Millennials have become almost 50% of the workforce worldwide. This means that challenges exist both inside and outside the company, as they become employees and clients as well. Although some industries are still struggling, many flexible and open-minded companies understand how to merge these two worlds. International Finance Bank is one of them. IFB is a community bank with international affiliations that serves the needs of its local clients. We spoke to Roberto Gatica, Senior Vice President- Head of International Preferred Banking, to learn more about the company’s culture. He has over 25 years of experience in international, corporate, institutional and private banking in the United States and Latin American markets.
When we asked him about what values the company was best known for, he replied, "being close to the people." Roberto Gatica joined the International Finance Bank team in 2015, and he is still involved in the community as an active member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami. In addition, he is an active member of the Colombian, Chilean and Peruvian Chambers of Commerce, as well as an active member of the Florida International Bankers Association.
To baby boomers and older generations, the workforce is almost unrecognizable. The shift from a customer-centric to employee-centric experience has redefined business strategies from the ground up. When we discussed how the company handles this challenge, Roberto explained to us how IFB created the Young Leaders Workgroup. They come together twice a month to talk about new ideas, business opportunities, initiatives, and projects. Being able to report directly to the CEO gives them the opportunity to speak their minds freely and suggest changes to make a major impact.
If businesses want to remain competitive in their industry, they have to restructure from the bottom with a focus on internal culture. When employees feel valued and cared for, their motivation and job performance improves. Modern companies emphasize training that targets improving emotional intelligence, decreasing stress, and improving communication.
The financial industry is often considered to be more traditional. Sometimes, it is difficult to adapt to modern demands. Technological innovations like Zelle, Venmo, Cash App offer digital transactions, for example. Nevertheless, many clients need more from their banks. That is why IFB offers tailored solutions with a human touch. They understand that technology is a tool that needs to serve people's needs. "I like having a client in front of me and being able to talk directly with him or her. Show confidence. But we need to combine the physical and digital interaction to keep growing," Roberto said.
Studies have shown that millennials want security, convenience, and simplicity. They want guidance, but also want freedom. Financial education is the key to future business. "Millennials don’t want anything to do with debt. It scares them," Roberto Gatica confessed. International Finance Bank helps the community by organizing talks about how millennials can buy their first home, for example. These seminars teach millennials about mortgage credits and many other financial concepts.
Young professionals, accountants, doctors, lawyers, and realtors could benefit from these opportunities and services. Even though millennials have a different relationship with money than older generations do, we all have the same expectations from banks: comprehensive financial services, fee transparency, debt management assistance, and programs that help us reduce financial stress. Certainly, International Finance Bank is headed in the right direction.