Cat Rüst – Top 100 Women in Fintech 2019

This article features an interview with Cat Rüst, Head of Innovation Technologies - Global Wealth Management for Greater China at UBS, and one of our Top 100 Women in Fintech 2019.

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This interview is part of a series of interviews featuring female Fintech leaders globally. LATTICE80, in partnership with Miss Kaya, recently published our Top 100 Women in Fintech 2019 list.The effort reflects our efforts in women empowerment and support in a field where women continue to be underrepresented. Check out the full list for 2018 here as well. 

Miss Kaya is a lifestyle driven financial platform for the modern woman that aims to empower them to carve their own financial freedom through technologically-empowered financial tools. The mission is to provide the modern women globally with the support, resources, and community they need to live the lifestyle that they want.

Disclaimer: The interviews are published on a rolling basis and the order by which they are published by no means representative of any rankings.

This article features an interview with Cat Rüst, Head of Innovation Technologies, GWM, Greater China at UBS, and one of our Top 100 Women in Fintech 2019.

1. Tell us more about what you do and how did you move into Fintech?

I am responsible for driving UBS’ client engagement around technology in North Asia. This takes many forms in the bank –focusing on technologies that make an impact on our clients businesses; driving adoption of our digital products; cementing our role as a super-connector supporting the tech ecosystem; bringing together clients, investors, technology companies, potential customers, academics etc – all designed to help young companies on their journeys to success.

It’s a very new experience for me being “in” Fintech. I founded 8 technologies companies from an App management platform and a developer network, to an API management platform and an ad network in China so the tech bit is what I knew. The position with UBS truly piqued my interest as I have often wondered whether banks are capable of change and I wanted to find out the answer for myself! (PS the answer is “Definitely!” with the right support from the very top.)

2. What does being a woman in Fintech mean to you?

Honestly, not very much. I work with a great team of people at UBS and in fact we are predominantly women in the business, with almost 70% women in the Wealth Management unit in Hong Kong. So it really isn’t an issue being a women in Fintech in UBS HK. I have also been lucky enough that that has translated for all of the regions that I cover but I think that the power of the UBS brand helps too.

3. What challenges do you think women face in Fintech?

There is an old expression about women having to be twice as good to be considered half as good and that is very, very true in technology. So its important in Fintech that women bring a real strength to the table in order to break down barriers for those that come behind.

4. What advice would you give to other women starting out and growing their careers in Fintech?

You don’t have to be a tech guru to be in Fintech but you do need to have a passion to learn and a very strong skillset in something appropriate to the company if you aren’t a technologist e.g. Financial legal, compliance, etc. Translate your skill to Fintech and make sure you are fantastic at it because then you can be confident that you are the best and that shows. Some of the women on this list are fantastic examples of that.

5. What are 3 keywords to describe Fintech for 2019?

Competitive, Intense and Volatile