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88% OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN THE UK ARE UNDER PRESSURE TO MAKE DECISIONS FASTER

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79% of these organisations are not confident in their data literacy levels

72% of FSI firms agree shorter decision making cycles will be the new normal after the pandemic

 

88% of financial services organisations have revealed they are under increasing pressure to make decisions faster as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly three quarters (72%) agree that the shorter decision making cycles they are working to will become the new normal, according to a survey of data decision makers, commissioned by high-performance analytics database provider Exasol.

 

Whilst increased pressure to make decisions faster with existing data resources comes with its own set of infrastructure and strategy challenges, as outlined in the report “Financial Services: Decision making in times of uncertainty”, most pressing and concerning is the fact that the majority of financial services organisations in the UK (79%) are not confident in their levels of data literacy.

 

One of the ways in which financial services organisations respond to crises such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is by expanding the number of people with decision-making authority (39%). However, lack of self-service analytics (data democratisation) is hindering data-driven decision-making. When people aren’t confident in their data literacy skills, it is imperative that organisations make it as easy as possible for their business units to consume the data in accessible ways.

“Thanks to Exasol we are a true data-driven business. We wanted to ensure everyone has access to the data they need for their daily work. Not only that, but we wanted it to be available to them in a simple and efficient manner. We are proud to have achieved that,” said Demeter Sztanzo, head of data engineering at Revolut. “Thanks to Exasol’s high-performance, we have reduced the time it takes to crunch data across large datasets that span several sources. This means that queries and reports that used to take hours can be completed in seconds — saving hours across every business department. This enables us to make decisions faster, without sacrificing valuable data insights.”

 

Encouragingly, 88% of respondents to the survey say that action is being taken within their organisations to improve levels of data literacy. This will be crucial for any business looking to accelerate digital, something that has become more relevant than ever in the face of the ongoing crisis. In the financial services sector, an industry that is experiencing disruption from new, digital-native players, competitive advantage will hinge not only on infrastructure –an essential part of the equation– but on digital strategy and culture across the entire organisation.

 

“The financial services sector is one where data volumes are huge due to, amongst other things, the amount of touch-points per customer per day that the industry sees. As we move to a more digital world as part of the lasting legacy of COVID-19, this will expand even further. But financial data can be siloed and difficult to navigate, so defining a data analytics strategy is crucial. Good data governance and a single source of truth are key if FSI organisations are going to adopt a business-wide data-driven culture where every employee is able to use data insights to make faster and better informed business decisions,” comments Helena Schwenk, Market Intelligence, at Exasol.

 

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SALESFORCE EXPANDS ITS FINANCIAL SERVICES OFFERINGS WITH NEW PRODUCTS FOR CORPORATE AND INVESTMENT BANKING

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Tailored tools integrated into Financial Services Cloud support the industry’s transition to digital-first, helping deals get done from anywhere
New technology provides bankers with stronger productivity, collaboration and compliance capabilities
AI-based research assistant allows bankers to uncover key client and prospect relationships

Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in CRM, today announced Corporate and Investment Banking for Financial Services Cloud, new technology to help bankers and deal teams deepen their relationships with clients, manage deal interactions on one platform and compliantly collaborate and share sensitive information relevant to a deal.

As the pandemic made clear, industries need to innovate fast to stay relevant. Financial services is no exception; investment bankers need digital tools to drive efficiency, build and deepen relationships with customers, and win more deals. They also require a single view of large amounts of client data, integrated in one platform, to help avoid mismanagement.

In addition, compliance officers are working in a banking landscape wrought with regulatory complexities, including managing sensitive information like material nonpublic information and assessing potential conflicts of interest. Banks can suffer reputation damage, business disruption, regulatory fines and revenue loss if sensitive information is mismanaged, conflicts of interest are not caught in time, or compliance is not securely maintained.

“Bankers are looking for new ways to deepen relationships with clients, facilitate warm introductions, and develop new business through data-driven client insights,” said Jujhar Singh, EVP and GM of Salesforce Industries. “With Corporate and Investment Banking for Financial Services Cloud, we’re providing bankers with new ways to build and deepen relationships with customers and manage key accounts by leveraging artificial intelligence. With these new innovations from Salesforce, bankers can spend their time as trusted advisors for their clients by accelerating deal pipelines and better managing sensitive information to ensure they remain compliant through every step of the deal.”

 

Introducing Corporate and Investment Banking for Financial Services Cloud

Corporate and Investment Banking for Financial Services Cloud is designed to deliver a complete experience across the client journey, and supports new integrations with Tableau CRM and Einstein Relationship Insights (ERI) to provide bankers with purpose-built technology. This includes:

  • Maximizing banker efficiency and productivity. Investment bankers can manage the entire deal lifecycle while tracking deal activities and client interactions on one platform from anywhere. Using Salesforce low code tools, they can automate deal execution processes related to M&A, capital raising and corporate restructuring. With the power of Tableau CRM for Financial Services, bankers can use deal analytics to optimize their deal pipeline and client engagement with access to historical client data, previous pitches and meeting notes all in one place — and from the device of their choice.
  • Uncovering relationships with an AI-based research assistant. Einstein Relationship Insights (ERI) is a new relationship discovery tool integrated with Financial Services Cloud. It understands a banker’s context across Salesforce records such as accounts and contacts, and searches the web to find mentions of the relationships, often discovering unanticipated relationships between key people and companies. For example, if a banker wants an introduction to a prospective client, ERI is able to search unstructured data and text on the web, such as a new board member announcement, uncovering that the prospect sits on the same non-profit board of advisors as one of the banker’s connections, providing the opportunity for a warm introduction.
  • Ensuring compliance for client engagement. Investment banks can maintain compliance by ensuring sensitive client or deal data is only shared with relevant stakeholders. For example, if a banker is working on a sensitive M&A deal, she can ensure her colleagues trading related stocks do not have a view into the prospective M&A deal under consideration. Also, a banker can initiate the client onboarding process from Salesforce, and track the progress with partner solutions.
  • Leveraging data as a strategic advantage. Bankers often need to log into seven or eight systems to access relevant information to their deal. Now, bankers can integrate internal data on deal mandates with external market data from partners — such as S&P Global — for a full view of their clients. Bankers can access company valuation from S&P Global while viewing information such as revenue, employee salaries, and other potential risks all within Salesforce, avoiding the need to switch between multiple applications.

 

Major banking institutions are already leveraging Salesforce to engage more deeply with their clients:

  • Evercore, a leading global independent investment banking advisory firm, recognized the value a robust technology platform could bring to their business. Evercore selected the Salesforce platform to create a secure, centralized solution designed to provide bankers with access to relevant client information. As a customer, Evercore will benefit from the innovation delivered through Corporate and Investment Banking for Financial Services Cloud focusing on client relationship mapping, internal collaboration and other functionalities specifically designed to deliver a more personalized experience for investment bankers.
  • TD is one of the largest banks in North America. As part of its strategic technology roadmap, TD is building a unified banking experience including leveraging the Salesforce platform across their businesses. Within TD Securities, a comprehensive Salesforce driven CRM solution is being implemented to help bring leading products and trusted advice to their clients.
  • Moelis & Co. is a global independent investment bank that provides financial advisory services to corporations, governments, and financial sponsors. With Salesforce, Moelis & Co. is able to better streamline banker processes. The mobile-first application keeps bankers and deal teams updated on recent client activity and using passively collected data, they are creating more efficient ways to gather suggested relationships for bankers to rate. With this technology, bankers have more visibility into who has the strongest relationships and who has had the last touchpoint with the client, enabling Moelis bankers to better collaborate and maintain a well-coordinated presence with their clients.

 

Extending corporate and investment banking through the Salesforce Partner Ecosystem

Salesforce has an extensive partner ecosystem that provides unique expertise and solutions for financial institutions globally. ISV partners such as S&P Global Market Intelligence and Fenergo extend and complement the value of Financial Services Cloud. Additionally, consulting partners Silverline and VASS are experts in corporate and investment banking and are equipped to implement financial services solutions tailored for individual customers.

 

Comments on the News

  • “We work in a highly competitive and dynamic industry, requiring that our bankers have relevant information at their fingertips,” said Tim LaLonde, Chief Operating Officer at Investment Banking, Evercore. “We are designing and implementing our Salesforce CRM to function as a central nervous system for our advisory business, enabling us to provide critical and timely advice to our clients.”

“Investment bankers today spend an inordinate amount of time trying to gather information to prepare pitch decks, capture call reports, manage deal lifecycles, and track compliance processes,” said Spencer Mindlin, Capital Markets Industry Analyst, Aite Group. “To address this, banks must employ automation and AI to improve processes associated with prospect management, information collection, deal management, and legal operations. These innovations free up bankers to spend more time with clients and are key to staying competitive.”

 

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CROWN AGENTS BANK ACCELERATES INNOVATION AND GROWTH PLANS WITH THE APPOINTMENT OF HEAD OF FINTECH AND CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER

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  • Industry leaders David Mountain and Joe Hurley appointed to Crown Agents Bank’s Executive Committee
  • The new hires will drive forward further innovation in the bank’s technology      portfolio to support payments and foreign exchange (FX) in emerging and frontier markets
  • Bank has seen a transformational period with 65% YoY growth

 

Crown Agents Bank has today announced two significant hires to its Executive Committee. David Mountain joins as Executive Vice President (EVP) and, in a newly created role, Head of Fintech. The leadership team is further strengthened by Joe Hurley joining as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). The appointments come following a transformational 18-month period for the bank, with the launch of new digital financial services and a continued 65% year on year growth in the business.

David Mountain will be responsible for M&A and strategy, as well as the use of strategic technology. David brings over two decades of experience to the role, having been a successful entrepreneur building Accucard, an online credit card business that was sold to Lloyds TSB and, most recently, as a board member of US-based fintech ProducePay, which was voted the top start-up in Los Angeles in 2020.

Joe Hurley joins Crown Agents Bank as CCO, building the bank’s strategic client coverage and business development. Joe was previously Senior Vice President and member of the Management Committee at Discover Financial Services, working on innovative M&As such as the acquisition of the Pulse Debit business, Diners Club International and investment in fintech companies, including Marqeta. Joe also spearheaded putting together Discover Financial’s Net to Net partnerships, which included ELO, RuPay, JCB and UnionPay.

 

CEO of Crown Agents Bank, Bhairav Trivedi, comments on the new hires: “My vision for the bank very much involves being a first-mover on developing and offering our clients cutting edge technologies that give them an advantage over their competitors. David’s and Joe’s expertise in the finance sector and their impressive network, built up over years of being at the forefront of the fintech scene, place them in the perfect roles for driving forward Crown Agents Bank’s technology-first strategy.  Particularly in emerging and frontier markets, digital services are a priority, and through David’s and Joe’s leadership, we will continue to achieve – and accelerate – our growth in delivering tech-driven, market-relevant solutions to these often-underserved regions.”

 

On his role at Crown Agents Bank, David Mountain, EVP and Head of Fintech, comments: “Crown Agents Bank has a phenomenal global network in markets where it is traditionally difficult to build strong relationships. This, coupled with the bank’s technology capabilities, places it in a unique position to best serve these hard-to-reach markets. My job now is to continue to build on these solid foundations. I’m excited by the innovation in financial services that have emerged over the last 12-18 months and look forward to working with the Crown Agents Bank product teams to develop and add even more new services to our portfolio.”

 

Joe Hurley, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, added, “I am driven by being part of the dynamic growth at Crown Agents Bank. It’s hugely exciting to be joining at a time when Crown Agents Bank is looking at how new innovations can be applied to deliver traditional banking services more efficiently, as well as expand its technology services to offer completely new services that meet the needs of those who have struggled to access financial services. Our team will be laser-focused, with a clear product roadmap to target the best-of-breed partners, and I look forward to leading the charge on continuing to drive this forward.”

As well as the appointment of David Mountain and Joe Hurley, Steven Marshall moves from Chief Commercial Officer to undertake a newly created strategic role of Chief Product and Network Officer. Steven and his team will be focused on creating and building new products to support market growth as part of Crown Agents Bank’s global expansion plans.

 

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