2017 Summit: Day 2 Recap

Wednesday 15th November 2017

2017 GBA Summit London BannerThe second day of the 2017 GBA Summit kicked off with a Keynote Address from Stephen Boyle, Chief Economist at RBS. During his session, Stephen discussed his outlook for global growth, noting that investment in the right assets will create faster growth for economies around the world. He argued that passing the current “marshmallow test” – investing in people now for gains later – is crucial.

Eimear Creaven then walked through Mastercard’s vision for the future of commerce. She noted that women are the driving force behind commerce, and they are largely under-banked and unbanked. Bringing them into the formal financial system will have a great impact on global economies, and Mastercard is at the forefront of these efforts.

The first panel session of the day explored Disruption that Enhances the Value Proposition for Women. Paul Jenkins from McKinsey & Company facilitated a discussion that spanned three continents, with Andrea Pinotti from Itaú Unibanco in Brazil, Garance Wattez-Richard of AXA in France, Naomi Ndele from KCB Kenya and Jane Howard of NatWest in the UK. They discussed solutions to support a world rapidly transitioning to digital solutions, including “light” apps, partnerships for payment and cash transfer for rural business owners, and products designed for prevention of negative life events.

The first of three parallel sessions featured a panel facilitated by Suzanne Biegel of Catalyst at Large, where Anne Tolmunen of AXA Investment Managers, Olga Miler of UBS Unique and Gema Sacristan of IDB Invest discussed their organizations’ various strategies around gender lens investing. Across the hall, Michael J. McCord of MicroInsurance Centre at Milliman facilitated a discussion on the Women’s Market for insurance. Sara Fert from AXA, Maria Belen Sanchez Valdivieso of Banco Pichincha and Pura Mendez of Banco BHD Leon showcased their journeys in developing insurance products for women. Hilary Nichols of the GBA shared key insights from the GBA’s Working Group on insurance, including the fact that several GBA banks have found women who have insurance through the bank are more profitable customers than those who do not.

The second parallel session featured a discussion on the Role of Alternative Finance in the UK. Alastair Hutt of NatWest facilitated the panel with Katrin Herrling of Funding Xchange, Anna Sofat of Addidi, Richard Kerton of Esme Loans and Julie Baker of NatWest. They explored growing the pool of female angel investors, digital platforms for alternative finance, and differences between the way men and women use financing. Meanwhile, K. Shelly Porges of Reservoir Q Global LLC and the GBA Board led a discussion with Diana Robino of Mastercard and Pura Mendez of Banco BHD Leon on credit cards for women, with the conclusion that cards designed specifically to meet women’s needs can be a profitable proposition for financial services providers.

The final parallel sessions of the day explored Gender Diversity in the C-suite and Maintaining Momentum After Year 2. In the former panel, Nigel Carter of Mercer facilitated a discussion with Lynne Burns of RBS, Rachael Kingori of KCB Kenya, Julie T. Katzman of the Inter-American Development Bank and Gonzalo Terminel Krebs of BancoEstado. Participants shared their institutions’ targets for female representation in senior leadership, current progress against those goals and how they plan to achieve them. Elsewhere, Andrew McCartney of IFC led Rachael McKenzie of Westpac, Joyce Kozaily of BLC Bank, Nadia al Saeed of Bank al Etihad and Mosun Beno-Olusoga of Access Bank in a panel on maintaining programs’ success as they mature. All agreed that Women’s Market programs must evolve based on what the data says is and isn’t working, communication on the importance and value of the program throughout every department and level of the bank is key, and maintaining buy-in from the top level through all ranks of the organization is crucial.

The evening concluded with the GBA Dinner & Awards Ceremony, where 12 banks were recognized for their Women’s Market programs and contributions to the GBA. The award winners were:

New Program 

  • AXA
  • BRAC Bank
  • KCB Kenya
  • Stanbic Bank Zambia

Highest Engagement

  • Access Bank
  • Banco Nacional de Costa Rica
  • HBL
  • TEB


  • Banco Pichincha

Outstanding Contributors

  • NatWest


  • Banco BHD León

Lifetime Achievement

  • BLC Bank