Changing finance to catalyze transformation - Part II

Writer Laura Campan

During this new edition of the European Finance Summit, seasoned experts delivered inspiring speeches on the natural yet challenging step finance is taking towards innovation.

Navigating the regulatory challenges

The increasing demand for digital banking – especially from Millennials and Gen Zers – is transforming the way the entire banking ecosystem operates. 

For Proximus Luxembourg Head Digital Trust Solution Frank Roessig, the trick lies in adopting a multi-channel approach. After going in-store (eventually), most consumers continue their journey online, on different channels – website, Social Media, Metaverse, etc. Hence the need for a suited strategy.   

But how to design a trusted identity for an omni-channel client experience – and therefore increase customer retention? 

It could be through different GDPR-compliant components, depending on how your market is reacting – from a code generator or multi-factor authentication, to the classic ID document for instance. “A private bank operating in a certain market segment with a certain behavior won’t adopt the same approach as a startup targeting young generations in Southern Europe for instance – I can’t design the same trusted identity for both […] But you can do it dynamically. Depending on the information you get progressively, you can skip or add certain stages”. 

Focusing more specifically on FinTechs and how to build a sustainable business strategy, Bitstamp Chief Operating Officer Jack Elhers unveiled his secret ingredients: looking more deeply into the big failures that have happened over a long period of time to (re)build trust and finding the right licensing regime.

That being said, SCHILTZ & SCHILTZ Partner Nadia Manzari naturally wondered how to face regulatory challenges in such a rapidly-evolving world? 

For UBS Fund Management CEO Francesca Prym, the main pain points are the volume of changes and the lack of consistency when transposing European directives in the different Member States – putting global firms providing financial services over different markets through hell.  

For European Investment Bank (EIB) Head of Division Branimir Berkovic, being located in Luxembourg undoubtedly helps facing those challenges, since it provides high expertise almost in any area, “which not only creates a rich knowledge base but also an efficient way of delivering on some topics when you need support”.

Talent and upskilling

Attracting talent has become increasingly difficult over time, especially since the onset of the Big Quit. But what if the Tinder matching approach could help us overcome global talent shortage? 

This is exactly what came to Fabien Amoretti’s mind when designing Hubfinance, a brand new platform that allows companies to benchmark their employer branding, to eventually work on it and optimize their chance to attract talent, from Luxembourg and beyond.  

To create new profiles, suited to the upcoming challenges, and thus avoid the struggle of “fishing” talent abroad, Julien Frighetto co-founded L22 School of Business, with the support and recognition of the FEDE (“Fédération Européenne des Ecoles” in French). The students could choose between a bachelor and two master degrees, suited to the local market’s needs, and benefit from the experience and knowledge of seasoned professionals. 

After recruitment naturally comes retention – and what a better way to retain your employees than engaging them? Especially considering that, unlike what we may think, only 8% of employees in Luxembourg feel engaged. 

According to Leadership Consultant, Talent Coach and Speaker Sophia Karlsson, the trick lies in changing our management approach: “Surveys show that the workforce of today is looking for a caring and coaching leader who can take them to the next level […] So, it’s time that we empower managers and give them the tools they need so that they can eventually be held responsible for this.” – but how? 

“If we want people to do something for us, we need to connect with them. We go back to the beginning and value them. Once we have that connection, we can start to communicate and eventually influence. And what is influence? Leadership. And that’s when the real employee engagement kicks in.”  

Another important step that can be taken internally is upskilling – just like Devoteam, which recently launched a program in partnership with the Digital Learning Hub called “Your Journey to the Cloud” so learners could know how to approach cloud technologies, the financial impact they may have, etc. As Devoteam Sales Director Alif Rahamatali underlined, “we might be a small country but we have high expertise”.

Last but not least, courage. What a strong word, right? But what happens when leaders lack courage? It is an absolute disaster.

According to Anticipa Real Estate CFO, Speaker and Executive Coach Peter McKenzie, the good news is that anyone – including leaders – can build his courage muscle. Here go a few tips:

  • Reframe situations, “how about feeling excited about talking in public and taking on a new challenge instead of feeling anxious?” 
  • Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable, “as Stoic philosopher Seneca used to say, only the boxer that has been punched black and blue can win the great fight.”
  • Use the three Ts, “Try, Trust, Tell” 

A word to the wise.