Interview Series: BNP Paribas Wealth Management (CDO Thierry Derungs)

“Hello Thierry, can you tell us about yourself?”

Hello, I am a Tech and Digital passionate with over 25 years of experience. I worked at ING for 15 years before joining BNP Paribas in 2009. By 2012, I was appointed as Chief Digital Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management. I am in charge of Digital Transformation of the bank as well as Customer Experience.

“What are your thoughts regarding the transformation initiatives taken by the firms?”

To me, transformation implies digital. New technologies allow you to have a new business model that was not possible before. A thorough transformation is essential for a company. Implementing technology just to be trendy is useless; technology has to be a tool which helps in implementing the company’s vision. Having a website alone is not sufficient. Some large banks are in the middle of their digital transformation process but for many other private banks, digital is often optional and superficial. The financial sector is very complex and only a few start-ups succeed in managing this complexity in a good way.

“Given that people associate private banking with old people; do you think it is incompatible with digital?”

We have to dispense with the myth that says Wealth Management’s clients are all seniors. A vast majority of them are entrepreneurs. They are modern and they have the means. Secondly, a lot of them are families; their wealth is managed with the children, if not the grandchildren, who are expecting mobility from the bank. As a result, there is a greater demand for digitalization”.

“What are the challenges for the banking sector and what is the outlook for the next 10 years?”

Employee experience and Client experience are going to change. It is impossible to predict what is going to happen in 10 years but we are clearly at the beginning of a big changeover. Society is going to change; the way you work now will be different from the way you will work in 10 years.

“We hear more and more about Internet of things (IoT), will it have an impact on private banking?”

IoT is a large concept; It will impact private banks’ clients indirectly as they will tend to invest more and more in tech sector’s asset classes. For now, there isn’t a direct application related to High Net Worth Individuals. However, IoT will surely revolutionize the insurance sector as well other financial services.

“What advice could you give to students who want to break into fintech industries?

As the world is changing faster, we need more multi-skilled students. If you have a Master in Management degree oriented in finance or Law, you must learn coding. Everybody needs to speak digital, to write a legal paper, to check the financial statements of his company or to pitch for a new product. I got the chance to work in technology and financial services sector. Fintech is the crossroad of these sectors and for me, it’s the best of both worlds – I love the idea of solving big problems by innovative way of thinking.


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