Banking Renaissance Retreat & Conference

From February 21 to 24, we organised the inaugural Banking Renaissance event. More than 200 executives from the banking and finance sector, from 31 countries participated.

We had an executive audience, with international thought leaders, influencers and top executive bankers sharing experiences, views and ideas to drive innovation and make strategic impact, and of course great networking opportunities.

The retreat program gathered 22 executives, who went through 3 extra days of lectures and workshops from our partners, IE Business School, zeb consulting, and McKinsey & Partners. The covered strategy, innovation, transformation and leadership and the week was capped with 22 people receiving their diploma and CDB accreditation, Certified Digital Bankers.

Day 1 (February 21) – Retreat Only

13:30 Welcome Reception, Registrations, Coffee

13:50 Welcome Word, Elena and Morten Kriek, Founders, Wisselbanck and The Banking 50

14:00 The End Game of Banking? – what, why and when., Balazs Czímer, Partner, McKinsey & Company

In this session, we aim to discuss a picture of what the future of banking could look like. We examine the forces currently squeezing bank revenue, value, profits and usefulness to customers. Regulations and increasing competition are still worries, however we will spend most of the session on the real threat to banks: new attackers—often from different industries exploiting the kind of cross-industry platforms with a vastly superior economic model. We will close the session with our perspective on how banks will realign to complete with new business models in new arenas organised around distinct customer needs, expanding far beyond the current definition of financial services.

15:30 Coffee Break

16:00 Workshop Preview & Prep Work: Strategic planning for (culture) change in the digital transformation – Dr. Sandra Comas, IE Business School (Spain)

16:30 The Future of Banking in a Life Context by Kevin Telford, International Thought Leader in Banking & Finance

In this session we will hear about three things about the future of Banking in a Life Context

First up is a look at the vision for the future of finance in a complex world. We will explore some of the seismic shifts and trends that will shape the future of finance, embedded services aligned to purpose and mission.

Next up we will explore some future use cases, preparing the journey and examples of where some organisations are with real examples in development. Finally, we discover a model, framework for how to deliver on a purpose driven vision and mission with financial. embedded services at the centre for customer value and experiences.

17:00 – 19:00 Networking: Cocktail Reception with The Banking 50 at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange

Day 2 (February 22) – Retreat & Conference

Session 1

09:00 Keynote: The Future of Banking, What sci-fi teaches us about the future of payments by Brett King

In this entertaining and thought-provoking presentation featuring Fintech Hall of Famer Brett King, we take a journey through more than a century of science-fiction and fiction imagining the future of payments, credits, electronic money and identity. From Star Wars to Star Trek, human colonisation of Mars and beyond, how will our money, our values and our exchange mechanisms evolve as humanity takes our next steps. This is one not to be missed.

10:00 The Futurists Panel – Fintech Versus Banking In 10 years

Moderator: Brett King


  • Petr Baron, CEO of tbi
  • Wouter Bartels, Director Grid/Tribe Transaction Services, ABN AMRO Bank

11:00 – 12:00 Networking in the Exhibition Area in Marble Hall (Food & Drinks Served)

Session 2

12:00 Keynote: The Future of Banking, Open Banking & APIs by Jim Marous

The sharing of data internally and externally allows financial institutions to deliver personalised solutions that can drive improved customer and employee experiences, create new revenue streams, enhance innovation, and reinvent business models. Regardless of the region, the importance of democratised data and open banking models is clear, requiring banks and fintech firms to create higher levels of engagement and anticipating likely customer needs.

A key success factor for all financial institutions will be the ability to build processes that ensure data security and reliability without sacrificing speed and scale. This will often be accomplished in collaboration with third-party solution providers.

Learn what consumers expect from their financial institution in the future, and the potential for legacy banks and fintech firms to differentiate and succeed in an open banking future.

12:45 Open Banking beyond Banking by Rajat Kanwar Gupta, Global Chief Digital Officer, Xebia

Open Banking has seen a steady and interesting growth over the last five years across Europe. Whilst the focus over the last five to six years has been around building open APIs at the banks end, and many financial entities utilising the data pipes to build intelligent models / tools around credit underwriting, monitoring and personal finance management, the utility beyond personal banking into the core operations of several sectors that require financial data for their operations, continues to be largely underserved.

Corporate & SME focused Banks offering transaction banking services to travel, retail and B2B commerce have a large whitespace that requires innovative solutions that Open Banking, along with Open Accounting and Investments. can well serve! We’ll dive deeper into how these can facilitate better customer experience and improve the operational efficiencies, for corporate/ enterprise clients of the banking ecosystem.

13:00 New Value for Customers? ‘Better Together’, António Fery Antunes, Head of Direct Channels for SME and Corporates at Millennium bcp (Portugal)

13:15 Panel Discussion on Best Practices in Open Banking, Engagement and Personalisation

Which financial institutions and fintech firms are on the cutting edge of delivering personalised engagement at scale, in real-time? What are the opportunities and challenges of moving to an open banking mindset?

Moderator: Jim Marous


  • António Fery Antunes, Head of Direct Channels for SME and Corporates at Millennium bcp (Portugal)
  • Balazs Vinnai, Chief Advisor to the Chairman, Hungarian Bank Holding (Hungary)

14:00 – 15:00 Networking in the Exhibition Area in Marble Hall (Food & Drinks Served)

Session 3

15:00 Keynote: The Future of Banking, Digital Transformation by Chris Skinner

If you’re wondering about digital transformation and how to do it, you’re too late as it should already have been done. We’re now moving into transformation 2.0, where the question is how can we use finance and technology to make the world a better place. Nevertheless, there are key elements in transformation that apply to both and, if you don’t know what they are, then you need to listen carefully.

The most critical point: do not think this is something you delegate. Transformation is about company-wide change of culture and mindset, and digital transformation therefore has nothing to do with technology. It’s about how you think.

16:00 Delivering the Future of Finance: lessons from a career driving transformation in Banking and Fintech, Karan Jain, CEO at NayaOne

Karan will share his perspectives on delivering effective transformation programmes as a banking CTO and as a Fintech founder partnering with leading banking clients. Having lived the shift from build to buy within banks he will speak to the challenges, pitfalls and accelerants of transformational change delivered through third party technology adoption.

16:15 Panel Discussion on Best Practices in Digital Transformation

Moderator: Chris Skinner


  • Soheyl Kadjani, Chief Digital Officer, Rabobank (Netherlands)
  • Tom Bentley, Head of Growth – Banking as a Service, NatWest Group

Day 3 (February 23) – Retreat & Conference

Session 1

09:00 Keynote: The Future of Banking, Banks and Fintech on Platform Economies by Paolo Sironi

Paolo Sironi delivers a detailed examination of how platform theory, born outside of financial services, will make its way inside banking and financial markets to radically transform the way firms do business. You’ll learn why banks and fintech must master the necessary shift of focus from selling business outputs to selling client outcomes based on engagement and relationships. You’ll also discover how financial services are steering new forms of digital transformation underpinned by Contextual Banking and Conscious Banking platform strategies that will benefit stakeholders of all kinds.

Paolo’s presentation:

• Helps executives to enrich their mindset to extend the reach of open banking and open finance.

• Inspires new business models centred on a renewed interpretation of the biological micro-foundations of financial intermediation.

• Defines a pathway for innovation to reclaim top spot against bigtech contenders, enjoying greater flexibility and adaptability at lower digital costs.

10:00 Superapps back from the dead? A story of bundling vs. unbundling by Bo Smet, Product Strategist at In The Pocket

Over the past years, many banks have been diversifying their business. Deepening some of their offerings or broadening them into adjacent or new spaces. However, while extending their service portfolio, a lot of banks seem to have forgotten the real question: “Should we bundle or unbundle our new services?” There are far more options than the all-in-one ‘super app. In his talk, Bo Smet helps you decide how to channel new digital features.

10:15 Panel Discussion on Best Practices in Operating Model Transformation with Cloud, Data and AI

Moderator: Paolo Sironi


  • Mushegh Tovmasyan, Founder, Chairman, Zenus Bank (USA)
  • Luc Schamhart, FSI Lead, Google Cloud (Netherlands)

11:00 – 12:00 Networking in the Exhibition Area in Marble Hall (Food & Drinks Served)

Session 2

12:00 Keynote: Advanced Digital Banking Strategies by David Gyori

The common denominator of large companies striving at times of major market disruption is their STRATEGIC excellence in future proofing themselves. Information and Communications Technology as a major disruptive force has displayed its transformative power throughout the Financial Technology Revolution, beginning in 2008 and cooling down in 2022. As interest rates are rising and the risk-return equation is shifting away from abundant liquidity, there is a once in a lifetime opportunity for banks and bankers unfolding in front of our eyes: to excellently form and successfully execute ADVANCED DIGITAL BANKING STRATEGIES. In fact, this upcoming era of unprecedented opportunity for well-established, incumbent, large, and traditional financial services providers is THE RENAISSANCE OF BANKING itself. In this speech, David brings us the top global best practices of forming sophisticated strategies using key components of the Christensen Strategy, the Ambidextrous Organization Strategy, the Coopetitive Strategy, the Digital Ecosystem Strategy and more. While forming a winning strategy is priceless, executing it is even harder. As a result, following David’s speech, we will dive deep into AGILE methodology, the highly effective tactical tool for successfully implementing ADVANCED DIGITAL BANKING STRATEGIES!

12:45 ISO20022 – The Key to meeting customer, and regulatory, demands by Christian Luckow, Tribe Lead – Core Payments & Payments Center of Excellence, Danske Bank

– What is IS20022? And why should you care?

– The practical challenges of implementing industry-wide changes

– With 20+ separate mandatory initiatives based on ISO200022, how do we as a bank deal with the changes in practice?

13:00 Innovation in Uncertain Times by Manuel da Costa, Founder, Effective Experiments (UK)

With the changing global landscape and uncertainties looming, organisations are looking for ways to cut costs and grow their revenues. In times like this, being innovative is the biggest competitive advantage but can also be the biggest risk. There are a lot of unknowns.

In this talk, you will learn how to mitigate risks using a value tool in your company’s arsenal – Experimentation. You will learn from real world examples on how organisations can harness it to stay relevant to their customers.

More importantly, this talk is aim at the C-suite to help you understand how the practitioners in your organisation uncover insights and can give you answers about your customers needs and help you make better decisions to innovate faster and with lower risk.

13:15  Expert Panel: Agile Transformation

Bankers from three different countries will discuss their best practices in the process of adapting Agile methodologies, values, and principles to the culture and operations of their bank. We will look at how they increased their bank’s ability to respond quickly to changing customer needs, market conditions, and technological advances.

Agile transformation often requires a cultural shift within the organization and strong leadership support. The topics of cultural shift and leadership will be addressed by Dr. Sandra Comas from our Academic Partner, IE Business School, in the workshop on Friday, February 24.

Moderator: David Gyori

Panelists: Khanim Rustamova, Chapter Lead, SME Digital Non-Credit Chapter, Pasha Bank (Azerbaijan), Marcel Teleuca, Vice President, maib (Moldova) and Olaf Biemond, Agile Coach, DNB (Dutch Central Bank) and Marlou Jenniskens, Managing Director (Tribe Lead) Wealth Products, ABN AMRO Bank

14:00 – 15:00 Networking in the Exhibition Area in Marble Hall (Food & Drinks Served)

Session 3

15:00 Keynote: The Future of Banking, Innovation, Learning & Talent by Matteo Rizzi

15:30 Keynote: Change Culture NOW – HumanDebt™ in Banking – What is it and why it’s more dangerous than Technical Debt. by Duena Blomstrom

A discussion about the importance of EQ, collaboration, healthy cultures and empowered teams that are Psychologically Safe enough to compete in the innovative arena of technology now that banks need it the most. We’ll speak about servant leadership and the need for swift mindset transformation and look at what the science and Google teach us about Psychological Safety and strong cultures of high-performance with examples of actions and anecdotes from the “People Before Tech” book and from working with tens of teams in the Psychological Safety Dashboard performance work tool.

16:00 A learning culture to foster data-driven, digital leaders in banking by Giovanni Lanzani, Managing Director, Xebia Data and Myra Gillon, Learning & Development and Organisational Culture, ING Bank

Over the last decade, data & AI have become the motor behind banks’ innovation efforts.

To stay ahead of the curve in this fast-changing field, banks should leverage the knowledge and skills of their employees: whether it’s mastering new technologies, creating new use cases powered by data & AI solutions, or understanding the latest business trends, a learning culture is key to success.

In this talk, ING and Xebia will present how they partnered together to facilitate such a culture to foster a data-driven, digital leader in the banking world. We will talk about:

  • Going from IT to data & AI
  • The impact of data & AI in the banking sector
  • The benefits of up- and re-skilling
  • How ING facilitates its learning culture

Attendees will understand the challenges and rewards of ING’s learning culture and how to get started in their organization.

16:15 Panel Discussion on Key Opportunities in Banking & Fintech

Moderator: Matteo Rizzi


  • Conny Dorrestijn (Fintech Entrepreneur, Mentor and Non-executive Director)
  • Duena Blomstrom (Author, Keynote Speaker, Founder and CEO of PeopleNotTech)
  • Guido van den Boom (Partner Digital Transformation, Xebia)

17:00 – 18:00 Networking in the Exhibition Area in Marble Hall (Cocktail Reception)

Day 4 (February 24) – Retreat Only

The Workshops

09:00 – 11:00 Workshop 1: Strategic planning for (culture) change in the digital transformation – Dr. Sandra Comas, IE Business School (Spain)

11:00 – 12:00 Networking (Coffee Break)

12:00 – 14:00 Workshop 2: Branch Network Transformation – Maintaining Quality Standard While Migrating Customers from Branch to Digital Channels – zeb Consulting (Germany)

14:00 – 15:00 Networking (Lunch)

15:00 – 17:00 Workshop 3: The End Game Of Banking – The How – Balazs Czímer, Partner, McKinsey & Company

In this session, we aim to discuss the pathways to platform business models centered around customer ownership. We will debate the right steps towards building future proof business models along the five new arenas we expect to emerge while we will touch on real cases showing how most innovative banks are reinventing themselves already today. We will also deep dive into core capabilities required for successful transformations including talent, technology, etc.

17:00 – 18:00 Round-up and diploma ceremony with Brett King & Chris Skinner (Moderator: Conny Dorrestijn)