Where do Fincom’s leaders see 2024 taking us?
January may be finally over – but 2024 is just beginning.
And whether it’s evolving regulations, the seismic impact of generative AI or a volatile macroeconomic environment, the months ahead prove to be fascinating for everyone involved in financial communications – and that’s not even mentioning what promises to be a hugely contentious and consequential US election later this year.
With that in mind, we reached out to senior leaders across Fincom Alliance and asked them to share their thoughts on the challenges and trends that will define 2024.
Here’s what they had to say…
Rosa del Blanco, Managing director, Comma Spain:
Creativity, coherence and flexibility
“In a saturated environment, exceptional creativity is vital for standing out. Crafting a unique value proposition and maintaining a competitive edge requires imaginative communication strategies.
At the same time, with traditional media losing ground to digital channels, maintaining message coherence across diverse platforms becomes crucial. Adapting to different channels while preserving the essence poses a key challenge.
Meanwhile the financial and technological landscape faces evolving regulations such as MIFID III, PSD3, open finance, and crypto asset regulations. Staying abreast of legal changes and adjusting communication strategies accordingly is imperative.”
Marco Messori, Founder and Director, Mymediarelation, Italy:
2024 will be the year of AI
“According to various studies, the Italian job market is expected to change between now and 2030 due to the advent of AI, and one of the sectors most impacted will certainly be communications. What we can see today is that the use of this innovative resource still remains on the edge of the scene, not fully exploiting its potential to make communication work more efficient and better in our country.
However, it is worth keeping in view the prospects for a regulatory framework, both at European and Italian level. It seems that unlike what happened on other topics of major media impact – such as the rise of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology – the law is trying to anticipate the moment, aiming to contrast the possible risks associated with the development of AI before it takes over two crucial areas: privacy and the labour market.”
Margarida Fiúza, Head of Financial Communications, ALL Comunicação, Portugal:
Sustainability, digital, and personalisation
“There is a growing emphasis on sustainability, including Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting. Media outlets are covering issues related to sustainability and incorporating these topics into their reporting. From a PR point of view, communicating an organization’s commitment to sustainable and socially responsible practices is a must-have in corporate and financial communications in 2024.
The use of digital channels, including social media, for corporate and financial communications is on the rise, therefore, companies will continue to leverage these platforms for increased communication transparency, deeper stakeholder engagement, and effective online brand management.
As PR professionals aim to connect with audiences on a more individual level, we must understand their preferences and needs; tailoring messages to specific segments and creating personalised narratives, approaches and experiences will become increasingly important this year.”
Julian Rea, Managing Director, Liminal, UK:
The private debt opportunity
“I expect private markets, and especially private debt, to be one of the big stories for 2024 in the British financial press.
Already a big story in the US, which still accounts for 75% of fundraising, private debt has attracted a lot of attention over here in the last few months. However, in the UK, and Europe more broadly, there’s a sense that transaction levels haven’t fully caught up to the hype yet. This is largely because it’s proved easier to raise funds than deploy them, with competition for the good deals heating up as more funds step into the space. But most anticipate more of this dry powder will be put to work in 2024.
There’s going to be a major debt refinancing window in the first half of the new year, and it will be interesting to see the role private credit plays in plugging gaps that traditional banks may no longer have the stomach for. At the same time, we can expect to see defaults rise as corporates struggle to digest higher interest rates.
Watching over all this will be the regulators, with the Bank of England already warning this month that private credit and leveraged lending markets are vulnerable to “sharp revaluations.” But this is a risk many investors will be willing to take on as this asset class continues to gather momentum.”
Emmanuel Delarue, Founder & Director, Fargo, France:
Real estate, democratising private equity, and integrating fragmented channels
“The three main challenges in France are defending the value proposition of real estate funds in the context of high interest rates and price readjustments, supporting the democratisation of private equity with investor education, and integrating fragmented channels like podcasts and social media into cohesive PR strategies.
By embracing a multichannel, adaptable approach and leveraging the unique features of each platform, financial players can navigate proliferating channels of influence and effectively reach and better engage their target audiences. This integration should align with the overall PR and communication goals of the organisation, while considering the specific characteristics and preferences of diverse digital platforms.”
Thomas Egger, Founder & Executive Chairman, TE Communications, DACH:
Networks, storytelling, partnerships
“We can identify grand, industry-changing trends shaping the year ahead, but three elements of our practice will never chance:
Network: no AI can create and maintain a network among media professionals, influencers, and other stakeholders. As editorial teams become smaller, direct contact becomes even more important. As an agency, it is critical to invest time and resources in building and sustaining a network, and to do it properly.
Storytelling: the best network is useless if the stories you offer don’t work. It is therefore critical to continuously train your own employees and optimise skills internally.
Partnerships: the personal relationship with customers remains central. We can not only offer customers services, and we can offer them guidance and reliability in a world that is becoming increasingly dynamic. You need the right people for this, and they need the right support from senior management.”