Keynote: The Trusted AdvAIsor—Building Client Relationships in a New World

Thomas Barta Keynote Speaker
By Thomas Barta
Last updated: December 05, 2023

The Trusted AdvAIsor

How to build trusted client relationships in a digital, global world? It’s a big question. One I address in my latest client relationship keynote.

We’re in the midst of a seismic shift. It’s like the industrial revolution, but for relationships. Technology allows firms to personalize like never before. Real-time. Large scale. Customers love it. They get 24/7 self-service. From banking to flight check-ins.

Now, it’s about to get personal. More personal. Firms are weaving in AI. US banks tailor mortgages in seconds. Salesforce’s latest AI crafts messages on the fly. Complained to American Airlines? You’re probably talking to an AI. This isn’t the future. It’s now.

Traditionally, client leaders have built trust based on experience and knowledge. Clients had issues. Advisors had answers. But today, everyone has the world’s knowledge—in their pocket. Client leaders can’t outsmart AI. The trust equation has just been turned on its head.

The AI era needs new skills. Building client trust now isn’t about the right answers. It’s about the right questions. It’s about understanding. On two levels: rational and emotional. The more clients know, the more they are craving for what machines can’t provide: intimacy. That’s something only humans can give.

Want to know more? In this client relationship keynote, we dive into the latest research. It’s about consumer trust, in our digital world. Learn from the best: the world’s most trusted firms. And learn what it takes to be a client leader in the AI age. Are you ready?

About Thomas Barta

Thomas Barta is a world-leading expert in client leadership. He was a Partner and the Global Director of Client Services at McKinsey. As the dean of McKinsey’s premier internal program, he has trained over one thousand leaders in building trusted relationships.

His research includes the world’s largest study – with over 68,000 assessments – on what makes a customer leader successful. For Adobe, he recently spearheaded global thought leadership on customer trust.

Thomas has consulted and marketed for over 25 years, in 14 industries, in 45 countries. He advises many of the world’s most prominent companies, including over two dozen from the Fortune 500.

Thomas authored “The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader” (with Patrick Barwise, McGraw-Hill) and founded The Marketing Leadership Masterclass. He writes for Forbes, Nikkei and Marketing Week. Thomas holds an MBA from London Business School and a Master’s in Clinical Organizational Psychology from INSEAD. He serves as the Global CMO Fellowship Dean for the Marketing Academy and is an Honorary Fellow of The Marketing Society.

Keynote audiences

  • Client leaders, relationship managers, trusted advisors
  • The C-suite, top- and middle managers

Keynote formats

18-45 minutes


This keynote is particularly powerful at the beginning of a day. Through a mix of facts, stories, and examples, it sets the tone for trusted relationship building.