Lessons for Leaders: Scott Galloway and the Future of Banking

He’s one of the most outspoken and respected voices in the business world, and you can meet him live in-person at The Financial Brand Forum this May. Here’s what senior leadership teams can learn from legendary iconoclast Scott Galloway.

The New York Times calls him the “Howard Stern for the business world.” Fast Company says he’s a “progressive Jordan Peterson.” Others describe him as “Christopher Hitchens with an MBA.”

Scott Galloway, Professor of Marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, has made a name for himself as an outspoken, high-octane provocateur known for his uncanny predictions. He has become a pop culture icon, with millions of avid fans around the world by calling business leaders to account, dismantling myths, and dissecting over-hyped companies with an irresistible mix of candor, authenticity, and a self-deprecating sense of humor eschewing political correctness.

Galloway’s impressive track record as a serial entrepreneur, brand consultant, TV commentator, international speaker, and author gives him a lot of credibility.

Recognized as one of business world’s most influential thought leaders, Galloway regularly makes primetime TV appearances on major cable networks such as CNN, Fox Business, Bloomberg, CNBC, and PBS.

He’s been at the forefront of the digital economy since its earliest days. Of the nine companies he’s started, he’s sold two and took a third public.

Through a myriad of avenues — including a wildly-popular YouTube channel, one of the world’s top-ranked podcasts, and his No Mercy/No Malice newsletter — Galloway shares his unique perspective on business trends, emerging technologies, innovation, e-commerce, and digital marketing.

He’s also a major force on the speaking circuit, commanding stages at corporate events and industry conferences like The Financial Brand Forum, where he reportedly hauls in $50,000 for virtual gigs and as much as $250,000 for international events.

Meet Professor Scott Galloway live in person!

Don’t miss Scott Galloway’s riveting keynote presentation at The Financial Brand Forum — May 20-22, 2024.

The Power of Prediction

Galloway isn’t another ivory tower academic trying to turn his tenure into a new career as a business celebrity.

“Scott has retained the swagger and punk attitude to not rest on his laurels and sail into the sunset of smug academic accomplishment,” as writer John Pearson puts it in his biographical essay on Galloway. “He is provocative and confrontational but — unusually for a pundit — it seems not so much for the sake of attention, but to elicit important talking points and initiate progressive conversation.

Indeed, Galloway is exceedingly shrewd and a supreme prognosticator, with a pedigree for making predictions that are terrifyingly accurate.

Like when Galloway correctly predicted that Amazon would acquire Whole Foods at a cost of $12 billion, even though the company had previously never made an acquisition greater than $1 billion. Just a few months later, the deal was announced at $13.7 billion.

He also blistered WeWork — once the darling of Silicon Valley and investment capitalists — for its “seriously loco” valuation of $47 billion. Today? WeWork is worth basically nothing: around $7 million.

Galloway can be modest about the freakish precision of his forecasts, sometimes dismissing his predictions as “just lucky.” But he is unequivocal when prescribing the practice of making predictions to business executives and leadership teams: “Predictions are fairly useless, but predicting is invaluable,” because, as he puts it, “scenario planning is important.”

Sometimes Galloway gets it wrong, too. But even then, his arguments are articulated from a well-reasoned point of view, and are almost always reinforced with reams of research and market data. He is consistently cogent, compelling, and undeniably captivating. As Jeffry Zucker, former president of CNN said, “I don’t know if everything he says is right, but he says it in a damn interesting way.”

Don’t miss The Financial Brand Forum 2024, where you’ll learn cutting-edge leadership skills and new management strategies from professors at two of the most prestigious business schools in the world. Scott Galloway, Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern, will discuss the tectonic forces that will strain banks’ strategic plans in 2024 and beyond. And Wendy Smith, Professor of Business at the University of Delaware, will examine the strategic paradoxes facing leadership teams in times of disruption.

Professor Galloway has authored no fewer than six books, including The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook & Google, The Algebra of Happiness, and Adrift: America in 100 Charts — all NY Times best-sellers.

Fintech Disruption

Galloway is deeply troubled by what he describes as the “new monopolistic age” casting a dark shadow over capitalism’s future. He argues that companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon completely dominate the markets they own because BigTech has been allowed to “overrun Washington and regulators.”

So what does someone like Galloway think about banking’s Goliaths: Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citibank? Does he worry that megabanks have been granted immunity — that they can disregard the guardrails of “moral hazard” because bureaucrats see these institutions as “too big to fail?” Is Galloway concerned that the disproportionate impact banking’s behemoths have on the financial sector will insulate them from disintermediation?


In fact, Galloway believes few industries are more vulnerable to disruption than financial services. “It’s hard to imagine an industry more ripe for disruption than the business of money,” he says.

Case in point: When Galloway tried working with his traditional bank to get a home equity loan. “If Opendoor and Zillow can use algorithms and Google Maps to get an offer on my house in 24 hours, why does it take my bank — which underwrote the original mortgage — so much longer?”

Galloway likes to invoke what he calls his “80s Test.” If you put yourself smack dab in the center of a store, would it take longer than five seconds to realize that you were not in 1985?

“Theaters, grocery stores, gas stations, dry cleaners, university classes, doctor’s offices, and banks still feel as if you could run into actor Ally Sheedy or The Bangles,” he says in his prototypically caustic style.

It is, indeed, traditional banking providers’ outmoded branch models that lie at the heart of the problem for Galloway. “A traditional bank branch needs $50 million in deposits to generate an adequate return,” Galloway points out. “Yet nearly half (48%) of branches in the U.S. are below that threshold. Neobanks don’t have that problem.”

This helps explain the rise of fintechs, which now account for roughly one in five (17%) of the world’s unicorns — more than any other sector. And now, Galloway sees this “herd of unicorns looking to trample Wells Fargo and Chase.”

How might this happen? In a word: innovation.

“These fintechs are zeroing in on everything big banks aren’t,” Galloway explains. “Over the past five years, PayPal has issued 26x more patents than Goldman Sachs.”

Ready for More?

At The Financial Brand Forum 2024, featured keynote speaker Scott Galloway will take an unvarnished look at what separates the winners from the losers in the digital age, as he examines the tectonic forces reshaping banks’ strategic plans in 2024 and beyond — from fintechs and digital disruption, to AI and demographic trends.

Galloway will be joining an all-star lineup with over 120 speakers from the most respected companies on the planet, including 40 how-to breakout sessions, six workshops, live demos, and much more — over 90 hours of content!

Join more than 3,000 senior-level executives from over 900+ of the most progressive and respected financial institutions on earth at the banking industry’s most elite conference on digital growth strategies — three days loaded with big ideas, actionable insights, and best practices guaranteed to build both your brand and your bottom line.

Sign up for the Forum 2024 now and you’ll get a free upgrade to a Gold Pass with access to video recordings of all sessions and a ticket to see Jim Gaffigan’s private comedy show for conference attendees.

There’s simply too much for you to miss, so register online now, send us an email, or call our Attendee Concierge at 206-661-5070 with any questions.

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