Brian Stafford (Diligent Corporation): Board diligence due to Diligent
Subject to an ever-increasing flood of information, company board members need tools that deliver quality data quickly, says Brian Stafford, CEO of Diligent Corporation.
Can you describe Diligent’s activities in a few words?
At Diligent, we provide company board members with tools that help them perform their jobs efficiently while navigating ever-changing global environments. Through our software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, sold by subscription, we enable board members of corporations, government organizations and non-profit groups to stay ahead of governance challenges. by providing tools to address all board member needs, of which sharing and collaborating on information for board meetings is just one example. Diligent is the largest global network of corporate directors and executives, serving more 1,300 companies in Europe alone and more than 16,000 worldwide. We work with more than half of the Fortune 1000, 70% of Fortune 100 and 65% of AEX. We are proud of our local focus: our clients can choose to have their data hosted in Europe if they prefer. Diligent employs 1,000 people around the globe with more than half of revenue generated outside of the U.S.
“Our global scale allows us to adapt our activities to serve clients in all markets, with a local focus”
How do you adapt to your clients’ needs?
Our global reach and scale allow us to serve clients in all markets, with a local focus. This is especially true in places where we see a concentration of industries. For example, we are one of the prominent global players serving the asset management sector in fund management hubs around the globe, including New York and London. We aim to serve Luxembourg in a similar matter, applying this same local focus. We already count numerous asset managers among our clients as Diligent started out as a control tool for distributing board material to mutual fund boards. The reason we have gathered such traction in the sector is that we have worked closely with funds and have invested heavily in security relative to our competition. With the concentration of alternative asset fund managers in the Grand-Duchy, we are very happy to continue investing in Luxembourg, and to answer the call of our clients located there.
What trends do you foresee for Diligent and the sector in the next five years?
There are three emerging trends. The first is the continuing increase in both the speed and volume of information board members need to assimilate. Whatever the subject – cyber-risk, regulation or political uncertainty - they will need more frequent access to such information through dedicated tools. This gives rise to the second trend, the need for linking board members with tools that allow them to collaborate in a way that reduces the response time in complex environments, such as the fund industry. The third is board composition, which increasingly focuses on levels of diversity and expertise. This requires more tools to identify and provide organizations with the right talent for their boards and executive teams. Through its app, Diligent provides a list of potential candidates who are searchable by specific criteria.
More information: www.diligent.com