FinTech has in recent years drawn considerable attention due to its potential to disrupt the financial services sector. In a bid to provide its clients with high level expertise and technologies related to what is happening within the FinTech (startup) landscape, KPMG Israel has hired Dorel Blitz, former Innovation Manager at Bank Leumi, as Head of its FinTech practice.
Dorel Blitz started his career as an investigator for the Israeli Police at the National Investigation Unit for severe and international organised crime. Over a three year period, Blitz detected and tracked national and international assets and businesses, investigated international criminal organisations, as well as criminal offenses and money laundering, and then built a case against them. In 2010 Blitz joined Adkit as a Banking & Finance research manager, leading a number of research projects for Israeli clients to improve their business decision-making process. Two years later he was promoted to head the unit, leading a team of more than 20 staff running strategic business research for the financial services sector.
In 2013 Blitz joined Bank Leumi, taking on the role of Innovation Manager. At the bank, Blitz was responsible for the development of the company’s innovation strategy and R&D management, which included leading a cross-functional team across strategy, business lines, technical and regulatory staff, aimed at launching innovative and disruptive new strategies, products & services. The role saw him foster the local startup environment – according to Compass Tel Aviv is the globe’s fifth most attractive city for startups – through the launch of FinTech accelerators, cultivating relationships with the FinTech market and sponsoring contests.
Blitz holds a BA in Criminology & Political Science from Bar-Ilan University, and a Diploma in Economics from the University of Haifa.
Moving to KPMG
Per the 1st of November Blitz has joined KPMG in Israel, where he will leverage his past experience, particularly at Bank Leumi, to lead the FinTech practice and further grow the offering and client base, both in Israel as well as in the wider Middle East region. Blitz will also serve as a local expert for KPMG Capital – the Big Four’s investment fund – providing information about the local FinTech sector and startups to KPMG Capital in order to support the investment portfolio. This will include providing KPMG’s clients with information about what is happening in the FinTech landscape, as well as promising technologies and networks that can be used to improve business performance. For starting and/or upcoming FinTech companies, Blitz will, building on his contacts in the field, function as an advisor and coach.
FinTech on the rise
Global FinTech investment has seen considerable growth of late, tripling from $4.05 billion in 2013 to $12.2 billion in 2014, research by Accenture shows. This growth in FinTech investment can pose both threats and opportunities to banks, who, according to the consulting firm, should adapt quickly and develop a business culture to avoid being left behind and lose out. The true threat from FinTech initiatives is still a while off, according to a recent Capgemini Consulting report, however, to capitalise on the potential and lay foundations and connections early with startups, the consulting industry has been quick to create initiatives that foster and accelerate FinTech startups. KPMG for instance, formed an exclusive partnership with Matchi, a FinTech matchmaking platform; while rival EY recently partnered with Innovate Finance, an organisation whose aim it is to advance UK-based FinTech initiatives.