August 15, 2022

Interview with Kamyar Naficy, Founding father of KNECTCOMMS

marketing

Our workforce lately sat down with Kamyar Naficy, founding father of KNECTCOMMS, to study his profession journey, the evolution of his enterprise and the position of communications in monetary providers.

Good to fulfill you, Kamyar. Thanks for sparing us a few of your time at the moment. First issues first, please inform us a bit about your self and your small business.  

I lead KNECTCOMMS, a strategic communications consultancy based mostly in London that specialises in monetary providers. We work with purchasers in company and funding banking, capital markets and asset administration, in addition to fintechs, suppliers and distributors who function available in the market, and household places of work which can be enjoying an ever-greater position in capital markets. We assist them with advertising and marketing and public relations to drive enterprise growth, development or fundraising. As well as, we assist purchasers with monetary communications in assist of strategic transactions akin to IPOs and M&As.

Why did you identify the enterprise? 

Collaboration within the finance trade has massively accelerated with incumbent monetary establishments and new entrants more and more cooperating quite than competing.

I beforehand labored in senior communications roles at world monetary establishments, together with JP Morgan, London Inventory Alternate Group and UniCredit. Earlier in my profession, I labored in funding banking and administration consulting. These experiences helped me be taught the language of finance and communications, get to know the monetary markets and media, and lead efficient communications programmes for monetary providers companies.

Collaboration within the finance trade has massively accelerated with incumbent monetary establishments and new entrants more and more cooperating quite than competing. So I usually discovered myself engaged on joint communications campaigns with companions. These companies had been usually smaller, extra agile and extremely modern. I observed there was restricted company assist that understood and operated in each worlds, excelled in partnership communications, and collaborated successfully throughout the ecosystem to assist corporations discover new alternatives in disrupted markets.

I established KNECTCOMMS to assist each incumbent and challenger corporations innovate and progress and disrupt the market with new and thrilling methods of doing enterprise, particularly in our core B2B finance market the place we all know the stakeholders, markets and media effectively.

What does a typical day appear like for you?

There actually is not any typical day!

Our agency manages communications for monetary providers companies to assist them exhibit their thought management, specialist perception and distinctive experience. And we attempt to do that in a strategic and holistic approach to maximise the advantages of the completely different ways and channels we use.

This includes a number of actions and duties on any given day or week. For instance, growing communications methods, writing white papers, managing public relations to realize media protection, showcasing consumer content material on social media, creating content material for advertising and marketing or fundraising functions, and managing convention, speaker and panel alternatives.

What recommendation would you give monetary providers companies trying to rent a communications company?

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It’s essential the company specialises within the trade and is enthusiastic about it. This ensures that they perceive the important thing enterprise and technical points, can convey inventive but actionable concepts to the desk and are excited to inform your story. It additionally means they’re aware of the laws and may function inside their parameters.

It’s essential the company specialises within the trade and is enthusiastic about it.

They need to have sturdy relationships with editors and reporters, at each the monetary commerce media and within the mainstream media, and with trade analysts and influencers, and perceive find out how to handle a consumer’s profile in each conventional and social media channels.

Ideally they might be steeped within the ecosystem and tradition of the monetary markets and media, to allow them to hit the bottom working and know what levers to drag to realize affect and affect. However they need to even be open-minded and enthusiastic about innovation and alter. An curiosity in fintech and tech is essential because the monetary providers panorama is remodeling on a regular basis with new know-how and methods of doing enterprise.

As a result of world, instantaneous and built-in nature of contemporary communications, consultancies additionally want multi-stakeholder expertise, throughout media, prospects, workers, traders and different audiences, and an understanding of how messages play out in key world markets.

What communications points are your purchasers focussed on?

Companies should stand out, differentiate their propositions available in the market, construct credibility and authority of their sector, and in the end guarantee communications efforts generate fame administration advantages or enterprise growth alternatives. 

In an more and more crowded, noisy and aggressive market, it may be a wrestle for enterprise communications to be heard, believed and acted on. Communications should exhibit the competence and functionality of the enterprise, for instance by thought management and content material advertising and marketing. That is notably vital in B2B the place belief and credibility are essential to success. Correct, partaking and provoking content material could make all of the distinction when influencing stakeholders to take motion, particularly when deployed on the proper occasions within the stakeholder journey.

What are the most important challenges proper now? 

There are a selection of challenges associated to viewers fatigue, cynicism and polarisation. Fatigue units in as a result of sheer quantity of content material throughout e mail, webinars, promoting, media, social media and so forth. The cynicism stems from a insecurity within the authenticity and credibility of the content material. Polarisation arises as a consequence of opposing views about what stance companies ought to tackle matters, and even in regards to the position of enterprise within the first place.

At present, long-term worth creation is not measured solely in monetary phrases. It’s not nearly shareholder returns but additionally how effectively you serve the wants of all constituents.

Many of those points could be mitigated by genuinely realizing your viewers and catering to them. Clear, trustworthy and constant content material ought to tackle the desires, wants and pursuits of the viewers. It ought to be delivered in a compelling and interesting method on the proper time within the stakeholder journey. For instance, media relations might help increase the profile of a enterprise, obtain third-party endorsement and generate new enquiries, whereas web site and social media content material could be shared in alternate for contact info, and webinars and occasions can be utilized to provoke enterprise leads or encourage prospects to fulfill with the gross sales workforce. The method ought to be tracked, measured and iterated, so it may be constantly improved.

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What matters are high of thoughts to your purchasers?

Shoppers more and more care about sustainability. At present, long-term worth creation is not measured solely in monetary phrases. It’s not nearly shareholder returns but additionally how effectively you serve the wants of all constituents, together with prospects, workers and the broader public in your neighborhood.

They’re scrutinising the affect of environmental, social and governance (ESG) elements on their actions, figuring out materials dangers and development alternatives and implementing and speaking accordingly. In addition to being the fitting factor to do, ESG helps them win enterprise, safe funding and keep a licence to function.

What’s the position of communications in ESG?

ESG adoption and implementation is partly a cultural means of mindset and behavioural change. Subsequently, monetary establishments ought to promote consciousness, engagement and training. They need to showcase greatest apply and innovation in assist of ESG insurance policies, processes and practices. Nonetheless, they want to make sure that their content material is credible and distinctive and promotes open and trustworthy dialogue. One of the simplest ways to realize that is by speaking success tales, case research and examples in a fact-based, detailed and granular method. This facilitates data sharing, collaboration and studying and helps encourage motion.

However corporations ought to concentrate on the pitfalls of ESG communications. Opinion in regards to the matter is more and more polarised and politicised and issues stay about greenwashing. Companies that select to make a case for ESG should now count on a debate and guarantee their argument is made utilizing communications based mostly on outcomes and proof and grounded in proof factors.

This can allow them to efficiently promote ESG merchandise, differentiate themselves available in the market, and encourage the stream of capital in the direction of efforts that assist a sustainable financial system. 

What does that contain in apply? 

Banking, capital markets and asset administration corporations ought to conduct a materiality evaluation to establish the particular features of ESG most vital to their stakeholders. They need to choose the problems which can be most carefully aligned to their enterprise objective and the place they’ll have the best affect, guarantee ESG is absolutely embedded of their processes and observe, measure and talk outcomes.

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For instance, asset managers ought to clarify how their method to investing has remodeled in gentle of ESG and the way the change helps them higher meet their aims and obligations. They need to make clear what they imply by ESG, the dangers, limitations and efficiency of their ESG merchandise, and the way their choices cater to purchasers’ ESG investing preferences. It’s vital to be aware of the important thing areas of investor concern when speaking, together with how asset managers combine ESG within the funding course of, how they vote proxies in accordance with their values, and what commitments they make in their very own operations.

Trying forward, what are the massive modifications on the horizon?

Enterprise communications should assist construct credibility, believability and confidence within the enterprise proposition.

The digitisation of economic providers and cash will create alternatives for modern, environment friendly and inclusive corporations. It is going to be attention-grabbing to look at the evolution of decentralised finance and the interplay between incumbent establishments and fintech innovators, particularly within the digital property and Web3 house. Enterprise communications should assist construct credibility, believability and confidence within the enterprise proposition. The precise method will rely on the goal purchasers and traders and their degree of data and understanding. For instance, household places of work are early adopters of digital property, partially as a consequence of their autonomy and adaptability, whereas institutional asset managers and capital markets corporations are transferring extra slowly, partially as a result of constraints posed by funding mandates, laws and compliance.

Efficiently growing new applied sciences, implementing change or bringing new merchandise to market is dependent upon profitable hearts and minds. Companies won’t solely want enterprise analysts and knowledge scientists but additionally communicators and storytellers to make sure the way forward for finance is efficiently constructed and adopted. The monetary providers trade has a singular alternative to catalyse options to humanity’s best challenges and efficient communication can be important to understand that promise.

Govt Profile

Kamyar Naficy

Kamyar Naficy is the founder and principal of KNECTCOMMS, a strategic communications consultancy to the finance and fintech sector and to household places of work and entrepreneurs with a connection to the sector. He’s a communications strategist and guide with over 20 years’ expertise advising companies, household places of work and personal purchasers. 

Previous to transferring into consultancy, Kamyar labored in senior communications roles at JP Morgan, London Inventory Alternate Group and UniCredit. Earlier in his profession, he was a monetary analyst in funding banking and a enterprise analyst in administration consulting. 

He serves on the Worldwide Govt Board (IEB) and Board of Trustees of the Worldwide Affiliation for Enterprise Communicators (IABC), the worldwide membership affiliation of the communications trade. He’s additionally co-lead of the Advertising and marketing Particular Curiosity Group at Cambridge Choose Enterprise College, a mentor at Fintech Alliance and a member of the Forbes Company Council. He’s a graduate of the London College of Economics and Cambridge College.