Creating a platform for competitive regeneration

19th Annual Global CEO Survey/February 2016

In this year’s survey, global business leaders voice fresh concerns about economic and business growth. At the same time, they see a more divergent and multi-polar world where technology is transforming the expectations of customers and other stakeholders. In ‘Redefining business success in a changing world’, we explore how CEOs are addressing these challenges. We surveyed 1,409 CEOs in 83 countries and a range of industries in the last quarter of 2015, and conducted face-to-face interviews with 33 CEOs.

Key findings in the banking and capital markets sector


CaptureBanking and Capital Markets (BCM) organisations are facing the immediate challenges of economic and political uncertainty and the longer term impact of new technology, more exacting regulation and shifting customer expectations.

Some long-established business models are struggling to sustain competitive relevance in the wake of these developments. In turn, new entrants are changing the competitive playing field and blurring industry boundaries. But today’s market shake-up also opens up significant opportunities for reinvigorating growth and re-engaging with customers, employees and society as a whole.

In this report, we explore some of the key challenges and opportunities that are reshaping the BCM industry, focusing in particular on how to sustain returns in the face of uncertainty and change; how to navigate industry transformation and how to respond to changing customer, investor, employee, regulator, tax authority and other stakeholder expectations. We also look at how to define and measure success in this changing landscape.

If you are interested in reading more, please access our full report on the banking and capital markets sector “Creating a platform for competitive regeneration” here.


To see all results of the 19th Annual Global Survey, please visit



Outsourcing for SMEs: corporate support services

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have been working with accountants and fiduciaries regularly for many years. With the emergence of new business models and the trend to outsourcing administrative functions, the role of the traditional accounting firm is changing. Some have evolved to become experts in providing support services, managing and running integrated financial functions, IT systems and service processes.

Topics of this article:

  • Many aspects to consider when outsourcing
  • Complex HR processes

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The role of the traditional accountant-fiduciary is changing. While not everyone in the profession is following the trend, some larger firms in the accounting and fiduciary industry have already established themselves as providers of outsourcing services (corporate support services). They do this by enabling their clients to reduce the burden of time-consuming administrative processes and rationalise repetitive financial functions by transferring them to a shared service centre (SSC). In many cases these clients are less interested in cost savings than in profiting from targeted technical, legal and process expertise.

Reputable firms offering outsourcing services do much more than just making electronic platforms available. Besides the know-how and expertise they provide, a particular benefit is that they manage the risks entailed in outsourcing processes. Companies outsourcing processes shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that ‘out of sight’ means ‘out of mind’. Client/provider relationships tend to function well, for example, if the client appoints a contact to take responsibility for supplying the provider with the necessary information.

Outsourcing and offshoring finance functions

Large companies started delegating financial functions to external providers a long time ago. In recent years, more and more small and medium-sized enterprises have also been outsourcing their financial processes. This is a decision with strategic implications that can only be made properly on the basis of a well thought-out business case.

Topics of this article:

  • Nearshoring for SMEs
  • Pressure on costs and margins
  • Concentrating on core competencies
  • Operational readiness
  • Strategies for implementation

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There are various reasons why the trend towards shared services remains unbroken, with no end in sight: time and margin pressure, the desire and necessity of concentrating on core competencies while farming out as much of the rest as possible, and the need to maximise operational readiness.

Now that an increasing number of highly specialised service providers are offering shared services for many different small companies rather than just large organisations, outsourcing has become an interesting proposition for SMEs as well as big players. Since SMEs can rarely afford internal centralised shared services, nearshoring is generally more feasible than farshoring.

It’s important to bear in mind that processes at SMEs are often not as mature or standardised, meaning they’re only suitable candidates for outsourcing if the business case has been thought through properly.

SMEs in particular have to be aware that the processes set in motion by outsourcing have major implications in terms of culture change. If management fails to explain the intentions behind outsourcing clearly, they run the risk of losing staff with the best labour market profile who can find a new job most easily.

There are signs of imminent consolidation among providers of shared services to SMEs; they too have to go for volume, and providers who don’t have the critical mass won’t be able to compete.

Room for growth

room for growthEuropean cities hotel forecast for 2015/16

European cities hotel forecast 2015 and 2016 analyses trading trends and gives econometric forecasts for 20 cities, all national or regional capitals of finance, commerce and culture. This year, in addition to the economic and travel outlook, we also look at some thought provoking predictions for 2015 and their potential impact on hotels; as well as the impact of strong hotel trading on the deals outlook in Europe.

Click here to download the forecast.

Please contact me if you have any further questions.