FinServ 25: The Most Influential Voices In Banking

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.

Subscribe TodayA 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
brett-king-90x90The 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…

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2. Chris Skinner
Chris-SkinnerChris Skinner is CEO of the Finanser Ltd, and is known as an independent commentator on the financial markets and fintech through his daily blog updates. He is the author of fourteen books including his bestseller, Digital Bank and the sequel ValueWeb. He is Chair of the European networking forum The Financial Services Club and Nordic Finance Innovation, as well as being on the Advisory Boards of many companies including Innovate Finance, Moven and Meniga. Chris is also known worldwide for speaking and keynote presentations at leading industry forums.

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.

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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.

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4. Ron Shevlin
Ron ShevlinRon 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.

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5. Bradley Leimer
Bradley-LeimerBradley 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.

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6. David Birch
birch_david_0Dave Birch is a founding director of of innovation at Consult Hyperion, an independent strategic and technical consultancy, based in the UK and US, specialising in secure electronic transactions. Birch provides specialist consultancy support to clients around the world and is the author of the Tomorrow’s Transactions blog. Birch also a sought out speaker on the topic of new currencies.

Identity is the new money

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7. JP Nicols
JP NicolsAs the president/COO of Innosect and co-founder of the Bank Innovators Council, JP Nicols is recognized as a leading voice for innovation, strategy and leadership, and has previously been named to multiple international lists as a top financial services industry influencer and thought leader. JP posts regularly on his own blog and is constantly traveling the globe providing the guidance to organizations hoping to support an innovative culture.

Most financial institutions are ill-equipped to innovate, and fewer still are prepared to address their cultural barriers and their own ‘business prevention departments’.

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8. Rob Findlay
rob findlayRob Findlay is SVP of experience design at the Singapore-based DBS Bank and the founder of Next Bank, an independent, open and collaborative community driving change for the better in financial services through design, innovation and entrepreneurship. Rob is also a mentor for the StartupBootcamp FinTech accelerator and regular contributor to the Next Bank blog.

Starting with what the customer wants, and how they interact with money is not just the best way, its the ONLY way.

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9. Sam Maule
Sam Maule_90As co-leader of Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group‘s Emerging Payments Practice, Sam Maule focuses on alternative payments, P2P payments, and cryptocurrency as each relate to current and prospective clients. He is a highly sought after speaker and is the Chief Inspirational Officer at the Digital Finance Institute. His well thought out and highly visual presentations are some of the best in the industry.

FinTech, generally speaking, doesn’t give near enough attention to those who simply get $h*t done. The art of delivery and actual execution is highly under rated in our industry.

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10. Matteo Rizzi
Matteo-Rizzi-pic-90Matteo Rizzi co­-founded Innotribe, the innovation arm of SWIFT in 2008. This is where Matteo launched the Innotribe Startup Challenge, the first global challenge for FinTech entrepreneurs. In 2013, Matteo became a Partner in SBT Venture Capital, one of the first funds solely dedicated to FinTech investment. He regularly writes on FinTech and innovation on his personal blog.

The next generation of Financial Services will be fundamentally different. Our duty is not to fight the disruption, but to embrace it. The journey to fairer, faster, ubiquitous and global access to value has just begun.

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11. Michal Panowicz
m_panowiczMichal Panowicz is probably best known for the innovation he was a part of during his time at mBank in Poland. As the SVP & deputy head of digital banking at Nordea, Panowicz is a very highly sought after speaker on digital integration in the delivery process. His industry experience focuses on financial services and technology, combined with his functional expertise in operations & sales, strategy and finance management make him one of the true practitioners of digital banking.

Banks WILL digitize – they have gone through disruptive information technology transformations before, so can they now.”

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12. David Brear
David BrearDavid Brear has a deep range of experience in agency, consultancy and client side work for a number of top financial services brands. Brear is now part of the international Think Different Group. Previously, Brear headed the UK Digital Banking practice for Gartner Consulting, helping key banking clients put in place the right foundations and innovations to grow, expand, defend and run their markets and operations.

With technology lowering the barriers to entry and with neo banks and technology firms nipping at their toes, banks need to find a way to give birth to the next generation. They have the money and customers … now they just need the balls, the leadership and the culture to make it happen to defend their crowns.

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13. Jim Bruene
jim brueneSince 2007, Jim Bruene has been the ringleader of Finovate, the demo-only innovation showcases that have taken place in New York City, San Francisco, London and Singapore, drawing over 16,000 attendees. With a career that began in banking, Bruene has been a consistent and leading voice in banking for more than two decades, having founded the Online Banking Report (renamed the Digital Banking Report when sold to Jim Marous in 2014). An active observer of changes in the marketplace, Bruene authors the widely read Finovate and NetBanker blogs.

Twenty years into the digital banking era, newcomers have captured less than 1% of the market. That is about to change.”

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14. Elizabeth Lumley
Liz LumleyA self proclaimed ‘global FinTech ambassador’, Liz Lumley has been in charge of the multimedia editorial output and special projects at financial technology newswire Finextra since 2009. Interviewing some of the most interesting leaders in financial services through the years, Lumley is internationally recognized as one of the best journalists in the industry and is highly active on all social media channels.

There is nothing more disruptive than a female voice in FinTech.”

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15. Kosta Peric
Peric_KonstantinKosta Peric is currently deputy director, Financial Services for the Poor, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, accelerating the adoption and use of financial services in developing countries. Previously, he was a technologist and a co-founder of Innotribe, a team that promotes innovation at SWIFT. He is also the author of The Castle and the Sandbox, a book on how to innovate in conservative companies.

Innovation is about patience, perseverance and passion.”

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16. Cherian Abraham
Cherian AbrahamAs the mobile commerce and payments lead at Experian Global Consulting, Cherian Abraham serves Experian’s clients in banking, retail, consumer credit and payments on strategy, innovation and emerging business models around mobile. With almost two decades of international tech and strategy consulting experience, Abraham is one of the leading authorities on mobile commerce. Founder of DROP Labs, he writes a blog on mobile payments and commerce strategy focused on banking and retail.

Commenting on the current state of disruption in FinTech is similar to a critic penning the review, twenty minutes in to a movie … and just as futile.”

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17. Claire Cockerton
Claire Cockerton, Level39Claire Cockerton is the founding director and CEO of Innovate Finance, a City of London and Canary Wharf Group backed movement for a more balanced, resilient, and accessible financial services sector. Cockerton is also founder and chairwoman of Entiq, and set the strategy and co-led the implementation of Level39, Europe’s largest technology accelerator dedicated to FinTech, retail and smart cities technologies. Without a doubt, Cockerton is a serial entrepreneur and an influencer in financial services.

We are heading towards a tipping point in finance and banking where technology will radically change every aspect of the products offered, the businesses that deliver them, and the social and economic opportunities the sector creates for society as a whole.”

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18. Nektarios Liolios
Nektarios LioliosNektarios Liolios is the co-founder and global managing director at Startupbootcamp FinTech, a global network of FinTech accelerators. He has been a managing director at the firm since January 2014. Previously, he served as an Innovation Leader at Innotribe @ SWIFT.

We are only at the beginning of a truly transformational adventure in financial services and the big changes will not come from the obvious players or the obvious countries.”

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19. Sean Park
SEAN_PARKSean is founder, chairman and chief investment officer at Anthemis Group. Park combines a powerful mix of entrepreneurial, investment and corporate experience and is widely recognized as a leading independent thinker on the future of financial services. He is the author of The Park Paradigm, and has a proven track record of successfully investing in and advising innovative and disruptive startups. Always on the cutting edge of FinTech innovation, the Anthemis blog is a good read.

A key success factor will be your ability to exorcise any “not-invented-here” reflexes from your corporate mindset and culture.”

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20. Yann Ranchere
Yann RanchereYann Ranchere serves as the finance director at Anthemis Group, where he contributes to the principal investment activities, sourcing and review of potential investments. Ranchere has past experiences with Kurt Salmon and Deloitte, with in-depth knowledge of the trends shaping financial services innovation as well as the startup marketplace. Ranchere has had a financial services blog for more than five years.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller

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21. Tom Groenfeldt
Tom GroenfeldtTom Groenfeldt is Tom Groenfeldt is a freelance reporter who focuses largely on finance and technology including trading, risk, back office systems, big data, analytics, retail banking, international banking and e-commerce. His work appears in several publications, including Forbes.com in the U.S. and Banking Technology in London.

Is it just my imagination or is the pace of change in financial technology speeding up?”

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22. Duena Blomstrom
Duena BlomstromDuena Blomstrom is an independent digital banking consultant, FinTech specialist, entrepreneur and a mentor for Startupbootcamp and Techstars. Previously, Blomstrom was the head of sales and marketing for Meniga with a commitment to the customer experience philosophy of ’emotional banking.’ Blomstrom is very active in social media, with Next Bank and curates her own digital banking blog.

If we want FinTech to reach the potential we all got excited about, we owe it to the industry to crusade for replacing consultancy-speak with real talk and for forcing bankers to remember they are consumers too and have strong feelings about their money.”

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23. Peter Vander Auwera
Peter Vander AuweraPeter Vander Auwera is the co-founder of Innotribe: SWIFT‘s innovation initiative. He is the main architect and content creator of Innotribe at Sibos and a TEDx speaker. Vander Auwera also curates a very active blog that covers his perspectives on financial innovation, technology and corporate values.

Get out of the innovation sandbox.”

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24. Mike Dudas
mike-dudasMike Dudas is the co-founder and chief revenue office of Button, a firm that helps mobile app developers and marketers create better user experiences. Before Button, Dudas was the head of Mobile BD for Braintree/Venmo, helping grow the company to $12 bil in overall payments volume and $4 bil in mobile payments volume annually.

The unimaginably rapid growth of mobile commerce has relegated discussion of mobile wallets and payments to a sideshow.”

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25. William Sullivan
Bill SullivanWith over 15 years of strategy and transformation consulting experience within the U.S., Europe, and Asia, Bill Sullivan is the global head of Capgemini’s Financial Services Market Intelligence Group. Sullivan has worked extensively in the financial services industry, with a focus on wealth management, retail banking and insurance. He is a frequent industry speaker, connects through social media and leads the development of the World Retail Banking Report and World Wealth Report.

Change in the financial services industry is accelerating and banks need strong leadership committed to digitize the entire organization, simplify systems/processes to become more agile, and better leverage insights and data to deliver customized personal experience to an increasingly demanding client base.”

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Also Deserving Mention

While not in the top 25, the following individuals are also active in social media, appear at many industry events as thought leaders and were considered worthy of special consideration by the Financial Brand Crowdsourcing Panel.


Tom Noyes 
Tom NoyesTom is currently CEO of Commerce Signals. Noyes has over 20 years experience in banking, payments, venture finance, eCommerce, mobile and product innovation. He has worked with leading banks, mobile operators, payment networks, and regulators globally to bring innovation to consumers. Tom provides unique perspective based upon his global experience as a senior executive with Starpoint LLP, Citibank, Oracle, GartnerGroup as well as start-ups. His very well thought out perspectives are often published on his personal blog.
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Neff Hudson
Neff HudsonAs vice president for emerging channels and business leader for USAA’s award-winning mobile and tablet banking implementations, Neff Hudson oversees innovation and strategy development for emerging channels, including voice, video, social commerce and emerging payments. He is a highly sought after speaker and alternative channel practitioner.
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Christophe Langlois
Christophe LangloisChristophe Langlois is the social media senior managing consultant for IBM, with a key focus on the European financial services industry. Known for his very insightful Visible Banking blog and his involvement in dozens of trade association events, Langlois is one of the foremost authorities on social media in the banking industry.
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This article was originally published on April 27, 2015. All content © 2018 by The Financial Brand and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.

Comments

  1. Thank you! It’s quite an honor to be included on this list. I have spent time with so many of these people over the past five or six years and can genuinely say these are not only brilliant thinkers and practitioners of the future of financial services, these are incredible human beings. It’s a fantastic time to be working within this space – banking, fintech, payments – we are helping the industry evolve at just the right time. Thank you for helping drive this revolution with us.

  2. The one problem with lists – they are a finite number. Here’s a few of my additions: Dominic Venturo from US Bank, Neff Hudson from USAA, Simon Taylor Barclays, Faisal Khan – Mike Townsend – Brian Roemmele from ‘Around the Coin’, Jason Del Rey from Recode, James Wester from IDC, Erin McCune from Glenbrook, Claire Calmejane Lloyds, Phil Allen Lloyds, and a heck of a lot more out there.

  3. Jim Marous Jim Marous says:

    Great additions Sam. You will notice that we did include Neff on the list because of special mentions of him and Christophe Langlois by the panel. In addition, every one of the people you mention received votes in the process.

    Interestingly, 60% of the ballots included 3+ of the recognized influencers and 80%+ of the ballots had at least 2 leaders that ended up on the #FinServ25 list. With over 80 people receiving votes, there was a natural break in number of votes at #5, #10 and #25. Not going into the process knowing how many we would include, the tally actually set the thresholds for inclusion.

    I agree that all of the people you mention should be followed. They are all making a dramatic impact on the future of banking.

  4. I think deserving of being in the list, if not in the top ten, is Jeffry Pilcher (the creator of this site). And I wouldn’t have thought it self-aggrandizing if his name had appeared here in any way. It would make perfect sense considering the daily contributions from this site we all enjoy. Couple that along with the Forum conference that is now gaining wide notoriety and it would put him squarely near the top of the list. This is just my opinion, but I am sure it is shared by many others.

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