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 2023 Graduation in San Francisco, CA

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 a 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. 30 – 35 nominees from around the world will arrange in small working teams and engage in a [virtual] 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. Graduation Reception and Award Ceremony held in their honor at the BAFT Global Annual Meeting (registration is included)
  6. Future Leaders have access to one free BAFT Education Certificate of their choosing
  7. 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 will 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.

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 due by September 30, 2023
  • 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?
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.