TRM Talks: Harnessing Technology – The Future of Finance with Wharton’s Sarah Hammer

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TRM Talks: Harnessing Technology – The Future of Finance with Wharton’s Sarah Hammer

Ari Redbord, TRM's Global Head of Policy, sits down with Sarah Hammer, Executive Director at The Wharton School, to discuss the importance of embracing technology for financial institutions, the use of blockchains for faster settlements, and regulation for crypto, AI, cyber and other emerging technologies.

Key takeaways:

  • The future is now: Blockchains are being used today by financial institutions across the globe to clear, settle, and facilitate cross-border transactions—enabling more efficiencies and financial inclusion.
  • Clarity is critical: Sarah says, “Businesses operate best when there's clarity . . . we can better enforce when there's regulatory clarity.”
  • Regulators are embracing technology: As a Deputy Assistant Secretary at Treasury and as Acting Secretary of Banking for Pennsylvania, Sarah shares unique insights into how regulators can engage the private sector and embrace technology.

Click here to listen to the entire TRM Talks: Harnessing Technology – The Future of Finance with Wharton’s Sarah Hammer. And follow TRM Talks on Spotify to be the first to know about new episodes!

About Sarah Hammer

Sarah Hammer is Executive Director at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, leading financial technology initiatives as well as Wharton Cypher Accelerator, which supports leading global businesses that are leveraging financial technology. Hammer is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Hammer is also Affiliated Scholar at the Penn Program on Regulation.

Previously, Hammer was Managing Director of the Center for Innovation in Finance and Senior Director of the Alternative Investments Program at Wharton. Hammer also led the launch of the University of Pennsylvania’s first digital asset, unique 3D intellectual property that memorializes the invention of the mRNA technology which enabled the COVID-19 vaccines.

Hammer was also Acting Secretary of the Department of Banking and Securities for Pennsylvania, having led the Department through the banking crisis of March 2023. The Department regulates and supervises ~290,000 bank and non-bank financial entities, totaling $3.5 trillion in AUM. Previously, she was the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions and Director of the Office of Financial Institutions Policy at the US Department of the Treasury. In this role, she led the Department’s policy responsibilities involving financial institutions, as well as oversaw the Federal Insurance Office and the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Compliance Policy (cybersecurity). While at U.S. Treasury, Hammer also led the cross-functional team conducting a full review and report on the financial regulatory framework. Hammer also served on the board of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and assisted the U.S. Treasury Secretary in fulfilling responsibilities on the board of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

Hammer has held various leadership positions throughout financial services in general management, portfolio management, trading, marketing, research, and analytics at the Vanguard Group, PIMCO, JP Morgan Chase, BlackRock, and Tudor Investments.

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