Emile du Plessis – Behavioural Economist – Standard Bank

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Emile du Plessis – Behavioural Economist – Standard Bank

What degree did you study at university?

PhD (Economics): Hamburg University, Germany (current) Master of Commerce (Economics), Bachelor of Commerce with Honours (Economics), Bachelor of Arts (PPE): Stellenbosch University

What is your role at Standard Bank? 

Managing the Behavioural Economics Mastery Programme at Standard Bank. As a first of its kind, the signature programme develops future skills across 11 countries on the continent.

Can you tell us why you chose this career? 

Financial decision-making encounters complex products and plenty of information which could be difficult to navigate at times. Through Behavioural Economics, a relatively new and powerful science, customers can be supported to make better financial decisions. Simultaneously, Behavioural Economics presents an exciting opportunity to further expand its applications in financial services.

What’s a typical day like in your job?

Managing and gauging the progress of the Behavioural Economics Mastery Programme in reaching the set business objectives.

Further to understand and analyse the customer journey and their banking experiences and how contextual factors influence decision-making. Subsequently designing, testing, measuring and scaling behaviourally informed interventions through sound experimental methods.

What are the some of the highlights and challenges of your role?

Highlights include improving financial behaviour and helping customers make better decisions.

Challenges would be dealing with misconceptions of Behavioural Economics, and given that implementation involves numerous steps, engagements and meetings, timelines could be impacted.

How do you keep up to date with all the changes in your profession?

Remaining abreast of best practice by reading widely, and consulting with national and international industry experts.

What do you enjoy doing for fun outside of the office?

Running and triathlon, writing academic journal articles, spending time with family, travelling to new destinations.