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Technologies for DevOps, Test Automation and AI: The QA Financial Forum Paris 2019

8 October, 2019
News and research on financial software quality assurance and risk management

The QA Financial Forum: London 2018

21 February, 2018 8am-5pm Hilton Canary Wharf
Marsh Wall
E14 9SH

Our agenda features speakers from leading banks, insurance companies and asset managers as well as exchanges and payments platforms.

About the event

The QA Financial Forum London has become established as the leading conference for software quality assurance and IT risk management professionals. Our agenda features speakers from leading banks, insurance companies and asset managers as well as exchanges and payments platforms.

Presentations are made and discussed under the Chatham House Rule, with the objective of sharing firms’ experience of IT change management.

To find out more about sponsorship/delegate opportunities please contact Lawrence  Bell — [email protected]

To find out more about speaking opportunities please contact Lauren King
— [email protected]

To find out more about attending as a delegate please contact Kirstine Kennedy
— [email protected]


Click below to see the highlights from the 2018 QA Financial Forum


Sean Ghassemi JP Morgan Chase

Executive Director, Global Head of Quality Architecture

Bio coming soon.

Michael Venditti Deutsche Bank

Global Head of Enterprise Testing Services
Michael joined Deutsche Bank in April 2015 and is currently the Global Head of Enterprise Testing Services for the Bank. Reporting to the CIO and Head of Safety & Soundness for the Bank, Michael’s organisation is an integral part in ensuring the Bank’s quality position and increasing production stability. Focus is on rolling out Bank-wide accelerated & niche Testing Services and Standards that provide a consistent foundation for the Bank to execute testing, while reducing the Cost of Quality through Automation and Performance Engineering.
Michael is a Seasoned IT leader in the Financial Services industry with over 30 years’ experience successfully leading and transforming global Development and QA teams. He is an exceptional people manager with a track record of motivating, mentoring and leading large, globally diverse teams through times of extensive change. A career-long champion of diversity with a passion for driving an inclusive workforce and an advocate for human capital.
Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Michael was employed by Credit Suisse AG, where he worked for a little over 23 years, most recently as global head of QA for Controller’s IT as well as regional head of QA for BOIT Americas.

Melinda Chapple-McCamish Schroders

Head of Global Quality Assurance

Melinda has over 25 years’ experience in technology change, with 17 years specialising in software testing and quality assurance within the finance domain. Melinda is a highly motivated individual who is passionate about the evolution of software testing in today’s Agile environment. Melinda has extensive experience in managing and delivering large scale testing programmes, and has worked across UK, Europe, AsiaPac – bringing a global perspective to change programmes.

In her current position as Head of Global Quality Assurance at Schroders Investment Management, Melinda has played a key role in the adoption and implementation of Agile across Global Technology and the wider organisation. A key part of that transformation was ensuring that test services evolved with the development teams; transitioning from a provider of people to a Quality Assurance Practice that supports Agile and DevOps principles.

Jim Tomaney Renovite Technologies

Chief Operating Officer

Jim Tomaney has 30 years of experience building, delivering, marketing and selling enterprise payments solutions and associated services for the transaction processing industry across the world.  He has worked in a variety of senior roles delivering solutions for organisations including Barclays, ING, CIBC, Bank Of America, ABN AMRO & Vocalink.

Following a career with ACI Worldwide, Wincor Nixdorf, Level Four Software and Barclays Bank, Jim ran his own consulting business, Q-ATM Ltd, for 7 years.  Q-ATM clients included technology providers, banks, sourcing companies and transaction processors.  In 2017, Q-ATM was acquired by RenovITe Technologies Inc.

Kaushik Chaubal BlackRock

Vice President, Core Software Infrastructure

Kaushik Chaubal is a senior software developer who has worked across different domains at BlackRock. He is part of the core software infrastructure team working on core Aladdin components – developing and creating solutions in a truly agile environment. He is passionate about open-source and having clean and well-structured code.

Richa Kapoor Infosys

Practice Engagement Manager, Infosys Validation Solutions

Richa is a Director for the Testing practice at Infosys. She has over 18 years of industry experience in strategic consulting, program management, and testing. In addition, she has cross-functional experience across delivery, sales, strategy, and operations.Over the last decade, she has helped several customers transform their testing organisations to achieve their strategic imperatives and position QA at the centre of organisational change management. She has extensive experience working with several banking, financial services, and insurance customers across the globe.

Sudeep Chatterjee Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Head of QA – FICC FX Horizontal

Sudeep is a senior technology leader with 19
years’ experience with top tier Investment
banks, FinTech and Consulting firms, managing
testing globally for enterprise-wide change
Currently, Sudeep is working as Head of QA –
FX Horizontal at Bank Of America Merrill Lynch
within FICC - Global FX Technology group.
Prior to Bank Of America Merrill Lynch, Sudeep
was Head of QA with Lombard Risk, Barclays,
UBS, GE and Accenture, primarily focused on
building high performing multi-disciplinary
testing teams and delivering testing for
complex technology-driven business
transformation initiatives.
Sudeep has been on the judging panels for the

European Software Testing awards (2016 and
2017) as well as on judging panel for DevOps
Industry awards (2017 and 2018).
Sudeep is an active contributor to Software
Testing and the QA industry, and has spoken at
National Software Testing Conferences and
European Software Testing Summit.

Vishal Bhatnagar CAST

Country Managing Director, UK and Ireland

Vishal Bhatnagar is Country Managing Director for the UK & Ireland at CAST, the global leader in software analytics and risk prevention. Given CAST’s unique product positioning, Vishal works with FTSE 100 companies, leading IT services and consulting firms on how to reduce software risks, improve vendor governance and transparency, whilst increasing IT agility at optimal costs. Prior to joining CAST, Vishal was working on the IT supplier side for almost a decade, negotiating large IT vendor contracts and SLAs in outsourced IT transformation programs.

Vishal holds a B. Engg. Degree in Electronics from Pune University, India and an Executive MBA from London Business School

Jigisha Desai Lock Credit Suisse

Vice President, Core Compliance Services IT

Jigisha Lock is a seasoned project manager with more than 12 years of industry experience across Private Banking, Risk Management, and Compliance in New York, Zurich, and London. Her expertise spans across Trading, Front and Middle Office processes and Risk Management within Credit Suisse. A subject matter expert in trade, e-communication and financial crime surveillance, Jigisha successfully leads distributed technology teams across Singapore, London, New York, Zurich, and Wroclaw to deliver key Compliance initiatives covering more than 30 jurisdictions globally, which mitigates risk and also addresses global and local regulatory mandates.

Mihai Tudor UBS

Director, Global Equity Derivatives QA Manager

Mihai is a software engineer and has been practicing Agile for over 10 years across finance, telecom and b2b industries. He is an advocate for quality driven development, with continuous delivery as core practice. Mihai has a BSc in Data Communications and has studied Project Management at Open University Business School. He is now working for UBS as Test Manager for the Global Equity Derivatives group. With UBS, he has been involved in the Equity Derivatives group Agile transformation and the delivery of major regulatory reporting projects, such as MIFID II and the US Internal Revenue Code section 871(m). He is also leading the group’s DevOps team, tasked to build the continuous delivery process through test automation, environment virtualisation and automated deployment.

Iain McCowatt Barclays


Iain McCowatt is a software tester whose expertise and passion for testing spans multiple industries and more than a decade: he had his first exposure to testing in the late 90s, and by 2002 decided to focus on it full time. During this time, he has been a hands-on tester, test manager and occasional automator. He specialises in getting stuff done in difficult environments, and in helping organisations solve complex testing problems on large enterprise IT projects.

Shashi Kiran Quali

Chief Marketing Officer

Shashi Kiran is the CMO at Quali, based out of the Silicon Valley, USA. He has been with hi-tech companies in various technology and leadership positions for over two decades, building and scaling market outreaches for startups to multi-billion dollar businesses. He can be reached at

Iosif Itkin Exactpro

Co-Founder and Co-CEO

Iosif is co-founder and co-CEO of Exactpro, a specialist firm focused on functional and non-functional testing for market infrastructures. Founded in 2009 with ten core specialists on board, Exactpro now employs over 550 specialists. In May 2015 - January 2018, Exactpro was part of the Technology Services division of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). In January 2018, the founders of Exactpro completed a management buyout from LSEG.

Iosif manages business development and research in the field of high-load trading systems reliability. He is actively involved in delivering strategic software testing initiatives. Iosif has organized several industry conferences, including EXTENT - Software Testing and Trading Technology Trends Conference. He frequently speaks at worldwide FinTech events.

Iosif started his professional career in 2000 as a software engineer in a US-based software development company. For seven years, he worked as a Team Lead and a Technology Architect on projects for a number of US companies. In 2006, Iosif joined a company providing QA services in the financial sector. His extensive software development experience helped him to establish a Performance Testing Department specialising in testing high load trading systems. As a Technical Lead, Iosif was responsible for developing testing tools and implementing technical solutions for a number of leading exchanges and global investment banks. Iosif also has experience managing a consulting practice with a focus on advanced execution systems. As VP of Technology, he was responsible for implementing testing solutions on a number of complex projects for customers worldwide.


Avtar Raikmo Morningstar

Head of Development & QA - Real Time Data
With more than 14 Years of Investment Banking
and Market Data Services IT experience, Avtar
started his career working for Morgan Stanley in
its Securities Lending IT team based in
After nearly three years, he moved to Goldman Sachs
Asset Management, where he had a variety of
roles spanning almost 10 years, the latest of which
was as an Executive Director for the GSAM
Fixed Income Technology team.
In the summer of 2016, Avtar joined Morningstar
Real-Time Data as the Head of Development
and QA. He is currently managing a team of 34
engineers spread across the London, Bristol,
Chicago and China office, focussing on ingestion
and delivery of Real-Time Market Data.

Matt Davey Goldman Sachs

Managing Director

Bio coming soon

Jean Paul van Deursen ABN AMRO

Senior Software Development QA Consultant

Jean Paul is a driven, curious and passionate IT professional with 23 years of experience. He moved from developer and system engineer to a management position to combine technical expertise with the ability to motivate and coach people. He is responsible for setting up the Center of Expertise Software Development, the internal software development knowledge center of ABN AMRO. ABN AMRO’s goal is to set standards on software quality and speed of delivery to make it more efficient, therefore enabling the business to deliver more functionality faster.

Paul Wilford Hiscox Insurance

QA Architect, Platform Services Group Lead

Paul has worked in various positions in IT for over 15 years. Much of this time has been dedicated to software quality and Agile delivery. These days, Paul leads a talented team of DevOps specialists through an exciting and proactively disruptive journey, driving Hiscox towards better IT.

Chandan Narkar 10x Banking

Head of Testing and Quality Assurance

Chandan joined 10x Banking in August 2017
and is currently working as head of Testing. He
is accountable for the delivery of the Digital Banking
Platform testing function.
His organisation is responsible for ensuring the quality
of core platforms and customised versions for
upcoming clients.
Chandan has 18 years of experience in the Software
Industry, successfully leading global teams. He is
currently reading for an Executive MBA at London
Business School.
Prior to joining 10x Banking, Chandan was
employed by RBS PBB where he was
responsible for testing and quality assurance of
Digital Platforms, mainly Mobile Banking.

Suresh Chandra NewDay Ltd.

Head of Testing and Quality Assurance

Bio coming soon.

Denise Rigoni Bank Julius Baer

Head of Competence Centre Testing

Denise studied biochemistry and began studying for her doctorate in this area. She later completed additional studies in economics and informatics and worked as a project manager for more than 10 years within financial services. 8 years ago Denise changed her career path to focus on Quality Assurance. She built up the Competence Centre Testing Department at Julius Baer in Zurich. Today she leads this department with a primary focus on Test Environment Management and Test Automation, as well as being the owner of Testing Processes within the bank. In this role, Denise continues to pursue and realise her vision of test optimisation and continuous process improvement, adapting to the latest technologies, strategies, tools and methodologies.

Fabian Basciani J.P. Morgan Asset Management

VP Technical Lead

Fabian is a senior technologist with more than nine years of experience in technology. He has worked as project manager, business analyst, application manager and software developer. In the past he has built applications such as online banking solutions, as well as research and trading systems for banks in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and United Kingdom. Fabian is a hands-on technologist who enjoys working in a DevOps environment following Agile principles. He cares about clean code and continuous delivery of quality software.



Arrival, refreshments, and networking


Welcome Address and QA Vector Research Presentation

Matthew Crabbe, CEO and Founder – QA Financial

Laying the Foundations for Quality Process Architecture

Speakers: Sean Ghassemi, Executive Director, Global Head of Quality Assurance, JP Morgan Chase, in conversation with Matthew Crabbe, CEO of QA Media.

JP Morgan Chase is revolutionising the way it measures and reports the quality of its software with its AppFit platform. Sean Ghassemi will describe how AppFit is used to guide the enterprise on their journey to mature. Sean will also discuss how best to transition teams to Agile and DeVops, and how to assess quality-related technologies and integrate them into the toolchain.

To open this  session, Matthew Crabbe will introduce research from QA Financial on how financial firms in general are - or are not - embracing the concept and practice of Quality Process Architecture.


Keynote Presentation — Quality Assurance and IT Risk Management at Deutsche Bank

Speaker: Michael Venditti – Global Head of Enterprise Testing Services – Deutsche Bank

In recent years, Deutsche Bank has placed increasing emphasis on growing its digital ecosystem. Michael will detail how Deutsche Bank is managing IT risk through process standardization and efficient governance. He will talk about Deutsche Bank’s QA and Testing transformation journey, with a focus on regulatory compliance.


Schroders’ Enterprise Agile Transformation: The Evolution of Test Services to a Quality Assurance Practice

Speaker: Melinda Chapple-McCamish – Head of Global Quality Assurance – Schroders

A case study in managing change. Over the past three years, Schroders has completed what is arguably the most far-reaching Agile transformation of any financial firm. Based in Singapore, Melinda is global lead of quality assurance at Schroders, one of the world’s largest asset managers. In this keynote presentation she will detail the changes that Schroders has made in its testing process, and the critical role of DevOps in software quality assurance.


Taming The Legacy Dragon: The First Step on a DevOps Transformation Journey for a 20th Century Payments Infrastructure

Speaker: Jim Tomaney – Chief Operating Officer – Renovite Technologies

Financial firms can extract the maximum leverage from automation by applying it to legacy systems. This presentation will focus on how this works for core banking systems, and for payment platforms. As far back as the 1980s, Jim worked on one of the first commercial-off-the-shelf payment platforms – one which is still deployed around the world, processing billions of transactions each month. Working with platforms such as this, Jim realised that increased processing hours and contracting release cycles were creating unsustainable pressure on the testing of legacy systems.  But there is way to de-risk legacy platform change.


Coffee & Networking


Panel Discussion – Vendor Risk Management: Controlling Software Risk


Jigisha Desai Lock – Vice President, Core Compliance Services IT –  Credit Suisse

Vishal BhatnagarCountry Managing Director, UK and Ireland – CAST

Sudeep Chatterjee – Head of QA – FICC FX Horizontal – Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Kaushik Chaubal  – Vice President, Core Software Infrastructure – BlackRock

As firms increase their reliance on software-based digital capabilities, they have big decisions to make about how they manage software risk and compliance requirements. This is especially true of decisions around the out-sourcing of code development and testing and also the use of open-source and third-party components. Our panel of experts will discuss embedding regulatory compliance into out-sourcing decisions, how to benchmark code quality, security and risk, and consider new models for managing off-shoring.


Transformation from Waterfall to Agile in Equity Derivatives Trading: A Case Study on MIFID II

Speaker: Mihai Tudor – Director, Global Equity Derivatives QA Manager– UBS

In the transformation to Agile, investment banks face the challenge of how they best embed regulatory compliance in the software development lifecycle, and how they identify those apps that prudential regulators consider critical to the firm and to the financial system. The challenge is heightened in the case of derivatives dealing. Using MIFID II as a case study, Mihai will take you through UBS’s journey from Waterfall to Agile in equity derivatives trading, including the use of automation technologies and the challenges surrounding off-shoring and test data provisioning.


Regulatory Compliance and a Plethora of Systems: The £5bn Test

Speaker: Iain McCowatt – Director – Barclays

The Banking Reform Act (Ring Fencing) has made it necessary for Barclays to create a new UK legal entity, complete with a Treasury function with the trading capability to both fund the business and manage risk. This required work across more than one hundred IT systems and multiple business units. But how to test such a thing when faced with a plethora of disparate test environments and a high degree of configuration? In production. Carefully. Join Iain as he explores the challenges inherent in testing in a production environment, the controls necessary to safely do so, and lessons learned that will be applied to the standup of the next entity: the Brexit bank.

Lunch & Networking


Striking the Right Automation Balance on Quality Assurance – Speed vs. Risk

Speaker: Shashi Kiran - Chief Marketing Officer - Quali

Digitisation has spurred the need for speed and given birth to the adoption of DevOps and cloud-based operational models.. Application modernisation initiatives are being fuelled by digitisation and are driving some of the biggest architectural changes in the IT landscape today. While moving from 3-tier architectures to cloud-native and micro-services architectures can cause major shifts in security postures and compliance requirements, we’ve observed even minor software patch updates and version changes are no less risky. How can you make infrastructure or software updates less risky while staying compliant to financial services regulations, all while having a foot on the accelerator?

Join Shashi to learn how the concept of cloud sandboxes and environments-as-a-service can help strike the right balance between speed and quality, all the while evolving your quality assurance practices to accommodate Cloud and DevOps. The session will share examples of Fortune 500 FiServ customer case studies.


Panel Discussion: Performance Testing for Trading Applications


Matt Davey – Managing Director – Goldman Sachs

Mihai Tudor – Director, Global Equity Derivatives QA Manager– UBS

Avtar Raikmo – Head of Development & QA, Real-time Data – Morningstar

Iosif Itkin – Co-Founder and Co-CEO – Exactpro

In the high-stake environment of trading and investment banking, there is little margin for error. Financial firms must ensure that their trading applications are ready for periods of peak activity. Our panel of experts will discuss how they are meeting these challenges, with Cloud-based data and test environments that are dramatically improving the range of performance testing.


Keynote Presentation – ABN AMRO’s Journey towards DevOps

Speaker: Jean Paul van Deursen – Senior Software Development QA Consultant– ABN AMRO

ABN AMRO is a leader among major banks in digital transformation - an example of how DevOps methodologies can be successfully applied to increase rates of automation and improve software quality. Jean Paul will explain how ABN AMRO has adopted Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment as a part of its DevOps journey to speed up software delivery. He will shed light on decisions that have been made around the use of the Cloud and technologies such as Test Service Virtualisation.


Coffee & Networking


Panel Discussion – DevOps as an Enabler of New Technologies, such as Test Service Virtualisation


Suresh Chandra – Head of Testing and Quality Assurance – NewDay Ltd

Chandan Narkar – Head of Testing and Quality Assurance – 10 X Banking

Denise Rigoni – Head, Competence Centre Testing –  Bank Julius Baer

Paul Wilford – QA Architect, Platform Services Group Lead – Hiscox Insurance

Richa Kapoor – Practice Engagement Manager, Infosys Validation Solutions – Infosys


DevOps methodologies are widely viewed as the critical enabler of new technologies, such as test service virtualisation. But financial firms face particular cultural and business management challenges in implementing DevOps. One of those challenges is building the business case for investment in new technologies, at a time when CTOs and CEOs are looking for substantial savings from automation and the re-assessment of outsourcing requirements. Our panellists will share their experiences in tackling these conundrums.


Keynote Presentation – Testing Event-Driven Platforms for Trading Automation

Speaker: Fabian Basciani – Senior Software Developer, Automated Equity Trading – JP Morgan Asset Management

J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s trading platform transacts around $1 trillion annually. Fabian will explain how the firm addresses the challenge of creating high-performance, event-driven systems that make decisions in real-time using non-trivial algorithms. He will look at an application design that helps to separate different parts of decision-making logic into maintainable units, avoid data race conditions and allow for data replay for debugging or state recovery. Also: how to test such systems and how to cover some practical problems that arise when a large number of events pass through the system. We will also see how this pattern is applied in real trading application with some real code examples.



Cocktail Reception

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