“It’s great to feel the adventure of being an entrepreneur but with the support of a huge company.”
Charles de Froidmont started at Accenture four years ago and is now the Open Banking Lead and the Financial Service lead on API management. This travel lover lived and studied in Ireland, London and Frankfurt. After working on a project at the European Central Bank, the concept of open banking got his interest.
“I started looking around for somewhere to expand on the knowledge and experience I already had. Accenture was clearly the most advanced in that field.”
You have a Master’s degree in Business Economics, so you‘ve seen the evolution banks have made. How would you describe the concept of Open Banking?
Open banking is a new concept thanks to the current technology; APIs and new regulation which are putting the revenues of the bank at risk. Over the past years, banks have been trying to find new revenue streams and came with the concept of Open Banking which is to provide non-core banking services & products through third parties to their clients. So for example, you would be able to use to rent a car, buy a train ticket or find a handyman to renovate your house via your banking application. The key ecosystems that the banks are currently looking at is Mobility, SMEs and Housing. These integrations in banking apps are revolutionary and completely changing the way banks are viewed. Its not just about making profits but how banks can better support their customer in their everyday life - be customer centric.
How would you describe your impact on this at Accenture?
My first project at Accenture was the implementation of a payment regulation for a bank. Working on that project gave me access to the team that was starting to shape the open banking strategy of the bank. And that gave me the idea of giving a workshop on open banking to share how the banks were currently tackling the topic throughout the world both from an IT and business standpoint. I was given access to all the experts at Accenture and that really made it clear why Accenture is Number 1 in financial services.
You obviously are ambitious. In which way do you find Accenture a satisfying place to work?
There are 674.000 people working here and yet there’s a real entrepreneurial spirit present. You have all the adventure of being an entrepreneur but with the support of a huge company. Who doesn’t want that? I certainly did, when an opening for the strategy on open banking came up. At Accenture you’re given the opportunity and all the tools you need to expand or try out something new.
Another thing I really like about Accenture is that I get to work with people all over the world. The Global Lead of Open Banking is in London and in the course of this project I’ve been in touch with people in Portugal, Spain, Asia (where open banking is already much bigger), Australia, Canada and USA.
So, ambitious and collegial. What about the fun part?
Accenture is a very social place to work. If you were to ask me if I have friends at work, I would say ‘Yes’ and I don’t think everyone can say that. I’ve been here for four years now. It felt good right from the start. I’m still close with the two people I had my interviews with. The people here have a great mentality and the same mindset.
Are there moments of stress in your work?
Yes, of course. When you want to sell something to a client, who’s also an expert, and you’re wondering whether you’ve gathered enough information to dazzle them. You have to really stay on top of your game
Can you name three characteristics of your ideal new colleague?
I’d have to say knowledgeability, availability and a social attitude. Here at Accenture, everyone is knowledgeable about something and we can always find someone to ask for information or advice. We work long days, but there’s a good friendly atmosphere. And I always manage to find time for hobbies. I love cars and I’m a big F1 fan. Needless to say, I was a very proud Belgian when Max Verstappen became world champion!