As published by the CEO publication in the Top 20 Dynamic CEOs in 2021 - UK Edition
It was an extraordinary period of growth, expansion, and innovation when Martin Schnaier became CEO of Sanne Group plc in 2019 and took over the FTSE 250 listed global business reins.
Since his joining, his ambition for himself and the group is to be the best it can be. It’s a credit to his leadership that Sanne’s employees have been able to deliver uninterrupted, quality client service under the most extraordinary conditions. This is a great example of Martin’s qualities and how his enthusiasm continues to help shape Sanne now and for the future.
Established in 1988 to provide clients with high-quality fiduciary services, Sanne has rapidly evolved as an organisation. What was once a small company that focused on local issues has grown into an international firm, which employs more than 2,000 professionals across 23 locations globally. The Group administers structures and funds above £465 billion, delivering tailored professional services to a highly valued institutional client base. The business has also listed in 2015 on the Main Market of the LSE and is now recognized as an award-winning FTSE250 business.
Martin was appointed as CEO in 2019, and throughout his tenure, Sanne has experienced rapid change. Setting Martin apart, and in turn, Sanne is his capacity to lead and inspire a global firm. Martin’s ability and willingness to communicate with all company levels have created an open and transparent community feel amongst employees based worldwide.
Sanne is a youthful and socially diverse organisation that is passionate about the investment industry that it serves. This culture of professionalism and responsibility manifests itself in many different ways that employees are immensely proud of. Sanne recruits and retains the very best talent in the industry, enabling teams with technical solutions that empower better decision-making and communications. They deliver a sustainable growth business that exceeds expectations by providing tailored expertise to a higher standard than anyone else in their sector.
Sanne is defined by a culture of exceptional service, developing long-term relationships to enable their clients’ success. “Our business plays an increasingly important role in the fund manager community as it continues to evolve, standing for professionalism, innovation, and quality,” says Schnaier. “It is our peoples’ commitment to service that means that they remain one step ahead for their clients and employees. Our culture of resilience underpins Sanne’s service model, which has been successfully tried and tested throughout the global pandemic.”
Innovation lies at the heart of Sanne, and Martin describes 2021 as ‘the year of innovation.’ Celebrating fresh thinking and new ideas in an entrepreneurial approach is welcome. High on energy and team spirit – Sanne is a professional, agile and connected business, using our people’s expertise to be the best they collectively can be.
We believe that clients should expect more from their professional service providers, so the Sanne business is made up of highly skilled and professionally qualified people around the world. It’s our commitment to professional service that drives us forward. We offer an appropriate blend of technology aligned to operational agility and it’s through our people and our well-regulated processes and procedures that we ensure the quality, accuracy and diligence that our clients depend upon for their business success. This is how we build long-term partnerships with our clients.”
Each business contains multi-functional and skilled teams of professionally qualified people aligned to each client’s specific requirements across one accredited platform. Each client service team has been carefully assembled so that their specific skills and experience complement the clients’ requirements, sector, and jurisdiction(s) of focus. In parallel, each client service team is then supported by technology that enhances their service offering. This approach ensures clients are provided with high-touch and tailored services that go above and beyond providers that provide an off-the-shelf type service.
By way of an example, professionalism, innovation and quality provides a wide range of complementary solutions to its clients. “But it is how our relationships, and services, evolve with clients that demonstrates how we identify, plan and consistently deliver solutions to clients that sets up apart,” says Schnaier. “A good example is Client A. Our relationship was established in 2010 in one location in APAC. By working alongside Client A since then, we have identified new areas in which we help and support Client A’s operations across APAC to the position we find ourselves in today.” In 2021, they serviced
Client A with a dedicated client service team located across many APAC and EMEA locations and are very much seen as an extension to their business as a trusted advisor. “This type of client relationship management strongly demonstrates our commitment to move into new locations in order to continue to provide clients with exceptional service and a highly tailored solution that continues to evolve to suit the client,” says Schnaier.
One of the most recent successes for the company is Sanne Spotlight. “This is the brand name of the firm’s portfolio and data analytics platform developed in collaboration with our strategic partner, Colmore,” adds Schnaier. “This partnership has accelerated their ability to deliver real time access and insight to multiple alternative asset classes. Sanne is building the future technology of private markets for investors and fund managers.” Another strand of innovation that has been developed is Sanne’s first-ever digital worker, Lucas. Rolled out in late 2019, the AI bot has been taught to work on credit control functions. Essentially, Lucas performs repetitive tasks and then presents results to Sanne’s human colleagues, who make value-added judgments. “Whilst still early on, clearly there is a tremendous opportunity here to further improve efficiency and mitigate operational risk in the business,” says Schnaier.