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Meet the Expert
Managing Partner, Riverside Global Advisors
- As consultant and senior advisor with BFinance and Riverside Global Advisor, provides strategic financial advice to corporate clients on issues related to capital structure, debt financing, working capital management and on optimizing the holistic corporate client-bank relationship.
- Senior corporate banker with 26+ years experience building market share and driving profitability for leading international financial services companies. Customers spanned the manufacturing, consumer products, hospitality, and health care sectors.
- Has led diverse teams across multiple continents in developing and adapting innovative products to solve a variety of international financing needs.
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Bank Selection, Strategy and Relationship Management
Managing Partner, Riverside Global Advisors
- The great financial and Eurozone debt crisis has forced corporations to question the stability of their core banking teams.
- The meltdown of 2008 forced the world to see banks differently. The curtain was drawn back to expose a reality that gave everyone cause for concern. Many banks had been taking enormous risks that did not pay off. In some cases, they'd been taking those risks and betting against them at the same time. In the wake of the bailout, and with the Libor/FX/AML scandals, customer confidence has continued to erode. Regulatory changes continue to shift the landscape and government takeovers have increased. Corporations are now more aware of the heightened exposure to risk that can be created by their banking relationships.
- Financial executives are becoming more rigorous about how they manage their banking relationships.
- Well-managed companies now administer their banking business with care, distributing business to maximize the company's best interests. No company wants to work with a bank that is likely to be taken over or downgraded or otherwise see its ability to lend money at a competitive rate diminished. Financial executives monitor the stability and financial performance of the banks with which they do business. They know this can be crucial to their own company's well-being. Any shift in the bank's access to capital can have a negative impact on their company's bottom line.
- Technology is creating new efficiencies and options.
- The digital revolution has had a huge impact on the way banking is done. Most financial transactions are now done online. An accompanying concern around cyber security has helped fuel the growth of innovative buffer products like PayPal. While it got its foothold with the growth of eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist, PayPal has transcended that realm to become more of a day-to-day banking tool for many who use it pay all sorts of bills. Apple is now joining the mix with Apple Pay. These developments all have an effect on the mix of services a company might seek from its bank.
- Advisory services are the big differentiators.
- Banks can be great "thinking partners." The bank's advisory role is becoming more important. While the non-banks offer alternative sources of money, they are more transactional and not usually in it for the long haul. A good banking relationship is more like a partnership. It's the bank's job to help a company anticipate problems and come up with solutions. This requires work on both sides. The company must keep the bank informed.
- Banks are more customer-oriented than product-driven.
- Banks used to be very product-driven. In the past, in any given week, a company might hear from several different divisions representing the same financial institution, but pushing different products. This could be very confusing. Banks have now shifted away from this to a more customer-driven model. Companies now deal with a "customer relationship manager" and the focus is on building a customized product mix based on the company's specific set of needs.
- Companies are more likely to work with more than one bank.
- For a number of reasons, including the impact of all the new regulations, companies now tend to spread their risk by establishing ongoing relationships with more than one bank. Companies are also more likely to send out a request for proposal to the banks they've targeted as good potential partners. As they compete, banks are willing to do more to win and keep business. They do more to foster a relationship based on mutual respect, commitment and trust.
Bank Selection, Strategy and Relationship Management: Key Trends