The recent announcement of a high-level addition to the Board of Directors of YCharts – one of the leading research platforms on investment and financial technology in rapid growth ( FinTech ) – emphasizes how important it is for growing companies to strategically fill their board seats. Carefully choosing board members demonstrates the company's commitment and strategic planning towards its rapid growth goals and can provide an accelerated expansion of its presence and effectiveness in their markets. It can also be an early indicator that could reveal how well built and powerful their growth engine and product reach can be.
To help financial services consultants and leaders in their due diligence and partnership decisions in working with FinTech companies, the Institute for Innovation Development has asked executives of YCharts and other FinTech members of the Institute to comment on the importance and strategic nature of the members of the board of directors. What do they see as the true nature and characteristics of a strong board member? What kind of dynamic group or opportunity can bring board members to innovative entrepreneurial start-ups?
The following information from these FinTech industry leaders can help advisors better understand the potential of a company in terms of power and factor in technology partner decisions:  Sean Brown, President and CEO of YCharts : "A board of directors must be more than one" advice from investors "or" council of people who will be in agreement with the CEO. "It is important that every member of the board of directors plays a well-defined role in enabling the growth of the company to which the board of directors belongs. YCharts board of directors is made up of a diverse group of people who bring unique experiences, skills and perspectives to our board meetings. They help us lift our heads and see strategic and operational opportunities that will enable us to better achieve our business goals. They ask big questions. Our thoughts challenge. They help us to see the pitfalls. They open doors or help management "connect points" strategically. They are available to help outside formal council meetings "
Adam Holt, CEO and Founder of Asset-Map :" It is of paramount importance to include people who can hold responsible leadership and not only populate the board with people the founders know from their network. We have heard of peers adding family members and requesting approval of the rubber stamp and rarely rejecting. However this does not serve the final game of most founders – nor does it instill confidence in investors who are looking for aligned leadership and interests.
At the end of the day a member of the strong council will provide information, access to the network and the experience that often founders lack. These traits and these contributions can change the game or stagnate depending on alignment. We look for a good deal of passion for the mission and still enough experience to see beyond rosy glasses to make honest and congruent decisions. The goal is to ensure that the Boards have the success of the company as their best interest even when it is unpopular or controversial. "
Corey Westphal, CEO and Founder of Mobile Assistant :" Similar to a boat captain who relies on the help of his crew, using the knowledge and the Board members' experience is a powerful resource for business owners to help navigate the waters of the industry. The practical experience from different points of view by the members of the board gives guidance and guidance to important decisions. Listening to and analyzing these perspectives can be the competitive advantage that puts the organization on the right track to achieve positive results.
A member of the value board is one that encompasses the entire business history and has the ability to identify and facilitate the intra-industry partnership. Board members who understand and have experience with growing partnerships will help improve the offerings of integrated products or solutions. These board members present unique perspectives of past experiences that enable decision makers to focus on solutions that reflect strategic direction. "
Aaron Schumm, founder and CEO of Vestwell : " It is naive for any CEO to say he knows everything and everyone. If you're not learning every day, you're not pushing hard enough. When I have a problem or I want to make myself an idea, my board members are my first call. In the end, we are all on the same boat and having strong support at the level of advice helps you bring the company to the next level.
When I chose members of the board of directors, as well as investors, I found it imperative to surround yourself and your team with different points of view and areas of expertise. I looked for people who (1) deeply understood the industry and the nuances, (2) agreed thematically with the approach, (3) understood the delivery of B2B2C FinTech and (4) had strong and reliable networks. I do not want everyone to agree with me all the time. It's not useful. But it is important to have a basis on which to build points of view. Therefore, we can solve together, while we build the business, with motivations and long-term visions aligned. "
Michael Roth, President of RetireUp : " A strong board of FinTech is characterized by its ability to support and motivate leadership through the depth of experience and targeted skills and inspiring confidence to pursue innovation in a landscape characterized by instability and uncertainty without pressure to reach perfection. This powerful dynamic board promotes the culture of success and positions FinTech companies to introduce innovative solutions on the market. "
David Kleinhandler, founder and president of Vest Financial Group :" Having a board of directors the consultants who bring many different skills to the table are important to be able to lean on them for support and guidance. The key is stacking your card with consultants who are in line with you to solve the problem and help you prepare your platform for the first time and speed in the market. Having people who understand how to run a business is important because they will help you avoid major mistakes, keep you focused on the laser and keep you accountable. "
Disclosure: I / we have no positions in any of the titles mentioned, and no plan to start any position within the next 72 hours.
I wrote this article by myself, and expresses my opinions. I am receiving compensation for this, I have no business relationship with any company whose title is mentioned in this article.