Carlyle Launch Asset & Wealth Management Dinner Series

September 20, 2018

In August, Carlyle launched the Asset & Wealth Management Dinner Series, with the aim of providing a forum for the exchange of ideas, opportunities and challenges between Senior and Board level Asset and Wealth Management professionals. At the inaugural dinner, guests from across Asset and Investment Managers, Wealth, Private Banking, Platform and Social Investing were treated to a rare and enlightening address from Sir Sandy Crombie. Sir Sandy had a long career with Standard Life; launching Standard Life Investments and leading the largest UK mutual through demutualisation, before retiring as Group Chief Executive in 2009. His previous external roles include being a member of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s High Level Group on Financial Services, a Board member of the Association of British Insurers and a Non-Executive Director for RBS (2009 – 2018). Sir Sandy received a Knighthood for services to the Insurance industry in Scotland in the 2009 New Year’s Honours List.

The evening opened on the topic of change: specifically, the inevitability of change. Discussion focused around how businesses that accept and embrace constant transformation, both internally and externally, are more likely to create a competitive advantage: “What is inevitable will happen and the unsustainable cannot be sustained”. The consensus from the audience was that, in order to be an industry leader, a business must be prepared to make changes early and do so before they are necessitated by market forces. By leading from the front, an organisation distinguishes itself from its competitors, and as a result is viewed differently (and often, more favourably) by the consumer, the regulator and the wider industry.

Collective conversations around the table also centred on the paramount importance of a diverse culture and common core values in building credible and respected brands. Sir Sandy described that, in his experience, organisations in which there was a clear internal belief and engagement with the brand and its values saw tangible long-term benefits across the board. Although technology has undoubtedly helped to speed up certain processes as well as enable greater commercialisation of data, paradoxically, customer behaviours and demands which are driven by that very technology are placing an increasing burden on institutions. Despite this, it was universally felt amongst guests that the customer experience must come first as a metric of brand success: historical models of customer engagement are becoming irrelevant in the current market, and those organisations which will thrive are the ones who adapt, placing customer experience at the heart of their operating models.

The evening concluded with a keynote thought for organisations not just in Financial Services, but across all sectors: “As a business, you absolutely must know your purpose. For without knowing this, how else can you measure if you are fit for purpose?”

Future Asset & Wealth Management Dinner topics will be generated from both attendees and key issues facing organisations within this space. To learn more about upcoming dinners in this series, or our wider event programme, please contact laura.thorburn@carlyleassociates.co.uk.

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