Jay Hooley has been an integral part of the history of Boston Financial. After leading Boston Financial as our president for 12 years and a former member of our board of directors, it was only fitting to have him open our annual Client Forum celebrating our 40th Anniversary. He spent time reflecting on “Old Home Week” as he called it. Pointing out that it is the people, the talent across our industry, and the purpose that has gotten us to where we are today. But like any transformational leader, he focused his discussion on the future and where we are headed. As he has done every time I have heard him speak, I walked away with a clearer picture of the future.
Where are we? Or maybe more fitting, who are we? Jay’s depiction of where we are today immediately conjured thoughts of big burly Clydesdale horses. We are an economy that is going to have to grind out growth and bear the burden of regulatory reform. And, we have the challenge of changing consumer behavior – investors want to stick with the sure, predicable bet.
So if we are living in a Clydesdale world, what should get us excited?
Although Jay focused on two common trends; globalization and technology, he had a thought provoking spin on each. Most of us have heard about the array of predications around emerging markets. Time will tell how big the markets will be, but suffice it to say, they will be significant going forward. Jay agreed and offered the idea that these markets will not only provide a return of double digit growth, but they will provide as significant of an opportunity to step in and assist with the ever increasing retirement defined benefits gap that exist worldwide, not just in the US.
Jay then took on technology and explored the concept of the digital revolution. He suggested we all read “Race Against the Machine” in order to get another perspective on how the digital revolution will impact our industry and workforce. He focused on a time where technology will be able to make judgments, i.e. the driverless car. He challenged us to think about what this would do to a workforce.
What is it going to take to succeed? To end the session Jay offered us three pieces of advice for the future. In addition, he outlined the steps State Street is taking to address these critical success factors.
- First, know your customer. He suggests we need to go beyond the surface and truly understand what drives the customer.
- Second, embrace the digital world. Yes, it can be a scary place, but imagine what insights are possible.
- And third, manage your reputation. He suggests that you can come back from a financial loss, but can almost never come back from a reputation one.
At Boston Financial, we could not agree more with Jay’s critical success factors. Our Global Relationship team is focused on understanding the customer and the customer’s customer. Our technology team is not just focused on what we can do to enhance our core record keeping platforms, we are focused on providing an array of insights to help both us and our clients work more efficiently and with higher quality. And lastly, from our CEO and President, Terry Metzger, and throughout the organization we are focused on our reputation and more importantly preserving our clients’ reputation.