18.10.2022 Finance Farvest Decrypt Interview Tech

Rob Boerman (GOVERNANCE.COM): "We help transform the asset management industry, one process at a time"

Writer Samira Joineau

The financial sector is going through an increasing and important digitization of its services, hence the importance to consider implementing an efficient digital transition strategy. Governance.com Co-Founder & CTO Rob Boerman shares insights on how to best implement an efficient strategy and maintain it over time.

Governance.com is a national leader in digital and automation solutions. Could you further explain the company’s ambition?

Our ambition is more significant than before. While previously focused on the Luxembourg market, we have now gone global by working with internationally operating financial institutions. With the TMF Group, for example, we recently rolled out our low-code process management platform across 85 countries.

However, our ambition also encompasses the types of clients we are working with, not just location. The larger international institutions’ challenges are increasingly complex, which motivates us. We were born out of the motivation to overcome the ever-increasing complexity of banking regulation.

Today, we truly get to help our clients with their challenges, no matter how complex. We work together to unpick their complicated processes and then rebuild them, step by step, into automated processes and workflows. This is how we make digital transformation happen and loops back to our overriding ambition: to help transform the asset management industry, one process at a time.

It is clear that your solutions aim at helping businesses in their digital transformation and easing their workflow. What would you recommend to companies willing to redefine their business practices to stay on course?

Digital transformation is not only about technology or the business process itself. It strongly depends on dedication and buy-in throughout the business. Company leaders must ensure that every co-worker aligns with their (digital) vision. To achieve this, everyone needs to understand that digital transformation enables instant results and benefits for everyone everyone involved.

Listening to our clients, it can certainly be challenging to bring everyone on board their digitalisation project at once. Change can be challenging. Some employees may have been used to working a certain way for a long time. Luckily, the benefits of digitalisation, such as process automation, can be demonstrated and experienced first-hand and fast. We often observe that a little internal education goes a long way.

Another recommendation is to build long-term ambition. We advise you to start small and scale-up your digitalisation project one process at a time, yet hand-in-hand with long-term vision and ambition to help inspire all engaged.

Could you give us an example of a Luxembourg-based company that successfully implemented a digital transition strategy thanks to one of the solutions mentioned previously? 

ONE Group solutions, which provides “next generation” fund management solutions, uses our process automation platform as part of their “NextGen technology”. We helped them achieve circa 30-40% operational efficiency savings. This freed up employees’ time for more value-added tasks to help achieve operational excellence.

Digital tools experience a high-speed development process. How does Governance.com keep up in the innovation race?  

Our platform itself is the product of constant evolution. It is super adaptable and easy to configure. This agility is the fun part of my role!

Initially, I developed our process automation solutions to help out my twin brother, now our co-founder and CEO, in his “day job” at one of the banks in Luxembourg. He wanted to better deal with the increasing compliance and regulatory burden under his responsibility (KYC, Anti-Money Laundering, etc.).

Several years later, we are still continually developing our process automation platform and solutions both to respond to regulatory changes and to the individual needs of our clients.
We work in partnership with our clients; to “co-configure” with them so that our technology solutions can meet their nuances while ultimately being based on our standard platform.

Our “hand-in-hand” approach is something our clients appreciate; it is as if we were an extension of their end-user team. In turn, we learn from our clients, which feeds positively into our technology development.

According to you, which trends related to automation or digitalization should companies keep an eye on? 

Please let’s not forget the human value added in the development of digitalisation!
There is a lot of buzz around Robot Process Automation (RPA), for example. But while RPA plays an important role today and in the future, robots follow a script. A robot can perform human tasks it is set to do, but it can never replace our ability to actually “think” and analyse for us. We must develop and work with new technology, not expect FinTech solutions to replace humans entirely.

Our solution places humans at the heart of their data and workflow management. We weave in human touchpoints to help develop and be able to deploy technology to automate each process and workflow. We need humans to make the decisions that lead to the most effective processes and priorities.

I want to see this as an encouraging shift in the market: The realisation that while digital tools are becoming increasingly essential for effective, lower-risk and competitive business operations, this can only be successful when the tools allow for human touchpoints. People and teams still need to collaborate, interact and steer their business processes.

Ultimately, humans will always prevail over technology, even if the latter can take over an increasing number of our tasks. And I say this as probably one of the most passionate tech heads out there!

Credits: Andrea