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  • Blog Post: Eliminating the Fear of Social

    The recent furor over Wall Street’s handling of Facebook masks a deeper issue – banking’s almost paranoid discomfort with social networking. The cultures couldn’t be more extreme. While capital markets favor opaqueness, social networking is all about transparency. Surely any bank’s...
  • Blog Post: Millennials and Boomers – Poles Apart or Peas in a Pod?

    Popular mythology suggests younger people are more tech savvy than older ones; digital natives and digital immigrants divided by technology. Teenagers would rather text than talk. By implication, boomers are technophobes or at best neophytes. Future markets are more likely to be shaped by younger...
  • Blog Post: How does Hadoop fit into the Analytical Enterprise?

    As described in a previous post, an Analytical Enterprise is one that leverages data to its advantage. This includes the hard-to-tame “Big Data”, which is too awkward to be managed by traditional means. To support this mining of Big Data, a slew of new technologies has arisen. The most...
  • Blog Post: Revisting the Analytical Enterprise

    The way banks have competed in the past has been on the basis of assets – how many branches, products, how many countries they operate in – even how big they are. But the rules of the game have changed. These capabilities are less important today. What matters more is how banks manage information...
  • Blog Post: Coming Out of Left Field

    Baseball is the arguably the most hallowed game in America. Trying to redefine baseball is almost like trying to redesign the American flag. It’s practically sacrosanct. Since the 19 th century, a player’s performance has been determined by the insider opinions of players, managers, coaches...
  • Blog Post: The Bank Branch of the Future – Microsoft at BAI 2011

    Bankers at BAI this year seem to agree that bricks and mortar banking is here to stay, despite the growth in digital channels. But the role of the branch would be very different and more enabled by technology. What the bank branch of the future might look like is very much the theme of the Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: The Forgotten Channel – the fall and rise of ATMs – Themes from BAI 2011

    For years the ATM channel has been taken for granted by the banking industry. The focus of innovation has been on other channels like mobile, but this is rapidly changing. Evidence presented at BAI 2011 by BBVA Compass suggested that ATMs are very important in driving customer satisfaction. So despite...
  • Blog Post: Banking on an Uncertain Future - BAI 2011

    President Clinton’s keynote speech at BAI this week reminded that this is an exciting time to be living thanks to advances in technology, but the world remains unstable. Uncertainty seemed to be in the minds of many delegates to the BAI conference this year as the banking industry struggles to...
  • Blog Post: Banking at the Crossroads

    History tells us there are certain watershed moments. Banking is going through such a phase. After decades of building systems around products, the industry must now build technology around customers, and, in particular customer relationships. Also, the conversation with customers is changing from complex...
  • Blog Post: Living on the Edge of Exponential Change

    Our future looks grim. The economic situation is dire with little relief in sight. But short term gloom conceals deeper shifts in an ever-changing environment. The future may be much brighter than it seems. There have been many turning points throughout history when breakthroughs in technology brought...
  • Blog Post: How 'Social' is Bringing Passion Back to the Workplace

    We appear to be living in two economies with very different stories. One is the traditional economy, currently in the doldrums, and the other is our social economy, rising in value and importance, which is redefining how the traditional one works. Social computing includes social networking (Facebook...
  • Blog Post: Netflix and the Future of Banking

    Banking moguls looking to extract more value from their businesses might take a leaf out of the media industry. Netflix is a huge media success. But it is far from unique. The media industry has long made more money through aggregating and distributing content than by creating it. Distributors provide...
  • Blog Post: The Smartphone Wars

    It’s been almost fifty years since Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, goof-balled the mobile phone into the popular imagination when he used his shoe for clandestine conversations. A lot has happened since then in the ‘smart’ phone world. Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies are now out on Windows...
  • Blog Post: We Are What We Tweet

    Written by David but inspired by Damien. For years, a business card has been the ultimate power statement, defining who we are by the title we have and the firm we represent. After a handshake we naturally exchange them. But what happens afterwards? I have more business cards than I know what to...
  • Blog Post: Reflections on SIFMA 2011

    Now that SIFMA 2011 is behind us, let’s take a moment to look back on a conference whose conversations and content mirrored the extremes of our post-crisis world. This year the Leaders Forum explored two main topics – Dodd Frank implementation and the use and impact of social media...
  • Blog Post: Risk Management 2.0 – it’s closer than you think

    It has been a couple of years since the worst financial crisis in decades, and it is clear that we need a fresh approach to managing troubled markets. For years weather forecasters have been trying to make accurate weather predictions, but a little known phenomenon called the ‘butterfly effect’...
  • Blog Post: Next Generation Risk Management in the New Age of Structured Products

    Even before the financial crisis, financial firms struggled to get their enterprise risk act together. Then as now, structured products added a whole new layer of complexity. The problem is how to get on top of the data. Without the right data, risk management, in today’s high frequency markets...
  • Blog Post: Designing a Viral Product – a fresh approach to innovation

    Viral marketing is hot right now. In the new world of social networking, a digital outreach strategy is essential. But it may be more useful to develop products that are intrinsically viral. According to a recent HBR article adding a “share” button to a product can increase peer-to-peer influence...
  • Blog Post: Three Ways to Analyse Social and Market Data - Recreating the Ear of the Markets Part II

    Once market prices hit the screen or populate a spreadsheet they are already history. In fact markets move on sentiment fed by stories that can bubble up from almost anywhere. David Cox posed the question: What if we could track the evolution of stories – the noise from other pits – before...
  • Blog Post: Recreating the Ear of the Markets - Part I

    Ever since Mr. Reuter replaced carrier pigeons with telegraphy, the history of markets has been a race to capture market sensitive information. But the challenge lies not just in gathering the data, but distilling it to what really counts. In the days of open outcry there was something called ‘the...
  • Blog Post: The Bloomberg Debate on Private Clouds

    How are financial institutions adopting Cloud technology? Are private clouds more appropriate for the industry, and if so what benefits do they bring to organisations? On Tuesday I participated in a very interesting panel on Private Clouds at the Bloomberg Enterprise Technology Summit , mediated by...
  • Blog Post: The Other Dimensions of Transparency: for Markets and Management

    A bank’s peers, partners, clients, counterparties…. All demand and expect greater transparency, to keep the markets efficient and fair. Just as importantly, from a risk and profitability standpoint, organisations must strive to achieve greater internal transparency up and down the chain...
  • Blog Post: Decrypting Financial Reform: The Three Dimensions of Transparency

    The word “data” is used and abused when it comes to Finance and IT – but with new regulations the need for transparency is bringing data strategies to the top of every organisation’s priority list. This series of blogs will examine the new demands, and give examples of how technology...
  • Blog Post: Eliminating the Fog of Markets

    April 2011 marks the 150 th anniversary of the outbreak of the American Civil War, the bloodiest military engagement in U.S. history. Past wars had been fought with muskets and fixed formations. But the technology of war had moved on by the 1860s. Despite this, Civil War officers continued to launch...
  • Blog Post: The New Middle Ground in Banking

    New York used to be famous for its luncheon clubs. Professional New Yorkers would take time midday to combine a fine meal with a networking experience followed by a slow afternoon and an early retreat to the suburbs. Today our days are more pressured. A quick sandwich is often the best we can muster...
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