digital platform

Rise of the Platform

William Shakespeare wrote: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." It turns out - more so now than ever before - that there is a business equivalent to this famous line from Act 2 Scene 7 of Shakespeare's play, "As You Like It." The difference, however, is that the "stage" in the current context is known as a platform. And, with each passing day, the strength, agility, intelligence and speed requirements of current financial platforms tend to increase. Putting our key points up front, what we are going to emphasize as we make the case for the validity (and urgency) of this opening salvo are the following: The ceaseless march of innovation, competitive forces and exogenous market factors dictate that players in the modern financial services industry evolve from their initial proprietary technology bias to an expanded supply chain strategy, with focus on certain foundational categories of technical functionality. In other words, for a majority of players, their are certain core technical components that [...]

By |2020-10-05T21:21:05-04:00July 17th, 2018|Open|

Ding-a-L-ING Group’s Deconstruction

On Monday, 3 October, ING Group - formerly the Netherlands' largest lender and one of the world's largest financial conglomerates - announced plans to cut 7,000 jobs from its ranks of about 52,000 in order to invest in digital platforms that are expected to generate annual savings of 900 million euros ($1 billion) by 2021. Beyond this, what is fascinating about ING is the rare glimpse it gives us into the post-global financial crisis (GFC) dismantling of one of the world's financial behemoths. We have few other case studies - although, oddly enough, ABN Amro does come to mind - where we see the persistent "reverse-conglomeration" of a large and global financial services powerhouse. As a stipulation of the Dutch state-funded capital infusion in the wake of the events surrounding the GFC in 2008-2009, ING Group was essentially forced to sell off numerous businesses in order to maintain or exceed minimum capital ratios. The chart below details the timeline and more than 50 divestitures that have occurred since the GFC. Here [...]

By |2020-10-05T21:09:31-04:00October 4th, 2016|Open|