Sofgen CEO Andre Israel joins Accenture's banking consulting arm

06 November 2017 3 min. read

Professional services firm Accenture has confirmed the appointment of Sofgen CEO Andre Israel. Israel joins Accenture’s Geneva-based banking advisory arm as a Managing Director, as financial institutions look to leverage digital solutions to fend off new market competitors.

Global professional services company Accenture has been pushing its way into the financial services sector in recent years. In October 2016, the acquisition of Allen International, a London-based design consultancy that works for dozens of banking clients globally, brought long-standing relationships with Emirates NBD, Bank of Ireland, CIBC, Banorte, Mauritius Commercial Bank, Creditbank, State Bank of India, Santander, Islandsbanki, Qatar First Bank and Virgin Money to the firm.

Now, the European and global banking markets are facing increasing uncertainty, with digitisation and unstable political factors meaning that many of Accenture’s potential clients are considering how to transform their operations in order to preserve profits. While digital technologies like blockchain are being found by established banks to be as much of an opportunity as a threat – despite often being leveraged by new, more agile competitors – the unknown quantity of Brexit means that financial services across Europe are unsure of where their operations may need to be based come 2019. In October, for example, the Bank of England has predicted that Britain stands to lose as many as 75,000 financial services jobs following the culmination of Brexit.

Geneva, Switzerland

In order to strengthen its operations on the continent, and prepare to meet growing demand from anxious clients, Accenture have hired Andre Israel as Managing Director and head of the company’s core banking consulting services for its financial services practice, effective immediately. In his new role, Israel is to lead Accenture’s consulting services globally for financial institutions looking to increase their efficiencies and introduce new digital technologies by upgrading or replacing their central lending, deposit and payments IT infrastructure. Israel will also be responsible for developing and growing the practice, which sells, designs and delivers core banking technology and business transformation programmes and solutions for clients.

Israel has arrived at Accenture following nearly three decades working in and around the areas of systems implementation, program management, general management and M&A. Most recently, he served as group Chief Executive Officer of Sofgen, a TechMahindra Company based in South Africa. He began his career at Coopers & Lybrand in 1986 after graduating from University of Cape Town in South Africa. Now, Israel has relocated to Geneva, Switzerland, for his new role as Managing Director, and will report to Sushil Saluja, Senior Managing Director and Head of Accenture’s financial services practice in Europe. Accenture serves 42 of the world’s top 50 banks from the location.

“Large banks face a bold new frontier of emerging technologies but rely on systems that are often no longer fit for purpose,” said Sushil Saluja. “Most recognise the urgency in implementing concepts like ‘open banking’ and fintech innovations, where investments need to be balanced against margin pressures being driven both by competition and regulations such as PSD2 and GDPR… To meet these challenges and build a bridge between legacy IT and a digital future they will require skills and scalable resources. Andre’s expertise in this area makes an excellent addition to our capabilities in helping our clients pivot to the new, and we welcome him.”