SRM (Strategic Resource Management), an independent advisory firm for financial institutions, is expanding its consulting services to Europe. For 25 years, SRM has provided North American banks and credit unions with the expertise, benchmarks and specialty skill sets required to lower costs, enhance revenues and establish a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
The dynamic nature of banking in Europe and the United Kingdom – including the EU’s PSD2 directive, UK’s Open Banking Initiative, rise of challenger banks and explosion of specialised FinTech solutions – has created a need for SRM’s expertise. The firm is already engaging with organisations in these territories, providing the objective, strategic and quantifiable counsel needed to develop the strategies, build the roadmaps, select the partners and negotiate the contracts that drive their technology and infrastructure decision-making process.
SRM Europe has seen these needs materialise in traditional consulting services and around areas such as business process reengineering, operational efficiency, optimisation of organisational structures, vendor selection and contract negotiation. Additionally, SRM Europe has seen an interest in its expertise specific to the business implications from new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as financial institutions explore the roles of these technologies in making them more efficient and cost effective.
Neil Whittaker, MBA, has taken on the role as managing director for SRM Europe. Born in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, Whittaker joined The Life Guards, the most senior and prestigious regiment in the British Army, at age 16. After 11 years in the military, he spent the next decade in banking, working for some of the biggest institutions in the world and in positions such as Director of Barclays Bank. He also attended some of the best universities including Cranfield and Yale. Whittaker has since spent the past 13 years consulting for major global institutions.
He commented, “Many financial services organisations here have seen their cost of compliance, simply the cost of being in business, increase significantly in the past 10 years. Meaning, their spend on discretionary items like a digital agenda or becoming more customer-centric has dwindled. We can help these entities release savings from within the organisation, resulting in investment opportunities that better their business.”
David Varney, most recently with MasterCard, and Richard Bissett, both former Barclays senior players, have also joined SRM Europe as consulting directors. Combined with Whittaker, the team has more than 70 years of collective banking and financial services and technology expertise. SRM’s European headquarters are located at 8 – 10 Hill Street, Mayfair, London.
Brad Downs, CEO of SRM, commented, “SRM has evolved its U.S. model over time to address specific market and market segment needs, and we will do the same in Europe. While our European services will not replicate our approach in North America, we do believe that many of the strengths of each will complement the other. The key to the success of both is a tenacious commitment to only entering into relationships where the benefit to both parties is clear.”