PORTUGAL - Finance
CEO, ASSECO PST
Daniel Araújo has been CEO of Asseco PST since 2013, when it was still called EXICTOS. Born in Luanda, Angola, he holds a bachelor’s in computer and telecommunications engineering, a master’s in network and telecommunications engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from IESE Business School at the University of Navarra.
TBY talks to Daniel Araújo, CEO of ASSECO PST.
How do you support the financial sector in rethinking the business paradigm and applying digitalization to their operations?
COVID-19 served as an incentive to accelerate current developments, and it will certainly proceed in this direction. We will continue to have a deeper role in this particular sector, and we want to do our best by supporting banks move forward through advanced digital technologies. To stay relevant, banks need to establish a radical transformation. We will continue what we have been doing for the past 30 years, but focusing on speeding up procedures.
How would you assess the level of digitalization of companies in Portugal specifically?
As far as the concept of digitalization is concerned, the Portuguese economy has a long way to go. Examining banks in general, the sector should focus on redesigning processes having digitalization in mind. That might make sense for both financial institutions and the final customer: a renewal is mandatory.
In 2021, Asseco PST acquired a majority stake of Finantech. What is the importance of this acquisition?
Fortunately, we had a strong year. During the pandemic, we acquired Finantech, which has been operating for the past 25 years and is the market leader in Portugal providing tech solutions for capital markets. For us, as a core banking software developer and producer, there was a natural fit and great synergy between these two companies, which is why we felt a union would be beneficial. While we are present in Portugal, we have a strong presence in Portuguese-speaking African markets, and some are leaning to capital markets. Finantech will serve as a platform to leverage our expertise in these markets.
How do you establish your leadership within the sec-tor in such a small country?
Competition is high. Portugal is relatively a small country, but it has, I believe, seven unicorns, while Spain has one. We can see different global providers setting up offices in Portugal, and all these global competitors place a substantial pressure in terms of human resources. It is important, as a country, to graduate more people in the IT sector by creating ways to encourage them to switch careers into this area. We must continue to do what we have been doing successfully in the past.
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