Why Fintech is So Hot Among MBAs

At Columbia Business School, not only was a club established last year, it has already merged with and replaced the once-massive and long-standing Sales and Trading Club, says Jennifer Merchant, senior associate director of Columbia’s Career Management Center.

“It was almost like fintech acquired the Sales and Trading Club, which was, to me, a sign of a change in student interest and where different jobs are going,” Merchant tells Poets&Quants, noting the club was thriving in 2001 when she graduated from the school with her MBA. “Now the major banks are not hiring for that space that much anymore from the MBA level. A lot of jobs are going the route of fintech.”

Betterment Gets a $700 Million Valuation on a $100 Million Round

Betterment, founded by Jon Stein (CBS'09), has raised a new $100 million round of equity financing led by Investment AB Kinnevik ($65 million) at a $700 million valuation - a 40% jump from its previous round in early 2015. Complimenting this round at $35 million were previous investors: Bessemer Venture Partners, Anthemis, Francisco Partners and Menlo Ventures.

CyrusOne to create preeminent financial services co-location hub in Chicago

Check out what Gary Wojtaszek, CyrusOne CEO & proud Columbia Business School alum, had to say about CME Group's plan to sell its Chicago data center to CyrusOne:

"The acquisition-leaseback of this facility offers unique advantages to our customers involved in the global financial markets by providing connectivity to those transacting on the CME Globex platform.

With this facility, and with CME Group as our tenant, we are excited to have the opportunity to expand the global risk management campus in Chicago - the preeminent financial services co-location hub in the industry - which will be a cornerstone of our unique and rapidly growing data center platform.

This acquisition helps solidify our position in the financial services market and will create additional FinTech opportunities by offering a unique ecosystem to our financial, energy, enterprise, and cloud customers, " said Gary Wojtaszek, President and CEO of CyrusOne.

Crnsy at the center of innovation at SXSW

Innovators from across the globe spent the first weekend of South By Southwest showcasing their newest ideas, latest trends and the most recent hi-tech designs. Check out what Charlie Flanagan of Crnsy had to say here!

"For traditional currency exchanges [transaction costs] can be about 20 to 40 percent of the transaction. For traditional ATMs or credit cards, it can be 12 to 15 percent of the transaction. [Crnsy] brings the cost down to just 50 cents in every $100 changed," explained Flanagan.

Hitting the Ground Running (and Managing Your Wealth)

Business school is known to be fast paced, busy and chaotic (in a good way!). Well for Columbia FinTech, this is even more so the case. In our first month as a student led club at Columbia Business School, we’ve hit the ground running by hosting a number of events, ranging from a technology workshop for fintech entrepreneurs hosted by Dan Kwon of FullStack 360, to our launch happy hour.

Our first panel, "The Future of Wealth Management", brought together representatives from across the wealth management industry and over 50 students to discuss the impact and future of robo-advisory. Moderated by Arjun Saxena of Strategy&, the panel included: Lena Mass-Cresnik of BlackRock, Sid Sharma of Hedgeable, Alix FitzGerald of Betterment.

They shared their vision not only around what their respective companies are doing to provide the consumers with better investing products, but also on the overall fintech landscape and how the old and the new worlds of financial services are working together. Both the panel and the active audience of engineers, SIPA and MBA students brought up a number of interesting points including: whether the work with or against the banks, the fast increase in the number of high net worth individuals opting for robo-advisors, fully automated vs human augmented investing strategies, and many more. Another topic that was of interest to the many students in the audience were the exciting development opportunities that the industry presents to engineering AND business school students alike. Let’s say not that many were eager to leave the room after the panel ended…

We are encouraged by the amount of interest from the Columbia community to our first panel and hope that our upcoming events and the resources that we make available continue to be a source of inspiration and education for our members.

Columbia FinTech Launches

We're pleased to announce the launch of Columbia FinTech!

It has been a few months in the making, but we're finally up and running, and are excited to begin a journey towards what we hope will be the leading Student group focusing on financial technology. It is an incredibly exciting time in the world of fintech, and we have a great team, set of mentors and NYC location with which to build this platform.

This website is intended to provide members of Columbia FinTech, the Columbia University community (including students, alumni and faculty) and all those interested in financial technology with a platform to engage with Columbia FinTech's resources and network. 

We look forward to the journey ahead!

- The Columbia FinTech team