Without knowledge of the right building blocks, there is only so far the fintech ecosystem can go.
In light of this, the Fintech Association of Nigeria (FintechNGR), held an enlightening webinar on the 6th of May, 2022.
The event was titled, ‘Scaling Fintechs with Corporate Governance & Brand Management’.
It was well-attended by fintechs and organizations under FintechNGR’s 21 categories of membership as well as others from the tech ecosystem.
The webinar which was the 24th edition of the Association’s #FintechLearningSeries, one of its knowledge-sharing events, explored key issues around Corporate Governance.
It examined the implications on areas like organizational structure, systems & processes, compliance, business continuity & contingency planning, ethics, code of conduct, and, risk frameworks.
It also touched on balancing brand management vis-à-vis brand perception and the best way to keep up that tempo against the backdrop of corporate governance or for managing reputational issues.
Sitting on the panel were top industry professionals – Uche Val Obi, Managing Partner, Alliance Law Firm; Adebisi Adeyemi, MD/CEO DCSL Corporate Services Ltd; Adebanke Orimolade, Co-founder, Cosec Administrators; and Simisola Eyisanmi, Managing Associate, Chris Ogunbanjo LP.
Here are a few of the insightful nuggets they shared;
-Fintech startups, especially those registered in other countries but operating locally, can adopt the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance as a code of best practices at the basic. They can identify areas of the code that apply to their operations and use it as a framework, then gradually tailor it to fit industry regulatory requirements as they scale.
-Cost-benefit analysis shows that the wins associated with governance pale in comparison to the actual monetary and reputational costs resulting from its absence. These costs include sanctions and delisting, in addition to issues of valuation and growth like IPOs, stock sell-offs and share prices.
-Accountability goes hand in hand with governance and startups need to consider that in setting up a corporate or advisory board.
-Corporate Governance goes beyond ticking boxes. It requires startup founders and key management leaders to have the right ethical framework from the outset as imbibed principles. These principles should then cascade down to employees, operations and the like, to ensure effectiveness and maximize value in the long run.
Overall, the panel agreed that there is only so much that PR and white-washing efforts can achieve. One of the closing thoughts echoed by all the panelists is that startups who get Corporate Governance right look more attractive to investors, and customers, and are better positioned to leverage institutional growth tools, as well as expand and successfully operate internationally.
Adebanke Orimolade’s parting words capture the panel’s shared position aptly, “Don’t put issues of governance on the back burner, else it could implode beyond control much later down the line.”
If you missed it, you can watch a replay of the session and its full insights right here.