executive search interview with Zdeněk Turek

Interview with Zdeněk Turek, the highest-ranking Czech manager

Anderson Willinger, executive search, prepared for you an inspiring interview with Mr. Zdeněk Turek.


Zdeněk Turek has been the head of Citibank Europe since February 2016. He previously managed Citi corporate banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa from London. He also worked in South Africa and Russia. He graduated from the University of Economics in Prague in 1986, then studied at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and INSEAD. He is currently the highest-ranking Czech manager in the global banking business.

What are the current consequences of Brexit’s impact on the labor market and what more can we expect in the future?

Brexit’s impact on the banking labour market to date is particularly evident in countries where companies with a strong focus on the UK market are forced to set up new legal entities for their European clients. (This is due to the fact that in the event of the UK leaving the EU, it is not possible to apply so-called “Passporting” and companies therefore lose their licenses to provide financial services to the EU from the UK). We see impacts mainly in Germany, Ireland, but also in France and several other countries. The biggest demand so far is for the so-called control functions, such as Compliance, Risk or Financial Control. This is because adequate representation of these functions in new legal entities (in terms of number and experience / seniority) is a condition for granting a license. However, we can also expect an increased demand for employees in the “Front Office” area, depending on when and to what extent Brexit will actually take place, and what the associated client response will be.


How will the consequences of Brexit affect the functioning of European banking and the consequent changes in managerial roles?

As far as the functioning of European banking is concerned, Brexit in any form will lead to market fragmentation. At the moment and in the foreseeable future, there is no financial centre on the European continent that has an infrastructure and facilities comparable to London. Therefore, London will remain an important financial centre not only for British but also for other non-European clients, and activities from London to Europe will be transferred as gradually as possible to avoid market distortions (this has already been approved, for example, for financial derivative clearing).

Movement in managerial positions is also related to this. New and significant managerial positions will definitely emerge in European centres that will take over banking transactions and products. This is because European banking supervisors, including the European Central Bank, have made it clear that new banking entities cannot be “mailboxes” and must have the appropriate quality and number of managers, including senior ones. On the other hand, it will be a gradual process – unfortunately it is still unclear at the moment what Brexit will actually take place, in what time horizon, and what changes in client behaviour and requirements will be – especially in the area of ​​corporate banking and the capital market.

Will Brexit influence the trends in day-to-day work in corporate banking?

Yes, the impact will definitely be – and will increase over time. The emphasis will be on the correct booking of transactions according to the type of client and product, the requirements for the quality of contractual documentation will increase, the area of ​​internal control will need to be strengthened and last but not least bankers will be forced to find new and more comprehensive solutions in the EU and the United Kingdom. Add to that new (not yet existing) trade agreements and the fact that some reforms in the area of ​​creating a banking union or single capital market are not yet complete – and you will clearly see the banker’s profile as a large team coordinator not only in the front office but also in support functions, because only then will it be possible to offer clients the right solutions. Of course, I am talking mainly about large banks with global or regional operations – but even in the Czech Republic, the number of clients expanding abroad is rapidly increasing, which is why I think that the local bankers will also notice the changes.


Read more: How will Brexit affect employment in Europe?



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