FINTECH BOARDS – LAGGING EDGE GOVERNANCE?
While the financial technology (fintech) revolution is shaking up banking, payments, credit (and even the concept of “money” itself), corporate boards are struggling to keep up, says an article in the July issue of online monthly Boardroom INSIDER. BI publisher and governance speaker Ralph Ward notes that both established banks and startups in the sector lack the “board talent, controls and attitudes” to fully monitor and lead in the new fintech world.
Startups in fintech, particularly, show “a shallow gene pool” on board vitae. Founders and investors represent most board membership, making them weak on finance and strategic operational skills. Outside CEOs and CFOs can provide the first-hand experience and networks the young company needs to grow in a tightly-regulated, volatile sector.
But Ward notes that established banks seeking to build their fintech offerings also have boards ill-suited to the task. Bank boards by nature are highly risk averse, and “typically the opposite of the innovative, fast-moving approach needed to exploit fintech change.”
While such moves would likely not be popular with directors, Ward suspects that liability and investor pressure will make “wired” directorship the next boardroom demand. “When critics ask ‘where was the board?’ the corporate secretary had better have an answer.”
Other articles in the July issue include:
NOW ON AUDIOBOOK.
— Here’s why you have more “board experience” than you think (and why your current resume hides it).
— How women can jump the career obstacles they face into the boardroom.
— Finding your board search mentors and networks.
— How board searches really work (and how to turn flaws in the process to your advantage).
— Gaining the attention of board contacts and search firms.
— Prepping for a board interview… and for your first board meeting.