Dozens of BMI EMBA alumni – including executives from several banks, insurers and asset management companies – gathered on Dec. 1 for a lively BMI Alumni Upgrade session on the future of the financial industry led by BMI Corporate Governance Professor Lars Ohnemus. He began the evening, held at the offices of Danske Bank in Vilnius, with a talk on the evolving financial services landscape.
Dr. Ohnemus, who heads the Center for Corporate Governance at Copenhagen Business School and is himself a seasoned financial industry executive, noted that change is being driven by many factors, including demographic trends, ever increasing regulation since the last financial crisis, and of course the current wave of FinTech (financial technology) startups all across the value chain.
“The whole financial industry is ripe for restructuring and my sense is that it will continue to face disruption for the coming 10 years. There’s a lot of similarity to what’s happened with telecoms,” the professor said. “We’ve only seen the beginning of this revolution.”
He said specific challenges include “the frightening speed with which new ventures can achieve market penetration” in a world where increasingly “the winner takes all,” the huge cost advantages that FinTech startups enjoy over capital-intensive incumbents, and a lack of clarity so far in terms of which of the many new business models will actually work over time. Meanwhile, opportunities are also emerging, like the asset management needs of older populations which tend to save more and the cross-border business possibilities that EU capital markets unification is set to open up.
A lively and lengthy debate followed the lecture as BMI alumni shared their own experiences, insights and expectations on issues ranging from the enduring value offered by traditional banks and insurers to new corporate governance requirements, drivers of consumer behaviour, the importance of having a strong brand, and how best to get in on advances in financial technologies.
The BMI Alumni Upgrade Programme offers graduates regular opportunities to extend some of the valuable practical knowledge they got in the BMI International Executive MBA, and also to network. Alumni Upgrade sessions are open to all EMBA graduates and are free of charge.