Bob Diamond, the Group CEO of Barclays Plc gave a keynote session on ‘Lessons Learnt: Working towards sustained economic growth post the global financial crisis’ at Strathmore Business School on Monday 12th March 2012. The session which was moderated by Sunny Bindra had the following key learnings:
One Barclays, one Africa
Africa has come of age with increasing flows of capital from China, India and other economies coming into individual countries without passing through the traditional hubs of London and New York.
Barclays intends to integrate their business operations throughout Africa to provide financial solutions to corporate and individual companies throughout the continent. One of the latest developments is the installation of numerous ATM machines, a cost effective strategy of building their network in the continent.
Why the sudden interest in Africa?
Momentum has been building over time. The world has come to the realization that political risks in Africa are manageable e.g. when Kenya went through a crisis in 2008 which the country has, since then, come out of.
There are vibrant business activities that generate even more business (business begets business) which leads to growth at the local and regional levels.
Barclays keys to future growth
As an organisation, Barclays is focused on execution of their strategy, defined as delivering on promises made to their stakeholders, on a day to day basis in the following areas:
Was the global financial crisis caused by greedy bankers / short term thinking?
There were a variety of factors that led to the 2007/8 market crash.
Why is Europe in such financial disarray?
The seeds for the current crises were sown in 1947 after the end of WW2 as a result of policies driven by fear of the dominance of the USA and other Eastern Economies. The challenges of financial integration are more economic than political and the effects e.g. austerity measures in Greece will be long term (for the next 20 30 years). However, the issues need to be addressed urgently because there are social consequences to problems like joblessness among the youth.
What have we learned from the financial crisis?
Who is Bob Diamond and how is it being CEO of a multinational organisation?
I grew up as one of nine children in Massachusetts. I worked my way through high school and college. My first job was as a lecturer in the School of Business, University of Connecticut. I have a very supportive family comprising of my wife Jennifer and three children.
I loves Barclays and the people in the organisation. I am energized by the opportunities they have to be the best in the world in what they do, the challenges and the opportunity for teamwork.
Click here to view the pictures of the day that was.
By Peter Mutua