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The QA Financial Forum: Chicago 2018

25 April, 2018
News and research on financial software quality assurance and risk management

The QA Financial Forum: Chicago 2018

25 April, 2018 8am-5pm The Metropolitan Club
233 South Wacker Drive
Willis Tower
66th Floor
IL, 60606

The first ever QA Financial Forum Chicago takes places on April 25th, 2018. Join us at the leading forum for professionals working in quality assurance and testing for software at banks, insurance and asset management companies

About the event

IT Risk Management and Quality Assurance for Continuous App Delivery

The first ever QA Financial Forum Chicago takes places on April 25th, 2018.

Join us at the leading forum for professionals working in quality assurance and testing for software at banks, insurance and asset management companies. Featuring in-depth coverage on technologies for automation and continuous app delivery, including artificial intelligence.

Presentations are made and discussed under the Chatham House Rule.

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

To find out more about speaking opportunities please contact
Olga Korzhova — [email protected]

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



Ian Gore Northern Trust

Senior Vice President, Enterprise Enablement

Bio coming soon.

Swati Shah U.S. BANK

Director of Technology

Bio coming soon.

Jason Jerina New York Insurance Company

Head of Quality Assurance, Application Support and Maintenance

Jason Jerina has been a technology leader for over 20 years. He's led Software Development, Release Management, Business Analyst, Application Support and Quality Assurance organizations in a few industries.

Jason grew up in technology as a hands on tester. Early in his career he progressed from a QA tester, to Quality Assurance Lead, to then a Quality Assurance Manager. After his career progression into management, he soon became a senior leader of development teams, production support, release management and business analyst teams.

His passion has always been for Quality Assurance, Technology Leadership, and Production Support. Most of his 20+ years have been spent in Financial Services firms, ranging from Banking, Capital Markets, and now Insurance.

His passion for Technology Leadership and Quality Assurance have enabled him to drive innovation with his teams in areas such as test automation, performance engineering, white box testing, and newer efficient approaches to Acceptance Testing. His approach is to encourage innovative ideas from his teams, encourage them to try them, and support them in their efforts to deliver.

Mehmet Yanilmaz Myra Trading


Bio coming soon.

Tom Tiefenworth Legg Mason

Head of Technology Initiative, Compliance Department

Bio coming soon.

Yemi Akisanya OCC - Options Clearing Corp

Product Manager, Business Development, Product Development

Yemi Akisanya manages a team of business analyst that balances multiple responsibilities focused on new product and business development efforts in the liaison role between central party clearing and settlement services organization and external business customers such as exchanges, banks, and clearing members.

Previously at OCC, Yemi served as a Senior Business Analyst and also held the position of Senior/Lead Quality Assurance Analyst for the Application Services Department. Prior to joining OCC in 2011, Yemi held positions at CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) and JP Morgan Chase as a Sr. QA Analyst, where he specialized in large-scale initiatives for the financial services industry specifically in Clearing. 

Additionally, in the last 3 years Yemi has taught over hundreds of students in Software Testing and Quality Assurance at Forte Knowledge Academy. Yemi is currently an Executive MBA candidate ‘19 at Kellogg of Management and currently holds a Masters of Science in Communication degree from Northwestern University and a B.A. in Management Information Systems from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

Chris Spera Millennium Trust

Assistant Vice President, Head of Quality Assurance and Testing

Bio coming soon.

Brian Timmeny BBVA

Senior Vice President, Global Head of Advanced Engineering, DevOps and IT Processes

As a highly skilled IT professional with the ability to create and manage complex execution plans, Brian Timmeny is an experienced delivery executive that has consistently delivered next generation cloud solutions, implemented DevOps foundation and cloud delivery solutions, and streamlined organizations to implement agile-at-scale across portfolio, program, and team delivery. Brian brings proven experience aligning business and IT organizations to deliver upon value driven execution strategies.

Brian takes pride in having transformed multiple Fortune 100 organizations to delivery agility, and DevOps standards aligning them tangibly to business priorities. He has a proven track record of conceptualizing creative plans that effectively manage complex IT programs to deliver incremental, measurable business value.

With a focus on business outcomes, Brian utilizes appropriate delivery methodologies, cloud solutions, and DevOps engineering practices to significantly reduce operating costs and enhance segment productivity. A highly accomplished IT delivery executive, he expertly assesses delivery environments and builds innovative plans for sustainable improvements to drive faster delivery, while always maintaining focus on business value.

Mark Peterson Wells Fargo

Senior Vice President for Platform Services Architecture

Bio coming soon.

Jonathan Morley CME Group

Senior Software Engineer - Digitization and Tech Labs

Jonathan Morley is a software engineer at CME Group working with blockchain technologies. He has also written a top-selling book on the topic called, “That Book on Blockchain: A One-Hour Intro.” Jonathan has a B.S. in computer science from Alma College, an M.S. in computer science from DePaul University, and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Varun Ebenezer BMO Financial Group

Vice President & Senior Audit Manager, Technology and Operations U.S

Bio coming soon.

Imir Arifi Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Bio coming soon.

Andrew Kumiega Illinois Institute of Technology

Ph.D. Adjunct Professor

Bio coming soon.



Welcome Address

Matthew Crabbe – CEO – QA Financial

Keynote Presentation: From Deming to DevOps, a QA Transformation Journey

Speaker: Ian Gore, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Enablement, Northern Trust

Whilst the financial industry is embracing more agile ways of working, change is not always easy, as firms must integrate complex legacy systems that can slow down and complicate digital transformation. Ian will take you through Northern Trust’s journey towards DevOps, and the role of QA and Testing in this transition. He will explain how Northern Trust is embracing change and give an insight into what the next 5 years hold.


Panel Discussion – Financial firms and the Road to Continuous Delivery: Overcoming the Key Challenges


Jason Jerina - Head of Quality Assurance, Application Support and Maintenance - New York Life Insurance Company

Swati Shah - Director of Technology - U.S. BANK

Ian Gore - Senior Vice President, Enterprise Enablement - Northern Trust

How do financial firms ensure faster delivery along with improved customer experience? How can firms maintain quality whilst accelerating development? Our panellists will explore these challenges and more whilst examining the journey towards DevOps and automated testing. One of the key challenges for many firms: how to manage the transition from legacy IT environments, and what does this mean from a QA perspective?


Panel Discussion – Embedding Regulatory Compliance into Software Development


Yemi Akisanya - Product Manager, Business Development, Product Development -  OCC - Options Clearing Corp

Tom Tiefenworth - Head of Technology Initiative, Compliance Department - LEGG MASON

Mehmet Yanilmaz - Partner - Myra Trading

In an environment of ever-increasing regulatory scrutiny, financial firms must ensure that compliance is embedded throughout the SDLC. Our panel of experts will explore how IT risk management is being supervised by regulators, and how to enhance communications between developers, IT Risk Managers and Internal Auditors to ensure a holistic approach to IT risk and compliance.


Coffee & Networking


Panel Discussion – Managing Software Risk: Benchmarking Code Quality

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 outsourcing decisions, how to bench-mark code quality, security and risk, and consider new models for managing off-shoring.

Panellists TBC


Panel Discussion – Redefining Testing in the DevOps World


Brian Patrick Timmeny - Senior Vice President, Global Head of Advanced Engineering, DevOps and IT Processes - BBVA 

Chris Spera -  Assistant Vice President, Head of Quality Assurance and Testing - Millennium Trust

Further panellists TBC

DevOps methodologies are widely viewed as the critical enabler of new QA processes. But what is the impact of DevOps on software testing? How can firms adapt their test teams for methodologies such as TDD and BDD? Another significant challenge is building the business case for investment in new technologies, such as test service virtualization, 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.


A DevOps Journey: Reducing Friction in the Enterprise, the Transformation of Testing Practices and SDLC Policies

SpeakerMark Peterson - Senior Vice President for Platform Services Architecture - Wells Fargo 


Lunch & Networking


Presentation Reserved for Gold Sponsor


Panel Discussion -Testing for Blockchain, Smart Contracts and Distributed Ledgers


Varun Ebenezer - Vice President & Senior Audit Manager, Technology and Operations U.S - BMO Financial Group 

Jonathan Morley - Senior Software Engineer, Digitization and Tech Labs - CME Group 

As blockchain technologies become more widely used by financial firms, questions remain over improving security and testing for distributed ledger platforms. How do firms test smart contracts? Our panel of experts will discuss the industry standards for such testing, as well as considering how to embed test automation into contract and platform construction.


Presentation Reserved for Gold Sponsor


Coffee & Networking


Software Security and Testing: A Holistic Approach to Risk Management in the SDLC

Speaker: Brian Timmeny - Senior Vice President, Global Head of Advanced Engineering, DevOps & IT Processes - BBVA 

Under increasing risk of cyber-attacks, as well as ever mounting regulatory scrutiny, firms must ensure that security is embedded throughout the software development life cycle. Bryan will detail how BBVA are approaching security testing, whilst considering the industry response to ever more stringent regulatory requirements, such as the NYCRR 500. He will detail how to reduce risk through vendor management, and best practice surrounding the cloud and open-source tools.


Quality Assurance, Testing and Governance Stages for Machine learning Algorithms


Andrew Kumiega - Ph.D. Adjunct Professor-  Illinois Institute of Technology

Imir Arifi - Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning - Blue Cross and Blue Shield

 Everyone is talking about AI and machine learning - but how will firms test machine learning systems as they increasingly become a reality? Andrew and Imir will discuss techniques for ensuring quality control on algorithms and data structures, and how these can help firms to meet business objectives. They will explain how algorithms can be tested, and how this ensures stability in production.


Cocktail Reception

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