write, significant legislation that shapes the commercial landscape. A global roster of esteemed academics gives us a global frame of reference when discussing interconnected developments in disruptive-tech.
Though our academics often boast industry experience, we feel it is imperative to incorporate industry too, and work with top-tier law firms, venture capitalists, established banks, start-ups, and blockchain developers to gain a practical insight into the way that the industry is changing, and where our members will fit into it in coming years.
Activities & Interests
The OXFSS is an international enterprise. Within our community, we boast over 16 languages and a rich global reach spanning Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa. Events range from packing-out lecture theatres with 200 eager attendees, to more intimate, Q&A events designed to promote discussion among 30.
The majority of our core group are master’s students in Law and Finance, and have a mixture of academic and industry experience in finance, blockchain, fintech and law, but our events are open to both the Oxford graduate and undergraduate community, with a degree subject span including Law, History, Economics, Computer Sciences, and Engineering to name but a few.