Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Glenn Bolstad. Here’s that interview
About the interviewee
Glenn Bolstad, serves as Vice President of Sales for North America. He is responsible for formulating and executing Appway’s expansion strategy across North America.
With over 18 years of experience in the financial services industry, Bolstad has served in various senior sales positions on Wall Street including managing the global relationship of one of the largest financial institutions in the world. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and an MBA in International Business from The Norwegian Business School.
Bolstad lives in New Jersey with his wife and two kids. He enjoys listening to music, traveling, cycling and spending time with his wife at their children’s sporting events.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
Headquartered in Zurich with offices in New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore, Appway serves over 100 service institutions worldwide. With just over 100 employees and 175,000 global software users, Appway works with 4 out of the top 5 wealth managers in the world.
The global leader in client onboarding for the financial services industry, Appway’s client onboarding solution eliminates human error, boosts efficiency, and empowers financial institutions to adapt quickly to external pressures. Flexible and agile, it ensures that institutions follow regulations like FATCA and make KYC a priority without depersonalizing client relationships.
The power of Appway is its ability to swiftly and effectively solve the problems that major institutions are facing and will continue to face for years to come: new tax policies, fluctuating corporate regulations, and global competition that’s raising the bar for business efficiency. In order to thrive in this new age, organizations must respond swiftly to external pressures and demands and transform their business for the digital age. Appway’s industry-leading expertise, software and community are making this possible.
What type and size of companies do you have as clients?
Our clients in North America are both mid- and large financial service providers that deal with multiple simple, complex and/or global accounts. Some of our current clients include BNY Mellon, HSBC and UBS.
Globally, Appway works with companies in the wealth management industry as well as the insurance and telecommunications space.
What comes to mind when you see this topic?
Relationships, managing expectations, proof of demonstration, marketing and branding – all keywords to sell successfully in our industry.
Our product is revolutionary, but our clients are flooded with providers every single day. Standing out from the crowd becomes the answer. Forging and maintaining excellent relationships with clients and delivering on expectations as well as putting the client first and managing expectations are critical. This requires open communication, honesty about what we can deliver and what the client can expect.
We also pride ourselves in our field of expertise. We know the industries that we work with and we speak their language. We are a software provider with in-depth knowledge of the business world and our team is not only knowledgeable about software and technology, but also about the financial services industry – along with its challenges and trends. We believe in speaking directly to the business users and putting clients in the driver’s seat – by delivering our services at the nexus of technology and business.
It is Appways quality, honesty, expertise and deliverables that speak louder than anything else and truly set us apart from our competitors.
What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?
When you are a new fish in the water, it is hard to find the right people or the best way to pitch your product to c-level executives in financial services. These individuals are often well protected and surrounded by a multitude of others that restrict access to unknown providers. It quickly became clear to me that establishing good relationships with our clients would be key to building a strong reputation and expanding.
One important focus is to develop realistic project outlines. We are honest about what we can achieve. We also make sure the client understands we are working with them to solve specific, pre-defined challenges and not claiming to be the fixers of all ailments. These factors are essential to growing and thriving in this industry.
Once our first client was satisfied, referrals started pouring in, allowing us to expand our business by 180% in the past three years alone.