Global Banking & Markets

Change and uncertainty have made a dramatic entrance after more than a decade of relative stability in the world economy and capital markets—and it appears they may remain center stage for some time. As a result, we expect the financial services landscape will continue to transform rapidly in 2023.

Stress to the world economy in 2022 stemmed from many factors, including geopolitical conflicts, supply chain disruptions, a swift rise in inflation, and layoffs. The financial services industry sits near or at the epicenter of many of these disruptions. Whether dealing with shocks to the core or ripple effects, financial institutions must resolve structural weaknesses and find a way to steady ground—fast—even as the world continues to change.

Financial institutions’ C-suites are faced with a challenge: how to preserve increasingly expensive capital while investing in transformation to better combat uncertainty and emerge stronger.

According to IBM, Global Banking and Market leaders will be expected to adapt and respond to four key market conditions in 2023:

  1. Macroeconomic tensions. Increasing macroeconomic tensions are epitomized by spiking inflation, which called for major central banks to raise interest rates (except in China and Japan). Central bankers were late to realize inflation spikes would be more than temporary in 2022. Facing recessionary environments, the sudden reversal in monetary policies may prove untenable for central bankers, adding more uncertainty in future decisions. At the same time, price volatility has returned to financial markets.
  2. Geopolitical uncertainties. Economic decoupling, among other factors, is testing the resilience of value chains while heightening financial risk across geographies and economic sectors. As globalization helped reduce costs, deglobalization will drive up costs, further fuel inflation, and change financial clients’ needs.
  3. New competitors. Clients’ digital adoption is accelerating, which exposes the shortcomings of traditional financial services. This creates an opening for new, digital savvy competitors to capture and engage clients, resulting in potential revenue loss for incumbents. Large traditional institutions are hindered by legacy business and operating models that are not proving agile enough. Many of these models were designed in another era for another era, long before the speed enabled by exponential technologies.
  4. Sustainability. Environmental concerns have led to new, albeit necessary, restrictions on business and economic activities. While banks can be an integral part of the sustainability solution and find new revenue opportunities, they are also exposed to new risks and complex compliance requirements. They will need to navigate this area with great care, not only for their business but for the planet.

At Allen Austin, we work with global banks and other financial institutions to help them seize new opportunities, manage risks, and operate profitably. We focus on assisting our clients in finding, developing, and retaining leaders who can thrive through change and use their skills and insight to drive their company’s success.

As a leading executive search firm, we adopt a systematic approach towards the process. Our experts conduct a thorough assessment to determine the current and future leadership needs of a business. We then develop a detailed roadmap that focuses on identifying candidates who have the right skill set, experience, and passion to deliver results under an array of challenges.


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