As Co-Group CEO’s how are your individual roles and responsibilities defined?
Ian: We are amidst exciting times for Target, Bill and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to co-lead the business into the next stage of our evolution. My focus will be very much on business development and franchise growth. Our aim is to develop Target to become the go to provider of software and servicing for lenders, insurers and investment providers.
Bill: We have built up a phenomenal amount of expertise since establishment in 1979 and are very proud of what we have achieved with our clients. As we look ahead to 2016 and beyond, my focus will be on the day to day running of the operation and providing excellent service to our clients. I will also be driving the continuous improvement and development of our technology solutions
What challenges do you see our clients and the industry facing over the coming 12 months?
Largely, I would say these fall into the three R’s ; Regulatory, Risk and Reward:
Regulatory: With the lending industry now turning attention to the implementation of the EMCD ahead of the March 21st 2016 deadline, naturally this will be a key focus for clients and ourselves. Lenders across first charge and secured loans should be taking the opportunity to review their technology and servicing platforms to ensure compliance with the legislation, whilst also considering potential process efficiency improvements for their operations.
Risk and Reward: Our clients and the wider industry are looking to increase efficiency and margins, whilst driving down costs in an extremely competitive market. Our mission here is to help them meet their core objectives, enabling them to deliver for their customers, to beat their competitors and to grow their business.
If you didn’t work in this industry what job would you be doing now?
My background is in engineering but if I had lived my dreams I would have joined the RAF as a pilot!
Bill your role focusses on continuous development of technology and our servicing operations, whilst supporting our clients, what is your number one priority?
It has to be ensuring we are in a position to enable speed to market for our clients. Our industry continues to be transformed by new players and new technology so responding quickly to such transformation is imperative for our clients.
Thoughts from Ian
If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?
In the lead up to the financial crisis our industry was becoming back to front in the way it operated, prioritising increasing returns rather than designing everything around the customer. I’d like to see the financial services sector placing the customer at the heart of everything we do, and we can learn a lot on this from other sectors.
While the FCA is trying to achieve this change through regulation all businesses within our sector, Target included, need to take responsibility for fostering culture that centres on the customer. This should be a priority for all providers, particularly given the shifting dynamics which sees consumers move away from the inertia of the past and becoming increasingly mobile and and displaying low brand loyalty. Financial services providers must rethink their strategies, taking steps to enrich customer relationships. Businesses need to differentiate on service, enhance their customer experience and.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Be yourself, because everyone else is taken!
Ian you’ll be speaking at the CML’s flagship Annual Conference in November, can you give us a hint on your topic?
Yes of course, I’m looking forward to presenting to the CML members on November 10th, the programme looks strong with speakers from the FCA, The Treasury and many of the major players in the mortgage market –covering important topics from regulation, the sub-prime sector to the role of technology. My session links in nicely with the one thing I would change about the Financial Services industry! It will discuss the disaggregation of the market with a particular focus on new entrants, disruption and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. It should be a pretty informative day all round.