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Monthly people move spotlight: Mikaela Boyd

a photo illustration of Mikaela Boyd surrounded by colorful circles

Photo Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios. Photo: Bain & Company

Mikaela Boyd, formerly head of strategy for Bain Americas, was named leader of Bain & Company's financial services practice in the Americas.

Why it matters: The appointment comes as the financial services sector experiences digital advancement and an increased demand for customer-focused innovation.

Zoom in: Boyd, who reports to the head of Bain's global financial services practice, also serves as the global leader of Next, Bain's efforts in innovation and business building. She is an active member of the firm's strategy and customer experience practices.

🗣What she's saying: "AI is hard magic. It has incredible transformation potential, like we've almost never seen in our lifetime. It also requires a lot in terms of thinking through the ways to bring that capability to bear thoughtfully and responsibly."

📍How she got here: Boyd is from Seattle but spent her early career living between the U.S. and South Africa leading two major NGOs. She went on to help the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation rewrite its strategy before joining Bain & Company in 2009.

📈 Trend spot: Boyd sees her financial services clients exploring AI as much as CPG and retail companies but with a more careful lens in terms of risk and regulatory framework.

  • Boyd said it can be difficult for large incumbent clients to go after a niche set of customer segments."That's where I have seen some of the neobanks and fintechs demonstrating value propositions that resonate with customers."
  • "That's not only exciting for customers — it's a healthy challenge for the incumbent players to think differently about their core products," she added.

🍽 Content plate: Boyd has been watching the docuseries "100 Foot Wave" on HBO, enamored by the ecosystem and team mentality of big wave surfers.

  • She ended the interview, casually mentioning she was off to grab her kids and fly to Portugal, where they will spend spring break in Nazaré to see the big waves in person.

🧠 Best advice: Be your authentic self.

  • "We are so scheduled in our day that sometimes you don't have more than five minutes, but for those five minutes, show up and just be present."
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