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The transformation framework and value-creation mindset

This blog is the first in a series of thought leadership briefs in the weeks ahead of the release of the book “Transforming Financial Institutions: Value Creation through Technology Innovation and Operational Change” by Wiley in its Finance Series. It sets the scene with the introduction of an analytical framework that the book applies across the investigation of six core hypotheses. It further outlines the applied approach for business transformation and value creation. This methodology provides the base for the analysis how emerging technologies shape the future of the financial industry.

A new industry landscape

With the Global Financial Crisis, a boom of 30 years of deregulation and growth that started with the Big Bang in 1987 came to an abrupt end. With it, the fundamental beliefs in modern risk transfer mechanisms and financial engineering were shaken. In response, the G20 regulatory reform addressed several of the issues through new capital requirements, leverage constraints, and regulatory scrutiny. These incoming regulations have challenged the established commercial models with their profitability thresholds, leading to the immanent result that large complex financial institutions operate way below their cost of capital. It has been challenging for the financial industry to adapt to this new reality, in particular for capital-intensive capital-market, corporate and investment banking businesses.

At the same time, emerging technologies have fundamentally transformed operating platforms and decision-making frameworks. The incoming technology agenda has the potential to re-innovate the industry and put it back on a growth path. Open architecture models allow incumbent financial institutions to specialise in their core competence and to integrate best-in-class services with the objective to provide customers a comprehensive experience through core platform offerings. Technology-enabled service components allow them to differentiate and gain a competitive market positioning. Efficient system and infrastructure platforms build the core of the delivery of targeted client services. There is inherent value in specialised finance capabilities such as dedicated lending, trading, and related risk transfer across specific client segments and product portfolios. Specialty finance businesses operate at a much lower cost-income ratio and higher return-on-equity targets than large-scale, aggregated financial businesses. However, this requires substantial investments and the break-up of the industry’s existing organisational structures.

The value-creation mindset

To execute such a transformation agenda and get back on a path of value creation, a coherent methodology is to be applied. Business transformation is usually applied to specific situations. It describes the outright turnaround and restructuring of a business following a crisis or change agenda with emphasis on operational efficiency, often under financial stress. Value creation, on the other hand, refers to an agenda of strategic growth initiatives. These initiatives are either driven by expansion through organic and acquisition-based growth or operational efficiency through business improvement and capital optimisation. The term is often applied in an investor context with financial sponsors such as private equity and hedge funds taking an important role as financial or strategic investors. Our framework uses value creation in the broader context of a management and entrepreneurial philosophy. In its core, it is about how to transform a financial services business front to back by combining commercial and operational change with disciplined balance-sheet management and technology innovation.

The transformation agenda

The book will be released in early February 2022. It establishes in dedicated chapters the fundamentals of strategy, financial decision making, asset-liability management and technology innovation with the objective to assess the value drivers of the financial industry in a comprehensive framework. The focus of this first blog series ahead of the book’s publication is on the role of emerging technologies and their transformative impact. The second blog will cover the three building blocks of technology innovation that shape the transformation agenda: One, artificial intelligence that drives augmented decision making through event analysis, alternative data and advanced analytics; two, software solutions that improve operational efficiency through front-to-back automation, open architecture and interoperability; and three, blockchain that is in the process of redefining financial innovation with crypto assets and decentralised finance (DeFi). The third and final blog outlines a target operating model (TOM) that combines technology innovation with efficient service delivery through specialty platform models. This TOM accelerates the repositioning of the financial industry by implementing the transformation agenda across a comprehensive value-creation methodology.

Further information on “Transforming Financial Institutions Value Creation through Technology Innovation and Operational Change” can be found on The book is available on Amazon and other retailers.


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