🇺🇸 Finimize touches down in Boston

The first-ever community-hosted Finimize event took place in Boston last Friday. Over 30 people attended a panel session on the future relationship between millennials and banks, sprinkled throughout with engaging questions and a chance to mingle with the speakers afterwards. Shoutout to Finimizer Marija Gavrilov for organizing the event!

(From left to right): Marija Gavrilov, Michael Brown, John Battaglia, Ryan Fullam

The Organizer

Marija, originally from Serbia and currently working on one of tech’s favorite newsletters, Exponential View, had reached out to me a while back about hosting an event for Finimize in the US. Given Finimize’s mission of empowering our generation to become their own financial advisors, she came up with a hot topic — the future of banks.

Millennials in Finance

To give a quick bit of background, millennials are the largest generation in US history. And they’re expected to make up 40% of the workforce by 2022! Being the first digitally native generation, they’re challenging businesses to win them over in this new age. Meanwhile, banks are having a tough time. The American Bankers Association reports that 71% of millennials would rather go to the dentist than listen to what banks are saying. So we pondered: what do bank executives think about this? And what do millennials have to tell them?

The Speakers

Marija set up a panel of three bankers from the Boston area. The speakers ranged in experience and expertise, which made for an exciting and wide-ranging discussion. John Battaglia, the first speaker — a Senior VP, Mortgage Operations at Cooperative Bank — brought over 30 years of experience as a mortgage banking executive to the table. Michael Brown, a regional manager for Citizens Bank, brought his day-to-day experiences with customers in Boston Area; and Ryan Fullam, a Business Banking Market Manager and VP of Citizens Bank, approached the topic from a wider angle of how our generation is influencing banks’ overall business models.

Taking notes 🤓

The Conversation

Interestingly enough, all three agreed that fintech startups are very important for the future of their banks, and that we’ll see bank branches change –they’ll get smaller and more customer-friendly. Despite millennials’ reputation as digital buffs, face-to-face interactions still matter to us, and our panelists emphasized that many of their efforts are going towards meeting customers where they are, instead of expecting them to take a trip to the bank (perhaps on their way back from the dentist).

The Event

The event took place on a Friday evening in the heart of Boston’s financial district at CIC Anchor, an innovative incubator space. Attendees enjoyed SOUND Sparkling Tea and even more effervescent conversation!

Many great questions were asked throughout. One guest noted that the vocabulary of banks has changed to stress that banks provide well-being as a priority, partially to alleviate loss of trust after the 2008 crisis. Another attendee wondered whether automation and changes in the workforce were going to affect banks’ operations.

Once again, huge thanks must go to Marija for making this all happen! Maybe Team Finimize will make it out to the next event across the pond… 😉

Do you want to host a Finimize event in your city? All you need is a location and idea! We’ll send over swag and help you organize. So don’t hesitate — shoot me a line here.

~Anna, Community at Finimize