Montreal FinTech research unit launches with $2 million from Finance Montréal, regulator


Finance Montréal has partned with the Université du Québec à Montréal and Québec government-associated financial markets regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) to launch a new FinTech-focused research initiative.

“The advancement of scientific knowledge will allow us to support the development of our financial sector and educate consumers.”

The AMF and Finance Montréal have committed $1 million each over five years to the initiative, which is being called the AMF‐Finance Montréal Research Chair. The chair is an inter-university research unit aimed at developing foundational and practical knowledge about the issues and impacts of FinTech. The unit will be responsible for building knowledge on FinTech for various stakeholders, training staff, and educating the public about key issues surrounding financial innovation.

Richard Guay, a professor at École des sciences de la gestion of Université du Québec à Montréal (ESG UQAM), will hold the chair and lead its scientific and executive committees.

Matthieu Cardinal, vice president of FinTech development and corporate affairs at Finance Montréal stated that the creation of the AMF‐Finance Montréal Research Chair aligned with Finance Montréal’s hub for FinTech startups, Montréal FinTech Station.

“Our members and the Station’s startups will benefit from continuing education opportunities and greater Québec appeal among international talent, allowing them to optimize their financial and technological practices,” he added. “The advancement of scientific knowledge will allow us to support the development of our financial sector and educate consumers.”

Some of the chair’s research areas could include the impact of FinTech on the financial sector, the impact of technological innovations on client and employee experiences, the regulatory approaches to FinTech pertaining to investor protection, and the effect of innovations like computational power and big data on financial operations.

The partnering organizations said they have structured the chair to ensure that funding is distributed fairly among Québec universities and research centres, and that it encourages an inter‐university approach. Komlan Sedzro, dean of ESG UQAM, said the new partnership will allow for major advances in the constantly evolving sector. He did not, however, disclose the names of any other participating universities.

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“We are proud to have the support and confidence of the AMF and Finance Montréal, two key players in Québec’s financial ecosystem, and to play an active role, in cooperation with experts from other university institutions, in strengthening Montréal’s international positioning in the FinTech sector,” Sedzro said. “This university-business partnership corresponds to our vision of the role that higher education plays in society, promoting knowledge sharing and effective knowledge transfer, and allowing the next generation of academics to participate in powerful and innovative research projects.”

The AMF is the regulatory and oversight body mandated by the Québec government to regulate the province’s financial sector. As part of its ongoing strategy, the AMF is looking to support major projects that promote the development of innovative knowledge about current or emerging issues. Finance Montréal is the province’s financial cluster, administering a number of programs, including the Montréal FinTech Station.

“The impacts of FinTech on the financial services industry and on the regulatory environment are considerable and affect us directly,” said Louis Morisset, president and CEO of the AMF. “It is even more important that all active researchers in the field are able to contribute, regardless of the university with which they are affiliated.”

Image courtesy Unsplash

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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