Meet Jeremy Balkin
Name: Jeremy Balkin
Work: Head Of Innovation, HSBC USA
University: University of New South Wales
Lives: New York, USA
Awards: 2017 Advance Global Australian Financial Services Award, supported by Wilson Asset Management, and the Overall Winner Award
Describe what you do and why it’s important in one sentence.
Innovation is about doing things differently to free up time for our customers and our people, which in turn creates value.
Have you developed any particular philosophies about training yourself to think in a particular way?
My new book Millennialization of Everything: How to Win When Millennials Rule the World outlines in more detail how millennial choices, preferences and behaviours have disrupted and transformed every industry. It expands on the philosophy that drives what I do and how it’s so important to understand the psychological drivers have shaped the new customer behaviour impacting everything from retail, to media, to banking, to politics.
How do Australian’s influence the culture in New York?
From a financial services perspective, James Gorman, CEO Morgan Stanley, who won the same award in 2015, has led the way for Aussies on Wall Street. Americans seem to love my RM Williams “Aussie cowboy boots”, as they like to call them, that I wear every day.
What’s the best thing about connecting with fellow Australians while overseas?
Talking about stuff other than business, reminiscing about days at the beach and the footy, and complaining about the quality (or lack thereof) of American coffee.
What does winning the 2017 Advance Global Australian Financial Services Award mean to you?
This award was a huge surprise and I dedicate it to my parents who came to Australia sight unseen in 1980. What they lacked in material possessions at the time, they certainly made up for in terms of ambition and drive both traits that have shaped my personal and professional life. It’s pretty cool to be working for the world’s largest bank, in the world’s largest economy at such a critical juncture in history.
How do you think your “Australian-ness” contributed to your successes working in global markets?
Being Australian in a company as big as mine - the world’s largest bank operating in 70+ markets - the diversity is incredible. Being an Aussie is like being neutral across the different cultures we cover and it’s a huge competitive advantage to be able to translate between different cultural nuances. Clients also love it because every single one of them will tell you, either “I looooove Australia” or “I’ve always wanted to visit Australia.” It’s a great conversation starter the minute they hear the funny accent.
What’s the first thing you do after returning to Australia after a period of time away?
See my parents. Eat some beautiful fresh red papaya, and go for a run along Rose Bay.
Can you tell us more about your nickname, the “Anti Wolf of Wall Street’’?
The moniker was given to me by Arianna Huffington at the World Economic Forum in 2014. Nicknames aside, my first book, Investing with Impact: Why Finance is a Force for Good, received the Gold Medal for Business Ethics at the 2016 Axiom Business Book Awards in Chicago, which is much more gratifying that the actions speak louder than words. Finance is a force for good and it saddens me to read about the stuff going on in the industry back home. We are here to serve people and positively influence the allocation of capital, that’s why we’re in financial services.
Meet Jeremy Balkin, the 2017 Advance Global Australian Financial Services and Overall Award Winner and check out his acceptance speeches from the Awards ceremony below.