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The QA Financial Forum: New York 2019

13 November, 2019 8am-6pm Harvard Club of New York
35 W 44th St
New York

Our 4th edition of the QA Financial Forum New York, the number one conference for software quality assurance leaders in banking, insurance and asset management

About the event

The QA Financial Forum is a unique conference for Heads of QA, testing, software engineering, DevOps, operational risk,  and IT risk management. The Forum discusses the key issues facing banks, trading platforms and insurance companies as they seek to implement new technologies in software automation. A key focus is how financial firms benchmark software quality, especially as  regulators increase their scrutiny of IT risk management.


Kai Chiu Royal Bank of Canada

Director, Automation Solutions

Bio coming soon.

Sameer Bajaj State Street Bank

Managing Director

Bio coming soon.

Gerold Rajesh Brown Brothers Harriman

Senior Vice President, Quality Management

Bio coming soon.

Devin Hendricks Lazard

Vice President, IT Global Infrastructure

Bio coming soon.

Avik Ganguly London Stock Exchange Group

Director of Quality Engineering

Avik Ganguly, currently serving as the Director of Quality Engineering at LSEG’s Information Services Division which includes The Yield Book and FTSE Russell. The Yield Book is a market leader in the fixed income analytics and FTSE Russell is a global leader in indexes. Avik’s team is responsible for the Quality Engineering infrastructure of the Yield Book technology products. Prior to joining LSEG; Avik was an Engineering Director at WeWork where he co-founded their Quality Engineering team from ground up. Avik has a proven track record of building world class engineering teams in hyper growth mode and attracting and retaining top talent. Avik’s passion for quality stems from his graduate research work in the field of operations research and stochastic systems leading him to a career in driving operational excellence in the industry. Prior to WeWork, Avik lived and worked in San Francisco for nearly a decade. Avik enjoys traveling and has traveled to 15 countries over last 5 years.

Elliot Noma Garrett Asset Management

Managing Director

Elliot Noma has worked in both finance and data science. He is a consultant on machine learning and natural language processing solutions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He also runs a proprietary trading company, Garrett Asset Management.

Dr. Noma taught machine learning at Columbia University and currently teaches quantitative risk management in the Masters in Mathematical Finance program at Rutgers University.

Previously, Dr. Noma was a portfolio manager running a fund of hedge funds and was the Chief Risk Officer at Asset Alliance, a $3 billion seeder of hedge funds.

Prior to working at Asset Alliance, Elliot was a risk manager at both Merrill Lynch Investment Advisers and Deutsche Bank, was an analyst at both JP Morgan and Salomon Brother, and was a investment banker at Chase.

He has patented a levered ETF structure, has written a book on psychometrics, and has published scholarly articles in behavioral finance, psychology, information science, sociology, math, and finance. His most recent article in 2018 describes a new method of measuring financial risk aversion using hypothetical investment preferences.

Dr. Noma has a Ph.D. in the mathematical modeling of psychological processes from the University of Michigan along with an M.A. in Mathematics. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Mathematics.

Elena Treshcheva Exactpro

Business Development Manager and Researcher

Bio coming soon.

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.


Sonia Malik Prudential Financial

Head of Quality Engineering

Bio coming soon.

Murali Nandigama Barclays

Director Engineering

Murali Nandigama, is a Director and head of the engineering function for the Run the Bank in Barclays USA Cards and Payments.

Prior to joining Barclays, Murali has spent two decades working in various senior leadership roles in Goldman Sachs, PayPal, Yahoo!, Mozilla, Oracle and Sun Microsystems and contributed to both open source projects as well as popular technology platforms like Firefox Browser, Oracle Fusion Middleware and Java software Standard Edition.

Murali holds a Ph.D., in Physics and has filed and received patents in software engineering, published in peer reviewed journals and presented in multiple industry conferences.

John Yopp US Bank

Director Software Engineering

Bio coming soon.



Arrival, refreshments, and networking


Welcome Address

Matthew Crabbe, CEO and Founder – QA Media


Developing a World Class Automation Framework at a World Class Bank: A Case Study by RBC

Speaker: Kai Chiu, Director, Automation Solutions - Royal Bank of Canada 

It's the first major challenge facing any major financial firm: how do you manage a transformation and engage key staff working across multiple technology stacks,  ranging from mainframe, to desktop, to mobile and, of course, the Cloud.During this session, Kai will describe how Royal Bank of Canada devised a  framework that enables teams across the enterprise  to contribute to automation in support of building better software, and how RBC enhanced tools and processes to drive this success. Kai will also discuss what he believes to be the  pillars of automation, and how leveraging the right technologies can facilitate automation plans that are fully integrated  with a DevOps pipeline, ensuring the optimum allocation of resources.


Building the Business Case for Software Test Automation: Benchmarking Returns from CI/CD

Most financial firms have targets for increasing rates of test automation. But many are only at the start of that transformation, and even among the leaders there is no agreed best practice or the toolset. Our panel will discuss the relationship between automation, DevOps and Agile and the business case for technologies such as test service virtualisation and the potential that lies in AI, machine learning and robotic process automation.

Panel Discussion

Sameer Bajaj, Managing Director - State Street Bank 

Gerold Rejesh, Senior Vice President, Quality Management - Brown Brothers Harriman 

Devin Hendricks, Vice President, Global IT Infrastructure - Lazard 

Avik Ganguly, Director of Quality Engineering - London Stock Exchange Group 


AI, Robo-Compliance and the Supervision of Software Risk

Speaker: Elliot Noma, Managing Director, Garrett Asset Management

In addition to his role as MD of Garrett Asset Management, a quant trading fund, and his teaching role on  Rutgers University's Masters of Mathematical Finance course, Elliot Noma also took up a role as a consultant to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York earlier this year. Elliot will focus this presentation on how regulators financial firms can, firstly, apply artificial intelligence technologies to compliance reporting processes and, secondly, the supervisory standards they are likely to apply to firms' use of AI in software. How will they deal the challenges of bias, and how will they test the outputs of AI as applied by banks to their app development?


Complex Post-Trade Systems, Requirements Traceability and the Illusion of Control

Speakers: Iosif Itkin, CEO and Co-Founder and Elena Treshcheva, Business Development Manager and Researcher - Exactpro 

Exactpro provides software testing services for mission-critical technology that underpins global financial markets. Exactpro clients are regulated by FCA, Bank of England and their counterparts from other countries. During this session, Elena and Iosif will talk about end-to-end software testing for post-trade systems in financial market infrastructures. What are the key challenges in quality assurance at this scale?  What kind of cognitive biases affect SDLC? How precise is the knowledge about the systems under test? What constitutes good test evidence? How to deal with complexity in regulated environments?



Coffee & Networking


The Quality Assurance to Quality Engineering Transformation Journey at Prudential Financial

Speaker: Sonia Malik, Head of Quality Engineering - Prudential Financial 

With over 20 years experience in the quality assurance and quality engineering field, Sonia Malik is spearheading the QA to QE transformation journey at Prudential. During her session Sonia will detail how she is driving this change using Agile methodologies, whilst ensuring organisations focus on customer experience and service excellence. Additionally, Sonia will also explain how Prudential is shifting left using DevOps enabled automation in order to achieve quality engineering excellence.


Presentation Reserved for Gold Sponsor


Implement your App Security Framework by Developing a DevSecOps Approach

Panel Discussion

This session will consider two questions facing every major financial firm. What is best practice in embedding security and penetration testing in the SDLC? And, as the move to the Cloud continues, how can firms create and enterprise view of data management that incorporates their investment in test environments? In particular, the panel will discuss the potential and limitations of a DevSecOps framework, and identify which controls firms should be putting into place to position themselves to develop a mature and robust security framework.


Lunch & Networking


QA Media Research: Laying the Right Foundations for Quality Process Architecture

Speaker: Justyn Trenner, Director - QA Media

Financial institutions face the challenge of embedding quality in the SDLC even as they transition from waterfall to agile. This presentation, based on QA Vector original research among industry practitioners, will explore how to lay the right foundations in terms of people, processes , infrastructure and data to facilitate measurable success.


Integrating DevOps and Agile at Barclays: Quality Assurance at Scale

Speaker: Murali Nandigama, Director Engineering - Barclays 

DevOps and Agile are widely recognised as keys to better quality assurance and testing, but one size does not fit all. This session will explain how other firms can scale Agile methodologies to different programmes, and how Agile can enhance technical test frameworks to ensure quality execution. Additionally, by examining definitions of best practice to create Agile and DevOps test frameworks, delegates will gain a better understanding of robust working practices to drive the maturity of their firms.


Presentation Reserved for Gold Sponsor


DevOps Culture: A Path to Engineering Excellence at US Bank

Speaker: John Yopp, Director Software Engineering - US Bank

Firms implement DevOps and Agile practices in an effort to realize the value of consistent, fast cycle feedback on functionality that mines the full talents of their engineers.  However, those practices will only fulfill their potential if placed in a culture that supports and rewards their principles.  We will explore the roots of an engineering excellence culture, what aspects of Agile and DevOps they enable, and the concrete behaviors teams and leaders can leverage.


Coffee & Networking


Embedding Regulatory Compliance in the SDLC

Panel Discussion

Financial firms are under growing pressure to document testing infrastructures, and to test their software development architecture to ensure acceptable risk management procedures are in place. Additionally, as firms increasingly automate software development, how do they identify the critical trading and risk apps that will be scrutinised by regulators? What lessons have financial institutions learned from compliance with past regulations and how are regulators reshaping their view of IT risk?


The Future is Data-Driven Software: The Key Investment Decisions Every Firm Has to Make

As apps proliferate, data management is increasingly the foundation for all software development and AI. Investment decisions on data come before decisions on just about everything else, including the Cloud and software automation technologies.  QA Financial Research has demonstrated that an enterprise view on data management that embraces the detail of development and test environment management - including compliance requirements and decision on data masking and data synthesisation - will facilitate  CI/CD. This session will also cover the potential for AI technologies to complete the loop between the developer and user, enabling continuous software automation.


Cocktail Reception

Gold sponsors

Silver sponsors

Bronze sponsors

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