Promethean Corporate Services CEO Jonathan De Giovanni has stressed that the impact of breakthrough technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) will be “more evident than ever” in 2024, as the rate of adoption continues to accelerate.
Dr De Giovanni was commenting as part of MaltaCEOs.mt’s end-of-year series, during which he provided a recap of his past year, together with what he thinks the biggest challenges and opportunities in 2024 will be.
He is a seasoned C-level executive and an international corporate, investment funds and tax lawyer. Dr De Giovanni is also an investment migration consultant and blockchain and AI enthusiast, with more than a decade of experience working in the financial services industry. He has led Malta and Milan-based firm Promethean Corporate Services as CEO for more than a year.
Asked about how he would sum up 2023, he pointed out that it proved to be “pivotal, challenging, and transformative”.
He remarked that it was pivotal for Promethean Corporate Services because it managed to “successfully recalibrate” its commercial priorities and international outlook, hitting the ground running after it was acquired by APQ Group in 2022.
However, 2023 was also one of the company’s most challenging years, especially in the last decade, due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and various global conflicts. “Being closely connected to both the financial services sector and the global mobility sector, these conflicts pose considerable challenges on our business processes on a micromanagement level and on the economic stability on a macro level, thus affecting both our businesses and our regulated clients,” he explained.
Despite this, Dr De Giovanni noted that the past year was also a transformative one, particularly due to the new regulations, recruitment needs and ethics surrounding AI, “the buzz phrase” for 2023. He said that the business community is steadily getting accustomed to the idea that AI-driven solutions could improve businesses, and at the same time, more of Promethean Corporate Services’ younger lawyers and associates are specialising in “new areas of law, such as cryptocurrency and AI”.
“A true revolution is knocking on our doors, and it is up to us to make the most of it while espousing it to our roots,” he added.
From a personal point of view, Dr De Giovanni felt that 2023 was particularly rewarding, as he managed to think more outside the box, a skill that to him, ended up being “more fundamental than ever before”. “Developing a sense of doing things in a more systematic approach to maximise time and reach a much talked about work-life balance has been a personal goal for long,” he continued. Over 2023 he also had to struggle with balancing strategising for the business while also being limitedly mobile during an ankle injury. This was an “important personal challenge” for him, and Dr De Giovanni singled it out as a notable “personal achievement” for the past year.
In this respect, he is grateful for the support shown by his family and closest friends. He is also thankful for his travels, meeting new people, learning from new experiences, and for his effort in becoming a better person.
As he looked ahead to 2024, he remarked that the year will see a “marked development” of many of the trends that have reshaped working lives over recent years.
“The impact of breakthrough technologies, particularly AI, will be more evident than ever as the rate of adoption accelerates. This digitisation trend, especially through generative AI, will impact everyone, including those outside the high-tech industries and tech-focused roles,” Dr De Giovanni explained.
AI has dominated headlines over the past few years, as it continues to become an even more important element of the workplace. However, many have raised concerns that AI could have an impact on human resources, potentially with respect to recruitment and fulfilling roles.
While some have denied this, Dr De Giovanni remained adamant that it could have an impact in the future, particularly as “people who can use AI will replace people who can’t”.
“The upside to this is that a fundamental part of becoming a proficient AI-augmented worker is comprehending that it comes with its limitations, utilising human creativity, compassion, and innovation where necessary,” he affirmed.
As a result of rapid developments taking place nowadays, Dr De Giovanni said that businesses need to keep on upskilling and reskilling their employees, as education can no longer be thought of as a process one only goes through during their youth. “As business leaders, we will require workforces to take part in ongoing training to keep skills up-to-date or reskill in emerging technologies, particularly those involving data and AI,” he stated.
Additionally, he feels that sustainable working practices are “the most important area” in which businesses need to make changes to their behaviour.
“Understanding and reducing the impact of our actions on our environment and planet requires rethinking many aspects of our daily working lives,” Dr De Giovanni explained.
Over the holiday season, Dr De Giovanni spent some time assessing Promethean Corporate Services’ 2024 and to explore which new markets need to be targeted.
This also prompted him to reflect on which skills he would personally like to work on during the year. At the heart of it, Dr De Giovanni is aiming to stay up to speed with the digital transformation taking place in many areas of work and business.
“This ranges from understanding the importance of data-driven decision-making to developing an awareness of cyberthreats, developing emotional intelligence and empathy to counter for technology’s lack of it, and adopting the shift in mindset required to work or lead effectively, when your teams are spread around the world,” he said. He added that while grappling with all of these skills is relatively difficult, understanding which of them are relevant to his role and responsibilities is “key”.
In addition to this, Dr De Giovanni is also determined to make some changes to incorporate a healthier work-life balance, especially in terms of striking a better balance between face-to-face and remote work. He is seeking to do this both for him and his employees. By making some tweaks to his life at the office and away from work, he hopes to have some more time for leisure reading and physical activity.
When asked where he sees himself at the end of 2024, Dr De Giovanni said: “Finding and keeping a healthy work-life balance, with time for friends and family, living with integrity, and being honest and open with others. Of course, setting new targets for my business, the staff, and keeping our business ideas fresh, topical, and relevant.”
“More importantly though, as they say, the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. It’s about what you’re made of and not just the circumstances,” he added.
Promethean Corporate Services CEO Jonathan De Giovanni
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