Clients demand new technology

To ensure the finest service standards for the future, this Mexican group has begun an institutional revolution to transform its banking core


Just a few decades ago, Mifel was a small company servicing small and medium size businesses on their financial strategies. Later on, it began to grow a small fund to operate with and eventually obtained the first private concession for an exchange house in Mexico back in the tumultuous 1980s.

In 1993 Mifel set up a leasing company, and in that same year Grupo Financiero Mifel was born, a step that paved the way for the concession of one of the first new private banking licences to be granted since the Mexican banking industry was nationalised back in 1982.

Mifel’s name was formed from the first letters in the given and family names of its founder: Mike Feldman, a well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist. Three generations later, the companies he set to build are solidly growing and still run by the family (although they are now fully institutionalised).

Since its beginnings Mifel has been a customer service oriented company. Today of course this is the talk of all the service industries; but back in those days when it was practised at Mifel it was a rather odd gospel to preach.
Today the group is led by CEO Daniel Becker and several very talented members of a new generation. The institution has been in a period of change to keep it at the forefront of Mexico’s financial sector in terms of the quality of its products, services and standards of excellence. “It is a privilege for us at Mifel that our clientele are Mexico’s most demanding by far,” says  Mr Becker: “Something very much appreciated by the team since it keeps us persevering at what we do best, so as to constantly improve it.”

Organic growth
Mifel is a full service bank with a complete array of products and services. It consists of a bank, a factoring company, a leasing company and a Mutual Fund company.

Mifel’s factoring company was created to provide liquidity to the suppliers of retail chains through any bank, which together with its strategy of innovation and service quality has allowed it to become a leader in the field.
On the leasing side Mifel has been steadily growing, thanks to its widely diversified portfolio of customers. Its investment manager role is supported by 20 proprietary funds and 32 funds that Mifel co-distributes from eight other financial firms. This allows Mifel to offer satisfactory returns to its clients and help them pursue their investment objectives.

On the banking side, Mifel has a strong and innovative physical presence in 38 banking outlets in the country, many of them in Mexico City, the country’s economic and financial centre. It also operates 18 bank modules distributed across the country, focused on specifically serving the agro-business sector – an area of great success and even greater potential. Today Mifel is the seventh largest distributor of federal farm funding in the country, after steadily rising through the ranks of its competition over the last few years.

A loyal customer base
Overall, Mifel Financial Group’s assets for the end of 2010 stood at $3.2bn, of which the majority is supported by deposits provided by its demanding but stable and loyal customer base from its private banking area and well-located and efficient branches throughout the country – they all have an average deposit base well above the level of Mifel’s competitors.

The group’s portfolio, meanwhile, has been growing steadily in the areas where Mifel has been concentrating its placement efforts. A very efficient distribution across several sectors diminishes risk substantially: states and municipalities, construction developers, mortgage, factoring, corporative, small and medium size companies, agro-business and leasing are just some of the key sectors where Mifel works intensively to diversify its assets.
This portfolio represents roughly 80 percent of Mifel’s banking activities; 15 percent is in factoring and five percent is in the leasing businesses, well guarded by a capital base that as of the end of last year stood at 15 percent. This is well above the regulatory minimum required by the authorities, giving the bank a good base from which to grow in the future.

Investing in people
An enthusiastic and positive working atmosphere is vital to good service and succesful change. “At Grupo Financiero Mifel we are distinguished by an energetic team, able to differentiate and provide our customers with everything they expect from a first rate financial institution,” says Mr Becker: “An unwavering commitment to service and quality.”

Mifel’s team always strives to communicate to its customers the concept of the value it provides them with, which stems from a five pillar design: human capital, first rate service, banking wisdom, best available technology, and always updated infrastructure. “This has allowed Mifel not only to grow in a healthy manner over the last few years but also to weather the storms that the global financial sector has faced,” says Mr Becker. “Further, our business model allows us to look into the future with the confidence that we have the tools to continue that success.”

To maintain the commitment to provide customers with quality financial products and services that offer security and confidence, in 2011 Mifel made an alliance with RSA, one of the world’s leading insurance groups. The main objective: to continue having the best banking products and services in Mexico, including the best insurance scheme to cover the security, safety and welfare needs of Mifel’s customers.

Transforming infrastructure
Mifel is now in the middle of developing its new technological coordinates: ones that represent quite an institutional revolution, as it is vital, says Mr Becker, that growth does not adversely affect the bank’s distinguished service. On the contrary: “Service ought to be a more tangible asset for Mifel’s customer base as the institution grows,” he says. In this regard, technological changes might not be perceived by customers from day one of their inception, but they are nevertheless key going forward.

Mifel’s new information system will transform its banking core from scratch, a type of decision which is often shyed away from by larger, more consolidated institutions. “This, however, was not something that we could refrain from pursuing,” says Mr Becker.

All processes that in one way or another directly affect Mifel’s client exposure have been readily analysed with the objective of ‘making life easier for the customer.’

 Mifel is now in the 15th month of development of its new platform, which should be delivered by the fourth quarter of 2011. “Our coordinates in working with our clients will be forever changed [upon launch],” says Mr Becker, “placing us in the lead in terms of quality, innovation and flexible services.”

It is in the light of this major breakthrough that Mifel receives, for the third year in a row, World Finance’s prestigious award for Best Private Bank, Mexico, 2011.

“The results speak for themselves,” says Mr Becker. “Mifel has its mission well in focus: to be recognised by our capability to understand and care for our unique and irreplaceable base of customers, for generations to come.”
When the new platform is delivered, Mifel will be well positioned to deliver its quality service for another three generations.

For more information: Francisco López Jiménez, Chief Operative Officer, Banca Mifel; 0052 55 5282 7800;