Embracing transparency is the key to success in 2018

The funds industry is one in which a week can feel like a minute, such is the fast paced and ever changing nature of industry trends and, especially in recent years, regulatory change. Since the financial crash of 2008, the world has opened its eyes to the concept of transparency and governance. There is now a demand for greater accountability surrounding the financial institutions that have influence over the success or failure of a nation’s economic potential.

Around this time, eShare was helping boards of all organisations to run more effectively and efficiently. eShare’s governance improving board portal BoardPacks certainly helped elevate the awareness and demand for such a solution around this time. The creation of mobile apps from 2012 started to bring tangible benefits for the directors themselves, making oversight much easier.

Public awareness and press coverage of governance related issues are undeniably higher than before, yet there is still work to be done for boards to improve their digital processes as well as their IT security. That’s why Daniel Tin, eShare’s representative covering the DACHLU territories, will be attending this year’s Fund Forum in Berlin, to demonstrate the latest innovations in BoardPacks to enable better governance, and also greater security of sensitive documents.

This year’s FundForum comes weeks after the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect, what impact could this change, among many other new regulations, have on the industry?

“A lot has been written about GDPR and the impact this could have, largely down to the size of the potential penalty for non-compliance, however, looking at the bigger picture, what this has done is focus the mind on how organisations store their data, where it’s stored and how they use it. For the safety of personal and private data, this can only be a good thing, not only for the future security of such data, but for the future of organisations within this industry.

Having a firm grip on your data security is vital for the success of any organisation. The damage done by a leak extends further than the fine handed out by the regulators, although this is bad enough. The reputational damage could far outweigh this, not just in terms of bad press, but the potential inability to attract future clients and investors could be huge. The same risks are at stake when discussing any regulatory failure or governance issue which is why we’re keen to continue our discussions around this matter at this year’s conference.”

FinTech was a major focus of last year’s conference, how has the advancement of FinTech changed the Funds industry over the past 12 months?

“FinTech is a broad term covering many areas – from blockchain to roboadvisors – which means that its impact has been far reaching, but the digital transformation across every aspect of each organisation has been the catalyst for the most change.

An organisation’s willingness to adopt technology demonstrates to its shareholders and customers that they are forward thinking in their approach and, providing they partner with the right providers, allows them the access to the most up-to-date of security measures and ensures they make the most out of any budget outlay on new technological solutions.”

Would you say that digitisation is a priority for organisations in this space?

“Absolutely, in fact, I know it is! At every event eShare attends, we hold a survey to allow delegates to give us their insights on industry topics and trends, and at last year’s conference, we asked that very question. The results show that 84% of respondents agree that digitisation is a priority across their entire organisation.

Digitisation in itself is merely a process of transferring data from legacy and paper based systems to electronic form. What organisations really have to grasp is digital transformation. Another recent buzzword, which means changing the structure and connectedness of data to unlock its potential and freeing up time and money away from lengthy and unnecessary processes, allowing the focus to be on more business critical matters.”

Finally, what benefits has board portal technology brought to organisations using it in the sector?

“Keeping board meetings organised, secure and professional can improve a little by putting the documents online. However, if you really want to drive better governance and collaboration, then choosing software that takes this more innovative approach, like BoardPacks, will reap greater rewards for your boards.

The latest updates and features include proxy voting, document tracking, and topic history, which allows for greater transparency and accountability around decision making, while also granting the flexibility for directors to access their information securely from the device of their choice

Being able to demonstrate the benefits of these new features at this year’s conference will be incredibly exciting and I cannot wait to begin!”

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