Surveys, studies and whitepapers are released on a frequent basis concerning the top priority of financial services firms in the current market climate. However, these results rarely reflect the same priority as being the “top priority.” This leads me to the question: What should a financial services firm’s main concern really be?
Regulation, technology, staffing, compliance… the list of issues that financial services firms face on a daily basis goes on and on. But while all of these are important components in running an effective business, does one stand out above the rest? This is a question that we contemplate when creating our agendas for our industry events. We do our best to address each topic individually; however, there are usually so many that we could potentially address that, in the end, one of the biggest challenges is making everything fit into one day. For our 2011 events, we have found regulation to be a reoccurring theme at our conferences, whether it is in connection with operational risk, performance, derivatives or hedge funds, it is always there. Does this mean that for 2011 regulation really is the biggest and most important priority?
To me, the top priority should be whatever issue would create a domino effect throughout the business if something were to go wrong. For example, if regulation really was to be the top priority and your firm was unable to comply, then every other component would also come across issues down the line. Regulation very well could be the start of the domino effect, but maybe there is something even more specific. What do you think is the top priority that financial firms face?