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Industry expertise

A rare combination of expertise to support Senior Management

In an increasingly mature market, subject to increasing regulatory pressure, Banks and Insurance Companies are being forced to rethink their economic models, develop innovative strategies, transform their management practices and launch decisive actions to enable them to maintain their profitability while continuing to grow.

To support Senior Management on all key issues, Ares & Co relies on the extensive experience of its team in strategy consulting, its in-depth knowledge of banking, insurance and investment funds as well as its advanced expertise in data processing and modelling.

Our teams combine specialised sector expertise, cross-functional skills focused on strategy and management consulting and ‘analytics inside’ expertise for financial services. A proven specialisation which, combined with our close collaboration with our clients, guarantees highly impactful results. Our consultants are assured of acquiring in-depth sector-specific and consulting expertise.

Banks

Retail banks

Investment banks

Development banks

Consumer Finance

Banks

Retail banks

Investment banks

Development banks

Consumer Finance

Insurance

General insurers

Mutual insurers without intermediaries & 45

Benefit institutions

Large brokers

Insurance

General insurers

Mutual insurers without intermediaries & 45

Benefit institutions

Large brokers

Investment Funds

Private equity

FinTech & InsurTech

Investment Funds

Private equity

FinTech & InsurTech

Corporate Functions

Senior Management

Finance Department

Risk Management Department

Marketing Department

Corporate Functions

Senior Management

Finance Department

Risk Management Department

Marketing Department

Our other areas of expertise

Artificial Intelligence

An explosion in global investment in AI and the number of companies across all sectors

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Artificial Intelligence

While the basic technology of Artificial Intelligence has been around for decades, it is only in the last decade or so that interest in AI and its potential applications has accelerated in various spheres of society. The advent of Big Data has profoundly contributed to this change, with an exponential increase in the capacity to collect and process considerable volumes of data, computing, storage, connectivity capacities, etc.

As a result, global investment in AI and the number of companies in all sectors using AI technologies are surging.

For the financial services sector, which has particularly large volumes of data, it is likely that AI will give rise to significant improvements in the customer relationship: new customer information, increased personalisation of guarantees, services and prices, enhancement of the experience, etc. But the challenge goes far beyond personalising the offer and customer satisfaction. The adoption of these new technologies could impact the entire value chain within the sector and lead to an unprecedented qualitative leap, in particular regarding the efficiency of existing processes (streamlining of management costs, reduction of the risk of error, better detection of fraud, etc.). Apart from that, it could also provide a great opportunity to consider disruptive business models by covering new risks and offering new services.

Ares & Co supports its clients in particular in understanding the contours of this potential upheaval in order to help them better anticipate and understand the opportunities but also the risks associated with such a transformation.

Consumer Credit

Despite sharp falls in interest rates, traditional credit-based consumer segments remain buoyant

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Consumer Credit

The consumer credit market is highly correlated to household consumption and evolves structurally under the effect of new consumer profiles (younger and older) and new uses (substitution of leasing for purchasing and the immediacy of new credit).

Despite the sharp falls in interest rates, traditional consumer segments that rely on credit remain buoyant (means of transport, renovation and home equipment) and new segments are opening up to credit (healthcare, studies, leisure and clothing).

In France, as a result of these new practices and the legislative framework provided by the Lagarde and Hamon Acts, the types of credit products are changing significantly (consolidation of allocated and unallocated amortisable loans, reduction in revolving credit and the accelerated development of leasing and bank overdrafts).

Competition within and between the three main types of company in this market – automotive captives, consumer credit specialists and traditional banks – is only increasing and the emergence of new organisations, sometimes not strictly banking professionals, creates an additional risk of disintermediation. Relations between credit specialists and distributors (the so-called long circuit) are changing under the twofold effect of the development of e-commerce and the entry of new challengers into the market.

Ares & Co helps consumer credit institutions adapt, in particular regarding:

  • The launch of new offers (Go to market)
  • Changes in lending rules
  • Rationalisation of the costs of risk
  • Credit portfolio review (NPL and securitisation)

Payments

The payments industry is being reshaped by deep shifts on both the supply and demand side

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Payments

On the supply side, competition is exacerbated by the arrival of new organisations building their competitive advantages on innovative technology (mobile applications, technical resources such as NFC, Artificial Intelligence, etc.) and a regulatory environment offering fertile ground for new developments in the sector (Target Payment System initiative, register for transfers via email, DSP2, etc.).

The consumer side is dominated by the search for payment practices adapted to the new modes of consumption, prioritising immediacy and simplicity. The product mix is changing with the growth of contactless and mobile payments, as well as a marked decline in the use of cash and cheques. For traditional payment organisations, it is now a question of finding sustainable and profitable strategies to respond to changes in the sector.

Ares & Co supports those in the payment industry by offering:

  • The definition of strategic plans in connection with Payment covering various scopes: new resources, shared cash management, Instant Payment program
  • Formal prospective studies: volumes of business within the fiduciary sector, benchmarks of payment costs, potential for substitution between means of payment and impacts on the sector’s economic model
  • The structuring of the organisations in charge of the payment business

Fintechs

Fintechs are a new but promising field of investigation

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Fintechs

The financial services sector attracts start-ups, which find many development opportunities there. Fintechs, for example, are among the leading categories of start-ups in the world by amount of investment. All banking activities are concerned: Online banking, crowdfunding, mobile payment, savings management, financial and decision-making consulting.

The Fintech wave is based on the convergence of several types of disruptive innovations (data transmission, storage and exploitation and artificial intelligence). Fintechs constitute both a threat and an opportunity for traditional players in financial services and offer a new but promising area of investigation.

Ares & Co supports various institutions for which knowledge of this multiform world is strategic:

  • Partnership strategy with consumer credit Fintechs as part of a product launch
  • Market study for a fund in a niche investment sector
  • Study of investment opportunities in Fintechs in Eastern Europe for an international institution
  • Study of the financial sector in Africa (mobile payments and money transfers) including Fintechs
  • Platform strategy, including Fintechs, for a French banking group

Customer Journey

Fully appreciate the power of customer journeys integrated with third parties

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Customer Journey

Historically defined as consulting and interaction businesses, banking and insurance activities are increasingly approached by consumers as commodities that must comply with the standards of accessibility and speed applicable in other industries. The rise in the number of means of remote communication (chatbot, email, mobile applications, etc.) is increasing the number of contact possibilities.

You can now communicate with your customer by navigating seamlessly between the various channels and directing them towards the means of interaction (human or digital) that best meets their expectations. This implies high-quality and continuous transmission of information so that changes in channels, whether digital or physical/human, are perceived as painless by the consumer.

The majority of firms have already made significant progress in terms of their own activities: online customer area, mobile applications, monitoring of operations and claims, etc. The aim now is to fully harness the power of customer journeys integrated with third parties, such as platforms and ecosystems.

Ares & Co supports financial services firms, in particular by:

  • Redefining customer journeys in line with new models
  • Building new economic and operational models in collaboration with partners