New People, New Strategy: AIBF Defines Its Future: Fellows of the Australasian Institute of Banking and Finance Sit at the Helm of Most Major Financial Institutions in Australia and New Zealand. How Did the AIBF Develop This Brand Value and How Are We Positioning Ourselves to Extend It within the Industry?

By Unkles, John | Journal of Banking and Financial Services, April-May 2004 | Go to article overview

New People, New Strategy: AIBF Defines Its Future: Fellows of the Australasian Institute of Banking and Finance Sit at the Helm of Most Major Financial Institutions in Australia and New Zealand. How Did the AIBF Develop This Brand Value and How Are We Positioning Ourselves to Extend It within the Industry?


Unkles, John, Journal of Banking and Financial Services


The AIBF has a strong track record as an education facilitator and provider of services to banking and finance professionals. We are building on this longstanding relationship with the industry by continually updating our services to meet the changing needs of current and prospective members.

Over the past 18 months, the AIBF has significantly enhanced and developed its capabilities as providers of professional accreditation, education and professional development.

The response from members has been encouraging, with demand for our professional development functions--including breakfast and lunch functions and half-day and full-day forums--increasing dramatically. One such breakfast event on the topic of leadership recently sold out within 24 hours and we could have sold out the event three times over.

We have also made considerable inroads into other areas such as training, especially customised corporate in-house training programs

Developments at the top

Recently the AIBF made several new appointments at both board and regional executive officer level. These appointees have a wealth of experience in banking and financial services and are committed to ensuring we remain the preferred provider of these services for industry professionals.

In March 2004, Ian MacDonald was appointed AIBF president. Ian is the National Australia Bank's executive general manager for financial services Australia, responsible for the National's core retail and business banking activities domestically. He also has significant international markets experience, most recently as chief operating officer of the bank's Yorkshire Bank arm in the UK.

Ian is an AIBF Fellow and has been a strong supporter of the institute. He was, for example, one of our key speakers at the AIBF retail services forum in Sydney last yean

Ian is very enthusiastic about the opportunities to develop further the AIBF's role within the industry. He is also keen to push ahead with the current strategic review of the AIBF, initiated by our immediate past president Frank Cicutto. The review is focusing on how we can maintain our relevance to stakeholders.

"This review provides an important opportunity to revitalise the AIBF and make certain we can meet both the current and future needs of our corporate and individual members," Ian says.

"We want to determine the best means of developing our education services and gaining further traction in continuous professional development and training".

By tackling head-on the strategic issues most banking institutes face internationally, Ian says the AIBF can ensure its products deliver value for members and attract new members. "thus taking the first steps towards securing the future of the AIBF for a further 118 years."

It is also very pleasing to have two new board members with expertise in human resource management. These are Colin Pitt, St George Bank's general manager for the bank's corporate performance centre and Greg Barnier, Westpac's head of people and performance service and operations centre.

Colin and Greg have significant first-hand knowledge of rapidly evolving corporate training requirements and the professional development needs of financial service professionals. They will undoubtedly provide strong contributions to the board's work.

We also have three new appointees to our dynamic team of regional executive officers, with many years' experience in banking, consulting and public relations. They are Haydn Park in Victoria, Jan Gaebler in South Australia and Wayne Price in Queensland. The trio may be new to the AIBF executive, but are far from new to the industry and will be great assets to the organisation along with our existing team.

Haydn, in particular, has an enormous network of contacts across the profession which he has developed over a long and highly visible banking and public relations career at the National Australia Bank.

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New People, New Strategy: AIBF Defines Its Future: Fellows of the Australasian Institute of Banking and Finance Sit at the Helm of Most Major Financial Institutions in Australia and New Zealand. How Did the AIBF Develop This Brand Value and How Are We Positioning Ourselves to Extend It within the Industry?
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