Meet… Diane McLoughlin

diane_picEagle Investment Systems’ Chief Client Officer discusses her recent appointment at Eagle and how the new executive position was designed with clients in mind

Q. You were recently named the Chief Client Officer, or CCO, at Eagle. As this is a unique position in Fintech, can you provide some color as to what this role entails?

A. We created this role with the objective of building upon our traditional client focus at Eagle. All of our client-facing teams now reside under the CCO, including North American Sales, Product Management, Global Marketing and Relationship Management (RM). In bringing these teams together within a larger group, we’re able to ensure there’s consistency between all of the client touch points. We also felt that by aligning these groups, we can make sure that the client is heard clearly across Eagle and that their needs remain at the forefront of everything we do. We believe that by more closely integrating these teams, our clients can realize even more value through all of our solutions, across data management, accounting and performance measurement.

Q. Beyond the fact that all of these groups are client facing, what were some of the other considerations?

A. These groups have always worked together, but under the revised structure, we’re already experiencing improved collaboration and coherence. Historically, our sales organization and relationship managers would meet with existing and potential clients and then provide feedback to product management.  But now that these groups are linked, there’s a very active feedback loop from the client to Eagle and then back to the global client base, so we can better build out our solution set to match client needs and then see to it that these solutions can benefit all of our clients.

For example, instead of the sales or relationship management teams relaying information back to the development teams, product experts can be brought into the conversation during the sales process or during the demos. This means clients have access to the product experts earlier in the process, while product management teams can hear first-hand the business issues clients want us to help solve. This, in turn, can help us to better refine the product. Also, in the past, our marketing team would create material for the sales organization; today, we have virtual teams of product managers, sales, relationship managers and marketing collaborating on material so it speaks to specific client needs.

By breaking down some of these natural silos that exist in any organization, we can move faster to address items that come up in the sales process or through our relationship managers—and we think that adds real value to our clients.

Q. You were most recently the Global Head of Relationship Management at Eagle. How did that role prepare you for the CCO role?

A. I’ve been at Eagle for 15 years now, having come from Deloitte, where I specialized in financial services consulting and advised on large-scale implementations. When I first came to Eagle, my role was to work with clients to, initially, define our solution set around mutual funds and then help build Eagle’s mutual fund product. Since 2008, I served as the Global Head of Relationship Management, and our team worked closely with Eagle’s entire, 160-plus client base.

The CCO appointment is really a natural extension of that role, because relationship management is all about KYC, or “know your clients.” There’s a real wealth of knowledge that we can share, whether it’s around product development, working with prospective clients, or helping communicate all of the things Eagle can do, so our existing clients can fully leverage and optimize our solutions.

Q. What changes can clients expect to see as it relates to the introduction of the CCO role?

A. When I was appointed as CCO, I drafted a mission statement, which I believe reflects some of the changes our clients can expect. That mission statement, which has become the dogma of our entire client-facing organization, reads: “Create an organizational culture that leads the rest of Eagle in driving and delivering efficient, accurate, and complete business solutions to the market through persistent focus on client objectives and internal accountability.”

The mission statement alludes to two key tenets that serve as barometers for how we measure success: First, is that we represent the client and are the voice of our clients within all of Eagle; and second, is that we own the solution for the client, so we are ultimately responsible for driving the rest of the organization to meet each client’s specific needs.

In terms of changes, foremost, I believe that clients will see a faster turnaround as it relates to product development. We also anticipate that they will enjoy an enhanced overall experience with Eagle, in which they are certain that their demands are being both heard and met.

I want it to be clear to each and every client that we aren’t selling features and functions; we’re providing solutions to the challenges they face. As such, it’s critically important that we understand our clients’ businesses and challenges as well as they do, in order to provide the agility and innovation necessary to offer a material competitive advantage.

Q. What advice can you offer in terms of how clients engage with Eagle?

A. The best advice I can offer is to help us foster the dialogue. There are probably some organizations that prefer quiet clients—not Eagle—and that certainly wouldn’t describe my approach. We want to know what you’re thinking because that’s how we inform the development of our solutions.

Financial services is too dynamic an industry to ever be content, so as our clients’ needs evolve, we want to be thought of as a collaborative ally who can deliver new capabilities and added efficiencies. And if you engage with us, know that we will bring the right people to bear for a constructive and fruitful dialogue.

Q. What personal quality has helped you the most in your career?

A. The personal quality that has probably helped the most is my determination. Several times over the course of my career, I have taken on and led multi-year initiatives in which the “end state” may not always be clear at the beginning of the journey. This is typical in nearly any innovative endeavor, when you’re applying an iterative process to create something that hasn’t been done before.

When I joined Eagle to help build out the mutual fund project, for example, this was a multi-year initiative that at first addressed closing the product gaps and, from there, focused on building an implementation team to install a holistic mutual fund solution for a client. This effort took several years, but ultimately it created a new product set that has served our broader mutual fund client base and, at the same time, established a foundation upon which we’ve continued to build out our offerings.

Another example was in 2008, when I formed the Relationship Management team. I had a vision for an “end state,” but it required a roughly five-year period to reach the original objective as I had first articulated it. Without determination, it would have been easy to compromise on the original objectives, but it was too important to both Eagle and our clients that I see it through.

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