Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Mini Report: ASIAN Financial Services Congress 2010

Before I continue with my final post on Perhentian Island, I would like to share with you the ASIAN Financial Services Congress I made a special trip to Singapore for, and attended on 25th and 26th February 2010 at the Raffles City Convention Centre.

Following this post, I will be blogging about my meeting with Melody and Violet (it's great meeting both of you!), and also other leisurely stuff I did during my stay over the weekend. I had so much fun!


Throughout the two-day Congress, I was updating my Facebook as the event unfolded. I would like to do the same with Twitter but because of its 140-character limitation, I focused only on Facebook. It was enjoyable and very relevant financial topics were presented by leaders of the financial services industry. They provided insights on how financial institutions can rise and recover from the financial challenges and the lessons learned from the crisis. The complete list of speakers and their profiles can be viewed here.

Registration started at 8 a.m. I received a black laptop backpack when I registered filled with exhibitors' packs and magazines such as Banking & Payment ASIA and Enterprise Innovation.
Congress in progress. Some participants had yet to arrive, but the room was soon filled.
Attendees took the opportunity to network and talk to exhibitors during coffee break

There were multiple tracks touching on Technology Innovation (Track A), Business Process Optimization (Track B), and Risk Management, Compliance & Security (Track C). Attendees were free to choose the tracks they wish to attend during the two-day Congress.

My favorite was Track A on the first day covering the topic "Banking on the New Generation with Social Networking and Web 2.0," where Mr Gerd Schenkel (General Manager of Ubank) talked about the role of online social networking such as Facebook and Twitter in banking and financial services. Interesting thoughts. During the panel discussion, Mr Schenkel also addressed the question on how Ubank deals with negative feedback from customers or the public because everything's so transparent on its online platform (think forums and the likes).

Mr Michael Lor presented on Day Two Tomorrow's Retail Bank: A Path of Transformation. Before he took to the stage, he was with his team of executives talking with them and since I was seated beside the team during the plenary sessions, I, too, had the opportunity to speak with him. He is an articulate, friendly and pleasant person.
For the Closing Plenary, panel speakers were invited to discuss on the strategies for the Asian financial services on riding the upturn. Ms Rosalind Mathieson, Asia-Pacific Editor for News at Dow Jones Newswires was the moderator. Mr Michael Lor (second from the left) was also on the panel.
Finally, presentation of the Financial Insights Innovation Awards (FIIA). Below are the recipients representing their organizations.

I gained good exposure and insights from the Congress. If you're interested to see all the topics presented during the two-day event, please visit Agenda for the outline. I hope you've enjoyed this brief report of my experience!

Updated @ 3 March 2010, 1.15 p.m.:

Ubank tweeted about this post earlier this morning. What a pleasant surprise!