A Global Study

On Business Transformation Initiatives in the Financial Services Industry

In this report, we explore financial services leaders’ perspectives on seven key dimensions of business transformation initiatives – along with their assessment of their organization’s readiness to thrive in “the next economy.” Many financial services leaders are focused on keeping their heads above water and say they need to radically reshape their businesses to ensure readiness to meet the challenges of a complex future. Nearly two-thirds of these leaders acknowledge the need for complete organizational transformation, but a significant proportion believe the current market environment creates challenges to accomplishing business transformation.

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Mayer Brown is committed to helping our clients transform so they are ready for the next economy and can turn critical, complex, and challenging issues into opportunities for growth. We hope you find this study interesting and that it helps you to become The Next Organization – ready to thrive in “the next economy.”
Jon Van Gorp
Chair of Mayer Brown

A Longer-Term Planning Horizon is Needed

Based on a study of 635 business leaders, we learned that financial services leaders consider transforming their business to be crucial for survival and growth. They believe these transformation initiatives need to be extensive, rapid and long-term. Yet, due to the rapid pace of change and a range of market factors, most do not look beyond 12 months. It is important to shift the focus from “surviving” to “thriving.”
  • 86%

    Financial services firms that have an overall business transformation strategy in place—although most do not look beyond 12 months
  • 65%

    Financial institutions have an AI transformation strategy that only looks a maximum of 12 months ahead
  • 82%

    Investment firms that have net-zero transformation strategies that only look a maximum of 12 months ahead

Seven Dimensions of Successful Business Transformation

Respondents agree there are seven key dimensions which are critical to the success of business transformation initiatives. To further understand these seven dimensions, request a copy of The Next Organization.
  • Creative Capital

    80% of financial institutions and 76% of investment firms believe innovative financing solutions (including an increase in private sector credit) will power growth.
  • Geopolitical Agility

    84% of investment firm leaders say geopolitical agility will be critical for an organization’s expansion internationally in the future.
  • New Risk Mindset

    Nearly 80% of financial services organizations believe companies must take a proactive approach to risk management to pre-empt crises.
  • Regulation Anticipation

    Over 70% of financial services organizations highlighted regulatory anticipation and being able to adapt quickly to developments as crucial to transformation success.
  • Sustainability Focus

    77% of investment firms and 69% of financial institutions think leaders must embrace sustainability if they are to thrive in the next economy.
  • Tech Resilience

    77% of investment firms and 69% of financial institutions believe their organization must demonstrate resilience against increasing cyberattacks and keeping ahead of AI developments.
  • Visionary Growth & Leadership

    Nearly 80% of financial services organizations believe visionary leadership will enable companies to grow and outpace competitors in the next economy.

Lack of Preparedness

Only 1% of financial institution leaders believe they are making sufficient progress against all seven dimensions. To explore which dimensions are considered by financial services leaders to be priorities, request a copy of The Next Organization report.

Barriers to Success

Top potential barriers to business transformation include: a lack of growth opportunities in difficult market conditions, vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks, an increasingly burdensome tax environment, and the cost of transitioning to net zero. Request a copy of The Next Organization report.


Potential accelerators of business transformation include the end of cheap money (encouraging a pivot towards new sources of cheap capital), increased stakeholder activism, unpredictable regulatory environment, geopolitical turbulence, and M&A as a way to advance AI capabilities. Request a copy of The Next Organization report.

An Under-Utilized Resource: Legal Teams

Financial services executives consider general counsel and their legal teams to be important strategic resources for helping to accomplish business transformation goals – with nearly two-thirds agreeing with this. Yet, they note that there is a gap in the actual usage of these resources, as only 13% of financial institution leaders say that they “nearly always” seek advice from their legal teams to implement strategy and pursue growth opportunities. To learn more about this conundrum, download the report. To discuss the report in further detail, please contact nextorganization@mayerbrown.com.

Is Your Business Ready to Thrive in The Next Economy?

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