active CEO Podcast #24 Carl Wegner Financial Blockchain Evolution

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns talks with Carl about the “why” behind learning Chinese, life in Asia over the last 30 years, falling into banking by accident, and his passion for financial technology and start-ups. We uncover Blockchain technology, R3’s innovative approach to raising finance, the power of the Corda platform, the challenge of writing code and his passion for cycling.


Carl Wegner is not afraid to challenge the status quo, build lasting cross-border relationships and stimulate innovative thinking. He has spent more than 30 years working in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, making a difference in the Cash Management, Institutional Banking, Financial Supply Chain and Distributed Ledger Technology sectors.

During his time in Asia, he has held Managing Director and Executive Vice President roles at prominent banks such as Bank of Boston, Standard Chartered Bank (Taiwan) and Deutsche Bank (China). An interest in financial technology led to a role as Chief Representative of technology at TradeCard in China, which is now known as GTNexus, and since 2016 is the Managing Director and Head of APAC, at R3.

R3 is a gamechanger and world-leader in Blockhain Digital Ledger Technology, creating the Corda Enterprise platform, which growing global ecosystem comprises over 200 companies and regulators on six continents, making it the largest collaboration of its kind in the blockchain space.

Growing up in the USA, he completed a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science in Chinese Language and Chinese History at Georgetown University. He has also completed an executive study program in International Management at INSEAD.

Carl has held Board Director roles at Taipei American School, Orbis Taiwan and the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. He has used his experience an expertise to create, invest, advise and mentor a number of start-up businesses such as LiqEase, Chinaccellerator and Veterati

He is an avid cyclist, supporter of his children who are talented athletes, and enjoys lecturing and speaking on Cash Management, Financial Supply Chain Management, FinTech and RMB Internationalization

Carl talks about:

  • Learning Chinese and travelling to study Chinese in Taiwan on a Study Abroad program.
  • Living and working in Asia for more than 30 years.
  • Not thinking math would be a tool for the future.
  • Extending his stay in Hong Kong to witness the handover from British to Chinese rule.
  • The changing role of expats working in Asia.
  • Trade wars going on between China and the USA, doesn’t just affect China but everyone that trades with them.
  • The importance of understanding the culture and being as open-minded as possible.
  • Thriving as an expat when everything is so foreign to you.
  • Why R3 caught his attention and how Blockchain is going to change our lives.
  • By 2025 10% of the value of the worlds goods will be processed on Blockchain platforms.
  • R3’s innovation approach to raising capital.
  • Why 40 plus banks have all invested in the R3 business and Corda platform.
  • Blockchain is likely to take ten years to get to those “uber-type” moments.
  • The major legal and security issues that Blockchain is currently facing and what they are looking to overcome.
  • Having a down to earth and collaborative leadership style.
  • The attraction of cycling and why Taiwan is so great to cycle around.
  • Travelling upwards of a quarter of a million miles this year.
  • The challenge of keeping fit while travelling for work often.
  • Balancing rest with exercise.

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Fitness Friend – Do you find it a challenge to stay motivated and consistent with your workouts when you train by yourself? Finding a workout friend is hugely helpful for keeping motivated, ensuring you turn up each day and making it fun. It is important to find someone who is positive and will inspire, rather than discourage you. Write down a list of your friends who love to exercise and then mark down whether they are available to meet on a regular basis, are they supportive of your goals, and can they keep up with you or even push your limits in key workouts? Once you have identified someone or a group of people, then now is a great time to give them a call and get started.


“What I see is what you see and that is the truth.” Carl Wegner explaining distributed ledger technology on the active CEO Podcast.

“Blockchain is the Paradigm shift on how data is shared.” Carl Wegner on the active CEO Podcast.

“Here is a gap, here is something you haven’t thought about and just because you have Incredible energy doesn’t necessarily mean that it makes sense. You have to think practically.” Carl Wegner on the active CEO Podcast and why he likes investing in start-ups.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Carl Wegner LinkedIn
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben Gathercoles’s best selling book

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