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RFi co-founder and Managing Director Research and Advisory.


Alan Shields is a co-founder and Managing Director - Advisory for RFi, a global provider of customer intelligence focusing exclusively on financial services and specialising in data and information gathering, insight generation and strategic decision support for the world's leading banks.

Responsible for overseeing all syndicated research and advisory solutions across RFi's network in 29 markets globally, Alan has more than 12 years of research and analysis experience and has spent his entire career focused on financial services across the globe including Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Alan has worked on syndicated or bespoke projects with every bank in Australia and New Zealand, with most of the major banks in the Asia Pacific region and with many of the global banks.

Previous experience

Positions: Prior to setting up RFi at the beginning of 2007, Alan was Head of Financial Services Asia Pacific at global research firm Datamonitor. Alan established Datamonitor's financial services business in the Asia Pacific region in 2004, when he moved to Sydney from London.

Alan began his career with Reuters in London as a financial services consultant, where he worked on the Nasdaq Europe project before moving to Singapore and focusing on wealth and risk management in the region.

Education: Alan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics from the University of Birmingham and also studied his License de Physique at the Université de Bordeaux I.

Talking Points

Digital adoption and the impact on financial services - from vocal innovators to luddites

As consumers adopt new technology such as smartphones and tablets and increasingly live online, there are significant implications for the channels that consumers choose when researching and applying/ buying products and services. Financial institutions need to understand how to navigate this new world and where they and their customers fit in.

Global consumer trends - hedgehogs, eagles and locusts determining the future

It is widely reported that the Australian economy is faring better than many others around the world, yet consumer aren't necessarily feeling confident. Why is that and how do Australians compare to other markets across the globe? In which economies are consumers spending, borrowing and saving to the greatest extent? The implications are far reaching for all financial services organisations, but the opportunities exist.

Customer loyalty and retention - is loyalty dead?

Is product loyalty dead in financial services? Can institutions expect to acquire and retain customers if they don't lead on price? As the importance of main financial institution (MFI) status increases, institutions are faced with the challenge of providing customers with the products and services they need to achieve their goals while keeping shareholders happy.

The way we pay - global payment trends and new form factors

The next few years will see a fundamental shift in the way consumers pay for goods and services, with implications for technology providers, issuers, acquirers and ATM networks. As the world of payments moves away from traditional to electronic and consumers adopt new form factors at differing paces around the world, we ask 'who will win and who will be left holding the baby?'
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