11:FS wins the three-peat at the British Bank Awards

 David M. Brear photo
David M. Brear Co-Founder & CEO, 11:FS
3min read

I am a big basketball fan. It was my love, my passion, before I really even knew what financial services was. Back then my life was focused on how good my crossover was, how clean my kicks were and whether I could dunk rather than whatever it is I do today as the CEO of 11:FS!

Every industry has its legends. Those who shape it and who set the bar for others. If you google ‘three-peat’ then there is only really one moment that pops up - when Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won three back-to-back NBA basketball championships. This legendary moment moved the Bulls from the fringes into the team that changed the league.

As Andy Warhol would put it, anyone can make one great shot and get their 15 minutes of fame. But to achieve long term success you have to make those shots and take your chances over a long period of time. Winning championships and winning them again in the face of a changing landscape and competitors.

This is what we set out to achieve with 11:FS. It’s not about our 15 minutes of fame - hell, it's not about being famous at all. It's about sustained successes for the business and changing the fabric of the industry we serve by unleashing the talent we have. This is our vision and our mission at 11:FS.

It's about sustained successes for the business and changing the fabric of the industry we serve by unleashing the talent we have.

Two weeks ago, we won the Consultancy of the Year at the British Bank Awards. Not for the first time, but the third year in a row. This is our three-peat. Three years in a row our clients have been passionate about the work that we do with them and voted for us to put us top of these charts.

It’s a hugely humbling and massively proud moment for us. We have taken a lot of energy from this and also taken stock of what must come next.

One year, people can say it's a fluke. Two years, people can write it off as a popularity contest while mounting a bigger campaign themselves. Three years in a row and the excuses are just background noise while we continue to change the industry we love.

The Chicago Bulls are legends but their successes are a momentary flash in the pan in terms of sustaining success. They changed the league during the Michael Jordan era, but when it faded they became a shadow of themselves, with only the trophies and highlight reels as memories.

We have incredibly smart people joining 11:FS today who don't remember the first time we won this award. They won't remember what it feels like not to be the Consultancy of the Year. They have joined the winning team with the hunger to help us win more and get us from here to fulfilling our potential.

While we are early on our journey, our relative success won't be measured by this award in the macro. When we look back in 20 years time, it will be our impact on the industry as a whole. If we have already done this in five years, what we will do in 20 is often on my mind.

What comes next is making the most of the momentum we have created. We have delivered impactful work and built something we are proud of in every major geographic region around the world. The UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, the Middle East, USA and Europe.

Making the most of this momentum will mean we grow significantly both in terms of our headcount and our impact. Some things we hold dear will evolve to accommodate new challenges and new people will join to continue to drive us to that next level.

Every success we have had, whether these British Bank Awards or those we have received previously from places like the FT, is always followed by a moment of calmness in the chaos for me. During this, I reflect on what we have traded to get here and then the noisiness of what must follow to focus myself and the team at 11:FS on the next phase of growth.

We have had two weeks of calm, we have planned for the next six years what we want to make happen - now comes the noisy bit. We are super aware that what has got us here won't always be the things that are needed to get there, but what is needed is what we are best at doing. Turning strategy into reality. Let’s go.

 David M. Brear
About the author

David M. Brear

David is the CEO of 11:FS and since his dream of being a sportsperson was crushed (along with the ligaments in his knee!) and he had to get a proper job. He has worked in pretty much every angle of the financial services industry but never lost that competitive desire to win.