Roll up for the transaction banking gold rush!” was the rallying cry as 60 senior transaction bankers from across the globe convened for the annual iGTB Oxford School of Transaction Banking, hosted by corporate banking technology specialist Intellect Global Transaction Banking (iGTB). The continued acceleration of digital transformation was high on the agenda, and, with the world’s financing gap currently estimated at US$1.5 trillion, speakers and attendees alike sensed that corporate demand and banks’ ability to supply are on the cusp of peaking at the same time. But the many practical case studies and the taught Maturity Model highlighted key elements that need to be executed to achieve the results.

Following on from last year’s event, the course’s special curriculum, design by Andrew England, Strategy Director, iGTB – whose aim is to teach “how to run a successful and profitable transaction banking franchise” –  found itself oversubscribed once again. And the lucky few that were able to attend returned excellent feedback.  “The School imparts a huge amount of practical knowledge for banking professionals looking to build a successful transaction banking franchise,” says David Salter, Head of Structured Trade Finance Products at RBS.

This year, the event was again led by Ted Roosevelt Malloch, CEO, The Roosevelt Group and unearthed a number of practical considerations for banks looking to capitalize on the opportunity. A key consideration was identifying and addressing the challenges and limitations surrounding digital transformation – with new obstacles emerging at the same rate as new capabilities. These included being aware of hurdles that come with transitioning to fully-fledged product management organisations, being cognizant of internal culture and business decision-making processes, as well as understanding how to “fail fast” in order to innovate quicker. The need to work more closely with – and learn from – retail banking partners was another dominant theme, as was a reinforcement of the key mantra of client-centricity.

Kamal Shurbaji, Head of Corporate, Gulf Bank commented:  “The time spent at Oxford surrounded by bankers from all over the world as well as contributors and presenters with impressive and relevant experience had an incredible value in providing real cases based on real experiences with real results.” In addition to the course curriculum and activities, a host of high-profile speakers addressed those in attendance, for example Lord Stephen Green, former Chairman and CEO of HSBC Group, provided a whirlwind tour of geopolitics and economic realities across the world, outlining both risks and rewards on the immediate horizon – with a particular focus on the role of bankers in global trade flows.

With insights from industry veterans, the course enabled participants to test their own models in practical exercises using “Design Thinking” principles. These provided optimal solutions to key transaction banking challenges, while the overall course also shed light on how the industry is impacted by factors such as marketing, digitalisation, innovation, economics, and executive attitudes.

Kamal Shurbaji, CEO of iGTB, Intellect Design Arena said: “Once again, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from this year’s attendees, rating every session at an average 88%, and who are now swelling the growing, powerful and active alumnus group who support each other in their endeavours.  As we continue to enhance and refine the course content, and gather some of the most respected figures in the industry under one roof. Transaction banking is a core banking service – and one that has never been more relevant. Our curriculum is designed to enable banking professionals to realize the potential in their organizations. We want to continue raising the profile of this business, and we are already looking ahead to next year’s event starting on 3 April 2019, again in Oxford.”

One participant and speaker, Lisa Lansdowne-Higgins, Vice President, Business Deposits and Treasury Solutions, Royal Bank of Canada, summed up the exhilaration the students experienced, saying “iGTB allows banks to dream.”

About the Oxford School of Transaction Banking:

The school, founded in 2016, has the aim of helping senior transaction bankers to run, day-to-day, a successful transaction banking franchise. It is open by invitation only to heads of cash management, payments, liquidity, trade finance, supply chain finance (or equivalents) or above, in banks anywhere in the world. It is an intensive course based on Design Thinking, featuring a curriculum based on a three-level maturity model and six design levers, exercises where scholars practise using Design Thinking on real case studies, case studies of specific banks presented by the leaders in the banks who executed them, with additional speakers covering digital, economics, CEO attitudes, and marketing. The school takes place in the prestigious Rhodes House, Oxford, finishing at the exclusive Oxford and Cambridge Club in London, and also features a networking and cultural programme including a private tour of Oxford. Finally, alumni have private access to a site featuring prime content on transaction banking. The course ran between 14 and 16 February 2018 and continues to be sponsored by iGTB, with both iGTB and the Roosevelt Group formulating and moderating it.