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The Centre for Digital Banking & Finance



We are a network of subject matter experts, practitioners and associates who have years of experience growing digital businesses, deploying digital solutions and leading digital organisations.  All of our faculty members have international experience and are skilled at tailoring consultancy and training programmes to local and regional market conditions.

Renier Lemmens


Renier is the LIBF Visiting Professor of Fintech and Innovation and Director of the Centre for Digital Banking & Finance.  He is a Venture Partner with DN Capital focusing on Fintech and also serves as Chairman of TransferGo, Divido, Mojo Mortgages, and Hostmaker. He is a non-executive director at Arion Bank and recently served as board member of Revolut. In the past, Renier served as CEO of PayPal EMEA and was COO of Barclays International Retail and Commercial Banking. Renier was previously an officer of GE Capital where he served as Chairman and CEO of Budapest Bank, and SVP Business Development for the Americas. Renier was a partner with McKinsey & Company in London, New Delhi, and San Francisco.  He holds an MSc with distinction in Computer Science and an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD, France.


Roman Matousek

Director of Programmes

Roman Matousek is Professor of Finance and Director of the Global Centre for Banking and Financial Innovation (GCBFI) at Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham. Roman is also a member of the prestigious Chartered Association of Business Schools (ABS) International Committee. Roman served as Head of Research and Director of the Research Centre for EMEA Banking, Finance and Economics. Before joining Nottingham University, Roman held an appointment as Deputy Head of Kent Business School, University of Kent, UK.     

Roman Matousek

Helene Panzarino

Associate Director

Originally a Commercial Banker, Helene is a highly experienced FinTech Programme Director, Exited Entrepreneur, and Educator.

Helene is an adviser to a number of fintechs, including Yovo, a fourth generation utility token business, and Biid, a digital identity platform based in Spain. Named a Top 10 Influencer in SME Funding, Helene is the sole author of Business Funding for Dummies (Wiley), a member of The FinTech Advisory Board for the BSI and on the Steering Group of the TLA FinTech Working Group. Named on the Computer Weekly 100 Women in Tech Award 2018, She was also recently inducted into the St George’s Leadership Foundation at Windsor Castle.

Helene Panzarino

Rob Thurner

Associate Director

Rob is a digital marketing strategist and trainer specialising in digital transformation, digital banking, customer journey mapping, website and app user experience, ecommerce and mobile marketing. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Burn the Sky – a digital strategy and training business that works with over 20 financial services clients. These include American Express, Aviva, Barclays, CVC Capital Partners, Commercial Bank Qatar, Coventry Building Society, Danske Bank, Deutsche Bank, Faysal Bank, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Mashreq Bank, Santander and UOB.


Richard Johnson

Associate Director

Richard is an Associate Director of the Centre for Digital Banking & Finance. He is a consultant and advisor to a range of financial services and investment businesses on the impacts of digital disruption. In the past, Richard led Strategy, Propositions and Investor Relations at Monitise, an international mobile banking software business, Previously, Richard held a number of positions at NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland including Head of Strategy for the Retail Bank and Head of Internet and Telephony. He holds an MSc in Management Science from Imperial College, London and a BA in Mathematics from Oxford University. Richard is an Associate of the Institute of Bankers.


Sabrina Del Prete, Associate Director

Associate Director

Sabrina is the founder and CEO of Kore, a financial technology company. She has over 25 years experience in financial markets, business transformation and application of new technologies in banking. Over her career, Sabrina has held senior roles at JP Morgan Chase, Barclays, Coutts and RBS. She is actively involved in the entrepreneurial community, both as a Board adviser for Fintech companies and as a mentor. She currently sits on the Board of Governors of the London Institute of Banking and Finance. Sabrina holds a Masters in Finance from the London Business School and a degree in Business and Economics from the University of Turin. She has won a number of innovation awards for her work and she has been included in the Timetric Power 50 list of the most influential digital innovators in Europe.


Laura Bailey 

Associate Director

Laura, Chairperson of Qadre, is a leading entrepreneur in the field of blockchain technology and a trailblazer for women in fintech. She has co-founded three successful blockchain ventures and is currently developing Qadre into a global technology leader – working with UK parliament, industry, and regulators alike to drive policy and cultural changes to technology. Laura acts as a Non Executive Director of StateZero Labs, is an active member on the Board of techUK and is also a Founding Member & Advisor for the British Blockchain & Frontier Technologies Association. Laura is a regular speaker in domestic and international governments, regulators, and NGOs, promoting technology for good. Laura has an extensive background in finance and began her career at HSBC across a variety of areas, including Leveraged Finance, Marketing, and Corporate Banking.
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Associate Director of the Centre for Digital Banking and Finance, Helene Panzarino, discusses the changes the banking industry are facing at the moment.

With the rise of challenger banks and other fintech companies, Helene explains how these changes are affecting incumbent banks and innovation as a whole across the industry.