Colm Lyon, CEO and founder of, was the guest speaker at the FTI Consulting Leaders Breakfast in the Merrion Hotel on Thursday 23 March. On the agenda was how data-driven transformation holds the key to long-term survival and success in financial services and the three main forces driving change in this sector; rising consumer expectations, the emergence of fintech providers, and changes to the regulatory environment. Colm was presented with the FTI Consulting Recognition Award for Industry Disruption by Mark Higgins, senior managing director, FTI Consulting Performance Analytics, which specialises in advanced analytics to drive client company performance.

Entrepreneur Colm Lyon is the former founder and CEO of Realex payments and his new venture,, is the first Irish non-bank to strike a landmark deal to deliver debit cards. Colm said, “Vision and execution are the two key aspects to driving a business forward. In the payments and banking industry there is now considerable opportunity for new players to enter the market. Changing regulations, developments in technology and customer expectations are driving this change. It’s an industry that will never be the same again.”

Mark Higgins said, “Leaders in financial services are beginning to realise that data holds the key to their success. How organisations grapple with and use data to capture commercial value is no longer an IT centric challenge, it’s a CEO challenge. It involves real transformation in a company’s mindset and organisation

The role that regulators are playing to restore public confidence in the financial services industry was also highlighted with incoming changes that includes the introduction of GDPR to safeguard consumer privacy protection, PSD2 compliance to improve payments across the EU and strengthening surveillance for risk, fraud and money laundering.

Mark Higgins said, “Consumers want convenience, personalisation and immediacy. Using advanced analytics, internet one-stop travel shops are enabling customers to identify attractive weekend destinations and secure the best prices and book flights with only seven clicks on their mobile phone. There is no reason why banks and insurance companies cannot be as agile in their customer dealings. They are awash with data but the two big challenges facing them are, one, organising and using data effectively and the second is culture, getting people to line up behind the required change and transformation.”

Ian Duncan, managing director, FTI Consulting Performance Excellence commented “Fintech companies like are game changers and disruptors of the status quo; they’re nimble and hiring bright, smart people who see a more exciting and attractive future. The challenge facing large financial institutions is how to dismantle outdated work practices and structures and introduce new ways of working that empower small cross functional teams. Only then will they level the playing field in the war for talent.”

FTI Consulting Performance Analytics is headquartered in Dublin and is part of a global business advisory firm operating in 28 countries with 4,700 employees.

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