Competition and cooperation in partnership arrangements in fi nancial services
The importance of collaborative relationships in the fi nancial services industry is widely recognized. Environmental changes, such as globalization of the fi nance industry, increasing capital movements between countries, fi nancial regulation, and technological advances in transaction processing (Lambkin and Muzellec 2008 ) have led to growing competition and diffi culties in product differentiation. As a result, fi rms face increasing pressure to offer superior customer value. Value enabling activities can involve outright institutional purchase of a service or can be collaboration (partnership) with a third party that becomes an integrated component of an offering. Additionally, distribution channels have become a major strategic battle ground for fi nancial institutions. This is probably because collaborative relationships with multiple fi nancial intermediaries provide access to multiple segments. Serving new customers or providing existing customers with a wider range of fi nancial products often requires new partnerships with new channels (Easingwood and Storey 1996 ).