BIS press release: BIS appoints Innovation Hub heads for London, Nordic and Toronto Centres

Originally published on the BIS website
Published on 03 November 2021

BIS press release

  • Francesca Hopwood Road to lead the London Centre; she joins from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • Beju Shah will lead the Nordic Centre, joining from the Bank of England.
  • Miguel Díaz will head the Toronto centre and joins from the Bank of Mexico.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) today announced three new senior appointments to the BIS Innovation Hub, expanding its network to support central bank collaboration on new financial technology.

  • Francesca Hopwood Road will lead the Hub’s London Centre. She is currently Head of Regulation Technology and Advanced Analytics at the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Beju Shah will head the Nordic Centre, based in Stockholm. He is presently Special Advisor for Digital Innovation at the Bank of England.
  • Miguel Díaz will run the Toronto Centre. He is currently General Director of Payment Systems and Market Infrastructures at the Bank of Mexico.

The London and Nordic centres were both launched in June. They are operated in collaboration with host central banks: the Bank of England for London, and the central banks of Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden for the Nordic centre. The Toronto centre will open in 2022 in collaboration with the Bank of Canada. It will serve as a key platform for central bank innovation in the Western Hemisphere.

Ms Hopwood Road has led a large team in the UK’s financial conduct regulator, in charge of a diverse portfolio of activities using technology to improve regulation (regtech) and supervision (suptech). A UK national, she has a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of Durham, and Master of Science in global politics from the University of London.

Mr Shah has helped drive innovation for almost a decade at the Bank of England and led projects, strategy and proofs of concept on a wide variety of topics, such as central bank digital currencies, regtech, suptech and data standards, among others, as well as championing open finance platforms, digital identity and digital climate disclosures. A UK national, he holds a Bachelor of Sciences in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Manchester.

Mr Díaz has guided the development, operation, analysis and regulation of financial market infrastructures in Mexico, including the modernisation of the country’s primary payments system. He is also Chair of the Consultative Group on Innovation and the Digital Economy (CGIDE) established at the BIS Representative Office for the Americas. A Mexican national, he holds a PhD in Business Economics from the University of Chicago.

“I am delighted to welcome Francesca, Beju and Miguel to the BIS Innovation Hub. Between them, they bring extensive and diverse technological and policy experience,” said Benoît Cœuré, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub. “They will be instrumental in catalysing the vibrant innovation capacities of the Hub’s focus areas, which include CBDCs, next generation financial market infrastructures, suptech and regtech, open finance, green finance and cyber security.”

Ms Hopwood Road, Mr Shah and Mr Díaz will begin their new roles in early 2022.

About the Innovation Hub

The BIS Innovation Hub aims to identify, and develop in-depth insights into, critical trends in technology affecting central banking; develop public goods in the technology space geared towards improving the functioning of the global financial system; and it serves as a focal point for a network of central bank experts on innovation.

New centres in Toronto and for the Eurosystem (with locations in Frankfurt and Paris), are expected to be opened in 2022, taking the total number of Hub Centres to seven. The Innovation Hub has also established a Strategic Partnership with the Federal Reserve System through the New York Innovation Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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