Michael Mainelli, Author at Insurance Thought Leadership




Michael Mainelli

Michael Mainelli

Michael Mainelli co-founded Z/Yen, the city of London’s leading commercial think tank and venture firm, in 1994 to promote societal advance through better finance and technology. Today, Z/Yen boasts a core team of 25 highly respected professionals and is well capitalized because of successful spin-outs and ventures.

Mainelli’s career summary is a decade of technology research, followed by a decade in finance, then more than 15 years of finance and technology in Z/Yen. Educated at Harvard, Trinity College Dublin and the London School of Economics, where he was also a visiting professor, Mainelli’s early scientific research in aerospace and computer graphics led to his starting Swiss companies in seismology, cartography and energy information. After a post at Arthur Andersen, Mainelli spent seven years as a partner and board member of the leading accountancy firm BDO Binder Hamlyn, directing global consulting projects. While co-founding Z/Yen, Mainelli served as a director of Europe’s largest R&D organization (DERA) leading to two privatizations.

Highlights of Mainellil’s career include:

• creating Z/Yen’s Long Finance, Global Financial Centres Index, London Accord, Taskforce 2000, Global Intellectual Property Index, Farsight Award and other initiatives.

• developing a £100 million business within the UK Ministry of Defense operating as a senior civil servant (military two-star equivalent) commercializing defense technology.

• growing an accountancy consultancy, BDO Consulting, profitably to 100 people with global privatization, finance, technology, government, services and NGO clients.

• conceiving and producing the first complete digital map of the world in 1983, Mundocart, the Google Earth of the 1980s, as well as the $20 million Geodat cartography project.

Mainelli’s biggest honor was the Mercers’ School Memorial Professor of Commerce chair at Gresham College, founding home of the Royal Society.

Recent Articles by Michael Mainelli

Tricky Issues Being Raised by AI

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine. Where have you been? It’s alright, we know where you’ve been. You’ve been in the pipeline, filling in time, provided with toys and Scouting for Boys. [Pink Floyd, “Welcome To The Machine,” from the album “Wish You Were Here” (1975)] Machine Markets This past summer, a North American energy insurer raised, with us, […]

In Third Parties We (Mis)trust?

Technology is transforming trust. Never before has there been a time when it’s been easier to start a distant geographical relationship. With a credible website and reasonable products or services, people are prepared to learn about companies half a world away and enter into commerce with them. Society is changing radically when people find themselves […]

Why Insurers Caught the Blockchain Bug

In April 2015, Lloyd’s of London launched the Target Operating Model (TOM) project. TOM is a central body responsible for delivering modernization to the still heavily paper-based wholesale insurance transactions in the London insurance markets. You can state, “I Support TOM,” on a registration site or you can “like” TOM on social media. The project has […]

What Is and What Isn’t a Blockchain?

I Block, Therefore I Chain? What is, and what isn’t, a “blockchain”?  The Bitcoin cryptocurrency uses a data structure that I have often termed as part of a class of “mutual distributed ledgers.” Let me set out the terms as I understand them: ledger – a record of transactions; distributed – divided among several or many, in multiple […]

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