Case Studies

BFC Group Sees A Good Return On Its Investment In Diligent’s Governance Cloud

Based in Bharain in Middle East, BFC Group Board and Secretaries use Diligent Board management software to securely and effeciently manage all of its Board materials.

 

BFC Group Holdings (BFC Group) parents a group of companies specialising in the provision of money transfer, foreign currency exchange and wholesale currency services.
The company prides itself on providing reliable, safe and convenient solutions to millions of people and organisations around the globe. Headquartered in Bahrain, the company also
has subsidiaries in the UK, Kuwait, India and Malaysia. As Group General Counsel and Board Secretary of BFC Group, Jawad Zabar finds that time is his most precious resource, and it’s always in short supply.

In addition to supporting the 7 directors on the main board in quarterly meetings, Jawad provides counsel to the Boards of the group’s subsidiary companies around the world. To do this effectively, he needs clear visibility and control over board documents, processes and activities; that’s where he finds that Board management software pay dividends:

“Using Diligent’s board management software makes sharing and accessing Board information simple,” says Jawad. “Archiving and retrieving information is also straightforward and it forms a secure, central repository for all the relevant information and approvals associated with Board activities.”

BFC Group’s Board Document Challenge

Jawad has been using a Board portal since joining BFC Group in 2015 and, while he is a strong advocate, his experience has highlighted some essential criteria that Board portals must fulfil:

“It’s got to be accessible and user-friendly from a design perspective and reliable from the technology point of view,” he notes. “You don’t need the anxiety of wondering whether the technology will work when you’re trying to run business-critical Board meetings.”

Intuitive administration is essential, and this hasn’t always been available to Jawad. In the past, it has taken considerable time to assemble and share Board materials. “It could take up to a full day to put together materials, load them and check that the links were all working,” he explains. “That’s time taken away from higher-value and more strategic activities.” BFC Group sees a good return on its investment in Diligent’s Governance Cloud solution.

BFC Group’s Move to Diligent Board Management Software 

BFC Group now uses Diligent Board management software to manage all of its Board materials, and Jawad finds it more efficient than previous tools: “I can now assemble Board meeting materials via the app in as little as 15 minutes and distribute them securely to directors,” he says. “It’s also very reliable in meetings and an elegant way to present materials on a big screen.”

Aside from sharing and presenting Board materials, Jawad and the directors of BFC Group are making good use of several other features of Diligent’s Governance Cloud.

The Results Of Moving To Secure Board Software

Flexibility and Security For Directors and Data

BFC Group’s directors frequently travel internationally and appreciate having the flexibility to access and work on Board information wherever and whenever they need to, via their personal devices.

“Our directors prefer to use their personal devices to access Diligent Boards,” explains Jawad, “so it’s useful that the director app works consistently across iPads, tablets and laptops. It means they’re comfortable with accessing materials and adding notes.” Security is also an important factor: “Like any organisation, we have had incidents where devices have been lost or stolen, but the facility to remotely remove access to Diligent Boards from the compromised device means we kept our sensitive data secure.”

Improved Board Processes with Voting & Resolutions and eSignatures

Keen to streamline Board processes and improve governance, Jawad has introduced the use of Diligent’s customisable Voting & Resolutions feature for votes on resolutions and financials, policies and proposals. This helps to track the voting process and create a clear record of the outcome. “Directors also take the opportunity to add comments,” says Jawad, “which means that these also become part of the Board record.”

Similarly, BFC Group has adopted eSignatures so that Directors can securely authorise minutes, policies and resolutions without having to resort to hard copy documents that are less convenient and secure. “Using eSignatures means we have an electronic record that is easily retrievable,” notes Jawad.

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