We’ve all heard of the so-called ‘war-for-talent’ within the US Investment Banking and Financial services field. In fact, it’s no secret that there’s an ever-increasing demand for specific and niche skills, but short supply of the requisite talent. In particular, the ability to attract technology[i] experts into investment banking is arguably presenting the greatest challenge for many employers.
Whilst Deutsche Bank chief executive John Cryan’s famous idea[ii] of replacing as many as half of his 98,000 staff with robots has not yet come into fruition, the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on trading floors is impacting the skills that firms need to stay competitive. And with technology acting as the enabler behind almost everything an investment bank does, having the right Tech talent on board to support the management of existing systems and integration of new ones is now more crucial than it has ever been.
The challenge for employers, however, lies in competing for these professionals with Tech giants such as Google and Facebook – which, on the surface, may seem to have more appealing employer value propositions for this talent pool.
On top of this, hirers in the investment banking arena are facing a further battle that can often go undiscussed: the sheer extent of irrelevant CVs that need to be sifted through in order to seek out the perfect candidate. In general, many banks are likely to hire between 1% to 5% of the applications that they receive – that’s a vast number of individuals that need to be deselected. With so many organizations preferring the human approach and relying on people to complete this time-consuming task, the impact on resources and costs can be significant. This, of course, can also present a significant challenge in terms of providing a positive candidate experience to all involved in the hiring process, even those unsuccessful applicants.
In this volatile and ambiguous landscape, implementing the right strategy to secure and retain the talent they need to thrive is crucial for investment banks. But how?
Make the most of Tech
Technological evolution is increasingly becoming a crucial component in every role, across all sectors and geographies, and talent sourcing in Investment Banking is no different. With resourcing teams facing a barrage of applications, the integration of AI and robotics to manage much of the administrative process can streamline hiring for the benefit of the candidate and hirer alike. Crucially, this can free up time for better interaction between the employer and the selected applicants, enabling hiring teams to build a greater rapport with potential talent. The ability to speed up the entire process will also be hugely valuable to improving the candidate experience, allowing feedback to be shared with unsuccessful applicants in a timely manner.
Of course, in many cases it’s not easy to get this technology through the information security processes at banks, so whilst there is certainly an appetite for this, it will be those who can navigate it best that will reap the greatest rewards.
Strategic talent pools
Critically, firms need to be tapping into data and market insights to identify where the talent they need both now – and in the near future – can be found. Time spent on developing a strong, targeted proposition, which is proactively focused on where talent is and has a clear ongoing engagement strategy, will help organizations get ahead, rather than relying on responses to live roles. This will also impact how banks look at their location strategy, especially in a context of reducing operating costs and increasing efficiency. In the US specifically, New York still remains the largest hub of financial services talent, but it has begun to stagnate, with Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Jacksonville and Denver some of the fastest growing hubs of today.
Really analyse your employer brand
When it comes to attracting Tech talent into the industry, too few firms are integrating their digital credentials into the wider employer value proposition in order to really compete with the major Tech giants. Too often organizations assume Tech talent will come to them because of their brand as a big global bank.Tier 1 investment banks can perhaps be forgiven for believing that their well-known brand will resonate with Tech talent – but the simple fact is, it won’t.
That’s not to say that these firms should seek to directly compete with the likes of Google – what we need to see across investment banking is a greater emphasis on the opportunities for Tech talent. There’s more room for digital innovation than many potential employees are perhaps aware. Communicating this is the first step in generating a strong employer brand that appeals to this talent pool.
Utilise training and development
It’s vital that all of the above effort doesn’t end once a candidate is hired. Given the scarcity of Tech talent available to Investment Banks, competition will be rife and there’s the risk of potentially losing high performing professionals quickly. It’s here that training and development plays a pivotal role, with the likes of Toronto-Dominion Bank leading the way in innovative thinking in this field.
The leading North American bank has introduced [iii] a process to facilitate quick promotions of junior employees in order to beat the competition for top emerging talent. According to the firm’s Vice Chair and Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, Robbie Pryde, “to continue to attract and retain exceptional new colleagues, we need to demonstrate leadership among our peers and commitment to the development of our people. We must also ensure that talent development D is top of mind as an employer of choice among graduates.”
There’s no doubt that strategic workforce planning is becoming increasingly complex in the US Investment Banking arena. Employers are now facing a battlefield that has moved markedly from the landscape of ten years ago – and this will only continue to evolve. The need to adapt talent attraction and engagement strategies quickly is now more important than it has ever been, and it will be those organizations able to swiftly innovate that will get ahead in the war for talent. Are you prepared?
[i]Quora. “Which Areas In Investment Banking Are Experiencing Talent Gaps?” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 20 Dec. 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/12/20/which-areas-in-investment-banking-are-experiencing-talent-gaps/#352bbde55450.
[ii]Hess, Abigail. “Deutsche Bank CEO Suggests Robots Could Replace Half the Company’s 97,000 Employees.” CNBC, CNBC, 8 Nov. 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/11/08/deutsche-bank-ceo-suggests-robots-could-replace-half-its-employees.html.
[iii]Rastello, Sandrine, and Bloomberg News. “TD Bank Speeds up Junior Bankers’ Promotions to Attract and Keep Young Talent.” Financial Post, 9 July 2018, business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/td-bank-speeds-up-junior-bankers-promotions-to-attract-and-keep-young-talent.
- Financial performance impacted by the pandemic
- Expected credit loss (ECL) charges of £45.8 million recognised on loans and advances to customers
- Profit before tax (PBT) was impacted by the adverse effects of COVID-19 and the subsequent provisions set aside, reducing by 89% to £5.9 million
- Customer deposits rose by 25% to £7.6 billion while capital remained strong with a CET1 ratio of 12.3%
- A total of 15.9k payment holidays granted across the Group
- The specialist bank continued to operate effectively through COVID-19
- 98% of employees moved to remote working within days and no staff furloughed
- Successfully achieved accreditation under UK Government’s CBILS
- Continued investment in technology to digitalise the business
- Shawbrook “cautiously optimistic” as momentum begins to return to certain specialist sectors
Shawbrook Bank has today (Monday 10 August 2020) published its half year financial results for the period ending 30 June 2020.
The specialist bank confirmed it had set aside £45.8 million of provisions to provide for potential future loan impairments caused by COVID-19. The bank reported it had also granted a total of 15.9k payment holidays to support its customers through the pandemic, of which 10.8k remained in force at 30 July 2020.
As a result of such provisions, the bank’s profitability was impacted with a reduction in PBT by 89% to £5.9 million.
Despite the challenging market conditions, the bank retained its active position in the UK savings market, increasing its retail savings deposit base by 25% to £7.6 billion. During the period, Shawbrook also successfully completed a £75 million Tier 2 re-financing to further optimise its capital structure.
Ian Cowie, Shawbrook Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, said that COVID-19 has had a clear impact on the bank’s financial performance, but Shawbrook remained in a position of strength.
He commented: “Prior to COVID-19, the Group had continued to make good financial progress, starting 2020 with a strong balance sheet and prudently positioned capital and liquidity base.
“To further optimise the Group’s capital structure, during H1 2020 we initiated a Tier 2 refinancing and, despite the challenging market conditions, successfully completed the £75 million issuance in July.
“We have also maintained our active position in the UK savings market. However, the longer-term economic impacts of the pandemic remain hard to predict and as a result we have recognised expected credit loss charges in the period on loans and advances to customers of £45.8 million and on loan commitments of £1.5 million.
“While this has clearly had an impact on profitability, our capital strength positions us well to support our customers and grow our business in line with appetite as we enter the second half of the year.”
Throughout COVID-19, Shawbrook maintained full operational functionality, with no staff furloughed and 98% of employees transferred to remote working within days of the UK lockdown being announced.
The bank adopted a series of concession opportunities across its product range to help alleviate the financial impacts of COVID-19 on its customers. During this time, Shawbrook also successfully achieved accreditation to the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to provide further funding support to its SME clients.
Mr Cowie added: “Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our focus has remained on supporting our staff, customers and partners while at the same time safeguarding the long-term sustainability of our business.
“When the UK lockdown was announced in March 2020, we acted with speed and agility, moving to an almost entirely remote operation within days. Led by a stable and experienced management team and with the support of new and existing technology, we have continued to operate effectively throughout this period.”
Throughout the first half of the year, the bank also continued to identify investment opportunities to further digitalise its proposition, with a core focus on its SME offering.
Mr. Cowie added: “Notwithstanding the pandemic, we have continued to invest in our business to help drive our strategic ambition to become the UK’s Specialist SME Lender of Choice. As well as the ongoing deployment of targeted digital solutions across the Property, Consumer lending and Savings businesses, our investment in the development of a new growth platform in our Business Finance franchise will serve to further modernise our offering, delivering an enhanced customer journey as well as significant operational efficiencies.”
Looking to the future he continued: “Although significant uncertainties regarding the broader macroeconomic impact and pace of recovery remain, we are cautiously optimistic in our outlook as we start to see signs of momentum returning to certain of our specialist sectors.
“Our management expertise and prudent approach to credit decisioning, combined with investment in our digital propositions, means we are well positioned to adapt and respond to opportunities as they arise throughout the second half of the year.”
Better banking—everyday in everyway
By Bruno Pešec president at Pesec Global.
Some of the most innovative companies are also great at continuous and incremental improvement. I want to talk about three key points when it comes to succeeding with implementation of continuous improvement.
First is acknowledging that employee empowerment is at the heart of continuous improvement. The second is striving for total involvement by everybody, everywhere, everyday. Final, third point is that improvement is improvement. Cents turn into dollars.
Let’s expand on each.
Employee empowerment is at the heart of continuous improvement
In “Kaizen: The Key To Japan’s Competitive Success” Masaaki Imai divulges following as the core principles of continuous improvement:
- Process orientation. “Before results can be improved, processes must be improved, as opposed to result-orientation where outcomes are all that counts.”
- Improving and maintaining standards. “Lasting improvements can only be achieved if innovations are combined with an ongoing effort to maintain and improve standard performance levels.”
- People orientation. “Improvement is people-oriented and should involve everyone in the organization from top management to workers at the shop floor. Further more, it is based on a belief in people’s inherent desire for quality and worth, and management has to believe that it is going to “pay” in the long run.”
These principles are interlinked and interdependent. Without empowered people there can be no improvement. Micromanaging and overbearing bureaucracy stifle human creativity and desire to do better.
Due to the nature of my work I have residence in two countries, Croatia and Norway. Consequently, I have bank accounts in both as well. On one occasion I was had to make a bank transfer while in Croatia, and went to my local bank office to do so.
To my surprise they requested my debit card. I explained that I’ve forgotten it, but surely that shouldn’t be a problem as I’m here in person, have my national ID as well as passport, and cash required for transfer. The bank teller explained that he can ask branch manager to approve it, but it takes seven days.
Since the manager was right there, I asked why can’t we do it right now, since we are all here. “Sorry, such are the policy and procedures. I know it doesn’t make sense, but we must follow them.”
Banking is a highly regulated industry; fraud detection and anti-money laundering processes must be impeccable; but above is neither.
Everybody, everywhere, everyday
Bottom up is usually brought up when discussing implementations of continuous improvement. While it is true that those closest to work are most suitable to improve it, they often lack decision making power and budget to do so on a scale.
That’s why “everybody, everywhere, everyday” is a better mental model. No one is absolved of improvements. At any given moment there are at least hundred things you can improve right now, right here.
Think deeply about following:
- Everybody in the organisation should be aware and have an understanding of organization’s strategy and objectives. There’s shouldn’t be multiple interpretations, and it should be unambiguous. Without clarity improvement efforts are going to be scattered and without impact.
- No elitism, no absolution. Everybody should be actively committed to daily improvement, regardless of their rank or seniority. Leaders should be especially cognizant of leading by example. After all, how can they demand from others what they themselves are not doing. That’s hypocrisy at its finest.
- To improve is to learn, and to learn is to improve. Unlock even more value from your continuous improvement efforts by capturing the learning and sharing it broadly and deeply within the organisation. Ideas spawn ideas, perpetuating a virtuous cycle. Peer learning is also a powerful intrinsic driver.
Improvement is improvement
Director of one European bank invited me to their customer service centre, and we were to discuss how could they innovate better. After the meeting I asked him to take me on the walk around the office so I can observe the processes. He was more than happy to oblige.
The walls were plastered with wallpapers and dashboard, colourful metrics were displayed one the hanging screens, and there was a special area dedicated to the “Hall of fame.” Much to my delight there was a wall dedicated to the improvement ideas.
It was covered with large sticky notes, each with few sentences about the problem and potential solution. I picked a few at random, and noticed that they have dates written in bottom left corner. All of the dates were months ago.
Perplexed, I asked the nearby call operator to illuminate me. What’s going on? She fired her response like she was just waiting for someone to ask her that question:
“After each call we used to write down some improvement ideas. At the end of the week we collated and submitted them to the improvement department. They were constantly rejecting our proposals for either being too small or not innovative enough. After few weeks we stopped sharing and tried to implement what we can. That resulted in one of us being scolded for taking initiative without approval, so we just stopped altogether.”
Director was blushing, but hasn’t said anything. I thanked the operator for her honesty, and told the director that he should find time to fix this. By ignoring small, incremental improvements, they are effectively atrophying their organisational muscles. And not to mention all the savings that are left behind, lost forever. Cents turn into dollars.
I’ve talked about three key points in regards to the role of employee empowerment in the implementation of continuous improvement, and what you can do to use them well. Let me remind you that if you really want to engage in this, the first thing to do is take any of them and start today.
UBX appoints new Chief Investment Officer
In line with its strategy to explore and invest in companies and platforms of the future, UBX—the Fintech and Corporate Venture Capital arm of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) — is announcing the appointment of Matthew Kolling as the company’s Chief Investment Officer (CIO).
As CIO, Kolling will be managing UBX’s Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) fund. He will also play a key role in raising capital for UBX while assisting the company in key corporate transactions, including the structuring of joint ventures and acquisitions.
Prior to his appointment at UBX, Kolling has been Head of Venture Investments at Aboitiz & Company since 2019, wherein he had been working with UBX on investment portfolio decisions. Before that, he held senior positions in Private Equity, Venture Capital, and Investment Banking at firms such as Providence Equity Partners and Morgan Stanley in New York.
Kolling has more than 20 years of experience in managing investments and deals in the Technology and Telecommunications industries and is active in Venture Capital and startup communities in the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region. He currently chairs the Manila Angel Investors Network, among others.
“We at UBX are excited to welcome Matt as our new CIO. We firmly believe that Matt will be instrumental in driving value creation opportunities, both within the CVC fund and our corporate ventures. We look forward to working with him as we fulfill UBX’s vision of a future where banking services are embedded into everyday experiences that matter,” said UBX president and CEO John Januszczak.
Meanwhile, UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista said, “The addition of world-class talents in our pool reinforces our strategy to future-proof the organization and our business as we prepare for many new opportunities that come with the changing times.”
Board Report Highlights Complex Decision-Making Process Across Banking and Finance sector
‘The State Of Decision-Making’ report from Board, reveals business decisions made in silos without modern planning tools A third (33%)...
EaseUS Free Data Recovery Software Recover Lost And Erased Documents
Have you anytime inadvertently masterminded erased or lost data from your work territory or PC? In case along these lines,...
Shawbrook Bank “cautiously optimistic” as it Publishes Half Year Report for 2020
Financial performance impacted by the pandemic Expected credit loss (ECL) charges of £45.8 million recognised on loans and advances to customers...
Shining a spotlight on operational resilience and cyber-risk in financial services
By Miles Tappin, VP of EMEA for ThreatConnect, explores why the financial services industry must build a cyber security strategy...
Front line strategies for responding to the COVID-19 crisis: Experiences from legal team leaders around the world
By Diane Dix – General Counsel, Total Safety, Marc Michael – Chief Counsel, Global Dispute Resolution, AES Corp, Tim Williams...
Reinventing Your Digital Marketing Strategy Post-Covid
By Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO Mavens & Moguls I started a global branding and marketing firm 19 years ago. Marketing...
The impact of a recession on your pension
By James Turner, Director at Turner Little The stock market is beginning to show signs of life as measures introduced...
From accountants to advisors: changing roles and expectations
By Chris Downing, Director for Accountants & Bookkeepers at Sage The line between strategic advisor and traditional accountant is blurring....
Trust matters more than ever in an uncertain world
By Zac Cohen, COO, Trulioo Trust in the time of COVID-19 Perhaps more than ever before, retail and investment banks...
Banking beyond the office
By Tim Hood is the Associate Vice President for Hyland in EMEA. Following months of unprecedented challenges, the global...