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private banking magazinDigitization & IT2 MIN READING TIME2018-01-12

How the team structure in Private Banking has to be rethought

The now-defunct "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" publisher Frank Schirrmacher described the consequences of an outdated society as early as 2004 and could thus have meant personal development in private banking. How the team structure in times of digital projects and increasing retirement must be rethought.

In terms of human resources, hardly any industry has to deal so intensively with the two megatrends of demographics and digitization as private banking. Length of stay and average age are above average. The graph below shows that over the next 15 years, 32 percent of current private banking employees are expected to retire. With them, the industry loses enormous know-how, important networks as well as decades of customer loyalty.

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Since Private Banking has been losing its attraction for years, the number of suitable junior staff has also declined. A personnel market study by the consulting firm Zeb shows that even today 20 percent of banks have great problems filling vacancies in private banking with suitable personnel. In addition, many institutions, driven by ongoing pressure on costs and consolidation, will have to continue reducing their workforce. Overall, the demographic trend of aging private banking is likely to intensify further.

At the same time, banks have to react to the burgeoning digitization wave with their aging workforces. Especially older employees are at risk of being overwhelmed by changes in customer behavior and new work equipment. While consulting to date has been characterized by direct customer contact, the current trend is towards on-demand service.

Although personal attention with individual customer contact will continue to be the core competence of banks, content and implementation will change drastically. The resulting challenges can only be mastered by the financial industry if digital knowledge can be acquired and experience shared across the workforce. And this across age, professional and hierarchical boundaries.

In this context, the older generation will have an important role to play: By 2020, 20 percent more employees will be between the ages of 50 and 64, with a 20 percent reduction in employees aged between 35 and 49 - the so-called 20-20-20 -Rule. All innovative measures of the coming years must therefore be supported and implemented by experienced staff in particular.

In order to be one of the winners of digital transformation as a bank, it is necessary to make the best possible use of the existing potential of existing personnel and their structure. These potentials can be raised by institutionalized development measures. According to recent findings, personal development is one of the most important motivators for employees of all ages - but the importance of employees of the 50plus generation is underestimated.

On the one hand, so-called buddy programs could serve to mix the generation knowledge within the company. In the classic sense, companies use these to transfer knowledge from experienced employees to junior staff. In the context of digitization, however, the buddy programs should enable a mutual knowledge transfer. On the other hand, freely organized working groups, following the example of think tanks, offer employees the opportunity to develop themselves vertically within the company.

The struggle of the banks for one of the leading positions in the digital future of private banking has begun. Currently, the focus here is mostly on recruiting young employees who breathe the digital world because they grew up in it. In addition to these digital natives, however, the experienced staff must also be involved - solely against the backdrop of the age structure of the industry.

About the authors:
Patrick Gatzemeier works as a consultant for the consulting firm Zeb in the private banking, asset & wealth management practice group. His focus is on projects on strategy and organization.

Julian Storz works for Zeb as an analyst in the Risk & Advanced Methodology practice group. He accompanies in particular projects from the financial and risk management.

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