At B Corp Summit in Amsterdam, I was asked what problems I face when telling my company’s story. In my work at Helsinki Capital Partners (HCP), I try to tell people that the way their financial service provider does business really matters. And most of the time nobody cares.
The financial sector has a bad reputation for a reason. It is known for incentives encouraging short-term thinking, irresponsible processes, and hierarchical management. In addition, financial products and services are often very complex, they carry hidden costs and they might not even be in the clients best interest.
This is a problem within the industry. How you treat your clients, workforce, and how you give back to the society are questions that have to be answered within any given company.
We have thought of these questions carefully, and our answer is not to be a prick.
Not being a prick in our line of business includes committing to transparency. It is self-evident for us that clients are told how much they pay both directly and indirectly to us for our service. We focus on the best interest of our client, which is why we have eliminated all short-term incentives, such as staff bonuses, from our company.
The #BCorp certification makes our business even more transparent. Moreover, it encourages us to consider our impact on all of our stakeholders.
We operate as a limited liability partnership, where all the permanent employees own a share of the company. They will prosper if the company will. On the other hand, if the company would go bust they would lose their money. This is the healthiest incentive for employers long-term thinking we can imagine.
The shareholders are important for a company. However, they are only one stakeholder group to take into account. This is as obvious to our company as it is to all of us as individuals. A life where you only value a high salary and fat dividends is a poor one. We want more!
Meeting people from other mission-driven companies is always inspiring. They are ready to #leadthebeat of human-faced capitalism, where businesses balance purpose and profit.
Thank you all who made it to #BCorpsummit2019! It was great to hear your stories and share ours.