5 questions with Ioana Surpateanu – Co-head of European Government Affairs – Innovation Strategy & Advocacy – citi

By: Rebecca Clinton-Floyed

15, May, 2019


Blockchain -


  • Could you define what your job role details and your day to day routine?

Fortunately, the only routine-like segment of my role has to do with my repetitive focus on emerging tech, internet native business models, intersection of traditional and novel financial ecosystems and the design of the internet economy. Other than that, I operate within highly versatile parameters.  My approach to innovation is multi-faceted: policy-making engagements to enable progressive legislation, intra-company innovation & investments teams and interaction with the most disruptive constructs of the start-up ecosystem.

I believe the future of financial services revolves around collaboration and exploration and it involves a substantial degree of creativity. It will emerge at the nexus of multiple sectors and it will be powered by a set of new technologies working in conjunction. 

Whether we think about traditional finance or the reconfiguration of the Internet, new digital infrastructures are being designed to enable increased process optimisation, automation and the organic creation of novel ecosystems. The future is not about adapting to change, it is about leading in innovation and Citi is perfectly positioned to do so.

  • How is your organisation applying blockchain?

We are engaged in over 30 DLT projects in our Markets business via partnerships, direct investments and consortia projects. Most of them are financial markets infrastructure related and tackle optimisation across a product lifecycle.

  • What were the biggest challenges in using this technology?

Not a challenge per se but the main issue is to identify the process you want to optimise or the problem you aim to solve and subsequently assess whether distributed ledger tech is the right solution for that particular issue, or not.  It sometimes isn’t and the cost of transitioning  to a different type of infrastructure is not sustainable. Additionally, collaboration with a start-up  involves a different type of dynamic and level of agility which are not always consistent with a firm that operates at scale.

However, the future is about cross- sector and cross-entity collaboration, irrespective of operating models, so whatever challenges we come across, we need to surpass.

  • What can we expect from your team & blockchain in the next 12 months?

An impressive number of projects in the pipeline across the emerging tech spectrum – mostly in the capital markets infrastructure space

  • What are you most looking forward to at the show?

An enactment of the collaboration I was referencing before.

We are really looking forward to welcoming Ioana to the Blockchain Expo in Amsterdam June 19-10. Make sure you register for your tickets right away: https://gateway.blockchain-expo.com/europe-2019/central-grid/register/