The need for innovation to drive business results is not a new phenomenon in financial services. In the 16 years that I've been covering the industry, there is abundant evidence of this, whether considering the pioneering efforts of J.P. Morgan to advance risk management by making its proprietary RiskMetrics methodology freely available to all market participants in the early 1990s, or Bank of America's "Keep the Change" debit card program developed two years ago. Banking has seen its share of remarkable innovation that contributed to significant results for institutions and their shareholders.

So what's different about the imperative to drive business results through innovation today? For starters, regulation in response to the credit crisis will have a profound impact on institutions for the foreseeable future. Add to that the interconnectedness of financial markets, which requires a keener understanding of how the performance of one counterparty can affect another.

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