As 2023 draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to look back over the year, reflecting on the challenges and celebrating the achievements, while we look forward with confidence to 2024.
I was delighted to be appointed CEO of Goal Group in November 2023. Since my appointment as interim CEO, in March 2023, the last nine months have only confirmed my opinion of Goal Group as one of the most dynamic and innovative companies in the fintech sector. The team here is second to none, and I’m very proud to be a part of it.
On that note, we have just received the results of a recent client satisfaction survey which show that my views are strongly endorsed by our clients, who consistently attest to our dynamism, professional knowledge, efficiency, reliability and responsiveness. Our Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is a customer satisfaction metric measuring how likely customers are to recommend us, is 68. As anything over 50 is excellent, we’re delighted with this unequivocal seal of approval, which included comments like these:
‘Great client service and always willing to assist.’
‘. . . the team is very responsive and helpful.’
‘The quality of the services provided is exceptional. Their attention to detail and commitment to delivering a top-notch service set them apart.’
‘Staff we deal with are very responsive and good communicators.’
As a further demonstration of our strength, four top level promotions were made from within the team – James Cole as Chief Financial Officer, Vicky Dean as Chief Revenue Officer, Bryan Gray as Managing Director of APAC and Nicole Hajj as Chief Operations Officer. We also welcomed Jonathan Wearing as non-executive director.
During 2023, we have been streamlining the business and creating a more agile model, ready to respond with increasing rapidity. We have been strengthening our client facing teams, allowing them to concentrate on what they do best – servicing our clients. It has been transformational, and we are delighted with our improved agility and flexibility.
Earlier in the year we signed a channel partnership agreement with FIS (Fidelity National Information Services) for Goal to provide its processing service for class actions. Offered as part of FIS’s asset servicing suite of products, the service is named FIS Class Actions and is available to all existing and new clients of FIS.
A further contribution to industry engagement and pursuit of excellence this year has been our involvement in an industry-wide survey, ‘Proxy and Class Actions: Today’s ESG Challenge’ in conjunction with The Value Exchange, ISSA, FIS and Proxymity. We’ve been at the forefront of the promotion of ESG principles which are creating a sea change in proxy voting and securities class action participation from all areas of the investor spectrum. The survey is intended to help drive industry discussion on how to support increased shareholder stewardship, and we believe it will provide a significant window into how organisations are achieving ESG targets, as well as signposting future trends and challenges.
In June, the EU published a legislative proposal for a directive (known as FASTER) which aims to make withholding tax procedures in the EU more efficient and secure for investors, financial intermediaries and member states. This is a positive move; we continue to monitor developments and are ready to respond immediately to any changes.
We’re very committed to engaging with key industry bodies and sharing insights and experience; we’re regularly in touch with ISSA, The Value Exchange, SIFMA, BDUG, ICGN and The Network Forum. We see this as part of a wider responsibility to the overall excellence of our sector. Following on from this, we’ve been honoured to be recognised by the industry in a number of key awards this year.
One of the things I love about the Goal Group team is the passion for and commitment to going the extra mile, both in and out of the office. We have a particular emphasis on staff volunteering, with every employee being offered two days a year to volunteer for an approved organisation. This year we signed up to The Big Help Out, a voluntary initiative supported by some of the UK’s biggest volunteer organisations. Their app helps staff find local volunteering opportunities and search by dates they are available. In addition, at the end of November we undertook a charity fundraiser event in aid of Tommy’s and Macmillan Cancer Support. This involved a 10k walk crossing all eight major London bridges, starting with Westminster and ending at Tower Bridge. Braving blisters and the British weather, six team members strode out and we were delighted to have raised £1,156.50 (and counting!) for these two incredibly worthwhile charities.
And on that note, as the last weeks of 2023 approach, I, and all of us here at Goal Group, would like to wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and a productive and successful new year.