Gartner forecasts that blockchain will generate an annual business value of more than US$3 trillion by 2030. It’s possible that 10% to 20% of global economic infrastructure will be running on blockchain-based systems by that same year.
As a distributed ledger, a well-designed blockchain reduces costs, increases speed and reach, and cuts out intermediaries. It also offers greater transparency and traceability for many business processes. From health care to manufacturing to supply chain, logistics, and finance, companies are beginning to implement and take advantage of blockchain's promises.
We learned what board directors need to know, questions board members need to ask and covered the following topics:
- Current applications of blockchain;
- Risk, privacy, compliance, accounting, and other business issues blockchain could pose;
- How blockchain can fit into your company's strategy and business model; and
- Practical tips for implementation from the board lens.
Christa Steele became the youngest CEO in the United States to lead a $3.5 billion asset size bank located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her career spans close to 25 years, which began as a bank teller while attending college. As a former public company CEO with $500 million in market cap, she led the improvement of core earnings 43% in a single calendar year, doubled the bank’s value in less than two years, and successfully led the bank’s sale for a premium in 2015.
Steele is a former partner and board member of FIG Partners, a highly successful investment bank with 10 locations across the United States. In April 2019, FIG Partners was acquired by Janney Montgomery Scott. She currently serves on the board of directors for Recology in California; OFG Bancorp in Puerto Rico; Sasser Family Holdings in Illinois; the NACD Northern California Chapter; and Pacific Coast Banking School in Washington. She is also a board organizer for Robinhood Bank NA. Her expertise leading a complex, highly scrutinized, and regulated company provides a desirable and diverse skill set transferable across multiple industry verticals.
In addition to being a qualified financial and audit expert per NASDAQ, NYSE, and PCAOB corporate governance requirements, Steele has an in-depth understanding of how to manage market growth, expansion, divestiture, recession, corporate litigation, shareholder lawsuit, legacy ownership, conflict resolution, and human capital. Her specific experience in these areas includes investment banking, capital markets, merger & acquisition, asset and liability balance sheet management, institutional investor relations, wealth management, pension plans, equipment and equipment leasing, real estate, real estate construction, land, title, IT contract negotiations, qualified and non-qualified executive compensation plans, digital innovation, and systems integration.
Steele was honored by the San Francisco Business Times as a most influential leader in Bay Area business and by Crowe Horwath for driving significant financial performance improvement. For the better part of three years, her time has been spent on a variety of digital technology initiatives in and outside of financial services. She is a well-known speaker and thought leader of blockchain technology, digital disruption, and why artificial intelligence, big data, and the use of predictive analytics must be considered when evaluating a company’s overall digital and corporate strategy.
Steele is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow and holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and an undergraduate degree from California State University Sacramento.
Manoj Kashyap is an assurance partner in the Banking and Capital Markets group of PwC's U.S. Financial Services practice based in San Francisco. He is also the leader of PwC's U.S. Assurance FinTech practice. From 2015 to 2018, Kashyap was the global leader of PwC's FinTech practice across assurance, tax, and advisory services and a member of PwC's Global Financial Services Leadership team that sets and monitors the strategic direction of the company’s global financial services practice. Previously, he was the leader of PwC's Financial Services emerging markets team from 2014 – 2015 and the leader of the Financial Services practice for PwC India overseeing assurance, tax, and advisory services for that sector from 2011-2015.
Kashyap began his career with PwC in the Los Angeles office in 1990 where he worked in assurance until 1996. He then spent six years abroad in the Luxembourg office, after which he returned to the United States to the San Francisco office in 2002. With his admission to the partnership in 2006, he transferred to the Los Angeles office until his assignment in India from 2012–2015. He has since returned to the San Francisco office. Kashyap specializes in providing assurance and business advisory services to clients in the banking, payments, consumer finance, asset wealth management, and capital markets sectors, but he also has experience in manufacturing, distribution, and international holding company structures. He has performed and led audits of both SEC registrants and privately held companies. Kashyap also led PwC’s automotive finance practice in the United States from 2008-2012.
Eileen Schloss is a multidimensional, strategic, and transformational human capital expert who has worked successfully and directly with CEOs and boards as a global chief human resources officer and for companies ranging from major global brands in the Fortune 500 to pre-IPO businesses needing to scale. She has a growth track record and is experienced in advising, mentoring, and guiding HR strategy and operational elements of acquisitions—from due diligence through full integration—and divestitures. Schloss has spent many years working directly with board compensation committees, and she most recently served as officer and led the HR, Real Estate, and Facilities global team at Medidata—a software-as-a-service–based publicly traded company. She serves on the Alteryx Board of Directors and concurrently serves on the Compensation and Nom/Gov Committees.
Before Medidata, Schloss spent five years with Rovi Corp., a publicly traded digital media entertainment software and services company, where she managed all workforce and human resources activity for 2,500 employees worldwide. During her time with Rovi, she managed 19 acquisitions and divestitures and focused on the cultural integration of each. Schloss has held the top HR position in several companies for the past 17 years, including at Caspian Networks Inc., Exodus Communications, AppGenesys Inc., and Apple Computer. In these roles, she reported directly to CEOs and presidents and served as their trusted advisor and coach, helping them transform their companies to achieve their mission and growth objectives. She also held senior HR leadership roles at Charles Schwab, Tandem Computers, and Hewlett-Packard.
In partnership with committee chairs, Schloss has managed the compensation committees for Medidata, Rovi, Caspian, Exodus, and Apple. Her extensive global experience includes work in Asia and Europe where she managed significant workforce issues, including union threats and Works Council negotiations. Concurrent with her assignment at Rovi, Schloss provided HR consulting to GI Partners, a private equity firm, to assist in their assessment and performance standards for partners and associates.
Schloss received her MS in Technology Management from Pepperdine University and a BS in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco, and she completed the 2016 Directors’ College at Stanford Law School.