Steve Bernat (ONE group solutions): The power of ONE team
As a private company owned by its employees, ONE is an unusual fund governance solutions provider, one that seeks to impress clients by first pleasing its staff.
Investment specialists invested in their own work
Over the past four years, ONE has been developing its reputation as a fund governance solutions provider, with a team of seventy highly motivated fund industry experts providing solutions to over 120 blue-chip companies in the global asset management industry. The company’s services cover all alternative asset classes, as well as UCITS, catering to the varying needs of its clients. Its success has been built on an unusually egalitarian business model, structured to make everyone involved more invested in their work. Every employee is a shareholder in the company. There are no corporate titles differentiating rank and status, and everyone shares a single office space. “This approach to business creates a unique environment for our team,” Steve Bernat of ONE explains, “where everyone has a stake in the success of the company and the freedom and autonomy to excel at what they do best.”
“Everyone has a stake in the success of the company and the freedom and autonomy to excel at what they do best.” – Steve Bernat, Founding Partner of ONE
Empowering staff to delight clients
Changes in the industry have already provided interesting challenges for ONE. Clients have become more sophisticated expecting pragmatic solutions tailored to their circumstances. To succeed, these must be rigorously thought through, fully compliant with regulations, and efficient. Leveraging the latest technology helps to achieve these goals, and to establish the company’s credibility - an integral part of the ONE approach. But technology can’t solve everything, and talent is critical to providing a service. Staff who are empowered to do their best are more likely to deliver solutions that delight clients. To this end, the company encourages its staff to be authentic, honest, fair, and passionate in their work, creating an environment where people feel valued and empowered. This is reflected in the recognition they’ve received from the Great Place to Work© program.
Looking to the future
ONE takes a focused service approach. “We don’t want to be everything to everybody,” Steve Bernat explains, “but want to be the very best at what we do as a fund governance solutions provider.” As one of the last privately-owned companies left in its sector, ONE has more freedom to follow its own path. This means a focus on organic growth with clients the team are comfortable working with, while remaining focused on core products – third party management company, corporate secretary, and compliance solutions. Building long-term relationships with existing clients is important, but the company is also looking for opportunities to expand. It’s currently preparing to establish a presence in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia, and is growing its presence in Ireland.