NEW YORK, Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Deloitte Center for Financial Services will be led by a new executive director, Jim Eckenrode, it was announced today.
In this role, Eckenrode is responsible for setting the Center's overall strategy, which includes providing forward-looking and actionable financial services research, client forums and webcasts to clients. Eckenrode succeeds Adam Schneider, who held the role since October 2011; Schneider will continue his work with the Center as its chief advisor.
"Throughout Jim's career, he has developed a strong reputation as an insightful and ahead-of-the-curve thinker on the steepest challenges that financial institutions face, particularly in the technology area," said Bob Contri, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and the national industry leader of Deloitte's financial services group. "After having spent two decades advising senior executives from the world's largest banks and technology companies, I am thrilled that Jim will be taking on this new role and am confident that he will continue to elevate our efforts in the financial services industry."
In the near future, the Center will tackle more original insights and customer surveys around regulatory challenges, financial services companies' client needs and expectations, technology shifts and opportunities, and evolving market structure. In particular, the Center will increase its focus on technology's impact on business. The Center's efforts will look both at issues from a cross-industry perspective, as well as the specific challenges facing banks, capital markets firms, mutual fund companies, private equity firms, hedge funds, insurance carriers and real estate organizations operating globally.
Eckenrode brings more than a decade of research experience within the financial services industry to Deloitte. Most recently, he served as the banking research executive at TowerGroup, a global financial services technology research and advisory firm, where he was responsible for developing the agenda, research methodologies and quality of reports focused on the strategic role and influence of IT in the banking and payments sectors.
Eckenrode also led TowerGroup's cross-industry research efforts, which included the development of industry technology spending estimation and other research methodologies. He joined TowerGroup in 1998, starting as a manager of consulting services before becoming the group director of consumer banking research in 2001. Other roles included vice president of banking and payments research.
"It's not enough for financial institutions to simply re-attempt old strategies like cost-cutting, focusing on the most-profitable customers and investing in compliance," said Eckenrode. "The financial services industry is rapidly becoming a technology business, whether leaders care to admit it or not. As such, the effective and creative utilization of mobility, social platforms, and data will become a key characteristic of future winners and losers in the industry. The Center is dedicated to producing actionable research that will help executives plan for and take advantage of these dynamic times."
Eckenrode added, "Our hope is that, in 2013, we will be able to see the emergence of a few financial companies that really do take on the hard work of restructuring their operational and technology platforms — perhaps not in all areas, nor all at once. Nevertheless, we will likely see those few lead the more conservative fast-followers out of what they've created for themselves over the past three decades."
Eckenrode has been a keynote speaker at major industry and client conferences, including BAI's Retail Delivery. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a master's degree from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.
About the Deloitte Center for Financial Services
The Deloitte Center for Financial Services, launched in 2008, provides insight and research to help improve the business performance of banks and capital markets firms, private equity firms, hedge funds, mutual funds, insurance providers and real estate organizations operating globally. Headquartered in New York City, the Center is staffed by a group of professionals with a wide array of in-depth industry experience, as well as cutting-edge research and analytical skills. Former American Bankers Association leader Don Ogilvie serves as the independent chairman of the Center and also includes Howard Mills, a director with Deloitte Services LP, as a chief advisor.
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SOURCE Deloitte Center for Financial Services