Independence vs the backing of big parent companies

Neal Jannels

July 8, 2019

Neal Jannels OMS

Neal Jannels, managing director, One Mortgage System

After watching the valiant efforts of the Lionesses in the World Cup and the transfer window starting to heat up, it seems like the football season never really seems to end.

Spending within football has reached unparalleled proportions in recent times, but with tough Financial Fair Play regulations now in place across the board, teams at all levels need to be more creative than ever in terms of incomings and outgoings.

Of course, there are always loopholes and ways around these things. Deals can be structured over longer terms, players owned by third parties and more and more clubs entering into alliances with parent clubs to help balance the books through player trades, the loan market and the involvement of so-called super agents.

All of which means it’s sometimes difficult to know who owns who, who is backed by who and where the actual money is coming from. This boils down to finance and control, with the strongest link in the chain ultimately pulling the strings – usually with their best interests firmly in mind.

This is also the way in many areas of the corporate world. Businesses will have investments in other businesses and share resources when and if appropriate. Now, in the vast majority of cases there is nothing wrong with this and it is relatively common practice.

It all depends on the size and scale of the link in question. How important the business is to the parent company, how much influence the parent has, how involved it gets with its investments and how much leeway individual firms are given to operate. Like any overly controlling parent, whilst offering some degree of stability, too much interference can work to stifle creativity and adaptability.

Independence versus the backing of a big parent company is a clear balancing act across many market sectors and both come with their own pros and cons. However, this can be more pertinent in the tech world where ‘challengers’ can often be more fleet of foot and not weighed down by any legacy systems stemming from a central operation or approval processes which could be long-winded and momentum sapping.

So, what is the value attached to independence? For OMS it means we aren’t compromised in the choice of partners, meaning we can make decisions based on the best options for our users, not what our owners would like us to do.

All businesses need certain levels of investment and backing to operate, evolve and grow. The question intermediaries should be asking of their tech partner is not necessarily how they are backed but how quickly are they able to keep pace with shifts in the market and if their offering is restricted in any way, shape or form.

After all, the tech world moves way too fast to have any additional hurdles placed in the way. Meaning intermediaries shouldn’t waste time waiting or opting for a system on what might, or might not, happen in the future. Especially when there are solutions already out there which can service their needs now and grow with their business.

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