Tescher: ‘Set Up People for Success’ (June 6, 2013)
During the opening keynote address at the Underbanked Financial Services Forum, which kicked off yesterday in Miami, CFSI President and CEO Jennifer Tescher suggested that conference attendees view themselves as being in the financial health business. Drawing heavily on analogies to the health care industry throughout her address, Tescher explained that the American psyche is changing: Following a period of great uncertainty and deep recession, Americans are getting their financial houses in order and reducing debt. She cited an American Express study about the new definition of financial success—not necessarily making a lot of money, but learning how to spend money well—a generational shift, she posited, that puts the financial services industry at a crossroads.
“How does the industry stay relevant in the face of changing norms?” she asked. “If doctors are starting to rethink their roles, focusing on the ultimate goal of health, they need to help people lead healthy lives. Similarly, bankers have to set up people for success, not just put products and services in the market and hope for the best.”
Tescher touted CFSI’s Compass Principles of embracing inclusion, building trust, promoting success and creating opportunity as a way to navigate a new paradigm to success and added that businesses built around their customers’ success engender greater success in the long run. “How powerful would it be to embed consumer financial health measures into financial models,” she suggested.
Tescher concluded by challenging the audience to determine which side of history it wants to be on: stuck in the past or transitioning to the future of being in the financial health business. “At the end of the day, how we do what we do matters,” she said.