Five minutes with Dima Kats, CEO, Clear Junction
We all know the companies, but what about the people behind them? Kats extols the virtues of problem-solving, the exciting possibilities of UK fintech, and why Poland and Venice are top of his travel list.
Who was your childhood hero and why?
My hero growing up was Robinson Crusoe. I was always fascinated by this story of a man who must overcome every obstacle in front of him, no matter what it is. He doesn’t have a choice; he just perseveres and pushes through the hardship.
What's the best piece of advice you ever received?
‘The higher the barrier, the bigger the reward in overcoming it.’ This premise is where Clear Junction originated: we found a niche that other companies weren’t willing to work within. This is why we built risk management capabilities into our proprietary technology to solve complex challenges.
Which activity are you most looking forward to doing when the pandemic is over?
The restriction on travel means that I haven’t met any of our new Polish office’s staff face-to-face. So, once that is possible, I’m looking forward to going out there and congratulating them on all their fantastic work. On a more personal level, Venice is one of my favourite places in the world. I never get tired of visiting it so I will be heading there as soon as I can.
Is there an achievement from 2020 of which you are particularly proud?
2020 was the year Clear Junction started to scale up quickly because we had everything in order. Now, it’s just a matter of opportunity and there is no shortage of those in fintech right now.
The pandemic has also allowed me to spend more time with my family, especially my children. Post-pandemic, it is an important goal of mine to continue this increased focus on them.
What inspires you in fintech today?
UK fintechs managed to secure $4.1bn in funding in 2020 and are a key growth driver in the country’s finance sector. It’s also highly motivating to see the different ways fintechs and banks are working together around the world, from London to Africa and Japan.
Continued collaboration and partnerships between fintech companies and banks are essential for the future of the industry. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be involved in fintech: the endless possibilities and the rapid acceleration of financial services inspire me and the wider Clear Junction team every day.
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State Street launch crypto service for private funds clients
State Street Corporation is now expanding its push into the cryptocurrency industry by launching new digital asset services. It will provide digital and cryptocurrency asset fund administration capabilities for the firm’s private funds clients.
In partnership with Lukka, a leading enterprise crypto asset data, and software provider, State Street will support its private fund clients with collection, standardisation, enrichment, reconciliation, processing, and reporting related to crypto and other digital assets.
The partnership is State Street’s latest effort in the digital and crypto-asset space following the launch of State Street Digital, a division focused on addressing the industry’s evolving shift to digital finance, and comes after Lukka’s Series C funding round in December of 2020, which was led by State Street.
A rise in digital assets
“The growth in popularity of digital assets is showing no signs of a slowdown and State Street Digital is committed to continuing to build out the necessary infrastructure to further develop our digital assets servicing models to help meet our clients’ growing demands,” said Nadine Chakar, head of State Street Digital. “Our work with Lukka will leverage their software and data in order to help expand our digital and crypto asset fund administration capabilities to alternative managers is just another advancement in our digital solution set and marks a very exciting development.”
State Street will leverage Lukka’s product suite, which includes a proprietary middle and back-office data management solution, purpose-built for blockchain and crypto-asset data, as well as Lukka Reference Data, and Lukka Prime Pricing Data. This will enable State Street to consume crypto assets that are comingled within a private client’s traditional alternative investments portfolios.
“As our clients continue to adopt digital assets, such as crypto, we’ve seen increasing interest among investors for institutional quality middle and back-office offerings that support diversified portfolios,” said Jen Tribush, alternatives lead for State Street Digital.“ Lukka was the ideal partner to help provide these services given their leading position in crypto asset data as State Street continues to add to our growing offering in the digital asset space.”