Interview with Mathew Keeley, CEO & Founder of Grow Inc for Enterprise Blockchain 2021 Report by LeadBlock Partners
Could we briefly introduce yourself and Grow Inc?
“I’m the CEO and co-founder of GROW Inc, a technology company that solves legacy problems in the financial services industry. GROW is a story of entrepreneurship. Our journey started with a group of people eager to create better experiences for Australians and their pension (superannuation in Australia). We found the administrative systems and reconciliations impossible to deal with at the speed we needed. That shifted us to solving the real problem behind almost every part of the financial ecosystem.
Grow now employs over 100 passionate minds who have found a way to practically apply the benefits of distributed ledger technology (DLT) to unlock the Australian Pension Industry. Most exciting for us is the system has huge utility and the problem is universal.
Our mission is to be the world’s most innovative fintech company by empowering business, developers, and entrepreneurs to create the future of finance. We have proven our ability to solve complex back, middle and front office problems, we are gaining market traction in Australia and our technology has global application, specifically in global pension, unlisted managed funds and listed ETF registry.”
You have successfully been appointed by institutions like Vanguard to provide fund administration services – this is a major milestone and product validation, could you share what differentiated your offering?
“The pension system in Australia has built up high costs and inefficiencies over the decades – issues that negatively impact investor returns, fees and user experience. Legacy systems and
manual processes mean there’s no single source of truth, and to adapt to changing circumstances requires expensive technology upgrades.
Our innovative DLTA system is the platform of tomorrow that works in the market of today. Underpinned by DLT, our enterprise platform harmonises the fragmented world of pension with a shared version of the truth across a fund’s ecosystem. This, together with highly-automated processes, significantly lowers operational costs, allows greater flexibility in the design and administration of pension fund offerings and creates better experiences and outcomes for fund investors.
This value proposition resonated strongly with Vanguard as it provides a technology solution that will assist Vanguard in its plans to deliver a high-value, low-cost fund, and continue to evolve their value proposition over time. With trusted data and a unified consistent view of the customer, Vanguard can now develop new personalised investment solutions and digital user experiences that anticipate the needs of the investor at scale. Together, we plan to deliver a simpler, smarter option when it comes to the way Vanguard engages with their investors.”
Could you share how perception on blockchain/DLT and discussions with financial institutions/funds has changed over the past years?
“A few years back when we had our initial discussions with financial services organisations about the concept of blockchain, their knowledge on the topic was limited. Most associated blockchain with crypto currency but had little understanding of distributed ledger technology (DLT). However, in the last couple of years we have seen more organisations spend time and resources investigating DLT as a technology and the level of understanding has increased. Now, we’re seeing several organisations building their own versions of DLT or partnering with other DLT providers on small projects to improve their offerings. We used to spend a lot of time explaining the technology that drives DLT. Today, we get to spend more time discussing how organisations can take advantage of the technology to future proof their business models and enhance their current value propositions.”