As always, at the end of the year, we reflect on what happened over the last 12 months and then ponder on our hopes for what lies ahead for the new year and beyond.
Last year, I wrote about what a bolt from the blue the COVID pandemic was and hoped for a positive outcome that would reopen the world and the myriad opportunities that would bring to us all. I wrote that note from a position of full lockdown here in the UK and across many parts of the world as the pandemic had found new variants to go harder and faster at disrupting our way of life and incurring a heavy toll through too many deaths and serious economic conditions to many.
Looking back now, I guess my high hopes for a “back-to-normal world” were not exactly met in full but that actually with a successful roll-out of vaccinations, the year was, in my view, a damn sight better than the previous one. Most of the folks who will read this note will be in a similarly fortunate position, born and/or living in the rich, developed parts of the world where we had the good fortune to obtain immediate access to vaccinations and our governments could cushion the economic blow with measures taken to stem the flow and impact of the virus. Not everyone was quite as fortunate.
As the world continues to struggle with COVID, inequity and climate change, CloudMargin as a business and a team have found ways to thrive.
In our smaller world of CloudMargin, we have attempted to help our clients and employees continue to adapt to a changing environment. We have been welcoming back our colleagues to physical offices. Getting together, collaborating and just enjoying each other’s company. That has been wonderful, but we fully recognise that the days of being in the office five days a week is a thing of the past. That also has knock-on impacts, and our socioeconomic ecosystems around town centres will need to evolve with it. We have chosen to provide flex office time, prioritising productive, collaborative work opportunities but recognising the value of giving our team members who live a bit farther or have welcomed new children to the family a remote option.
We have also welcomed many new faces to the organisation. We have been lucky to recruit some absolutely top-calibre folks who are critical to our continued evolution to be the preeminent supplier of software that drives efficient collateral management workflow, provides modern SaaS, cloud-native technology to enhance credit risk management techniques, optimises the use of critical assets and safely helps the transit of them around the financial system.
Our software is becoming ubiquitous around the market, whether it is provided by us directly to over 150 clients now on every single continent or where clients access our award-winning software – perhaps without even knowing it – by using services provided by our exceptional partners at Acadia, IHS Markit or Finastra. The market cap of those companies is close to $100bn, and yet they have chosen to white-label our software to power their collateral management solutions. No other provider in our space has attempted this, let alone successfully executed such ambitious partnerships.
We are a company that I like to call ego-free. We set out every day to deliver software that solves real challenges in the industry and help market participants easily adopt technology that is fit for purpose. We deliver a service that will future-proof against regulatory changes and help individual institutions evolve from cumbersome and costly technology stacks to light-touch, low-cost, highly efficient companies. That means companies now have the time, energy and resources to focus on things that will differentiate their businesses, not ploughing endless resources and money into something that is necessary but not value-additive.
In the world of collateral, UMR phase 5 came and went. A lot of drama, a lot of commentary and doomsday scenarios were prevalent before the September deadline, but actually, it was a bit of a damp squib. We onboarded a large number of clients, helping them be ready for anything UMR could bring. Yes, it was hard work but yes, our amazing team stood up to the challenge and made it a success for our clients. No doubt there will be much the same as we lead up to phase 6 in September 2022 but with a much broader cross-section of the buy-side community. I have one straightforward statement to make. Talk to us and our partners. We will make it very simple to come on board – even for teams transitioning to working from in and out of the office in our ever-changing world.
Join the CloudMargin revolution and get to work with the best team in the industry. I am biased, of course, but I have heard it mentioned many times by others who don’t happen to work in our company but have come across us and thoroughly enjoyed the interactions.
With many global challenges as mentioned above, with many opportunities for us all to participate in a world we want to be part of, with the continued growth of our business, with everything that seems to happen around us, some of which we can control and others we can’t, I can sum up in three words everything I have learnt about life up until now. It goes on!
So onwards and upwards. Wishing everyone a happy holiday period and a safe and prosperous new year. Thank you to all of you for your continued support, and we look forward to welcoming many more of you to our platform and lives over the coming year.