Case Study

Leading financial services in a new era

December 2023

Tapestry Networks’ financial services platform encompasses banking, insurance, and financial technology; we work with the world’s largest and most global financial institutions, and with regulators and supervisors on both sides of the Atlantic. Our networks and research bring together directors, executives, and other key stakeholders, to collaboratively address challenges related to governance, risk management, business model transformation, and the role of financial services in the global economy. From the start, the mission has been to move toward a strong, enduring, and trustworthy financial system. Much of our work in financial services is sponsored by EY, the global professional services firm; their leaders and those of our other sponsors participate as peers of the other leaders at the table.

Context: The global financial crisis of 2008 showed that the relationship between financial institutions and society needed to be re-examined. North America and Europe experienced a wave of new legislation, regulatory systems, and practices. Tapestry Networks was already operating networks of the audit chairs of leading global companies, including many banks and insurance companies. Those discussions clarified the value of focused dialogue on the governance, risk management, and compliance challenges facing global banks. In collaboration with EY, Tapestry launched the Bank Governance Leadership Network in 2009 and the Insurance Governance Leadership Network in 2012. Those networks continue. Our work in financial services has expanded to engage fintech leaders, tackle specific challenges like climate transition, and convene working groups around emerging issues for the financial sector.

Growth: Those first networks rapidly developed into a platform that now includes more than 70 of the world’s largest banks and insurance companies, many of the largest fintechs, insurtechs, and asset managers. We have engaged roughly 700 leaders thus far. Most are non-executive directors, but senior executives also participate. Regulators and supervisors initially joined as guests, but soon became active participants – for example, senior leaders of the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the UK Financial Conduct Authority, Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Services, the European Central Bank, Swiss regulator FINMA, and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority. Thought leaders from Big Tech, the law, and the world of research also participate.

Working with EY and with other sponsors, we have produced a range of research reports. We developed with the Group of Thirty, and it remains in use more than a decade after publication. More recently, we developed Responding to Societal Challenges: A framework for bank boards and their directors, as well as reports on risk appetite and risk management, the emergence of financial technology and effective partnerships, and other critical topics.

Impact: Participants in our initiatives regularly tell us that our contributions have significantly influenced the trajectory of the financial services sector, fostering open and constructive dialogue among key stakeholders. CEOs have told us that Tapestry’s dialogues have enabled their boards to ask better, more probing questions. We have helped create awareness and boardroom readiness around critical challenges such as geopolitical risk, cybersecurity, business model innovation, talent development, and artificial intelligence.

Regulators have described our meetings as “adult conversations”, where potentially contentious issues can be discussed with candor and openness. These networks have informed the work of regulators globally, including through forums like the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the Senior Supervisors Group.

Tapestry operates independently of the sponsors of our financial services platform, but we work in close collaboration with them. They benefit by building relationships with sector leaders and regulators, by gaining a deeper understanding of the most critical issues confronting the industry, and by exploring emerging practices for addressing them with the leaders who steer the world’s most complex financial institutions. Leaders of global banks and insurers tell us that they are more open to separate discussions with our sponsors once issues have been discussed in network meetings. We are proud to work alongside our sponsors in a continuing mission of strengthening the financial system and public trust in it.