Financial News

Takeaways from the FS Leaders Summit

By Business & Finance
22 November 2021

The FS Leaders Summit took place on 18th November, bringing together global leaders in Financial Services

The FS Leaders Summit took place Thursday, 18th November, bringing together global leaders in Financial Services online, and hosting C-Suite engagement activities across Financial Services disciplines.

The role of finance is ever-changing, and today’s finance leaders inspired and influenced their peers and organisations to reach higher levels at the FS Leaders Summit. The brightest minds in Financial Services also explored the reinvention of the sector and the issues that the modernisation of finance, investment, regulation, banking and payments services will bring.

This event contained high-calibre thought leadership, and encouraged networking with with unique roundtable networking functionality. Aon were main partners of the event, alongside Ibec, KPMG, Expleo, A&L Goodbody, TrueLayer and Fintech Ireland.

Content from this year’s FS Summit is available to watch on demand here.

Here are some notable takeaways from the event:

1. Private investment needs to complement public spending

The event opened with Sarah Freeman, Managing Editor, Business & Finance Media Group, and Mairead McGuinness, Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability & Capital Markets Union, European Commission, who spoke about EU Future Finance.

Ms McGuinness noted that “if we want the economy to keep up with digital innovation and meet our climate goals, we need private investment to complement public spending, so the benefits of well functioning, deep and integrated capital markets are many.” 

2. The role of financial regulation

Gerry Cross, Director of Financial Regulation Policy and Risk, Central Bank of Ireland, addressed attendees in a keynote entitled ‘In Support of The Economy and Economic Wellbeing.’

He said: “The key role of financial regulation is to address the weaknesses and failings that markets exhibit and ensure that requirements are applied that mitigate or even eliminate such failings.”

He also noted that, “a further essential component of good regulation is high quality stakeholder engagement.”

Mr Cross was appointed Director of Financial Regulation Policy and Risk in May 2015. He leads the Central Bank’s work on prudential and markets conduct regulatory policy and its supervisory risk framework (PRISM). A member of the Board of Supervisors of EBA, and alternate member of EIOPA Board of Supervisors, Mr Cross co-chairs EBA’s Standing Committee on Regulation and Policy. He has had an extensive career in the area of financial services regulation.

3. The proceeds of a green loan are ring-fenced

Sarah Stafford, Head of Commercial Real Estate Ireland, Wells Fargo Bank International joined Michelle Daly, Senior Associate, A&L Goodbody, Pat McGinley, Chief Operating Officer, IPUT, and Ross Moore, Partner, A&L Goodbody to discuss ‘Green Financing – A Practical Perspective.’

During their conversation, Ms Daly spoke about green loans: “The proceeds of a green loan are ring-fenced, and they’re applied to specific green projects. From a borrower perspective, the ongoing compliance and reporting obligations stem from that focus. The challenge that the market is seeing at the moment is trying to strike a balance between requiring a level of compliance and reporting, which ensures transparency and visibility, but also does not act as a barrier to entry for a borrower that would like to avail of a green loan.”

4. Collaboration is key

Sendi Young, MD – Europe, Ripple spoke to James McCann, Founder & CEO, Clearstory about ‘Building Partnerships on Shifting Sands: How Banks and Fintechs are Building Relationships.’

Ms Young emphasised the need for collaboration to ensure banks are not at risk of being left behind in the technology arms race: “Collaboration has certainly been around for a while, but I think the stakes are definitely increasing for those who don’t pursue collaboration and they are running the risk of being left behind. It’s really competition and collaboration, that’s the new trend.”

Ms Young is a fintech executive with more than 16 years international experience in financial services/payments and consulting, with a focus on strategy, business development, partnerships, and product commercialisation. She is currently the Managing Director of Europe for Ripple.

5. Identify, protect, detect

Karl Curran, Head of M&A and Transaction Solutions, Aon Ireland and Richard Hanlon, EMEA Chief Commercial Officer, Aon Cyber Solutions joined Sarah Freeman, Managing Editor, Business & Finance Media Group to discuss ‘Cyber Security Risk – Balancing Risk & Opportunity Through Better Decisions’

Mr Hanlon noted that “if you focus your efforts on recovery and response you are just so vulnerable […] Start with identify, protect, detect and only then try to respond or recover.”

Mr Hanlon is EMEA Chief Commercial Officer at Aon’s Cyber Solutions which encompasses Cyber Insurance, Cyber Risk Consulting and Cyber Security services. He has over 30 years’ experience in technical leadership roles including leading cyber security teams to assist clients with cyber risk mitigation and resilience strategies.

Mr Curran joined the Aon Group in 2006 where he began his career as an account handler before moving to Aon’s Financial & Professional Services department in 2007. Today he leads Aon Ireland’s Cyber Practice, a role which involves dealing with large, complex Irish & multinational clients. He advises clients in a range of industries including life sciences/pharma, energy, aviation/marine and financial services.