Wharton FinTech
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Wharton FinTech

Shimon Kogan, Associate Professor of Finance — Fintech 101

In today’s episode I’m joined by Shimon Kogan, Associate Professor of Finance with positions at Arison School of Business, Reichman University and The Wharton School.

Shimon and I cover a range of topics, including:

Shimon’s Fintech Course:
I took Professor Kogan’s fintech course at Wharton, and immediately after the first class knew that I wanted him on the show. The course highlights the rise and success of the fintech industry, including case studies on Ant, LendingClub and R3. Key topics in the course and on the episode include:

  • Why fintech is more tech than financial services
  • The rise of fintech after the 2008 financial crisis
  • Inefficiencies and opportunities in financial services overall (including a look at international money transfers)
  • Improved lending through alternative data
  • The impact of improved tech (like machine learning and blockchain) on the industry

Why Fintech is a Great Industry for Young Professionals:
Professor Kogan sees significant further potential for growth in the fintech industry, sighting that financial services makes up 7% of global GDP, and therefore fintech has only scratched its surface. He also believes the industry is particularly great for young professionals that value quantitative and creative thinking, and those that place an emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation. Finally, with the rise of defi and web 3, Professor Kogan sees fintech becoming even more embedded in everyday life. We also touch on the success of fintech internationally, sighting the size of the underbanked population, the small business landscape, the amount of venture capital money in the area, and the stability of the regulatory environment as key success factors for global companies.

What Professor Kogan is Most Excited About Moving Forward:
Professor Kogan highlights a few areas he’s particularly excited about, and that may play an even larger role in his class moving forward, including:

  • Blockchain, crypto, defi, and the potential of composable global open-source financial services (Professor Kogan plans to pilot additional teachings on crypto and defi in the next year)
  • Embedded insurance and the ability of machine learning and blockchain to transform how information gets captured


Shimon Kogan:
Prof. Kogan is an Associate Professor of Finance, with positions at IDC Herzliya and the Wharton School. He was on the faculty at MIT Sloan, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Texas at Austin, and Duke. He held several investment-management positions and board advisory roles. He earned his MBA and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and his BA from Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Kogan’s research focuses on behavioral finance with application to capital markets. He is interested in understanding how information is processed in markets and his approach is interdisciplinary, integrating tools and insights from machine learning and AI. His research appeared in some of the profession’s top journals such as the Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Finance, and the American Economic Review, and he was invited to present his work in leading conferences and universities, such as MIT, Wharton, Harvard, and Yale.

His teaching is focused on machine learning, data science, and blockchain, and their implications for finance. He has been teaching Fintech, Data Science for Finance, Investment, Portfolio Management, Derivatives, and Behavioral Finance. He is involved with several startups in the fintech space and is often invited to speak about these issues in both academic and practitioners’ conferences.


About the Author:
Anirudh Singh is a second-year MBA Candidate at The Wharton School, where he is part of the Wharton FinTech Podcast team. He has a passion for economic development, venture capital, financial services, and all things FinTech. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, comments, feedback, and opportunities at singhan@wharton.upenn.edu.

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Anirudh Singh

Anirudh Singh

Wharton MBA Candidate, Fintech Enthusiast, Early Stage Investing