05 Mar Recording Investment Committee Meetings The Right Way
How to make light work of recording your investment committee meetings when a worthy record of them can take anything from two times to ten times the meeting’s length, but they need to be noted to adhere to compliance rules.
With the exponential upward trend in the mandatory recording of meeting notes comes the necessary dedication of time to this oftentimes arduous administrative task.
The problem is that many meetings are long, especially the quarterly board meetings, and to make a worthy record of them can take anything from two times to ten times the meeting’s length.
Why are records of these meetings so important?
Investment committee meetings are meetings of numerous senior individuals within a company, and their role is to be thoroughly objective in meeting their objectives. An investment committee is responsible for creating a company’s investment strategy, conducting financial and company performance reviews and ongoing monitoring of company investment performance, amongst other things, and to ensure implementation of the above, and continuous development thereafter, reference documents must be available for members to re-visit what was discussed, for new members to be able to pick up and run with, and, importantly in today’s regulation-focused world, to evidence strict adherence to compliance rules.
Unprecedented times, such as those we have found ourselves experiencing this year, are also a reason why capturing meeting content is vital. It’s not for nostalgia. Seismic change has happened in many a company in 2020, from the exodus of workers from offices to mass furloughing of staff, and, of course, in financial houses and asset management firms, big shifts in investment policy in response to the effects of COVID-19 on the economy and clients’ investments. Thus, the landscape of investment management committee board meetings in recent months will have looked very different than at any point in the last decade or more, possibly since before the Global Financial Crisis. We are all navigating these stormy waters as best we can, and financial firms in particular will have to be accountable for every action they have taken during this time in the months and years to come, to justify the negatives and explain the positives, demonstrating from both what has been learned and how one can plan for a repeat global event like this in the future. As a result, the better your archive of records, meeting notes, transcripts, etc from this time, the more you will learn, both from what went wrong and what went right.
Making sure you capture the right content
All the content discussed at investment committee meetings is highly important and sensitive data. Capturing all of it concisely and securely is paramount. This is incredibly difficult if you are relying on one, say, one support staff member taking notes as you go, or, as is a favourite go-to for many these days, using voice recognition software to attempt to capture the meeting in written form live.
When you have six, seven or more competing voices in an environment like this, the latter can lead to some highly amusing, yet (we’re betting) equally frustrating results. There is no denying the advancement of AI and speech-to-text technology; however, it lacks a certain sophistication that you can still only achieve from intelligent, human transcription. Ironically, in this situation, when one has two or three hours’ worth of meeting content to sift through, to correct any mishears, homophones and to make other potentially extensive grammar alterations, the issue of the time it takes to make these records hasn’t been solved; rather, the goalposts have merely been shifted. The time is now spent correcting these errors and filling in any gaps in the data.
Full audio recordings of meetings are great to have, and in this age of virtual meetings, the ability of videoconferencing software to record both video and audio automatically has been efficient and a blessing for many. However, as with any meeting that handles confidential client or company-specific data, security, of course, is an issue, as you are effectively giving the program you are using permission to ‘access your meeting’ and listen to everything that’s being said. More traditional methods of recording meetings, such as via a Dictaphone or recording on your smartphone using the voice recorder, are safer, but in both instances, you are left with hours of recordings that have to be listened to and either summarised or, in some cases, transcribed in full to create appropriate regulatory records from a compliance perspective. In other words, the recording itself only gets you halfway there.
The best ways of capturing everything you need
Any meeting should have a clear agenda, including investment committee meetings. Without an agenda, a clear, coherent and compliant record is harder to obtain. Committee meetings may not always cover the same content, and members will come and go or take on additional duties, but the premise for each meeting is to establish a definitive set of objectives that need to be met. The nature of senior management attendance means that there will be several ‘leads’, but if executed well, this will only strengthen the cohesiveness of the meeting, as issues are tackled discretely, with the key specialist guiding in their own area.
There is a direct correlation between the quality of a meeting and the quality of the resulting record of that meeting, so naturally, first and foremost, this is top tip number one. Investment committee meetings have the ability to be some of the best, most in-depth internal meetings a financial company can have. However, as with any meeting involving numerous speakers, if a live audio recording is made, however that may be executed, participants should always take care to speak as clearly as possible and to not talk over fellow colleagues or members where at all possible. This is particularly pertinent in a virtual meeting setting, where it’s not as easy to play off one another’s body language or chip in as quickly with an, ‘I’m sorry, could you repeat that, please – I didn’t hear you’.
What to do with your recordings?
It has long been the role of administrative and support staff to turn these spoken words into written words to create a formal record. However, the role these employees play within a company has changed over the years, and they are finding themselves without the time to complete such tasks; less tedious and time-consuming work is expected of them these days.
Using an ISO-accredited, reliable and secure transcription service like VoiceNotes is one of the best ways, if not the best way, of outsourcing this work. We are trained and highly experienced audio transcriptionists and proofreaders with the sharpest of ears and eyes that never miss a typo or a missing piece of punctuation. We care about more than just getting the words on the page. We ensure pinpoint accuracy and consistency, and we fact-check every name, every company, every fund, and anything else that needs verifying.
We have over a decade’s experience of producing exactly the sort of record you’re after – we have thousands of hours of meeting notes and transcripts to our name – and we can demonstrate an impressive track record of clients over this time.
Moreover, as this is our bread and butter, we truly can be the answer you have been looking for from a time management point of view. We can have a full two-to-three-hour meeting transcript with you, fully proofed, within 48 hours (two business days), or a summary call report dictated post-meeting back with you within the same business day.
The FCA have laid out what the minimum information is that should be captured under the EU rules to meet MiFID II and SM&CR meetings:
- Identity of the attendees.
- Date and time of the meeting.
- Location of the meeting.
- Initiator of the meeting.
- Relevant information about the client order, including the price, volume, type of order and when it shall be transmitted or executed.
Quotes from a couple of our clients
“The service has enabled me, and the other director of Oakhouse Financial Services, to maximise our time in doing file notes, doing internal memos and also being able to send emails out. It’s been invaluable in growing our business, and you guys always deliver the notes on time. So thank you very much.” – Robin Bates, Oakhouse Financial Services
“VoiceNotes saved me the 3-4 hours a week that I used to spend writing up client meetings and calls – thoroughly recommend them.” – Alex Popplewell, ex-MD BlackRock/MD Hiddensee Financial
How do I get started?
We can process pre-recorded audio files, or alternatively, you can use our meeting note service to dictate comprehensive summary notes after any important meeting, board or otherwise. All dictations/recordings are processed via our bespoke, secure system.
Try us for FREE (limitations apply) to see how we may be able to help you! Get in touch today for a personal, bespoke service to suit your needs. Your investment management committee board meetings will be easier from now on!
Here are some further articles you may be interested in:
For details on how to record a meeting note for MiFID II, click here.
In July 2020, our infamous article ‘From Regulation To Recession’ was published. If you’d like to read this article, click here.
If you would like to use our online calculator to see how much time writing up your meetings notes takes, click here.
For details about the importance of an ISO-accredited transcription company, click here.
To hear our views on Fintech, Hedge Funds and Online Meetings, click here.
How client meetings have changed during COVID-19, click here.
Please get in touch with any questions or to request a free trial of our service: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0207 117 0066 / online form.