Does the good old “little-boys-club” prevent innovation?

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This comic is dedicated with merit to three amazing and inspiring women, Penelope Gazin, Kate Dwyer and Katja Rieger.

Indeed, we have actually moved out of the jungle! Only to arrive at a self created new one, keeping some remaining stone age and amphibious structures alive! For decades research by scientists show that socially diverse groups are more innovative and attain superior financial performance than homogeneous groups. Yes, there is even a number: diverse companies outperform the industry norm by 35%. These are the facts!

So if the benefits are so obvious, why does uniformity and conformity still privail? Is it because of the y-chromosome, a built-in biological bias, stereotypes and discrimination? Or is it simply our favorite good old ‘little-boys-club’? If for any of the mentioned reasons, it prevails in different industries and bear and forbear in various segments of banking. On and foremost investment banking. Maybe, it’s not surprising that this segment is facing major disruption from fintech startups, regulation and security concerns. Infact, MarketWatch even question if invest banks have a place in our current financial future.

Although we know that a diverse  group of people with heterogeneous expertise supercede a homogeneous group at solving complex and uncommon problems, then what purpose does the ‘little-boys-club’ serve? Probably not to promote breakthrough innovations and unfettered discoveries! Well no, of course not, it serves itself! This uniform and homogenous club does not want to be challenged by savvy and astute ideas, by no means, it doesn’t want to be challenged at all.

Guess what, there are solutions from job-sharing, new technologies, return to work programs to quotas and surely many more. Probably no one of them will solve it completely. Except maybe one! As stated in the onset, the jungle and evolution in business seem to recognise inefficiencies and can on occassion cause disruption. Our ‘little-boys-club’ is a sure sign of corporate weakness, a relict of the past. So, if women do not account for a good 50% on board member levels, then we certainly know what the market has lined up – a new equilibrium!

Hilarius video with Penelope and Kate: https://business.facebook.com/attnlife/videos/1936072796655060/?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_messaging%3BJi7GM9i%2FRY%2Bl0vQqfMNB8g%3D%3D

British fromagers hit by possible “Tuxit” but London remains financial capital

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Charles de Gaulle once bemoaned the difficulty of governing a country with 246 varieties of cheese. This might have been one of the reasons he was deeply opposed to Britain ever joining the EU. He vetoed the UK’s application to join the Common Market in 1963, and then did so again in 1967.

Now Britain has finally got the hint. Its fromagers have risen to the challenge. They have been working hard to fulfil Monsieur de Gaulle’s vision. In the last 15 years, a burst of innovation in cheese making has seen Britain surpass France as the top producer of cheese.

Of course there is still a lot at stake here. The French and Italians now believe there is little point importing British cheese into their respective countries with Brexit. It makes very little sense to trade cheeses with Britain, once it leaves the EU. After all, British cows will receive completely different nutrients to EU cows after Brexit. Therefore, British cheeses just won’t taste the same.

It is of course Britain’s fault. They have chosen the path to “splendid isolation”. And, all that remains is to fill in the channel tunnel. Meanwhile, British fromagers will be lining up to relocate their headquarters to other Europe capitals to avoid “Tuxit”.

Thankfully though, the Britain still has London – a massive global financial centre.

Article by James Eagle

Dedicated to Pieter Buisman

Pierin Vincenz’s tentacles of pleasure land him in trouble

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There is absolutely no conflict of interest here! His interests challenge the “status quo” of normality and FINMA is just not used to such managerial dynamism. It’s all a complete misunderstanding. But fear not because former-Raiffeisen CEO Pierin Vincenz will clear things up pretty quickly.

These were not tentacles of conflict, but synergies to be harnessed. His deep routed connections in business, and perhaps in marital pleasure, have helped build Raiffeisen into Switzerland’s third largest bank.

Perhaps we should give him a medal. Or perhaps not.

Article by James Eagle

Bitcoin could do to banks what e-mail has done to our postal service

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We accepted their jammed keys, their snarled ribbons and their smudgy carbon paper for copies. It was our world, but we knew no better. Fortunately the PC arrived in this absence of logic and our lives changed forever.

Sometimes you need to look afresh at what we take for granted in order to innovate, like how we do banking. Here, bitcoin or more specifically blockchain could do to banks what email has done to our postal service. Perhaps it’s a little before its time, like the Internet before the web browser. But it’s surely not a hype?

Article by James Eagle

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