The primary goal of the MS in FinTech program is to provide UConn students with an innovative curriculum that will prepare them for the evolving marketplace centered on technology and business. The Advisory Board will help the program to maintain a curriculum that keeps pace with the market, assist in cultivating corporate relationships, and participate in experiential learning opportunities with students. The board will provide support and guidance to the program when developing strategic initiatives and new programming or partnership opportunities, and consists of alumni, content experts, and corporate partners.
Board Member Responsibilities
Connections & Network — Members of the Advisory Board are expected to be actively involved in the ecosystem and connect the program into these various opportunities. There will be emphasis placed on board members to assist with corporate connections to aid in student
recruitment. Supporting the greater business technology and innovation ecosystem within UConn and the state of Connecticut and surrounding areas is also imperative in this role.
Advise and Advocate — The Advisory Board members will provide formal and informal advice to support the enhancement of the program and increase the technological relevance of current and prospective employees in close alignment with the needs of industry. We are constantly looking to improve the quality of our programming to provide the best opportunities to serve our community.
We seek individuals who will serve as influential advocates for the center’s programs, interests, and students.
Support — It is expected that Members of the board will support the FinTech program with a minimum annual contribution of $5,000, which will be directed towards the FinTech Innovation Fund.
Time Commitment — Advisors are asked to serve at minimum for one two-year term. New members will be added to the board periodically to replace those advisors whose step out of the role. Members of the board will be expected to attend and participate in FinTech events where they can. The board will meet formally twice a year.
A passionate Business Leader with more than two decades of experience and a track record of leading large-scale business transformation for multinational enterprises, Viren Kapadia focuses on empowering organizations with the most efficient, comprehensive LMS platform possible to enrich their workforce. His anticipation and response to the ever-evolving digital ecosystem means driving ongoing platform enhancements, with the goal of delivering the best experience at the most competitive pricing in the industry.
Chief Executive Officer, Insurity
Chris Lafond is the Chief Executive Officer and board member at Insurity, a leading provider of software and services to property and casualty insurance companies in the U.S., Canada and Europe. He also currently serves on the board of Pegasystems, the leader in cloud software for customer engagement and operational excellence. He previously spent over 15 years as Chief Financial Officer at three industry leading, multinational companies – Insurity, Intralinks, and Gartner. During his 30-year career in finance, Chris held numerous finance leadership roles including head of Financial Planning & Analysis, Corporate Controller, and Regional CFO. Earlier in his career Chris held finance roles at IBM and JP Morgan.
Chris has been active in supporting non-profit and educational organizations in areas that he deeply believes in – education, affordable housing, and healthcare. Chris has previously served on the advisory boards for the University of Florida MBA Program and the University of Connecticut MS in Financial Risk Management Program. Chris has also served on the boards of Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County and Childcare Learning Center in Stamford, CT.
Chris was inducted into the University of Connecticut Business School Hall of Fame in March 2018.
Chris lives in Naples, Florida and Niantic, Connecticut and has 2 children – Brian, a graduate of Muhlenberg College, and Megan, a graduate of Bucknell University.
Marinstein & Company, Principal
Jeff Marinstein is the Founding Principal of Marinstein & Company, a management advisory focused on strategy at the intersection of business and technology. He is an Instructor-in-Residence at the UConn School of Business teaching executive education classes in blockchain. He spent 18 years at IBM as the global head of business strategy and M&A in IBM Global Services. He is an advisor to senior executives in large enterprise, mid- market companies, and startups. Jeff is a frequent speaker on blockchain and author of the forthcoming blog “Blockchain for Grownups – Practical Uses of Blockchain.” Prior to IBM he founded Contingency Planning Research. The firm did pioneering work in the field of business continuity and risk management. Jeff lives with his wife and two daughters in Stamford, CT.
Crowe LLP’s Financial Services Consulting Practice
Clayton is a governance, risk and compliance professional in Crowe LLP’s Financial Services Consulting Practice. Clayton is responsible for Crowe LLP’s financial technology (Fintech) practice, crossing service lines of Audit, Tax, Advisory and Consulting. He has two decades of experience leading and completing risk and compliance consulting engagements, reviews and audits for organizations ranging in size and complexity from start-ups to the globe’s most well-known and established Fintechs, Clayton also spends a significant amount of time working with consortiums and accelerators to achieve desired outcomes in new ways, including adaptive compliance and regulatory technologies.
Clayton is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) and maintains his Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) designation. He is published on a number of regulatory, technology and compliance related topics.
Affirm, Senior Vice President
Scott Roberts is the Senior Vice President - Bank Strategy at Affirm where he oversees and manages the development of the Bank.
Prior to joining Affirm, Scott held multiple leadership roles at Goldman Sachs and GE Capital. Previously, Scott led the Retail Deposits business for Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Before joining Goldman Sachs, he served as the CEO & President for GE Capital Bank (a Utah Chartered Industrial Bank) and held the role as Chief Financial Officer for multiple GE Capital Lending platforms. In addition, he has worked at RH Donnelley (a division of Dun & Bradstreet) and CBS, Inc. Scott is also a board member for the nonprofit organization Community Development Corporation of Utah.
Scott holds a B.S. from The University of South Carolina where he majored in Finance & Marketing and an MBA in Finance from The University of Connecticut. Scott and his family live in Park City, Utah.
FinTron, Founder and CEO
Wilder founded FinTron, a Gen Y / Gen Z (Mobile Generation) focused financial technologies company in 2017. Wilder built the business while working full time to put himself through college and fund the initial software development out-of-pocket. At 24, while enrolled in college, Wilder was one of the youngest CEO's to ever register a Broker-Dealer with the SEC and FINRA. His dream is to follow in the footsteps of his father, to help America's youths build a strong foothold in society and achieve healthy independence - he intends to do just that by democratizing finance for the Mobile Generation. Wilder has raised nearly $10M in pursuit of his mission and has personally delivered financial education to thousands of high school and college students. An affirmative action employer and strong believer in youth empowerment, Wilder employs one of, if not the youngest operational teams in the industry, boasting an average employee age of 25. "Who better to build FinTech for the Mobile Generation than the mobile generation themselves."