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That was the week that was, as Chris Skinner receives a Lifetime Achievement Award

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As a general rule, I try to avoid being too personal in blogging. Sure, this is an opinion-based platform, but it’s boring talking about me, isn’t it? But then, last week, it proved to be a pretty amazing and exceptional week, so I’m just going to park this here.

The week began with a trip to Amsterdam to present at the FMO annual conference. FMO is the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank – you can check out their details here  – and it was a pretty great day. In particular, it turned out that I was the warm-up act for the Queen of the Netherlands, Queen Máxima. Queen Máxima spoke passionately about financial inclusion, digital identity and trust, and was very well informed about the subject, as she has been campaigning around these themes for fifteen years. So, that was interesting.

From Amsterdam, I flew to London and joined the Payments Association’s awards ceremony, Pay360 in association with MasterCard. A great evening full of friends and so many black tie tables. It was fabulous darling, or maybe it was absolutely fabulous. Before arriving, I knew I was nominated for an award, but against very strong competition …

… and was completely blown away when I won it! You got it, yours truly got the gong for a Lifetime Achievement Award. Completely shocked and humbled at the same time, this was not something I ever expected to be given or to be recognised for by so many friends and colleagues. One of the most special evenings of my lifetime.

I then joined the Innovate Finance Fintech as a Force for Good conference in Canary Wharf, and was again really enjoying the networking, audience engagement, atmosphere and focus upon how to make the world a better place through technology and finance. Janine Hirt, CEO of Innovate Finance, is a special energy in this space and Innovate Finance, the London-based FinTech network, is a real connector globally for all those interested in how to innovate for progress and the betterment of society. That was really good.

The week ended with a great networking event in Chișinău, Moldova, a country I had never been to before. It turned out that Moldova prides itself on its wine industry and so, after the one day conference – which was excellent – we ended up celebrating the wine industry. Standing in Chișinău’s main square, the President and Prime Minister of Moldova made speeches, and then we had a few wine tastings at the various booths.

Our hosts then took us to Mileștii Mici. Mileștii Mici is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest wine collection in the world, with almost two million bottles of wine in over 55 kilometres of tunnels that are up to 100 metres underground. Extraordinary. As a wine buff, I was shocked that I’d never heard of it!

All in all, last week was one of the most special weeks of my life ,and that’s why I’ve been selfish with the blog and shared it here. Oh, and here are a few pics.

Warm-up act for the Queen

Queen Máxima in the house ...

A true honour ...

I decided to dress down for the award ceremony ...

With Alexander Armstrong and Laura McCraken ...

Janine Hirt opens the day ...

And Chris is the way ...

With Lesley Li and my fave shirt "Chris is the way" ...

Moldova rocks ...

The President and Prime Minister of Moldova open the wine celebrations ...

Going underground ...

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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