CEO Bulletin

12 November 2020

Mike Russell

A time to reflect

2020 is certainly shaping up to be a very eventful year – and not just for MV!  We started the year at pace but quickly had to pivot when the first lockdown took hold.  We switched emphasis from some of our longer-term initiatives such as expanding our shareholder base to focus on supporting our customer community in transitioning to remote working and accommodating the rapidly changing financial landscape.

I am very proud of how the MV team helped our customers navigate through this challenging period by providing enhanced support, combining software releases, holding training and product webinars and providing professional services support and consultancy.  We experienced a 50% increase in support calls during this time but also received some great feedback from many customers who thanked numerous team members for their dedicated support and assistance.  This really demonstrates the strength of the relationships we have built up within the MV community, and its value during times of adversity.

Shifting our focus

Since the first lockdown, we have experienced a significant increase in demand for digitisation and automation, so the focus has certainly shifted to the future!  Through our Digital Mutual strategy, MV is perfectly placed to work with our customer community as their strategic technology and innovation partner to deliver the digitisation that our customers, and their customers and members, deserve and desire.

To accelerate the development and delivery of our product roadmaps, we have brought in a team from a specialist technology accelerator company called Nimble.  The Nimble team are working alongside MV colleagues to develop the new version of Broker which is due to be released in Q2 2021.  The next major releases of Online Banking and ProVision will also be ready imminently delivering the latest enhancements to digital on-boarding and regulatory reporting.

Growing our talent

We have been busy recruiting additional colleagues in several areas of the business and have especially strengthened our Product Management team.  Sara Parker has taken over the newly expanded team as our new Chief Product Owner and brings a wealth of experience of building partnerships as well as products.  We are increasing our focus on building our ecosystem of technology partners and complementary solutions to integrate with our core digital platform so expect to see more exciting announcements of new partnerships in the coming weeks and months.

We are investing heavily in product and business support, with additional colleagues joining the Service Desk, Business Support and the Professional Services teams.  This is all part of our on-going commitment to continuously improving and enhancing the service that we provide to our customer community.  This year, we are making a particular investment in apprenticeships, demonstrating our commitment to investing in the future.  We are also investing in leadership training for a number of our managers which results in a degree level qualification.

The start of a new era

In September 2020, MV reached a key milestone in its history with the retirement of its three remaining shareholder-customer Non-Executive Directors from the MV Board, and the appointment of three new independent Non-Executive Directors.  This marks the completion of MV’s transition to its innovative new business model as The Digital Mutual.  I would like to thank Will Carroll, Tim Bowen and George McGrady for their un-wavering support during their time on the MV Board, and to welcome Stephen Mitcham, Sarah Pierman and Kevin Mountford to the Board.  Stephen, Sarah and Kevin are already making a significant and valuable contribution to the business and I am certain that they will play a key role in taking the business to the next level.

Certainty and transparency

Another key initiative for 2020 is the refresh of our commercials and our contracts to ensure EBA compliance.  We announced earlier in the year our intent to simplify our commercial propositions by bundling elements together to provide clarity and predictability of our pricing strategy for the next three years.  This provides greater certainty to both MV and our customer community regarding the investment in technology and the provision of new digital capabilities.

Central to this strategy is our decision to bundle our new Integration Hub with our core products (ProVision Core, Online Banking and Broker) for our current customers.  We took this bold decision as we recognise that it is a central component underpinning the digital platform and ecosystem aspirations of our customer community.  We believe this differentiates MV from the more traditional technology providers within the sector who all charge a significant premium for their API platform and demonstrates the value of being a member of the Digital Mutual.

Whilst it has been a turbulent year for MV and the customer community, we are emerging much stronger and with a greater focus on the future.  With the changes we have made to our team, and with our plans to develop our products and partnerships over the coming months, we have a very exciting future together as The Digital Mutual.

Rich Wainwright, CEO

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