Filene announces Taylor C. Nelms as managing director of research

The new research leader will extend Filene’s insights into consumer and cooperative finance

MADISON, WI (September 4, 2018)Filene Research Institute named Taylor C. Nelms managing director of research, a role dedicated to fostering and translating Filene’s groundbreaking research to help credit unions create positive impact in the real world.

“The entire Filene team – board, staff and community – is thrilled to welcome Taylor to Filene,” said George Hofheimer, Filene’s chief knowledge officer. “Taylor is one of those special individuals who has the academic pedigree, knowledge of credit unions and a sparkling personality to make a difference in the credit union system.”

Nelms’ connection with Filene can be traced back to 2015 through his authorship of the Emerging Payments and Communities: Reimagining Trust and Mutual Finance research report, which surveyed the beginnings of the mobile financial services revolution for credit unions. In his academic work, Nelms has written on a variety of topics related to money and technology, and he is the co-editor of The Cultural History of Money in the Modern Age, forthcoming from Bloomsbury Press.

After graduating from The Ohio State University, Nelms received his MPhil from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Gates-Cambridge Scholar. He spent time, most notably, in Ecuador, where he conducted ethnographic fieldwork on the “solidarity economy” with urban market vendors and family and neighborhood savings groups.

“As a proud anthropologist and ethnographer, I am very eager to utilize Filene’s research to better understand institutions, people, and culture,” said Nelms. “Filene has a legacy of putting collaborative and cooperative principles into practice, and I am dedicated to maintaining this focus while pushing forward research on new trends in consumer financial behavior, technology, operational excellence, and community impact.”

Before joining Filene, Nelms worked as a postdoctoral researcher and also received his PhD in Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. He previously worked at the Institute of Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion at UC Irvine, and serves as co-editor in chief of the Journal of Cultural Economy. His tenure with Filene began on August 13, working from Filene’s headquarters in Madison, WI.

When not busy researching or putting cooperative principles into practice, Nelms enjoys spending time with family, reading, exploring his new home town and listening to the Atlanta baseballers on the radio. Ask why he named his cat Oberon when you see him at the next Filene event.

Taylor C. Nelms

About Filene Research Institute

Filene Research Institute strengthens organizations through innovative research and incubation to improve consumer financial well-being. As an independent cooperative finance think tank, Filene’s membership network connects a community of leaders and bright minds to change lives through innovation, truth and cooperation. In addition to delivering cutting-edge, actionable academic research, Filene also provides incubators to test and scale solutions, events to spark organizations into action and advisory services to help accelerate and implement innovation. For more information, visit and @fileneresearch.


Holly Fearing
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