On the 15th of May, on a sunny spring afternoon, dozens of students gathered together to listen to Mr. Tamás Ákos, dr., the Deputy CEO of CIB Bank responsible for the retail operations of 1,100 people.
Mr. Ákos has worked for several banks on three continents in the last fifteen years heading the retail franchise of MKB Bank,Budapest Bank (GE Capital) and CIB Bank (Intesa Group).
He began his presentation with sharing the insights of Jeffrey Immelt, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. based conglomerate General Electric. According to Mr. Immelt one has to decide between the life of an employee and the life of an entrepreneur, which at the same time is given only for the very few fortunate. For those who would be interested in the life of a true entrepreneur the autobiography of Richard Branson is highly recommended (‘Loosing my virginity’ – a perennial no. 1 international bestseller). For those who have a keen interest in climbing the corporate ladder, Jack Welch’s, the former GE Chairman and CEO’s book, is to be recommended titled ‘Winning’.
The work of a Deputy CEO is never easy, especially on the Hungarian banking market, which is a challenge for those who are facing the regulatory effects and the intense competition. Establishing a positive bottom line is ever more difficult, some players are responding with closing branches, some with decreasing their communications cost and the effects of cost-cutting are widespread.
On the revenue generation side the role of digital channels is not to be underestimated. The buying of available business databases or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is accompanied with Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
Handling premium customers is also a cornerstone in the competitive market because they contribute a significant portion of profits to every bank. Giving them preferential access in the Call Center or the branches is essential for retaining them for long.
Whether you would like to be an entrepreneur, like many IBS students with interests ranging from exports to the Internet start-ups, or you are about to join a blue chip company which are heavily represented in Budapest in service centers, Mr. Ákos’ presentation has been vital for many.
This guest lecture was part of the Banking and Risk Management course, in the BSc in Financial Management programme.