By Adam Oldfield, Head of Sales & Account Management at Phoebus Software Limited

In my last article I talked about the similarities to be found in corporate and sporting worlds across leadership, team make-up and character. As we congratulated our Italian friends on their successes at the European championships, the gloss of their victory was too soon taken away by the minority that sadly are given too much airtime. The very fact I’m picking up on it in this article, could arguably be an example of this. But I do so briefly, to emphasise that whilst we started with the similarities between sports and business, our proud industry has stood tall to not accept such discrimination and prejudice.

In fact, I would suggest that we should continue to get bigger, better and stronger in our desire to be 100% inclusive in making our industry a genuine market for all, irrespective of gender, creed, colour or sexual orientation. Many organisations have sought to ensure that all levels of their organisation genuinely reflect the broader population with whom they seek to engage and serve on a daily basis.

If we overlay this with the broader drivers of the Economic Social Governance (ESG) framework, building upon its predecessor in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), then our industry has a lot to be proud of and for others to emulate.

There is a growing movement for organisations to embed the (relatively new) ESG framework as well as broader FCA and government environmental or “green” drivers. As this happens the focus on governance and social inclusivity becomes more important than ever. As a result, organisations often become more aware of their company values and drivers. The role of the supply chain has to play a part in ensuring your ESG programme is more than skin deep as organisations are increasingly judged on the ethics and standards of the suppliers they choose to work with, not just on their own practices.

As a result, as financial services organisations build out their IT partners and ecosystem, it will become increasingly important that the organisations they select and work with reflect their own social culture and ethos. IT partners are, after all, an extension of your brand. An organisation needs to ensure that the IT partner provides them with the technology framework that allows them to develop and engage with the proliferation of new FinTechs. This may be considered the bare minimum and so it needs to go further than this. An IT partner should also provide access to industry expertise and the knowledge to make the most of the technology available in order that you can use it to the maximum. It is also important to build the right partner relationships to accelerate your growth aspirations.

As organisations seek to find that key differentiator, ‘greener, more ethical finance’ is certainly becoming a new battleground and one that the consumer is increasingly interested in. As financial services institutions seek to fight this battle, it is more important than ever to find the right partner to help them on this journey.