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Bankers Focus Less on Public Image, More on Making Money

Over the last few years, senior banking executives have spent much of their time worrying about impending regulations and, to a lesser degree, their public image. Those concerns have now begun to wane as bankers have turned their focus back to their chief business: generating revenue.

Nearly one-third of senior banking execs say retaining the loyalty of their more demanding, better-informed clients is their number one challenge, according to a new survey conducted by software provider Temenos and consultancy Deloitte. Beating back competition – from both inside and outside of the industry – has grown into another significant concern for bankers. Competitive pressure was cited by 23% of respondents compared to 17% a year ago.

Managing the impact of new regulations – the top concern in 2012 – fell to second on the list as banks have begun to put the post-crisis fallout behind them. They’ve also stopped caring as much about what the rest of us think. Winning back the public’s trust was the biggest challenge for 13% of respondents in 2011. That number fell to 8% in 2012 and 5% so far this year.

So how do banks expect to appease customers and stave off competition? They appear ready to invest, and they’ll need to build up their technology teams to do it. Product innovation, IT modernization and investing in online channels are the three top priorities in the industry this year.

IT hiring is expected to be a huge priority in the coming years on both the institutional and retail levels. Top-quality software programmers, systems engineers and data analysts have become top targets for firms like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and HSBC, particularly in the investment banking and sales and trading arenas. Banks need to pony up, though, to chase off competition from Silicon Valley.

Typical Goldman Personality (eFinancialCareers)

Goldman Sachs attracts a lot of insecure overachieving people, intelligent folks who need a lot of external validation, said Andrew Stead, the ex-head of European convertible bond trading at Goldman Sachs.

Infrastructure Hires (Financial News)

Principal Global Investors may soon be accepting resumes. The U.S. asset manager is considering building out an infrastructure team through strategic hires.

Eldercare Passed Off To Wealth Managers (eFinancialCareers)

More and more wealthy individuals are facing the responsibility of providing for elderly relatives as well as supporting adult children and other family members, but few are planning for the morbid details. Most don’t even want to discuss it.

RIP, Marc Rich (Bloomberg)

The famed commodities trader who built a firm that grew into today’s Glencore Xstrata, died this week. He was 78. Rich was pardoned by President Bill Clinton in January 2001 after spending 17 years hiding out in Switzerland, avoiding more than 50 counts of wire fraud, racketeering and tax evasion.

It’s More than Just Numbers (Business Insider)

“I had forgotten that it was humans we were loaning money to and that it was humans who we were foreclosing on and it was humans whose governments were defaulting,” said one trader turned photographer.

Gay Marriage Support (Bloomberg)

J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs were among several Wall Street firms to champion the U.S. Supreme Court’s move to strike down a law that denies benefits to same-sex married couples.

Buzz Around the Office

Drowning Their Sorrows (MSN)

How do Boston Bruins fans get over losing the Stanley Cup? Visits to pornography sites increased 21% in the Boston area immediately following the Game 6 loss.

List of the Day: What Not to Say

In interviews, it’s all about wowing employers while not putting your foot in your mouth. Avoid these phrases at all costs.

  1. My last boss was a jerk.
  2. I’m really nervous.
  3. How much vacation time do you offer?

(Source: AOL Jobs)

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AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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