AmCham Norway’s fully subscribed Financial Forum convened its October session in hybrid fashion at both our downtown Oslo office and via Microsoft Teams.
Escalon Co-Founder Sarah Lerche commenced the collaborative, cross-industry session by outlining critical factors for success when outsourcing in an increasingly digital landscape. Chief among these criteria – the importance of relationship management and communications, both during the onboarding process and for the duration of the engagement.
With Escalon’s CFO, payroll, HR, and accounting service offerings – closing over 1 200 books each month – Lerche underscored the importance of concise contracting and clear designation of clients’ responsible contacts. “Set responsibilities early on and document everything!”
Following up on Lerche’s financial automation insights was DLA Piper Partner Camilla Wollan. Focusing upon current and future trends, Wollan expertly mapped the Norwegian fintech space – both in terms of players and evolving policy impacts. Emphasizing that “Norwegian law is technology neutral” as an advantage for local, nimble businesses, Wollan went on to concede that “too many Norwegian fintech companies are not internationally oriented.”
She noted that COVID-19 has forced banks to develop new solutions for increased digital interaction with customers, with a focus on cost-efficiency rather than design. Cashless payment solutions, for example, have been essential during the pandemic and the threshold for payment without confirmation has increased. The threat of cyber security breaches and need for security measures, therefore, has also increased. “Industry – regulator collaboration is key to fintech success,” observed Wollan.
The wider group then shared trends from their respective industries, along with predictions on what will come next. Forum participants included senior finance representatives from AbbVie, Accenture, AIG, American Shipping Co., Citi, Connectum Capital Management, Discovery Networks Norway, Fast Solutions, GIEK, IBM, KPMG, OSM Aviation, Raise Gruppen, Sonitor and Thermo Fisher Scientific.
The AmCham Financial Forum is a platform that gives financial leaders the opportunity to interact, share best practices, and learn from each other – building a better understanding of what it takes to run a successful international finance department in Norway. Our December Financial Forum is currently being planned – for interest in participating, please contact Madeleine Brekke.