Dr. Tom Butler 

Professor, Information Systems and Regulatory Technologies, UCC

A former Government of Ireland Research Fellow, Tom is Principal Investigator (PI) of the GRC3 (GRC Technology Centre 2013-2018), PI of the SmaRT and SamRT4Reg Commercialization Fund Projects and PI of two Marie Sklodowska-Curie Career-FIT Fellowships in AI. Tom has received €8,658,332 in research funding and has produced 219 publications, including 73 full papers, 84 conference papers and 11 inventions. Tom’s research and scholarly experience are in:

  • Semantic Technologies for Knowledge Engineering in AI & NLP for FinTech and RegTech.
  • Digital Regulatory Reporting at the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Governance, Risk Management and Digital Regulatory Compliance.
  • Business & Risk Taxonomy Development—Operational, AML and Conduct Risk.
  • Data Modelling, Virtualization, and Predictive Analytics.
  • Digital Law and Legal Knowledge Management.

Tom is a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Regulatory Obstacles to Financial Innovation (ROFIEG), the RegTech Council, and the financial industry's Enterprise Data Management Council (EDMC).


Linda Lerner 

Partner, Halloran Farkas + Kittila LLP

Linda Lerner is a partner in Halloran Farkas + Kittila LLP and the head of HFK’s New York office. She is widely recognized for her deep expertise in the regulation of financial markets and their participants. She works with clients seeking to offer innovative products and services and assists in gaining regulatory approval for them.

Linda advises broker-dealers and investment advisors on federal and state regulation of their activities, including, among other things: AML and KYC requirements; risk management; supervisory procedures; cybersecurity and privacy requirements; rule interpretation; marketing material; vendor, employee and confidentiality agreements; guidance for doing business in foreign jurisdictions and foreign broker-dealers conducting business in the U.S.; placement agent and underwriting agreements; and guidance for finders. Linda has served on a number of Nasdaq and FINRA committees focused on, among other things, trade disputes, electronic trading and trade reporting.

She is frequently sought out for her experience in obtaining approval for brokerage firms to offer and trade digital securities and to establish platforms for their trading. She works closely with SEC and FINRA senior staff to resolve challenging issues in the digital security space, including non-custodial solutions, stablecoins and offering and selling other digital assets. Linda is the founding chair of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Offering and Trading Tokenized Securities and frequently writes and lectures on digital assets.

 Linda co-authors the Bloomberg BNA Portfolio “Broker-Dealer Registration: Demystifying the Process.” Her clients include a broad range of institutions, from serving as in-house General Counsel for a brokerage firm seeking to operate one of the first electronic trading platforms to outside counsel for global financial institutions and startups. She helps her clients launch innovative trading systems for equities, fixed income, fiat and cryptocurrency, derivatives and other instruments. Linda also helps fintech firms develop product and market strategies and assists them to meet with regulators to become preferred providers of services.


Don Ross 

Professor, Head of the School of Society, Politics and Ethics, University College Cork

Don Ross is Professor and Head of the School of Society, Politics, and Ethics at University College Cork, Ireland; Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa; and Program Director for Methodology at the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk (CEAR) (C), Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA. He is a Canadian and a South African who obtained his PhD at the University of Western Ontario in 1990. Over his 30-year academic career he has written or edited 13 books and many academic articles and is one of only two economists rated A1 by South Africa's National Research Foundation. He has served as Dean of Commerce at the University of Cape Town, and as President of the International Network for Economic Methodology. He has consulted for government departments and agencies in South Africa and the United States, and for industry clients in financial services, road pavements, fruit exporting and supply, and clothing retail.


Dr. Rula Sayaf 

Expert in privacy, security and machine learning

Dr. Rula Sayaf is an expert in privacy, security and machine learning, as well as in data protection laws and works as an advisor with the Mizen Group to develop their products and services.

She collaborates with various organizations throughout Europe to develop cutting-edge technologies and enhance business processes in the areas of privacy, security, and data science.

Rula obtained a Ph.D. in Engineering and Computer Science from KULeuven, Belgium, and a Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from KULeuven. Her Ph.D. dissertation was on contextual privacy and security, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence.


Patrick Sells 

Head of Bank Solutions, NYDIG

Patrick Sells is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for helping scale both profit and non-profit organizations through marketing and technology. As Head of Bank Solutions at NYDIG, Patrick is focused on building upon the momentum from NYDIG's efforts to bring the needed technological infrastructure for banks to be able to offer Bitcoin products and services. He blends together the desire to use technology to make the world a better place and change the perception of banking. He is an award-winning leader who has been recognized for digital innovation in banking earning American Banker’s Digital Banker of the Year Award and also named to Independent Bankers 40 under 40 list for emerging community banking leaders in 2020.

Prior to joining NYDIG, Patrick served as Chief Innovation Officer at Quontic Bank, where he evolved the firm into a leading adaptive digital bank. Sells has also served as the CEO/Owner of the Sells Group, a marketing and technology agency based in Indianapolis that helps clients with digital customer acquisition. The Sells Group ranked #701 in 2016 for Inc.'s 5000 fastest growing businesses. He also co-founded Cognito Road, a leader in the predictive data industry, and jointly launched Nicabis Mining, a crypto-mining company, alongside Steve Schnall, CEO of Quontic.

In addition, Patrick is active in the not-for-profit space helping lead and advise several different organizations. He has served on the board at United Way Indianapolis, Boy Scouts of America Crossroads Council, Generosity New York, and the Sagamore Institute. He has served as the co-chairman of the Governor’s Luncheon for Scouting in Indianapolis, the largest fundraiser for the Boy Scouts nationwide. He helped start and build the Super Service Challenge into a national program that raised and gave away over $30,000,000 alongside their national spokesperson, Drew Brees.