Had a few interesting conversations on this topic recently. One theme that was raised repeatedly was the desire for a transition to more agile business, with the ability to change rapidly.
An example given was the Apple App Store, where changes to Apple code are deployed easily. While that model is viable for retail technology, given three facts for most banks, that would not work:
- The analysis>development>test>release cycle
- Layers of management with deep risk aversion
- Banks don't have the technology staff of the calibre of Apple.
Perhaps banks would be better off looking at Banks and Car companies and If not banks, then who? and then consider an idea...
Why does any investment bank engage in production AND distribution of products? Why not source the products from a best-of-breed selection of firms and then distribute using the bank franchise? This already happens in some areas - how many banks actually run an ETF business versus those who effectively outsource to Mako or Jane Street?
So rather than try and transform a broken business model by adding in any number of buzz words from a list including:
- decentralised management
Why don't investment banks recognise their skills in client relationships, compliance, capital allocation and regulatory affairs and leave product to firms better able to develop product that folks want to buy?