At Investors Trust, the word trust is not only a financial term but a key promise. Fundamentally, Investors Trust Association believe in a strong and efficient global network. Therefore, when we spoke to the media and communications manager of ITA, we got a brilliant sense of how they are combining their established twenty-year expertise, with a fresh and innovative strategy to encourage an expanding global mindset in the financial investment sector.
As Investors Trust marks its twentieth anniversary, it is immediately clear that their leading services and wide array of unit-linked investment products have allowed them to become a global power in the industry. Comprising over 200 employees across the globe, ITA is a key component in the bridge between financial advisors and investors. This is due to their expertise in providing flexible products to reach individual goals like education or retirement savings, as well as their established relationships with financial advisors around the world who sell to the end client. Unlike many others in the financial sector, ITA offers a secure account management platform for clients and financial advisors. This separates ITA from a lot of its competitors as it enables its financial advisors to access all their clients’ portfolios readily in one place, wherever they may be. This not only benefits the advisors but the clients as well, as they also have access to the platform, so they too can check their accounts, balances, and payment timetables. Therefore, their fully electronic operation is one of the many aspects that greatly differentiates ITA. When speaking to Lindsay Paris, their media and communications manager, it was clear that she was very passionate about this aspect of the business:
“What separates us from our competitors is that we’ve been around for twenty years, we have the wisdom, we have the history, but we are also youthful and innovative in our nature. We are much more modern compared to our competitors. Being in the creative space, it’s been amazing to see what we’ve been able to do considering we have the world at our fingertips, to design, create and help people connect electronically. In recent years, we developed a mobile app to house the latest company news, all marketing collateral as well as new tools and calculators to support business on the go and reduce the printing and shipping of materials. Diminish the paper trail and build up more green ways of doing business, that’s always a success for me.”
Lindsay has been at the ITA for nearly 10 years and over this time has overseen the company go from strength to strength. Lindsay was first hired as a copywriter, being responsible for the website content, brochure etc. and quickly became an integral part of the design team. It was therefore with the eventual position of media and communications manager that great expansion could be seen within the marketing and design of the company, such as the marketing content, social media management, app development and much more. Lindsay emphasises that such development was encouraged by the company’s ethos of openness and adaptability, as new ideas are greatly welcomed and encouraged. It is therefore no wonder that the company is in constant regeneration.
When speaking to Lindsay, it is clear that you cannot pinpoint ITA to one location, as their expert influence spreads across many continents. But whilst celebrating their twentieth anniversary, it is important to take a step back and see how far the company has come. ITA was first regulated out in the Cayman Islands and operated mostly in Latin America. And yet, the owners soon took the initiative to diversify the business as smarter and more complex investments were made.
The owners, being from the region, and serving as financial advisors in Latin America, saw a gap in the market and pioneered the business to greater lengths. This is showcased by recent developments such as the licensing of their Puerto Rico office. Operating as one of their subsidiaries in a wide variety of jurisdictions, it combines the early sentiments of the business, with the wider global dynamics that have driven the business forward. Further afield, their opening of the Malaysia office in 2012 allowed access to the Asian market. Consequently, alongside the Cayman Islands and Puerto Rico, Malaysia was viewed as a natural progression as a nearby and familiar region for business in Asia. These three regions subsequently set Investors Trust apart from its competitors. And yet, alongside these vital jurisdictions, ITA can also boast offices in Uruguay, Hong Kong and Dubai, allowing greater global business. This also means that ITA’s leading excellence is built from pulling together lots of cultures and backgrounds, making it a greatly diverse operation.
ITA’s product family includes both Evolution and Platinum plans to all their international financial advisors, with the promise of delivering on any requirement and providing world-leading management. Further products also include reliable global diversification seen in the range of stock market indexes that they offer, which stems from its two-decade history. The Access Portfolio bond product provides even greater diversification with its open architecture structure.
As we have seen with many of the companies that we talk to, corporate social responsibility is a key element of the business. At ITA, however, it is not just another part of the business but a key priority, as they highly value the notion of giving back which is something that stems throughout the entirety of the business. For Lindsay, corporate responsibility is a large and integral part of her overall contribution. As she explains the initiative ‘ITA Cares’:
“ITA consists of 3 commitments: helping the planet, helping others, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. This provides the grounding to leverage everything that we’re working on. Because of this, I am passionate about giving back and being able to do that with my company, it’s something I’m incredibly grateful for. It’s amazing to see how everybody really values and appreciates ‘ITA Cares’. It projects a different mood and tone to the environment of the entire company, which I think is super important for businesses to have. Especially for someone like us with a global footprint, there’s so much we can do to help give back.”
The notion of giving back which stems across the entirety of the company can also be seen on a smaller scale within each individual region that they operate in. As such, their local community efforts are dictated by the needs and wants of that community. Whether it be an ocean clean-up or a rugby tournament, each branch of ITA are prepared to get hands-on. Subsequently, ITA endeavours to “dig deep and be very hands-on, so that we know exactly the breakdown of their cause and where the money is going and that people are getting the most of our donation.” This indicates how they are not unconsciously providing money as a surface-level contribution, but rather making an effort to diligently help others in the best way they can.
Adding to their corporate social responsibility is ITA’S green initiative, which is greatly important to Lindsay, as she expands on the ‘Going Green’ campaign that has been making waves since 2012. One example lies in the implementation of the fully electronic application, seen within the Electronic Application Platform, as a highly efficient paperless platform. This was further accompanied by the Resolution Center which is a state-of-the-art communication tool to help its financial advisors secure a bigger network whilst still being wary of the company’s climate footprint. And, recently, with the development of the mobile marketing app, ITA Connect, there’s a change in the way of doing business which is sharing and selling online. The company’s ‘Going Green’ campaign is further endorsed by the microsite that was created to house all the important things they are doing in one single place. This expansion of the website is used to collectivise all green content, including their blog, donations and the many initiatives that help provide a more sustainable future.
ITA’s green initiative can also be seen in the groundwork they do across the breadth of their global network. For example, the International Coastal Clean Up is a fantastic global event that brings everybody together to be environmentally conscious. This works so well because a lot of the offices are located near oceans or water. Consequently, beginning a couple of years ago, employees across all their offices brought their family and friends to clean up the beaches. Not only was this great fun for everybody, but it also made a huge difference to each community.
Unfortunately, like many businesses across the world, the pandemic put a stop to many of the events, particularly when we consider that many parts of Asia are still restricted. Despite this, ITA overcame this issue by becoming a lot more creative and subsequently not letting the pandemic disrupt the brilliant work they are doing. Recently, they hosted a coastal cleaning campaign through social media and email campaigns encouraging their audience to participate and help clean beaches and waterways nearby. Lindsay told us about the key impacts that this digitised form of campaign is having:
“We’re encouraging clients, financial advisors, and employees to get involved to go clean the waterways, take a picture, post it and tag us or email us. We’ve received messages from people in Russia, people in Sri Lanka, people in Malaysia, Uruguay, and Brazil among others. It’s so nice to see people out there with friends and family cleaning up bags of trash and making a difference. It adds more to the whole connection value. We’re far away from each other and we haven’t been able to see each other for a while, but we can still connect on some level and it’s all in a positive tone and giving back for a greater cause.”
When looking toward ITA’s future, it is clear that it will continue to have positive impacts and numerous successes across the globe. This is presented by the expansions into neighbouring regions such as the Middle East, that open many opportunities for financial investors. Each expansion is greatly important to ITA as they add to the product family based on feedback from their clients and advisors, and thus look at what the people need rather than profit-centred expansion. ITA’s next objectives are simply to spread even more globally, as well as to develop its already blossoming digital presence. This includes a greater focus on the educational aspect of the business, providing a platform for advisors to let them know what’s going on in the industry, as well as simply learning the basics.
At Investors Trust Association, their keen eye for innovation and a collaborative working environment makes it easy to see how they have greatly evolved and achieved such renowned success over the past twenty years. Equally, the future also looks bright as they trailblaze environmental consciousness in the industry. Here at Endeavour, we look forward to speaking to them again and learning even more about their valuable contributions to the financial sector.