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Building an International Financial Services Firm$
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Markus Venzin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199535200

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199535200.001.0001

The characteristics of financial services

Chapter:
(p.23) 1 The characteristics of financial services
Source:
Building an International Financial Services Firm
Author(s):

Markus Venzin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199535200.003.0002

The strategic challenges of internationalization vary greatly between different financial services sectors. A retail bank such as the Italian UniCredit, as opposed to an investment bank such as Merrill Lynch or an online bank like ING Direct, will pursue distinct strategies. Different countries and regions do pose very different internationalization issues: for a European firm it is more hazardous and challenging to expand into China than to neighbouring countries within the same trade bloc. Similarly, serving different customer groups in foreign countries will pose distinct opportunities: large corporate customers tend to have less naturally differentiated needs than small corporate customers or retail clients. Hence, internationalization strategies need to be carefully tailored to specific circumstances. This chapter describes how the financial services industry emerged and how the first financial institutions started to engage in international transactions. The main objective is to increase our understanding of the factors that have led to the rise (and fall) of the first internationally active financial services firms.

Keywords:   internationalization, financial services industry, international transactions

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