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Talking about an evolution: The rationale of Credit Strategy's upcoming redesign

The next issue of Credit Strategy magazine will be radically different; with a new editorial focus, a refined design and the first in a series of chief risk officer interviews. Editor Marcel Le Gouais explains the story behind the changes.

Marcel   Le Gouais

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Marcel   Le Gouais
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Credit Strategy magazine has been undergoing a transition recently and next month, you’ll see the most fundamental change yet.


The upcoming edition will be comprehensively redesigned – and you’ll see a dramatic difference in the content too.


Our refreshed, repositioned magazine will sharpen its focus on more premium content for a more premium audience. Reflecting its new title, the publication will take a more thematic approach.


First and foremost, it will probe and yield insight on strategic issues affecting chief risk officers (CROs) and directors overseeing credit risk.


Here lies the critical difference; we’re moving upstream.


We will be delivering more content that unearths how CROs create policy; what their objectives are; how risk appetite is formulated and how this cascades down to conduct in credit risk and collections.


Up until now, throughout its 18-year history, the magazine’s ‘compass’ has pointed straight towards operational topics.


Now we’re going beyond that, to provide more insight on how strategy is created at source. We’re delving into the creation of policy, not just its execution.


As an example, the redesigned issue features an exclusive interview with Simon Baum, the former director of mortgage risk and deputy chief credit officer at Santander, who’s now CRO at a new mortgage lender – BlueZest. He’ll be revealing:


  • His role in relation to compliance, operations, collections and recoveries;
  • How the usage of technology and data will evolve in retail banking;
  • His insight on changing aspects of the CRO role, and how the industry may be affected by macro-economic factors including Brexit.


We’ll be interviewing CROs at the major banks throughout 2016; it’ll be a regular feature in the magazine.


But while we’re heading up the food chain, we’re not leaving any audiences behind.


It’s important to stress we’re not eschewing our traditional focus on credit risk, collections and recoveries. You’ll still read analysis and opinion aimed squarely at these areas.


The debt collection agency market, the evolution to business process outsourcing, collections technology, litigation and enforcement – all will remain pivotal to our magazine. In fact, an analysis piece next month will investigate whether bailiff rule reforms are having the desired effect.


We will also continue to reveal how regulatory changes impact collections. I’m pleased to announce the Financial Conduct Authority, Information Commissioner’s Office and the Lending Standards Board have all agreed to write exclusive columns for us on an ongoing basis.


These contributors, we hope, demonstrate the level at which we’re pitching this publication.


Alternative lending remains important to us too. Caroline Walton, chief customer insight officer at Dollar UK, the UK’s largest short-term lender, will be revealing details about her company’s strategy for debt sale and the future of its high street branches, in the next edition.


We will also retain the coverage of how collections differs culturally and strategically in the financial services, utilities and telecoms sectors, as well as central and local government.


In short, collections and recoveries issues will continue to comprise the majority of magazine content (about 80 percent), while the remainder hones in on strategy.


But be assured, we haven’t decided to become a risk magazine overnight; we know our readers.

Digital revolution

Print is not the only area in which we’re undergoing a transformation; a complete revolution is underway for our digital content.


We are now rebuilding our website from scratch. Our digital offering will become a responsive, more interactive medium, covering the practical business issues for the broader reaches of the market.


We’re making big changes in a short space of time, but the over-arching objective is to serve our audience in better ways, across multiple platforms.


In time, we’ll seek your views to ensure we’re doing that job correctly.

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