Stay relevant. Technology is innovating at an unprecedented pace and it’s going to take work to ensure that your skills are up to par for your industry. Make sure that you put yourself on the forefront of next-gen technologies to keep your seat at the table.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Patricia Rosch , president of Broadridge’s international Investor Communication Solutions business.
Can you share with us the story of how you decided to pursue this career path? What lessons can others learn from your story?
I initially started my career in management consulting, a path that taught me what it meant to apply my creativity to my work and to be nimble when it came to problem solving. Within this role, I was exposed to a great deal of technology and its applications across the business environment, life at home and society. As my interest in technological innovation grew, I moved into the financial services sector and worked closely with technology folks at a large Canadian bank where I was responsible for building and launching new digital banking channels, such as telephone banking, debit cards, smart cards and internet banking.
Joining Broadridge gave me the opportunity to combine my financial services and technology experiences and put them to work in the area of investor communications. Broadridge offers me the chance to work on cutting-edge projects and provides me with an outlet for creative problem solving and continuous learning.
What are the most interesting projects you are working on now?
Working for a leading Fintech firm, I am responsible for finding ways to apply new technologies to investor communications and proxy voting. In recent years, I’ve been working to identify ways we can use blockchain technology to improve the individual investor’s overall experience and their access to proxy voting.
By experimenting varied use-cases with banks and custodians, we’ve effectively used blockchain to innovate the proxy voting process. Ultimately, our goal is to increase transparency with end to end vote confirmation resulting in improved corporate governance through these efforts.
I especially enjoyed working on our recent pilot with Banco Santander AGM, in which we were the first firm to establish connectivity in a blockchain environment for proxy voting. This project was instrumental to our effort in profiling the benefits of reading and writing on the blockchain, while also working with various market participants and collaborating with business and technology partners.
In 2019, we are exploring next-gen digital technologies that will make distributing proxy communications and voting even more accessible by bringing the experience to mobile devices.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about them?
Of the exceptional mentors and sponsors I’ve been fortunate to have, I’ve been especially inspired by Rich Daly, former CEO of Broadridge and current Executive Chairman of the Board. Rich always tells us to “be relevant.” When Broadridge spun out of Automatic Data Processing in 2007, Rich established the company as one that innovates through its business strategy, rather than a company that innovates as a reaction to new challenges. This simple reminder to “be relevant” is a great way to motivate the entrepreneurial, innovative and continuously curious spirit.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
1. Blockchain is the most transformative technology since the Internet. Like the emergence of the Internet, which is now intrinsically part of all our lives, blockchain has the potential to transform our day-to-day, but on an even quicker timeline.
2. Organizations are reimagining their innovation roadmaps because of blockchain. At Broadridge, we’re working with leading blockchain start-ups and other key innovators, such as Digital Assets, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Hyperledger and R3 Corda, to ensure we’re readying both ourselves and our clients for the next generation of business.
3. Blockchain is disrupting businesses and industries right now — early adopters are officially out of the sandbox and taking blockchain projects active in various practical applications. At Broadridge, we’ve already conducted live pilots and Proof of Concepts in partnership with many of our clients.
4. Blockchain is breaking down borders and allowing for more collaboration than previously possible. Applying blockchain to our day-to-day work is an opportunity for new business interactions across borders, making doing business more efficient — especially for those operating on a global scale.
5. Blockchain is bringing the “network value” to the next level. Companies can now have collaborative, interconnected networks that provide transparency for all participants. One of the greatest examples of blockchain’s network value is in financial services — an industry that faces significant hurdles in regulatory reporting and anti-money laundering measures. By forming an inter-bank network on the blockchain, the entire industry could more reliably and securely track the location of assets across transactions, reducing risk of regulatory incompliance and white-collar crime.
What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
1. Blockchain “fever” is normalizing. We’ve noticed that more CEOs are referencing blockchain less frequently during analyst calls than they did one year ago, particularly as the focus has moved to finding applications for the technology. Attention and engagement from executives are critical to build on existing momentum and industry-wide development.
2. Companies may run into speed-bumps in their implementation stages if the necessary executives are not on board. It will take a great deal of educating to get the approvals to move forward in many cases. Businesses that don’t put proper time, attention and investment behind blockchain capabilities could face significant challenges in keeping up with more advanced competitors in future months or years.
3. There are also traction and momentum inconsistencies across market participants, as different industries require various stages of due diligence for proof points. This will present significant challenges for collaboration across industries or in mergers and acquisitions; areas that already face challenges in tech integration. Enterprises that operate in multiple sectors could also face difficulties in the pace at which different lines of business are able or willing to move processes onto the blockchain.
4. Regulatory interest in emerging technologies is growing. This could present a wide-array of new considerations for firms dabbling in blockchain. A recent example is the Delaware Blockchain Law, which created significant compliance changes for companies incorporated in Delaware, as they are now allowed to keep track of their stockholders and outstanding stock using blockchain technology.
5. From the end of 2017 to now, the price of various cryptocurrencies dropped dramatically. Rumblings in the market, including articles asking if crypto is “hype or reality” or in a “boom or bust” cycle are making many skeptical about the currency’s endurance. The challenge in this is that many associate blockchain only in the context of cryptocurrency. There is a significant market education that needs to be done to overcome the association between the two.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
The best thing I can offer as a mentor is my professional network and guidance based on my own experience. I actively encouraged others to get involved in new initiatives and leverage the benefits of knowledge sharing. I recently endorsed an associate on my analytics solutions team for courses offered through Broadridge U (Broadridge’s internal learning center) and externally at a local university. With new skills under the associate’s belt, I then connected her with our blockchain programmers in India, offering her global exposure to and learning opportunities with our experts. It’s been a wonderful experience helping one of our top associates continue to grow to her best potential.
As you know there are not that many women in your industry. Can you share 3 things that you would you advise to other women in the blockchain space to thrive?
1. Embrace change. As a young girl, I had a pen pal from Japan and always dreamed of going there. After many twists and turns in my career, I am now on the board of Investor Communications Japan and we just completed a groundbreaking blockchain project in November. By staying open to changes in an increasingly technological world, I’ve effectively opened myself up to new opportunities that I once could only imagine.
2. Get involved. Step out of your comfort zone and get involved with a new project or team. Applying your unique perspective to new problems opens you to new learning and helps your colleagues think outside the box. This can lead to more colleagues looking to you for creative ideas as well as for new projects and career opportunities.
3. Stay relevant. Technology is innovating at an unprecedented pace and it’s going to take work to ensure that your skills are up to par for your industry. Make sure that you put yourself on the forefront of next-gen technologies to keep your seat at the table.
Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the blockchain industry?
To engage more women in the blockchain industry, we need to be invited to be a part of the conversation. It is crucial that more companies empower women early, through both internal and external initiatives, to give us more opportunities and learning experiences to explore blockchain’s potential. At Broadridge, we create a culture that empowers others to achieve more. We provide our own employees with learning opportunities through Broadridge U and we also partner with NPower to provide STEM-related educational opportunities to disadvantaged young adults.
What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?
My favorite quote is from Fred DeVito of Exhale Enterprises, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” I think that it is vital to our professional — and our personal — lives that we continuously try to expand our horizons by learning and growing. Recently, I determined that I wanted to learn more about the mutual fund industry in Europe, so when the opportunity arose I put my hand up to be part of the acquisition team. Through this project, I was able to use my existing skillset to dive deeply into a new and exciting area of my company’s business. As a result, I now get to work with a great team that improves the automation in the creation, management and digital distribution of global fund managers’ regulatory, marketing and sales documents.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would love to help other businesses around the globe expand provision of the continuous learning opportunities that I and my colleagues at Broadridge have, similar to the school Broadridge started in India with the MV Foundation. I especially respect this initiative, which began in 2007, as it builds on the idea of increased and improved opportunities for all. Through this program, more than 2,000 girls have transitioned from bonded labor to a pre-education program; moreover, 1,200 have graduated from the formal system, 60 have pursued higher education and 10 have earned the equivalent to bachelor’s degrees. It is this tremendous effort to better the personal and professional lives of others that I admire and aspire to mirror for my own colleagues someday.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I welcome readers to follow my journey on LinkedIn and to reach out with any questions.
Thank you so much for joining us!