Ian Putter: An Innovative Leader In The Banking Industry


Ian Putter: An Innovative Leader In The Banking Industry

Idea generation is at the heart of every successful business innovation. It’s all about coming up with remarkable ideas, which are the foundation for great innovation success. As a result, business leaders are emphasising innovation and leadership more than ever. The Head of DLT/ Blockchain in the Innovation team at Standard Bank, Ian Putter is one such accomplished Accounting & Fintech innovator and thought leader who heads up digital innovation in the banking industry.

Converted From An Economist To A Chartered Accountant (CFO)

Ian studied banking and economics at the University of Pretoria many years ago, and he was captivated by the transmission mechanisms and derivatives. All of these risks, assessments, and signal tracking were done in banks. Moreover, the thought leader read his first book on the foreign exchange market, written by Willie Potgieter Head of Foreign Exchange at Standard Bank. Later, Ian got a golden opportunity to work under him.

Today, he is still at the bank, converted from an economist to a chartered accountant (CFO) and working with blockchain.

A Multi-Faceted Leader Performing On Various Chores

In my role, I have the normal responsibilities any innovative leader has, but my added focus is to create a flat, structured environment where all staff contribute and collaborate in a creative way across teams within and outside the organisation,” says Ian. He is also responsible for creating awareness and the ability to experiment and deliver workable solutions with blockchain/distributed ledger technology, focusing on efficiency/process improvement use cases, new business models and revenue streams, as well as hybrid shadow blockchain solutions across multiple areas and diverse businesses. Apart from these things, the dynamic leader also focuses on innovation as a service. Education, research as well as partnerships to leverage as much as possible of what is already there.

I also focus on training and development of chartered accountants as the bank’s training officer, as coach and motivator and teacher when I can.

– Ian Putter

Offering Broad Range Of Service, Assembling An Expert Team

Active in 20 African countries, Standard Bank is Africa’s largest bank by assets and provides a wide range of services to its customers. Retail banking, wholesale banking, insurance, business banking, offshore products, and asset management solutions are all included in its services.

Standard bank group has assembled an expert team who have an excellent combination of diverse skills and backgrounds. They play a crucial and unique role in delivering innovative and creative solutions. More importantly, the team always gets along well and watches each other’s back in the bigger innovation team, enabling every individual to succeed, a value introduced by Adrian, the Chief innovation officer.

Generation of good ideas but we do focus on ROI and execution, so very entrepreneurial but tracking results and helping each other where we can. Recognizing each member’s potential and contribution,” says Ian.

Making An Effort To Support Others

I learned that by giving others meaning in live you get meaning in live (Man’s search for meaning Victor Frankl) that is now more true than ever before. I am amazed at the initiatives by the bank’s leaders and all staff at all levels really making an effort to support others in and outside the organisation. An open world where ideas and opportunities are shared and we really work across silo’s and functions and organizations to make a difference,” states Ian. He further adds, “We also founded the BRI Africa in collaboration with Don and Alex Tapscott to facilitate communities across Africa, enable research and education and access to intellectual property across Africa to facilitate innovation with blockchain and distributed ledger technology.

Every African country he has visited in the last few years has people he knows that make a difference in their communities and bring new ideas that he would never be able to generate. Multiple perspectives of people who wish to make a difference present enormous prospects; they need to focus on the opinions of many in a collaborative manner.

Ian’s View On Pandemic

Ian believes that the pandemic has caused the industry to focus on digital solutions, making this solitary trip simpler for both consumers and employees. The dynamic leader, along with his team, has put a greater emphasis on ensuring that as many people as possible are cared for and supported – increased empathy and compassion, integration and closer relationships across value chains, closer connections to medical services, and joint initiatives with all industries to enable trust and efficiency and support growth in difficult times. Moreover, as a result of this unfathomable event, they are assisting their customers in whatever way they can and provisioning large amounts for insurance pay-outs and bad debts.

Combating Pandemic

As a tech-savvy leader, Ian and his team remain focused on what they can do and ensure that they deliver tangible results, reducing barriers to all customers across Africa. At the same time, they assist small and medium businesses, as well as people and corporations, in growing and creating opportunities for others. According to lan, now more than ever, inclusion and sustainability are a key focus point. As a result of this new world we live in, there are so many new opportunities, totally different and communities want to help and make a difference. A key drive is to support and leverage that energy and drive, as well as to facilitate opportunities for these entrepreneurs and social contributors.

Focus On Key Milestone

According to Ian, at the upcoming Group Interim Results set for August 19, 2021, the broader milestones for 2021 will be discussed. In terms of the future, the Group’s strategy is to accelerate its strategy to become a truly human and truly digital financial services organisation. Also, its vision is to be the leading financial services organisation in, for and across Africa, delivering exceptional client experiences and superior value. 

Quote: “I also focus on training and development of chartered accountants as the bank’s training officer, as coach and motivator and teacher when I can.”

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