Martin Vogel (Waystone): The New Compass Setting the Course
Creating a single brand from a group of merged Mancos, Martin Vogel, CEO Europe of the new group, says choosing the name Waystone demonstrates the firm’s commitment to helping clients find solutions to new, complex regulatory and jurisdictional challenges that lay ahead.
Can you explain your rebranding in a few words?
Our rebrand arose from the merger of the DMS Group, MontLake and MDO into a single group over the past 12 months. With the merger of these companies, we have set ourselves a very high bar of operational excellence in terms of how we focus on client needs, advice and service. This is what we're building our brand on in terms of giving our clients all the solutions they need to meet their regulatory requirements. The creation of a single brand demonstrates how we have grown together in a relatively short space of time, to deliver certainty in an increasingly complex, global environment. By rebranding, our clients can see the direction in which we are steering our business and how we will be best-placed to guide them in building the best structure and choosing the best products from within the range of choices we offer. We also wanted Waystone to reflect our values as a service provider. Our clients see us as solid, robust and astute to their needs, we aim to ensure that our clients can sleep well at night with Waystone at the helm.
How do you analyze the current transformation of your industry?
I see a primary trend towards a limited number of big service providers who can bring the clients not only local but cross-jurisdictional offerings. With the reduction in the number of players, you will need critical mass to survive. The trend is being driven not only by client demand but also by the regulators who clearly want bigger, more robust and well-established management companies and corporate governance providers. The second trend I see developing is that clients are increasingly expecting Management Companies to offer a wider range of services that go beyond simply covering the regulatory requirements. Clients look for a service provider that can give them support in all areas related to risk management, oversight, valuation, compliance, distribution, reporting, etc., so that they can concentrate their efforts on their core expertise. There is of course no ‘one size fits all’ solution, so, as our clients address the increasing complexities and challenges in the regulatory or governance arenas, we have the teams, resources and skill set to tailor solutions specifically to meet our clients’ expectations.
"Our clients see us as solid, robust and astute to their needs, we aim to ensure that our clients can sleep well at night with Waystone at the helm."
What challenges and opportunities do you identify for Waystone in the medium-term?
The speed at which regulators are implementing new rules creates a complex series of challenges. To manage this, the industry is continuously lowering the threshold at which they outsource compliance and governance. This represents a clear opportunity for us and is why Waystone is unique in offering a complete suite of services including distribution, portfolio management and reporting. It shows our key point of difference, in going beyond the third-party Manco to deliver all the services that our clients expect of us. Waystone differentiates itself by being regulated in the UK, Ireland and Luxembourg and having various passported licences in many EU-member states. We are truly cross-jurisdictional, offering services in Europe, the Cayman Islands and solutions for the Asia-Pacific and US regions.
One particular challenge is the current trend for our clients to invest more in environmental, social and governance assets (ESG). We are well prepared to meet this new challenge and are have aligned our operational model in order to fully support our clients in this area. Understandably, there remain a number of challenges, such as access to meaningful ESG data, clarity on future regulations and how the market will respond to this trend.