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Advisory Boards in the Financial Sector

Part 9: What Advisory Boards might ask YOU (instead of just you asking the questions!)

While it’s true that Advisory Boards can be set up to address an almost infinite range of problems or opportunities, this truism doesn’t necessary help you understand specific issues that might be addressed by an AB. Today we present a series of examples to help make AB benefits more tangible. This article continues the series on Advisory Boards for the Financial Sector, which can be found [here].

The examples which follow are neither comprehensive nor representative, but they do overlap with our own experiences in the advisory space.

“So what?”

• While a company develops its strategy, independent AB members can add value by merely asking “So what?” for issues which, to an insider, might seem obvious.

• And the process of having to respond to such challenges ensures thinking in the company is clear and consistent.

• (Of course, anyone can ask this question, but when it’s from an AB that you’ve built a relationship with, and when you have to respond meaningfully to the challenge, it changes the dynamic, and thus the value you get from such a question.)

“What are the numbers saying about client satisfaction in the last quarter?”

• For a firm in the process of capital raising, it’s easy for the management team, especially the CEO, to become consumed by this, thus losing focus on clients, products, and operations.

• A whole-of-company Advisory Board ensures that the CEO takes a step back on a regular basis, and also provides much-needed support along the way.

• (Indeed, the existence of a well-run Advisory Board gives potential investors comfort about how seriously the company takes governance, oversight, expertise, and external insights.)

“How about I introduce you to them?”

• AB members, whether sector-specific or cross-industry, have their own networks, and can provide valuable introductions.

• This includes potential clients, partners, or investors.

“Why do you do it that way? We usually …”

• An independently-run Advisory Board may be less fixated on specific solutions, traditional channels, accepted approaches, or obvious clients.

• A first-ever client might be the most-high maintenance client. Your Strategic Roadmap may filled with actions and decisions, and not milestones. Your fee structure might make you more vulnerable to market downturns.

• By operating outside these pre-conceived ideas and emotional attachments, an AB can help trigger innovation and growth for a company.

“How will you measure the value of this AB?”

• And right from the beginning, by selecting metrics for judging the performance of the AB, a company is forced to think deeply about its objectives.

• This of course helps highlight priorities for a company, which is essential for success in a competitive environment.

To the extent that these trigger any ideas or questions for you, please continue to reach out to us. We’d love to chat further with you about how Advisory Boards can accelerate the achievement of your own goals.

ACTION: Remember that this coming Wed 28th June at 08:30-09:30, we will be hosting a FREE webinar on the practical steps of setting up an Advisory Board, including a discussion about “AI as an Advisor?” We’d love you to join us, please find details [here].

Written by Jonathan Watkin & Greg Solomon

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