26
Jun

Digital Banking 2018: Making Customer Experiences Better

Posted by: AmberRoberts in: Financial Services -

Coming off another year at Digital Banking 2018 in Austin, Texas, there were some clear differences worth highlighting from previous years.

First, Artificial intelligence is not just being talked about, it’s happening. Most sessions and conversations touched on AI in some way, and we’ve seen banks make tangible moves, pointing to BofA’s Erica as just one example.

AI is expected to drive most interactions with customers soon, and it is forcing banks to retrain and hire employees with new skills.

The overall technology and banking conversation has also shifted. It seems that financial institutions have moved past trying to create new/better/cooler products and services, and instead, they are focusing on solving problems of customers and making customer experiences better.

What’s coming? A bank as we know it today will not be leading banking in the next 15 years, a technology company will. That prediction comes from futurist and author Brett King.

Banks could be challenged and surpassed by technology companies already playing in the payments space (Apple, Alibaba) or by another disruptor. Time will tell.

More
31
May

Private Equity Forum 2018 Highlights Part II: Top 5 from PE US Forum

Posted by: AmberRoberts in: Financial Services -

This year’s gathering of elite private equity players at MarketsGroup’s 7th Annual Private Equity US Forum covered a lot of ground, from the impact of tax reform on valuations to the best ways to find non-correlated PE investments. Here are our top 5 takeaways:

 

  1. Despite SEC leadership changes, PE is not getting a break. While new faces are steering the ship at the SEC, it hasn’t led to fewer exams or less interest in PE firms. However, enforcement staff seem to be more open to discussions as opposed to fast tracking to the settlement stage.
  2. Conflicts of interest can’t always be solved with a “wall”: Conflict of interest is a timely issue, particularly for PE that is expanding into new areas of business, such as credit or REITs. A “wall” is an increasingly popular solution, but it does not work for all and may cause a silo effect that prevents critical collaboration and information sharing internally.
  3. Due diligence is taking new forms: New “non-traditional” types of due diligence are emerging, including anti-money laundering and know-your-customer due diligence. Such due diligence covers traditional and social media reputation, political affiliations and exposure, trading exposure and other critical pieces of intel.
  4. Organic growth a priority for portfolio companies: While add-on acquisitions remain desirable for a host of reasons, organic growth is highly coveted and still a focus for PE owners. Both artificial intelligence and predictive analytics are increasingly enabling companies to be more agile, make better decisions and expedite growth.
  5. Economic downturn inevitable, but we still have time: We should be prepared for an eventual slowdown. However, with job rates up, interest rates still relatively low and banks in good standing, the U.S. economy should be fine in 2018 and 2019.
More
31
May

Private Equity Forum 2018 Highlights Part I: PE can drive organic growth for portfolio companies

Posted by: AmberRoberts in: Financial Services -

I recently had the privilege of spending two days with LPs, funds and advisers at one of the leading private equity industry events, MarketsGroup’s 7th Annual Private Equity US Forum. This year, I participated in a roundtable conversation, “Adding Value to Portfolio Companies,” a challenge I have been tackling for more than 10 years through marketing and PR counsel for PE client portfolio companies.

My fellow panelists represented various areas of expertise – sales and marketing, data, financials, operations, risk and insurance — and the group identified several best practices for taking portfolio companies to the next level. While all conceded that add-on acquisitions can bring immediate revenue, this source of growth inherently comes with a host of issues, such as integration, that require careful management.

The net of our discussion: organic growth is indeed the “holy grail” for portfolio companies. For those embarking on an organic growth strategy, the panel raised several key aspects to consider:

More

Want More?

Contact

Interested in working together? Get in touch to learn more about our services.