Perspectives from Boyden's Global Financial Services Experts on Banking, FinTech, Real Estate, Insurance, Wealth & Asset Management

A roundtable discussion led by Boyden's Global Financial Services Practice Co-Leaders, Carlos Dafauce and Joost Goudsmit.

Carlos Dafauce: Banking is playing a significant role in a healthcare crisis, developing financial survival solutions for individuals and businesses while working with governments to ensure a level of economic stability is maintained. This has undoubtedly been a challenging time for banking institutions as they too experience significant external pressures and operational issues. What are the emerging themes for a post-crisis strategy within banking?

Juliet Hardingham (U.K.): Businesses continue to look for ways to reshape their business and operating models, accelerate their digital transformation data and technology capability to deliver better customer solutions. Customer behaviours have rapidly changed with a significant rise in digital adoption in everyday transactions, contactless payments as well as increasing customer needs for digital services. Secondly, as customer expectations have shifted, businesses compete to focus on more innovative customer propositions and services aimed at improving customer engagement. Growth of partnerships and ecosystems is a predicted trend between traditional and non- traditional partners to create new value propositions.

This crisis has accelerated customer and public expectations for the Banking sector to behave more responsibly and sensitively, by demonstrating real care and integrity for their customers and employees. Embedding social responsibility and purpose is emerging as a key priority for leaders.

Finally, leading firms in the sector are taking steps to improve their ability to deal with unexpected risks in the future.

Eduardo Rabassa (U.S.A.): This crisis has demonstrated digitalization was not ready enough to face the situation we are still living. Retail banking will need to speed up the conversion to a friendly digital model; there is no other option. In financial services, in general, with a special focus on private banking and CIB, compliance associated with an environment with (much) less human contact will need to be reinforced. Cyber-security will be on the agenda as a clear protagonist of our day-to-day. Finally, new models of home working and the subsequent impact on both residential (more space?) and commercial real estate (less?) will be an important topic too.

Carlos Dafauce: Are new functions being emphasized?

Dr. Dirk Friederich (Germany): In my view, some functions in the banking sector are currently in increasing demand:

My thesis is that currently, very successful and intelligent banks know how to recruit in exactly the opposite direction, i.e. not only the so-called controlling, cost-cutting, transformation, and digital processes but exactly the opposite, namely innovative, sales-oriented business leaders who can also do an excellent job in the digital world. These executives are currently being “sidelined” by the established banks and are currently the most volatile. And my thesis is: those banks and FinTechs who hire exactly these people today will be the winners of tomorrow. In other words, an anticipatory or rather contrary recruiting model as an intelligent approach to bank recruitment.

Eduardo Rabassa (U.S.A.): Yes, some functions are taking the spotlight as a result.  These include: Digital Transformation, Analytics, Digital Marketing, Compliance, Cyber-security, and Legal.

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