Who can honestly say that 12 months ago, they believed the UK would vote for Brexit and that Donald Trump would be US President? We live in uncertain times and there is an undoubted impact of that uncertainty on the wider business world and the funds community specifically.
However, is that impact really as great as some would have us believe?
As a UK-based company with offices throughout Europe, and a new office in the United States (US), eShare CEO, Alister Esam, remains positive about the impact of recent political unrest: “Although the economy and business are both invariably topics on which many politicians like to hold forth, I often wonder what tangible and day-to-day influence on business politicians actually have?”
“A good, well-run business is a good well-run business, irrespective of what is happening in the world. I am a believer in standing or falling on the strength of a company’s products or services, and how well it is managed and run – that’s what I say to our clients in funds.”
Funds is a sector that eShare is very familiar with. We started out working mostly within the pensions industry but have been part of the funds community for the last four years, with a wide variety of clients including Credit Suisse, PwC and VP Fund Solutions. The other topic that seems to underpin many conversations and discussions when the funds community comes together, is technology.
Fintech exists to help any forward thinking business improve customer service, back office activities and money management, and it is at its most powerful when it harnesses the knowledge and expertise of humans.
A case in point are board members. Technology can really come into its own here – by simply delivering meeting papers to the board on a tablet. As you will probably guess, the device alone is only part of the solution.
Back in 2004, Alister Esam saw an opportunity for technology to improve the entire board meeting process – the forum by which a company’s strategy, culture and direction is set.
The answer is an app that helps the people who are responsible for making the decisions by which a company stands or falls, be better prepared, better informed and more honest. This board portal is essentially an online agenda that helps them better navigate the vast amount of information found in a board pack.
For large multi-national organisations, the parent board is likely to already have a board portal, but across the different jurisdictions and subsidiaries, this is less likely. In fact, for these larger organisations it is no longer simple to keep track of the directors and board meetings and this can become a full-time job in itself, let alone managing compliance across all the different jurisdictions. Joining up the entity management technology with the board portal technology will put the parent company back in control in terms of having the most up-to-date information at their fingertips and being able to make better decisions.
Good governance in 2017 means knowing what you are and why you exist, being well-run from top to bottom and having internal values and behaviours that are perpetuated externally across the world. Technology plays a major role in this, and what better place to start than in the boardroom – right at the top?
eShare is sponsoring the Funds Forum event in Berlin in June and will be demonstrating it’s solutions and how they help to revolutionise good governance in the funds sector.