Fintech – Call for preliminary proposals

How Financial Technology (FinTech) will reshape securities markets

Call for preliminary proposals
Sponsor: Foundation for the Advancement of Finnish Securities Markets
Submission Deadline: 28/02/2019

Over the past decade, technological innovation has transformed the financial services industry at an accelerated pace, and further disruption of the traditional financial sector is a near certainty. To foster forward-looking and cross-disciplinary academic research in this new area, the Foundation for the Advancement of Finnish Securities Markets is sponsoring a two-stage process calling for grant applications on Financial Technology (FinTech) in 2019. The process is designed to encourage researchers to engage in ambitious and innovative research with specific focus on features with potential to benefit securities markets that are essential for Finnish firms that operate in or plan to enter the global economy. The foundation will award only one full grant. The foundation has at this stage budgeted 100 000 euros for the call.

Application process
In the first stage the applicant (the team) must submit a letter of intent which should be at most 5 pages long. In the second stage, some three applicants with the most promising letters of intent will be invited to submit full research proposals (at most 15 pages) that outline the research questions to be addressed, methodologies to be applied, the data to be gathered (in the case of empirical or experimental work), and modeling framework (in the case of theory work). As much detail as possible on the research design and planned analyses to interpret the results should be included at this stage. All applicants who will be invited to submit a full proposal will receive a grant of 3000 euros regardless of whether they receive a full grant or not.

Eligible topics
The topic of the proposal must be related to FinTech and to the purpose of the Foundation, which is to support wide-range savings and investments in securities, creation of risk capital and advancement of the Finnish securities markets. Properly integrated interdisciplinary studies will be given priority. Topics of particular interest include, but are not limited to:
• Consequences of innovations in payments: peer-to-peer payments, cryptocurrencies, digital wallets, etc.
• Reduction of information asymmetry costs in start-up financing from seed stage to global expansion phase.
• Crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, market place lending.
• Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies: implications e.g. for clearing, settling and trading and for business education.
• New regulatory challenges imposed by the disintermediation of traditional financial institutions.
• Digital financial advice and wealth management, such as robo-advisers.
• Financial inclusion through technology: financial literacy and access to financial services by the low-income population outside the traditional financial system of banks and insurance companies.

Researchers are encouraged to analyze how FinTech affects financial or product markets. Examples of such analyses include FinTech’s implications on trading volume, availability and cost of funding, agency costs, information asymmetry, information production, risk sharing, allocation efficiency, and competition. Projects that address issues that will be relevant in preventing marginalization of Finland in provision of future financial services will be given priority.

Submission instructions
Authors should submit their letters of intent via the Foundation’s online system by 28/02/2019.

Evaluation of submissions
The evaluation will be made based on the significance and scope of the proposal and the expected success of its execution. Preliminary results are not prerequisites for a successful proposal, but they are welcome and will be taken into account in the evaluation. The letters of intent will be evaluated by the foundation’s scientific committee. The second-round submissions will be ranked by the internationally renowned FinTech expert professor David Yermack, New York University, Stern School of Business.