Something Wall Street Lacks

Today, the large Wall Street US-based banks were exposed on why they have been struggling to grow since the financial crisis. When I visited DBS Bank, a Singaporean financial services corporation, I was reminded on why Wall Street is no longer the hottest place to work after business school. Wall Street doesn’t embody the principles and values of DBS Bank. DBS has a clever acronym that is easy for its employees to remember. PRIDE stands for Purpose-Driven, Relationship-Led, Innovative, Decisive, and Everything-Fun.

Wall-Street does a great job on the first two principles. Overall purpose of every financial service firm is to make maximize profits by putting the clients first. Since Wall Street is a services-oriented industry, the firms make sure that cultivate relationships with their current clients and prospective clients. On the flip side, the reason why Wall Street is fading away is due to its lack of the three principles.

Instead of making this blog about Wall Street, let’s turn our focus to why DBS has been so successful.  The last three principles differentiated DBS during the pre-financial crisis and post-financial crisis. When I spoke with the director of recruiting for DBS, she informed that every associate must compete in an intensive 12-hour hackathon. At first glance, I thought that was overwhelming. But, I started to think about it, DBS wanted to only hire talent who are innovative and team players.  In regards to the decisive principle, the organizational is pretty flat so every employee can feel empowered to contribute to the future of DBS. Lastly, DBS emphasizes a fun culture that is comparable to the Silicon Valley culture.

That being said, DBS was not negatively impacted by the global financial crisis. In fact, DBS repositioned itself to be a global leader in financial services by investing in opportunities abroad and by expanding its human capital while Wall Street had to conservative with its cash. My visit to DBS was stunning. When I launch my own fund, I will operate it based on DBS’s principles.

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