We have to become more like a technology company and be more agile. I see us as a financial services company that has to be completely technology literate.
Optimistic. That’s how Alexis George, Chief Executive Officer of AMP, describes her outlook for the next several years, even while acknowledging that we’re heading into troubled and uncertain waters.
Standing at the helm of a leading retail wealth management and banking business, she sees opportunity in the challenges ahead. With a robust balance sheet, new corporate strategy, values and purpose, AMP (operating in Australia and New Zealand with approximately 1.5 million customers and over 4,100 employees) is transforming at a time when it benefits businesses to be agile, forward-thinking and, crucially, attractive for talent.
“Getting any kind of labor is [very] challenging — from frontline customer service representatives through to highly skilled technologists,” Alexis George says. “There’s almost full employment at a time where we are also seeing rising interest rates and inflation. It’s an unusual situation. However, for companies that are in a strong position, there could be opportunities to entice and retain talent. Having great talent makes us a better, more secure business which can only be a good thing as we head into economic uncertainty.”
Digital innovation is also key to the future of AMP. “The technology to enable everyone to manage their finances online has changed exponentially over the past several years. We’re harnessing that to deliver for our customers in Australia and New Zealand. When customers interact with us, they want to interact with a digital-first organization — like the Googles of the world. An organization that simplifies the traditionally complex world of finance and makes money easy-to-understand.”
To deliver on that ambition, AMP is moving away from the legacy technology that’s common across the financial sector and is recentralizing its resources and moving to the cloud. “We have to become more like a technology company and be more agile. I see us as a financial services company that has to be completely technology literate.”
As AMP increases its digital capabilities, Alexis George acknowledges that the cyber security risk is also increasing. “Cyber security is absolutely one of the biggest risks for our industry as we face the future. We manage our risks well, but like any organization our data is a target. Privacy breaches and scams are threats, and cyber criminals are increasingly sophisticated, but that is the nature of the digital financial landscape. We must continue to adapt, prepare and respond.”
She continues: “Over the next 12 months, I believe our customers will want stability. We are determined to remain a stable, secure and innovative company that is delivering a service. In somewhere like Australia, consumer confidence has taken a dip. Maintaining our position has never been more important, especially in the face of even more future uncertainty.”