Asset servicing chiefs heap praise on teams adapting to ‘new normal’ through pandemic 

CEOs of asset servicing firms explained that the pandemic has sparked new attitudes towards business processes and technology.

By Joe Parsons

The top brass among asset servicing providers have praised how their workforce has adapted to the new ways of working during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study from PwC Luxembourg has found.  

According to interviews conducted by PwC with asset servicing CEOs and COOs from the likes of BNP Paribas Securities Services, CACEIS, HSBC, Mizuho Trust and Banking and State Street, among others, their businesses were able to adapt extremely quickly to the new form of working from home, while being able to minimise the impact on clients. 

In the paper, CEOs explained that the pandemic sparked new attitudes towards business processes, where decision making became quicker and more agile to cope with the new operating model.  

Comments like 80% is good enough and just do it became the new mantra, and a recognition that agility, trust, experience and being bold are necessary styles of leadership and decision making in such extreme circumstances,” the paper said. 

The paper said many CEOs reported their staff feel more empowered and trust to take on change projects. From this, the paper explained senior leaders should take important lessons from this experience to get the most out of staff in a way that enriches their role, motivates performance, and collectively resulting in a massive positive cultural shift within the firm.   

CEOs also said that their firm’s business continuity plans (BCPs) are being completely re-written, whereby they now have to take into account whole sectors of the industry having to work remotely.  

The pandemic has also sparked new attitudes towards how CEOs approach their technology. “Pre-crisis we took it [technology] for granted and didn’t pay too much attention – now we have a religious respect for it and our IT teams, and how technology can transform our lives in a positive way,” said one CEO.  

The pandemic has also sparked new attitudes towards outsourcing, which asset servicers are now facing requests to take on business for a wider range of servicers. You can read more on this in Global Custodian’s upcoming Summer Edition.