Determining the most influential people in banking is not just about social media scores. With this in mind, more than 100 global leaders in the financial services industry were asked to identify the top 'influencers' who are leading the charge in an industry being disrupted. The influencers selected are considered thought leaders on critical topics such as mobile and online delivery, digital transformation, innovation, payments, customer experience and and multichannel marketing.
Over the past several months, many publications have created lists of people who are considered influential in the financial services industry. Most of these lists use the ‘social media influence’ of these key industry leaders.
A social media metric like Klout is far from perfect, however, and is not a complete representation of someone’s actual influence. For example, Jamie Dimon, who has considerable influence in the financial services industry, doesn’t have a Klout score at all because he is not active on social channels. So, how can we better determine who is influential in financial services?
Using Twitter’s new group messaging capability, a distinctive group of FinTech leaders took an informal poll and found that many industry influencers were often unrecognized in these social media based listings. As an outgrowth of these lively discussions, it was decided to reach out to the Financial Brand Crowdsourcing Panel for a broader opinion of who the financial services industry itself thought was influential.
The survey included over 100 bankers, credit union executives, solution providers, consultants and analysts worldwide, asking the question, “Who do you follow, read, watch and listen to in the industry?” The panel was also asked who they respected and referred to when trying to better understand the banking industry’s transformation.
The response to this first ever industry survey of influencers was overwhelming. Over 400 votes were cast (the survey allowed for 5 people to be recognized on each ballot), with 85 different individuals receiving a mention. While many of the names were familiar, some have been relative unknowns until recently, gaining influence in the areas of retail financial services, FinTech investment, technology, customer experience and innovation.
Each of the FinServ 25 received a required threshold number of votes from the Financial Brand Crowdsourcing Panel. The influencers selected were generous enough to provide a short quote regarding their perspective on the industry or a recommendation for the future that has been included in their profile.
Congratulations to all of these leaders who are making a significant impact on the banking industry through the sharing of ideas and visionary perspectives. According to their peers, they are all worth following.
The Top 25 Influencers in Banking
The FinServ 25 are recognized as the ‘who’s who’ for insight and thought leadership in financial services. In many instances, their active social media presence makes them easily accessible, and their regular writings and speaking provide insight into a very dynamic industry. While everyone who received a vote have influence, the Financial Brand Crowdsourcing Panel overwhelmingly believed the top 25 leaders were the ‘voice of banking’ today … and the most interesting to follow.
1. Brett King
The CEO and co-founder of Moven, King is also a bestselling author and Breaking Banks radio show host. Often provocative and sometimes polarizing, King was named “King of the Disruptors” by Banking Exchange magazine, with American Banker naming him Innovator of the Year in 2012. King has been regularly featured in trade and business publications as well as broadcasts, and has spoken to more than a quarter of a million finance professionals in over 40 countries in the last 3 years. He is currently working on his newest book, Augmented, due out this Fall. You can follow Brett’s thoughts on his Banking4Tomorrow blog.
“If you don’t like rapid, earth-shattering change and you work in a bank, you should start looking for a new job in another industry…“
2. Chris Skinner
Chris Skinner is a London-based independent commentator on the financial markets and the chairman of the Financial Services Club. He is the author of ten books including his most recent bestseller, Digital Bank. He is also chief executive of the research firm, Balatro Ltd, and a regular commentator on BBC News, Sky News and Bloomberg about banking issues. Chris is known for regular speaking and keynote presentations at leading industry forums. You can also follow Chris’ daily writings on his Financial Services Club blog.
“Just like Apple, there’s a lot of folks trying to associate themselves with the FinTech brand but, for me, these guys are the real deal.”
3. Jim Marous
Jim Marous started his career in banking and is currently the co-publisher of The Financial Brand and well as the owner and publisher of the Digital Banking Report. Named as one of the most influential people in banking and a top 5 fintech influencer to follow, Marous advises on innovation, portfolio growth, customer experience, marketing strategies, channel shift, payments and digital transformation within the financial services industry. Marous has been featured on CNBC, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Financial Times, The Economist and the American Banker, and has advised the White House on banking policy and spoken worldwide.
“The biggest challenge for banking in this age of disruption will be to break free from the patterns and comfort level of the past and accept the realities of the new digital marketplace – it is the non-banks that are setting the expectations for the new generation of banking consumers.“
4. Ron Shevlin
Ron Shevlin has been a management consultant and industry analyst for more than 25 years, working for leading consulting and analyst firms like Aite Group, Forrester Research, and KPMG Nolan Norton. Shevlin is currently director of research at Cornerstone Advisors where his research focuses on retail banking products and services. He is the author of the bestseller, Smarter Bank and is the author of the award-winning blog Snarketing 2.0 which is published by The Financial Brand. He is also a regular guest on the Breaking Banks radio show, providing his offbeat take on the issues faced in the banking industry.
“The talk of impending death of large banks is way overstated, as is talk of the ‘unbundling’ of banking. Large FIs will become ‘rebundlers’ – integrating and coordinating the products and services of hundreds of smaller players and upstarts into cohesive and coherent offerings that consumers can make sense of. That’s the future of banking. Industries get disrupted by technologies, not by individual firms.“
5. Bradley Leimer
Bradley Leimer is the head of innovation at Santander, N.A., where his team serves as an observatory for the Santander global organization on trends originating in the U.S. that have the potential to expand and accelerate globally. He has additional perspective leading marketing and technology efforts from within the bank and credit union industry and from working with more than 6,500 financial services clients. Bradley is an outspoken writer and speaker about banking and technology trends, and is an advisor for startups and industry conferences.
“Working together, we’re making financial services and financial technology better and more inclusive for generations to come.“