Madeleine Nelson COO Citizen housing

Convene Customer Success

JPS Financial

Ian Stark from JPS Financial discusses their decision to implement Convene and how it has changed their meeting processes for the better.

“With Convene, we have data security confidence - and we make immeasurable savings.”


Please describe the structure of JPS and the business model

We run three meetings a year to service those trusts so it’s really for the benefit of the trustee, the advisor board and the beneficiaries. We get together and run 1–2-day long events, normally held in New York, Paris or Amsterdam so we use Convene for those meetings.

We could also see the benefit of using it for more granular meetings in the UK for example we have one entity that looks after a private house, and another one that looks after a farm and an estate. These meetings are traditionally run in paper form, so we are looking at the possibility of moving those meetings over and holding them using Convene.

What were your reasons for choosing Convene?

Convene was one of the first providers we looked at (it came up in a Google search). We considered other portals, but we didn’t end up taking conversations with the providers very far, and in fact, Convene was the only one who was invited in for a demo owing to the speed of response from Convene Account Management.

Gemma responded very promptly to our inquiry, came in and walked us through the system, and demonstrated how the system could address our specific needs. We could see how user friendly the system was which was especially important for us owing to our varying levels of IT literacy at JPS. We could not have installed a system where advanced IT competency was a requirement.

From a cost perspective Convene came in nicely within budget so that was another big plus for us. As far as security is concerned, we should refresh this more than we do, but we were confident in Convene’s ability to handle our data safely. We don’t have IT expertise in house (our IT function is outsourced) so it’s important for us to be able to trust a system without the need to engage IT constantly about security issues.

Please provide an insight into your meeting structure

We use Convene for our Board meetings. We have professional trustees, and lawyers, accountants, and investment managers who sit in an advisory role. This is where Convene is hugely beneficial because the external investment managers will join meetings and present their section of the pack, which they can easily do using their own format. They know exactly how it’s all going to fit together, and they run it on our screen. The process runs seamlessly.

It’s good to be able to spend a day or half a day with our attendees online knowing that all information can be handled confidentially. Convene provides cohesion in our meetings since everyone receives a pack that looks the same as all the other ones.

Which Convene features do you find useful?

I really like the fact that you can always access the papers both immediate and previous in the Document Library. If I am unable to locate a document in my emails or personal filing system because I have not filed it very well, I know that the Document Library is a central repository for storing key documents safely. The Document Library is also really useful for compiling our meeting minutes, as well as all the papers. You can enter them in a number of different formats and the system essentially “spits them out” in whichever way works for you.

We plan to use the full range of Convene features and are keen to extend its use across the business. It has not always been easy to secure full buy in from the more traditional members of our Board, however we are keen to use Convene for other meetings outside the core Board meeting.

Convene in a single sentence

Convene is intuitive, user friendly, increases efficiency, and has significantly reduced cost.

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