Financial Disruption

Understand the impact of automation and AI on finance and learn how to profit

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Next available date: 11 May

Over the last decade, the speed of technological change has accelerated. New technologies appear and disappear every few months. Exotic new technologies – initial coin offerings, cryptocurrencies, blockchains, smart contracts, AI (and intermediaries), P2P platforms, retail platforms – are being introduced (and in some cases, disappearing) rapidly. Recently, workforces all over the world had to deal rapidly with working remotely vs. working in an office. How should we make sense of all these changes? How can we adapt to a rapidly changing world?

The biggest change underlying all these technologies is how it affects our ability to coordinate. Economists have been discussing how humans coordinate since Adam Smith’s “the invisible hand” of the market. Markets are one way to coordinate; a decentralized way that reduces all our preference choices to one number: price. But markets are not the only way. The second way is a completely centralized hierarchical structure: the firm. Markets and firms coexist and coordination mechanisms shift back and forth depending on what is more effective at any time or in any country. For example, Amazon, one of the biggest disrupters across a huge number of industries, is almost completely centralized with all information flowing up to Jeff Bezos.

The Financial Disruption course demonstrates how technology is changing the way we coordinate. It documents how boundaries between firms and markets are shifting, disrupting entire industries in the process. We will discuss how firms and employees need to adapt, how they can avoid being disrupted, and what new technologies and innovations are on the horizon.

Topics covered

  • The coordination problem: firms or markets?
  • The types of information problems: Imperfect information, asymmetric information, and behavioral biases
  • How does digitalization solve the imperfect information problem: Examining information flows in markets and firms
  • How does digitalization solve the asymmetric information problem?
    – Mechanisms to induce trust through technology
    –     Mechanisms to bypass the need for trust: Distributed ledgers: Bitcoin, Blockchain and   beyond
    –     How does digitalization help in dealing with behavioral biases?
  • AI and machine learning
  • Taking advantage of behavioral biases for manipulation
  • Data privacy

How you will benefit

  • Understand why finance is being disrupted by technology
  • Understand what areas of your own organization might be at risk from automation
  • Brainstorm on ways to effectively implement the disruptive effects of technology into your own organization
  • Understand when and why you might need blockchains
  • Understand when AI is most likely to be effective

Read the interview   ‘Upskill to stay competitive’ with disruption Professor Raghavendra Rau.

We provide a safe learning environment: read the latest corona virus updates for our in-class programs.

Program length
3 days

Day 1 09:00 – 17:00
Day 2 09:00 – 17:00
Day 3 09:00 – 17:00

Day 1

Analyzing information flows in firms and markets

Understanding information flows in firms and markets

  • Information problems in firms
  • Imperfect information, asymmetric information, and behavioral biases
  • Digitalization and information flows within firms and markets
  • Organizing data in firm
  • Capturing multi-dimensional preferences and data from stakeholders
  • Case study: Jumia Nigeria: From Retail to Marketplace (A)
  • Case study: Netflix Inc.: The Disruptor Faces Disruption

Day 2

Distributed Ledgers: Bicoing, Blockchain, and Beyond

  • What is bitcoin?
  • What is a distributed ledger? When is it useful?
  • When are blockchains useful?
  • Mining blocks in class
  • Understanding smart contracts
  • The problems with poor smart contracting
  • Case study: R3 Corda: A distributed ledger technology for financial services
  • Case study: From Crowdfunding to Digital Banking: The Evolution of Funding Societies
  • Brainstorming: Threat and Opportunity Analysis
    – When should you implement blockchain technology in your own firms? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Day 3

AI and Machine Learning; Transforming the financial firm

  • How are AI systems created?
  • Do AI systems help understanding employees and customers better?
  • Can deep learning help detect fraud?
  • The problems of AI systems
  • The dark side of technology
  • Case study: A Chairman’s Decision: Launching A Robo-Advisor in CCB Principal Asset
  • Brainstorming: Threat and Opportunity Analysis
    – How can we implement machine learning or artificial intelligence in our own organizations?

Using information to transform the financial firm

  • Case study: Telenor: Revolutionizing Retail Banking in Serbia – Digital Transformation of the Customer Experience

This training will be beneficial to any professionals who would like to develop an integrated view of how technology is disrupting different industries.


Raghavendra Rau

Raghu Rau is the Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance at the Cambridge Judge Business School. He is also a founder and director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), as well as a member of the Cambridge Corporate Governance Network (CCGN). Raghu Rau has taught at a number of universities around the world, including the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de…

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  • 3 days
  • € 3600
  • Banking & International Financial Markets, Strategy & Growth
  • English
  • 4.7 / 5

Available dates

Need help?

Find your program here or contact us directly for personal advice:
Call us at +31 20 520 0160 or email us at [email protected].

Program flyer

For a more detailed program description and information regarding faculty please download the program document.


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