Encompass migrates to Ledgy for a usable ‘all-in-one’ equity platform
“One of my favorite things about switching to Ledgy is that we don’t use spreadsheets at all anymore. Ledgy is now our one single source of truth, and it’s a relief to have fully adopted a new way of doing things, with no desire to go back.”
Founded in 2011, Encompass transforms regulatory compliance and customer onboarding with Know Your Customer (KYC) automation. Its advanced technology, unrivaled data coverage and industry expertise help clients to safely grow their businesses and fight financial crime. The Encompass platform reduces the cost of KYC and improves time to revenue by providing KYC due diligence on demand, powered by intelligent process automation. Customers include leading global banks and financial institutions.
Encompass was founded in Sydney, Australia, and has offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Sydney, Singapore, Glasgow and Belgrade. The business has raised successive rounds of funding from prominent investors, including a US$33m venture round in 2022.
Stuart Barnard joined Encompass as its first finance leader in 2016. Over the years, his position has grown, and he now serves as VP, Finance and Business Operations. As part of Encompass’ executive team, he oversees functions including finance, people, legal, sales operations, IT, and information security. During his tenure, Stuart has been instrumental in driving Encompass’ growth from 40 employees to 200+, and expanding geographically across the UK, Australia, North America, and beyond.
Broadening equity horizons
Since the early days of Encompass, founders Wayne Johnson and Roger Carson have worked to ensure that every employee has been able to play a part in and benefit from the company’s success by holding an ownership stake. Stuart and his team had to find the best way to manage the equity plans that made this a reality.
“Even though they’re widely used to manage cap tables and equity plans, spreadsheets are error-prone and increase in risk when they get really big and complex,” says Stuart. Initially, Encompass had attempted to move away from spreadsheets by using Capdesk, another equity management software tool, but, the move proved unsuccessful: “Even while on Capdesk, we still used our spreadsheets, and there wasn’t a big impact on our employees’ experience or understanding of equity. We needed more than just an upload to the cloud to provide value for our team.”
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As Encompass expanded internationally, Stuart faced the challenge of managing equity across multiple jurisdictions. Relevant territories included the US, Australia, Singapore, the UK, and multiple European countries. From a compliance perspective, understanding equity regulation and legislation wasn’t just important for Encompass, it would also help Stuart and the leadership team communicate clearly across the company about equity and share options.
Finding a platform that catered to this set of requirements was essential, and Stuart had a ‘lightbulb moment’ when he came across Ledgy. “The first thing I noticed was the user experience and the employee dashboard, which were just levels above the rest.”
Stuart was excited at the possibility of maximizing engagement with Ledgy, promoting transparency and education around equity for the entire Encompass team. “If one of the primary reasons for us to get equity management software was employee engagement, then user experience was a top priority. Ledgy is the clear leader from both a company admin and employee perspective. It’s exactly what we needed,” says Stuart.
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A quick switch
After choosing to start using Ledgy, Stuart and the Ledgy team worked together to ensure the data transfer went smoothly. Time was tight: the team only had a few weeks to set up and present the new equity platform and internal education collateral to the entire company before giving everyone access to their new dashboards. "We set a deadline to present Ledgy to the whole company within four weeks of signing. Thanks to a really supportive Ledgy team, we met that deadline."
In addition, Stuart was impressed by the speed at which the Ledgy product continued to evolve in the early weeks of the relationship. “The product team released multiple updates in a matter of weeks which materially improved the onboarding process, allowed us to meet our deadlines, and positively impacted our rollout.”
Improvements on all fronts
Since their onboarding, the Encompass team has experienced significant improvements in equity processes. “One of my favorite things about switching to Ledgy is that we don’t use spreadsheets at all anymore. Ledgy is now our one single source of truth, and it’s a relief to have fully adopted a new way of doing things, with no desire to go back,” says Stuart.
After inviting the entire Encompass team to Ledgy, Stuart also saw the impact from the get-go. “The real difference has been in employee engagement around equity.” he says. “We wanted to reach a goal of 80% successful logins within a month of inviting 200+ employees. We exceeded that. We also held equity ‘drop-in’ sessions that saw attendee numbers like never before, showing real engagement across the team, thanks to Ledgy," he continued.
Now, as they continue to use Ledgy, the Encompass team also saves valuable time in the issuance of grant letters, especially. “The process used to take around two days per quarter to complete, with lots of back and forth to get signatures. Now, it takes about an hour, and the signature process is fully automated.”
Set up for a bright future
As Encompass continues to pursue lofty ambitions, Ledgy gives Stuart and his team an ‘all-in-one’ platform to finally move away from spreadsheets, save time and help employees to enhance their equity understanding. Stuart will continue to invest in people as Encompass grows: “If you empower individuals, success follows.”
Interested in transitioning away from unsatisfactory equity software on to Ledgy? Catch up with Audiomob, CloudNC and Modern Milkman, three VC-backed companies who’ve embarked on the same journey.