Swift at 40: Alain Raes
When did you join Swift? In what role?
May 1990. I had been recruited to form and lead a small sales planning, analysis and control team reporting to the new head of sales.
How did you see the organisation and how has it changed during your time there?
It was at the time a very bureaucratic company and not very customer oriented. One of the biggest changes amongst many others has been to bring back the customer interest and value at the centre of our strategy and developments.
What has been your biggest success while at Swift?
It is all about people. I am proud of having contributed to the development of a very customer-centric and efficient business development force.
Since your time at Swift, is there anything you would have changed?
Time to market has improved but still should be a lot faster.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the financial industry now? Does Swift have a role in addressing that?
Given our cooperative status, to find out within the financial industry the right consensus and support around our roles and functions especially in an increasingly competitive environment.
Should there be boundaries to Swift’s role?
I believe that a natural boundary will exist between the collaborative space and the financial institutions.
Any particular personal memories you want to share?
There are so many. I guess that most of them are about people collaborating, especially in intense times.
Where do you see Swift in the next 40 years?
Still in the collaborative space between financial institutions but more about developing and supporting value added services on top of messaging. I suspect that values like sound governance, security, resilience and integrity will be even more crucial than today.