Moriah Foundation hosts CBA chief

September 24, 2014 by Roz Tarszisz
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Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was the keynote speaker at the annual cocktail evening hosted by Sydney’s Moriah Foundation.

Brian Schwartz, chairman of  The Moriah Foundation,welcomed Foundation Members and their families at the home of Judy and Steven Lowy noting that many present were, or had been, parents and grandparents of Moriah students.

Ian Narev, Judy Lowy, John Hamey and Brian Schwartz

Ian Narev, Judy Lowy, John Hamey and Brian Schwartz   photo: Ingrid Shakenovsky

Schwartz  proudly  announced that the Foundation had awarded 11 bursaries to students this year who otherwise might not have been able to gain a Jewish education.

Rabbi Benji Levy , Dean of Jewish Life & Learning, presented a video of the annual student Israel Study Tour to Poland and Israel, and spoke of the privilege of watching children grow.

“We are here for the Jewish community to secure the future of our children” he said.

“Education will be the partner which gives us access to global networks.” said College Principal John Hamey.

He said the school was starting to focus attention on a broad educational experience to create competent global Jewish citizens”.

In noting spiralling fees costs, he recently attended a conference of private school educators. One topic was the likelihood that in a decade fees for a Year 6 student will be $50,000.

 

In welcoming Ian Narev, CEO of Commonwealth Bank, Brian Schwartz outlined some of his many achievements and interests.

Opening his address, Technology and Banking, Mr Narev drew a link between the impact of technology at the CBA, his not-for-profit interests and on education. He believes that people with the means have a responsibility to support a good education for those who are unable to afford one.

Moria presiden Giora Friede talks with Ian Narev

Moriah president Giora Friede talks with Ian Narev    Photo: Ingrid Shakenovsky

Some years ago the bank took the view that technology would change the way its business ran.

A massive undertaking to overhaul its core systems took 1500 people working full time for 6 years at a cost of almost $1.5billion.

While stressing that customers are still considered the bank’s most important asset, four key technological trends were identified as changing its business. Internet speed has become faster, mobile devices and computers are rapidly changing along with constant device innovations.  The last trend is that the computing costs and storage has plummeted.

At a recent demonstration at Microsoft at Silicone Valley, California he saw how machines are being trained in recognising multiple languages.

“Multilingual computers are learning faster than computers than can speak a single language . That mirrors the educational experience of multilingual children learning each language better than a child who is focused on one language”.

“Our view is that banking in the 21st century is the old and the new. New technology is married with old relationship skills such as putting the customer first, investing in people, and building trust” he said.

In regard to education, Narev said that while maths and English were still very necessary there was an increasing need for technologically literate people in business.   Directing philanthropy towards education is very important as there will be less job opportunities in future for those without a good education.

In conclusion, Director Judy Lowy thanked Ian Narev for his insights and donors for their significant support. The Foundation was considering applications and hoped to give out at least six new bursaries for 2015 as well as subsidising more students for IST.

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