Future Leaders Program

BAFT Future Leaders Program

Launched in 2015, BAFT organized a program to support the identification and development of the next generation of leadership in transaction banking. The BAFT Future Leaders Program demonstrates that a collaborative industry approach to talent recognition and development provides individual, organizational and industry value.

BAFT Future Leaders Class of 2024 Graduation in Orlando, FL

What is the Mission of the Future Leaders Program?

The mission of the Program is to engage future leaders in solving common industry challenges. Program objectives include:

  • Recognizing rising talent in the transaction banking industry
  • Forming guidance on industry issues from the perspective of future leaders
  • Building an alumni network of young leaders that will lead the next generation
  • Providing future leaders exposure to current transaction banking industry leaders
  • Creating a pipeline of talent that will contribute to industry issues through BAFT

What does the Program Consist of?

  1. 35 – 40 nominees from around the world will arrange in small working teams and engage in a group project to solve current industry related challenges
  2. Working groups will receive guidance and mentorship by one member of the BAFT Board of Directors and one prior BAFT Future Leader Alumni
  3. Future Leaders will be able to further their cross-banking relationships and industry knowledge by being invited to attend BAFTs most prestigious conferences and events
  4. During such events, candidates will present their working group projects, presentations, and/or whitepapers to the most prominent and respected bankers in the industry
  5. Announcement and introduction at the BAFT Europe Bank to Bank Forum along with a meet and greet reception with the BAFT Board of Directors (registration is included)
  6. Graduation Reception and Award Ceremony held in their honor at the BAFT Global Annual Meeting (registration is included)
  7. Future Leaders have access to one free BAFT Education Certificate of their choosing
  8. Opportunity to remain a vital member of the BAFT community and viewed as a thought leader within the industry

Nominating an Individual from Your Institution

All BAFT Member Organizations are eligible to propose up to 2 candidates for the program. The target participant:

  1. Minimum of 3 and a maximum of 10 years of transaction banking experience
  2. Manager must support candidate spending 2-4 hours per week on virtual project work
  3. High performer with high potential, and has demonstrated leadership ability
  4. Interested in engaging on broader industry issues
  5. Self-starters who work well in teams and cross-functionally
  6. Must have a role in, or directly supporting, transaction banking
  7. Should be available to attend the program kickoff in Europe at the BAFT Europe Bank to Bank Forum in January and the graduation during the BAFT Global Annual Meeting in the US in May as well as other events outlined prior to acceptance

The BAFT Future Leaders Program costs $2,500 USD per accepted candidate. This fee includes multiple conference registrations, a complimentary certification, amongst a host of other benefits. In addition to the Program fee, the nominating organization should expect to cover all travel related expenses for their candidate(s) to attend BAFT’s flagship conferences in Europe and the United States.

Additional Program Benefits

To further increase the value of the program, participants will now have access to more educational development during and after their experience. Program benefits include:

Program Framework

Participants must be nominated by their respective institution, which includes the organizational support to participate in the program’s projects and attend the requisite meetings.

Candidates will complete a group project that requires collaboration and teamwork. Projects will be supported by mentors from the BAFT Board of Directors. We encourage participants to engage in BAFT Committees and Working Groups, and attend webinars in support of their project. We expect the projects will not encroach on normal work deliverables, but commitment to participate is crucial.

A task force comprised of BAFT staff, board members, and past graduates of the program will select group project topics. The projects will seek to address common industry challenges leveraging the fresh perspective that future leaders bring, while also integrating current BAFT work streams where applicable. Previous years projects maybe found here.

Next Steps

  • Applications will be sent to BAFT member organization’s “primary contact” in August.
  • Applications for the Class of 2024 are now closed. 
  • Selected applicants will be informed of their acceptance to the program in November 2023.
  • The Class of 2024 program will kick off January 15 in Frankfurt at the Europe Bank to Bank Forum.
  • For inquires, please write to [email protected].
  • Have a project you wish Future Leaders would work on? Please send you ideas to [email protected].

Featured Alumni

What was your job title and company when you joined the Future Leaders Class?
When I joined the Future Leaders Program in 2019, I was a Vice President on the StoneX Payments sales team in New York. I had recently transitioned from the Client Services team at StoneX and was just beginning my career in sales.

What is your current job title and company you work for?
I have since been promoted to Senior Vice President of StoneX Payments. In my current role, I help financial institutions expand their local currency payment capabilities.

What has the BAFT Future Leaders Program meant to you and your career?
I have always enjoyed BAFT conferences because of the great group of people who attend year after year. I was the first Future Leader from StoneX and the opportunity to meet other young professionals in my industry from around the world was unlike anything I’d ever done before. The program allowed me to expand my network professionally, but also personally. I have friends I still stay in touch with today, 5 years later.

I had the opportunity to be a Future Leaders Mentor this past year, and that was one of the most rewarding experiences for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some truly exceptional mentors – some of whom I’ve met through BAFT – so I find the opportunity to step into that role for someone else to be very fulfilling.

Anything else you want to share about the program or BAFT?
I am very excited to begin my role of Co-Chair of the Future Leaders Council. I welcome any thoughts on how we can continue to build on the program, including opportunities to stay involved post-graduation. Thank you for this opportunity!

What was your job title and company when you joined the Future Leaders Class?
When joining the BAFT Future Leaders Class of 2020, I had just completed my traineeship within Credit Suisse’s FI department, and had assumed responsibility for an emerging markets FI portfolio. As a junior RM, I was predominantly looking after the MENA region, thereby working closely with the bank’s (Commodity) Trade Finance teams.

What is your current job title and company you work for?
Presently, I work for Zürcher Kantonalbank, Switzerland’s second-largest, albeit lesser-known universal bank. In my role as Vice President of Financial Institutions, I predominantly look after the FI groups in North America, Benelux and selected African markets.

What has the BAFT Future Leaders Program meant to you and your career?
It’s been a highlight, both from a professional, but also a personal perspective. Our group’s topic being somewhat more technical, it offered an excellent opportunity to acquire a deeper understanding of an issue that had been gaining topicality in the transaction banking industry. More generally, the program has been a springboard to broaden and complement my network. Lastly, being a part of the Future Leaders class has been a lot of fun.

Anything else you want to share about the program or BAFT?
I highly recommend it. If I could offer one piece of advice, it would be to develop and maintain your network with your Future Leaders colleagues during the program and also after graduation. With the FI and trade finance community being a ‘small world’, the BAFT Future Leaders network can prove to be a valuable resource beyond just the immediate term.

What was your job title and company when you joined the Future Leaders Class?
Head of Northern Europe, Transaction Services Financial Institutions, NatWest

What is your current job title and company you work for?
Managing Director, Banks Coverage Transaction Banking, NatWest

What has the BAFT Future Leaders Program meant to you and your career?
The fundamental impact at the time of joining the program was an increase in exposure to a multitude of opportunities outside of my direct responsibilities at NatWest. This included expanding my professional network with ambitious peers at a similar seniority level across the industry, determined to become significant contributors to the Transaction Banking agenda, specifically in regions and with institutions I had less day to day interaction. This was further enhanced with networking opportunities with and insights from global senior leaders focused on nurturing future talent, demonstrating a truly open and collaborative approach in supporting the leaders of tomorrow. The program itself exposed me and other Future Leaders to consider key topics affecting the industry through the demanding project work, which had the combined effect of enhancing industry knowledge but also further enhancing my professional network in seeking SME input to deliver the project. Since completing the program and by staying involved in BAFT, the exposure to an enhanced network as well as the opportunity to be involved in the debate on key topics affecting our industry, have provided a solid foundation to progress my career at NatWest, most recently taking on global responsibility for our FI Transaction Banking relationships. Fundamentally, the Transaction Banking community relies on strong collaboration, trusted relationships, diversity of opinion and a drive to improve and innovate global payments and trade, for which the Future Leaders Program provides the perfect introduction. I’m extremely grateful to BAFT for providing these opportunities, and to NatWest for sponsoring me into the program, and am confident that my application to contributing to our industry in this way has had a very strong and positive impact on my career.

Anything else you want to share about the program or BAFT?
Looking back, I can’t deny the program itself was also tremendously fun and delivers a lot of the key positives of working in Transaction Banking. Opportunities to meet new people, experience new cultures and geographical locations, impact the future of the real economy, and make new friends. It’s been a pleasure staying involved in BAFT and given the level of change and transformation in all aspects effecting our industry I’m looking forward to further developing my knowledge and supporting the talent of tomorrow in a similar way.

What was your job title and company when you joined the Future Leaders Class?
Senior Manager at Deloitte

What is your current job title and company you work for?
Managing Director at Deloitte

What has the Future Leaders program meant to you and your career?
I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have graduated from BAFT’s inaugural Future Leader’s program seven years ago. It was an incredibly inspiring program that not only provided insights into the current issues facing transaction banking, but also helped me create meaningful business relationships (and friendships!) across the industry and the world.
As a former BAFT Future Leaders graduate, I am also thankful for the opportunity to be part of BAFT’s leadership as a member of the BAFT’s Board of Directors and ExCo. But my greatest appreciation comes from the chance to mentor and sponsor subsequent classes of BAFT Future Leaders, who I am very proud of to see graduate.

Anything else you want to share about the program or BAFT?
I consider the BAFT community to be my family, full of friends, colleagues, coaches and mentors I plan to carry with me throughout my career. BAFT is an incredible organization that brings together a network of professionals and leaders that are here to shape the presence and future of transaction banking, while tackling some of the most pressing industry challenges such as geopolitical forces, economic and trade sanctions, regulatory changes, supply chain disruptions, digitization and other innovation trends.