A mission statement is the guiding principle of a company. It’s an ever-present beacon that steers the course for all the work the company does — so when it changes, it’s a very big deal.
Supernova Companies, a provider of securities-based lending solutions, knows what that’s like. It recently updated its mission statement to read, “Enabling investors to achieve financial wellness,” and we spoke to Head of Sales and Marketing Linda Gu, who was instrumental in reworking the mantra, about what it means for clients and the company moving forward
What exactly does “enabling investors to achieve financial wellness” mean, and what does that look like at Supernova?
Over 70 percent of people borrow outside of their mortgage, yet most don’t receive advice on what liquidity options are available and which ones may best meet their borrowing needs. We believe making sound credit decisions is one of the most important factors in achieving financial wellness. We provide a wealth management lending solution that democratizes access to securities-based lending, which is a very beneficial liquidity option traditionally accessible only to ultra-high-net-worth investors. This enables financial advisors to deliver holistic, goals-based advice to help investors make better borrowing decisions.
Explain what pivots you underwent as a business last year. How did those changes impact your company’s mission?
There were a couple of pivots we made in the last 12 months. The first was to shift from a financial company with technology to a financial-technology company. Our digital wealth management lending solution is core to our unique value proposition and really sets us apart. The second was our business model. Supernova’s revenue used to come primarily from professional services, and with our more robust digital lending solution, we’ve shifted to a SaaS model with recurring fees.
These two changes helped us redefine the focus of our mission. At the end of the day, we want to be a technology company that provides innovative solutions for investors to achieve financial wellness.
How does your new mission statement set the direction and intended outcomes for future projects?
Our new mission broadens what we could consider undertaking as a company. While our immediate focus is to continue upgrading our digital solution for securities-based lending, in time, we may provide capabilities that help investors optimize financial wellness decisions by taking both sides of balance sheets into consideration. Our mission will anchor us on which direction we should go and what projects we will undertake.
We want to stay open-minded so we can continue to evolve our mission and culture as we grow while sustaining the core parts that matter most to us.”
What are some upcoming projects you’re excited about, and what is their intended long-term impact on the company?
There are a couple of projects I am excited about. The first is that we are in the process of launching Salesforce — an important step in our efforts to professionalize our sales organization. Phase two of this project will be to link Salesforce with a marketing automation platform. I am a true believer in data-driven decision-making. Having the right technology stack is critical for building a modern, professional sales and marketing organization and allows us to scale for the long term.
Another project I’m excited about is the rollout of our next-generation product, Briteline 3.0, at the T3 Enterprise conference in the fall. Our teams are adding a lot of newer capabilities as part of this launch — including more comprehensive collateral management and underwriting capabilities along with our proprietary risk management methodologies. This next-generation platform will further streamline the digital customer experience and provide features that allow for stress-testing, proactive collateral shortfall and collateral call management. Our solution is how we deliver our unique value proposition and we are looking forward to introducing it to the market.
What are your growth plans in the upcoming year, and how will you maintain your mission and culture as you grow?
We plan on expanding our existing relationships and adding new ones by continuing to deliver more value through enhancements to our digital lending platform.
Around how to sustain our company culture, we want to stay open-minded so we can continue to evolve our mission and culture as we grow while sustaining the core parts that matter most to us. This means being customer-centric, acting with integrity, implementing with quality and leading with innovation. Part of making culture stick is translating words into desired actions and operating cadence, and at Supernova, that applies to leadership and all employees.