Australian FinTech company profile #56 – Investment Control Systems
1. Company Name:
Investment Control Systems
3. Key Staff & Titles:
Christian Eriksen, Co-Founder
James Ingham, Co-Founder
Mike Small, Co-Founder
5. In one sentence, what does your fintech do?:
Investment data management – providing trusted data for our clients.
6. How / why did you start your fintech company?:
The 3 co-founders all had 20+ years experience individually with investment operations and technology. We saw a clear gap in the market for a solution helping investment managers with their data. Not just from a technology point of view, but also from a service and commercial level, we knew there was model that was in demand but not being offered.
7. What is the best thing your company has achieved or learnt along the way (this can include awards, capital raising etc)?:
Our experience in the industry allowed us provide consulting services during the early stages of the company. This was not initially the aim when we set out to build a FinTech solution, but it enabled us to boot-strap the funding of the business. With the consulting days behind us, it means that we are completely debt-free and without external investors.
It allows for freedom within the management team to decide the future path and development of our product together with our clients, as well as great scope for assessing future investors as we are growing the business.
8. What’s some advice you’d give to an aspiring start-up?:
Starting your business around the concept of the Hipster, Hacker and Hustler (or designer, developer and business development) should not be underestimated. Having 3 co-founders has meant that we will always reach a decision. Further, the overlap in skills is minimal between the 3 of us, and although this can lead to some interesting discussions, we are thankful that we can bring the skills we need to run our business to the table every time the founders meet.
Starting out with the right partners is essential to success.
Also, agree on some core values from the beginning and make sure you have fun – both internally and with your clients. If you are passionate about what you do, your clients and staff will notice.
9. What’s next for your company? And are you looking to expand overseas or stay focussed on Australia?:
We have a strong focus on the Australian market, in particular the superannuation industry where we see a growing demand for a solution like ours.
Overseas expansion is on the cards, and we are currently meeting with overseas parties to explore various opportunities in this space as well.
From a product point of view – we are working with our clients as they continue to provide great ideas and enhancements for our platform. Among this, we are exploring areas in the data management value chain where machine learning can help increase the efficiency of our clients.
10. What other fintechs or companies do you admire?:
It is hard to not admire all the new FinTechs for having a crack. It does not always have to be about ‘disrupting an industry’, just doing it better.
We find more and more FinTechs are willing to work towards partnerships, creating a larger eco-system of data platforms that integrate with functional systems. This is indeed the new way of thinking and many organisations are moving towards a community and collaborative approach. We admire any company willing to embrace this approach.
11. What’s the most interesting or funniest moment that’s happened in your company’s lifetime?:
Humble beginnings is crucial to any business. Our first office within a shared office space was probably challenging the legal limits, even with just two people occupying it. This meant one of us was always ‘on the road’, as having a full board meeting meant we understood better than most the concept of a ‘lap’-tops. However, we enjoyed two years in this small office as we were introduced to very nice people, both inside and outside our industry, who also were tenants in our building. That said, we do enjoy our new location on Macquarie Street reflecting the new phase of growth for our company.