Hilary Allen Lunch Seminar

Wednesday, April 4, 12-1pm, E62-346
Download: Professor Allen’s Presentation Notes

Algorithms and Financial Institution Culture
In the past five years, financial regulators have become increasingly attuned to the necessity for cultural change in the financial industry. Recognizing that there are limits on what financial regulation can achieve if firms exert pressure on their employees to maximize short-term profits at any cost, regulators are now pushing for more ethical cultures as part of their supervisory efforts. These efforts to effect cultural change face many challenges and have been met with mixed responses. Professor Allen’s presentation focused on how these efforts are being complicated by increased reliance on algorithms. In particular, she considered the rise of fintech business models and how these may undermine regulatory attempts to focus the financial industry on the social costs of the financial instability that the industry can generate.


Hilary Allen is currently an associate professor at Suffolk University Law School, where she teaches financial regulation and business law courses. (She will join the faculty of American University Washington College of Law in the Fall). Professor Allen’s research concentrates on domestic and international financial stability regulation, exploring the financial products, institutions, and regulators that can impact financial stability. Recently, she has focused on the rise of fintech and its potential impact on financial stability.

Professor Allen received her Bachelors of Arts and Laws from the University of Sydney and her Master of Laws in Securities and Financial Regulation Law from Georgetown University Law Center (graduating first in her class). Prior to joining academia, Professor Allen spent seven years working in the financial services groups of prominent global firms in Sydney, London, and New York. In 2010, she worked with the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in Washington DC, which was appointed by Congress to study the causes of the financial crisis of 2007-2008.


Professor Allen’s presentation notes are available here.