Chief Executive’s Q&A
Discussion on business and strategy with CEO
Q What do you mean by doing more, faster, for less?Cloud computing offers a quantum leap forward in productivity for portfolio analytics. Clients can do more because we have brought together all our expertise in one product and added more functions. It is faster because the processes that have slowed things down in the past have been removed or made so efficient that you don’t notice them any more and it costs less because the economies of scale we are able to gain by being cloud-based are amazing. The gain can be a factor of 30 or more.
Q What’s so important about sharing and what does this mean for the future of StatPro?
Every portfolio is a network. You have the owner of the portfolio, the advisor, the manager, the regulator and other experts who all have an interest or responsibility in that portfolio. So a fund manager shares with a pension fund, a pension fund might share with a pension consultant, a fund of fund manager shares with private wealth companies, private wealth companies will share with their clients. Each needs to do this in a safe and secure way and StatPro Revolution does it brilliantly.
Q What benefits can existing clients get from StatPro Revolution today?
StatPro Revolution provides a wonderful method of communicating with your clients as well as with other people in your business. StatPro Seven was designed to produce analysis, not really to distribute it. Do you remember when we used to get monthly printed bank statements only by post? Now we can just go online and see our account. The same benefits are now available for portfolio analysis and our clients of StatPro Seven will find it easy to add StatPro Revolution and start reaping those benefits now.
Q What makes StatPro different?
I think it is our vision and our ambition. We could not have built StatPro Revolution without a desire to build the best, most efficient, most useful portfolio analytics system in the world. Without the stubbornness to ignore the naysayers and overcome all the many complex physical challenges, it would also have been impossible. But today we have a service that has 3.2 million asset histories, thousands of indexes and a rapidly rising number of clients and portfolios. We’re different because we sit across the whole platform, we encompass every level of the supply chain. It is what people want.
Q What does the future hold for StatPro?
Our vision is that our clients will be able to use not only all the analytics we provide through StatPro Revolution, but also access the products and services of our current and future partners. What is more, we hope that our clients will take increasing advantage of the sharing functionality to enable their clients and colleagues to see their portfolios. StatPro Revolution is to monthly client reports what online banking is to monthly bank statements: the future.
Q What corporate and social responsibilities does StatPro take part in?
It is a firm belief of the people in StatPro that education is one of the most valuable gifts any of us can have. In the West we take this for granted, but in Africa it is a privilege. Specifically in South Africa, a college education can increase your potential salary five to 10 times. This is why StatPro has pledged to contribute 1% of annual revenue from StatPro Revolution to fund the education of school children in and around Cape Town. Our sponsorship has enabled 23 students in 2012 to get an education that would otherwise have been impossible. We have been gradually increasing sponsorship over the last five years and we have some wonderful success stories. Our view is that the imbalance between the rich and poor is largely one of unequal opportunity and access to education. Over the next 50 years, we hope that South Africa can transform its society and make it better balanced through the spread of higher education. The students we are helping to educate today, will join the growing ranks of taxpayers, effectively paying back the investment being made in them through their taxes. StatPro can’t do much, but we can do something and we believe that the compound effect of sustained support for education will make its mark. More information can be found here.
On a sadder note, Mike Walsh, who was our leading US salesman, was struck down by a brain tumour around Easter 2011. He had surgery and intensive care, but after a long fight, he succumbed to the illness in May 2012. Mike was only 44 years old, in great form and married with two daughters who were two and three years old when he died. Mike was not only a great salesman, but also someone who led by example and worked extremely hard. It was not by accident that he was always our best or second best salesman each year. We decided that in memory of Mike we would create the Mike Walsh Award for the top selling salesman each year. A prize of 1% of the value of the sales made by the winner is split between the salesman and a foundation we have set up for his two daughters. The hope is that over the years, the value of the foundation will grow to help fund the college education of his daughters.
14 March 2013