On February 11, 2021, Swiss-based investment issuer and Bitcoin trader, Valour, announced that it had appointed Diana Biggs as its new CEO. Biggs, who previously served as the chief of innovation at HSBC’s private banking unit, has operated in the Bitcoin space since 2013. Her wealth of experience in cryptocurrency and traditional finance made her a shoo-in for the role, with Valour hoping her leadership expertise and track record in enabling investments in innovation will serve the company well as they move into a new phase of growth. Find out more as we look at ten things you didn’t know about Diana Biggs.
1. She teaches
How Biggs finds the time to sleep is one of the great mysteries of the world. In addition to her regular job as CEO of Valour, she also finds time to teach. As Said Business School says, Biggs currently serves as the Head Tutor for the Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme, a 6-week online modular program intended to educate business leaders and innovators on the potential of blockchain technology in different sectors, including energy, telecoms, and pharmaceuticals. She also regularly contributes to MBA and EMBA programs.
2. She’s a published writer
Biggs has written extensively on blockchain technology and innovation in the financial services sector. Her articles have appeared in a wide range of esteemed publications, including the World Economic Forum, the Huffington Post, Sifted, Springer Publishing’s ‘Banking Beyond Banks’, and Journal of Digital Banking.
3. She built her career at HSBC
Prior to joining Valour, Biggs’ most prominent role was as Global Head of Innovation for HSBC Private Banking. She served in the position from 2019 – 2020. As the first head of innovation for HSBC, Biggs led an innovation team with a primary focus on building partnerships with fintech companies and other emerging technologies. Prior to that, she served for two years as the Head of Digital Innovation, UK & Europe, for HSBC Retail Banking & Wealth Management.
4. She believes diversity is crucial
If there’s one thing Biggs thinks we need to see more of, it’s diversity. Diversity, Biggs believes, is crucial to innovative thinking. “Diversity goes beyond the statistics – there’s no quick fix to embed a truly inclusive culture. It requires an environment of psychological safety, where everyone feels comfortable to participate in an open and authentic way,” she explains via Sifted. “By having a variety of perspectives, backgrounds, and voices at the table, companies will benefit from a variety of expertise and experience for existing propositions. They will also be better equipped to develop new ideas, challenge the status quo and bring better outcomes.”
5. She’s the founder of Proof of Purpose
In 2017, Biggs launched Proof of Purpose, a venture that aims to explore the potential and applications of blockchain technology in solving humanitarian challenges in the tech4good space. Her work on the subject has been groundbreaking. In fact, her TEDx speech on blockchain technology has proved so successful, it’s achieved over 40,000 views and is widely considered by experts in the field to be one of the best speeches on the subject.
6. She’s in demand as a keynote speaker
Over the past few years, Biggs has emerged as one of the most popular and in-demand keynote speakers in the realm of blockchain technology, financial wellness and inclusion, and digital financial services. Some of the most notable forums and conferences she’s participated in include the Paris Fintech Forum (Paris, Jan 2018), Zopa: Diversity in Fintech Series (London, Dec 2017), GeekGirls Annual Conference (London, Dec 2017), Fintech Bordeaux (London, Oct 2017), Baker McKenzie Annual Tech Conference (London, Oct 2017, Payments International Retreat (London, Sept 2017), and Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development (Bonn, March 2017).
7. She’s won the WISE Women in Industry Award
Biggs may only have joined Valour recently, but prior to that, she served in a highly demanding position at HSBC. So exactly how she’s managed to find time to engage in so many extracurricular activities is something of a wonder. Over the past decade, Biggs has bought her expertise to a vast range of businesses and organizations. In addition to serving as a board member for the Digital Leaders of Europe initiative of the World Economic Forum, she’s also a member of the Milken Institute Young Leaders Circle, a founding member of 20:40, an industry associate at UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies, a committee member for Her Stories, and a mentor for Katapult Accelerator. Considering her vast wealth of experience and extensive achievements, it’s not surprising she was named a WISE Women in Industry winner in 2019.
8. She’s been named the new CEO of Valour
On February 11, 2021, it was announced that Biggs had been appointed as the new CEO of Valour, a Switzerland-based issuer of investment products. Biggs, who’s worked in the Bitcoin space since 2013, will be overseeing the company’s expansion following their recent launch of Bitcoin Zero, a fee-free, digital asset exchange traded product that trades on the NGM stock exchange. Speaking via Fintech Finance about the appointment, Biggs said, “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead Valour in enabling investment in the latest innovations in the sector, such as digital assets, through mainstream channels.” “Making finance and technology more accessible has been a key focus all my professional life,” she added. Along with her expertise in blockchain and other emerging technologies, Biggs also being her extensive experience in leadership within the financial services and fintech sectors to the role.
9. She’s been described as the perfect candidate
Speaking to Financial IT about Biggs’ appointment to Valour, the companies founding director, Johan Wattenstrom, described her as “the perfect candidate” to lead Valour through its expansion. “With her wealth of experience in traditional finance, as well as fintech, and her vision for bringing digital assets into the mainstream, we are very lucky to have her on board,” he said.
10. She’s a huge podcast fan
She might not get much time for relaxing, but Biggs still manages to squeeze some entertainment into her packed schedule. During her commute to her offices in London, she tries to fit in a couple of podcasts. “I’m definitely on the podcast bandwagon for getting the latest news and ideas,” she’s told Sifted. “There’s an increasingly wide range of inspiring, thought-provoking content available there.”