Stone and Chalk welcomed ANZ’s newest CEO Shayne Elliott on Monday 8 August to share his vision for the “super regional” bank and his thoughts on partnership opportunities and digital disruption. Elliott, a grounded leader with razor sharp numerical skills according to colleagues, aspires to grow ANZ’s regional bank strategy and redefine the company’s look by doing things with a more human touch. “People are the most important, we can’t do it on our own,” Elliott notes. “We have 15% market share and Commonwealth Bank has 25%. We want to take them [CBA] on… but we have lots to learn about people.” Sure, ANZ can afford to become a disruptor and has since began to do so by the launch of GoMoney and now Android Pay, being the first of the Big Four banks to offer the service. However, transforming the customer banking experience doesn’t just stop here. Much work is to be done and Elliott comments this can be achieved both internally and in partnerships such as with fintechs groups. “From a cultural organisation standpoint, a balance needs to be achieved in giving employees more trust and freedom. This means the amount of space you give them for failure must be the same amount for success. We can lose billions of dollars lending money to people, but this must be done properly,” says Elliott in his presentation. Elliott further highlights, “controlling all the elements that make the customer experience great is not possible. It is broad and very difficult to manage.” But we can commend ANZ on their efforts so far. They have figured out what they do well and successfully distinguished themselves to find customers “coming to us because it is a natural place to finding solutions”. People aside, Elliott also believes digital disruption is a massive opportunity for his bank. “The potential is huge if customers can get their hands on it. It will transform the nature of and the entire customer experience.” ANZ has already capitalised on this to move customers towards a truly customised experience and the benefits of internet banking. Will ANZ work with start-ups? “Haven’t made up our minds but would we invest? Sure.” What has ANZ learnt from interactions like today? “We are not there yet but it is a critical way forward.” How will ANZ move forward in the future? “There is a part of belonging to things like this and building relationships. We need to learn to be ambidextrous. We are going to have to be innovative – setting aggressive goals and working with external partners.” So will ANZ take on partnership opportunities to stay ahead? Or will they continue capitalising on digital disruption to keep up? That’s for Shayne Elliott and the ANZ team to decide, and us to find out.