By Riley Kaminer
When you think of ESG, what first comes to mind? Perhaps initiatives to make companies more environmentally sustainable. Or efforts to curb a business’s negative social impacts?
For Susana Sierra, the CEO of Miami startup BH Compliance, the “G” – governance – of “ESG” is too often an afterthought.
“When I go to seminars and courses about ESG, they’re usually talking about E and S,” she told Refresh Miami. “What happens is that it is harder to measure governance compared to environmental and social concerns.”
Yet corporate governance still plays a critical role in the success (or failure) of companies’ broader ESG strategy. When companies talk about governance, they are referring to a wide variety of structures that determine how corporations are managed.
Focusing on corporate governance ensures that all stakeholders related to a company are above board – a critical role in ensuring public confidence in a business. More broadly though, BH Compliance asserts that a strong corporate governance framework can significantly improve a company’s bottom line by increasing transparency, accountability, and overall effectiveness in managing its operations.
That’s why Sierra and her team are on a mission to help companies visualize their corporate governance. They have developed a platform called G-Metrix, which collects upwards of 70 governance-related criteria across five key areas: board effectiveness, compensation and remuneration, ethics and transparency, risk and crisis management, and stakeholder relationships. Sierra is a top international compliance expert, having worked at international organizations such as the OECD, non-profits, and universities.
Users upload data related to these key areas, which the experts at BH Compliance then manually verify (eventually, Sierra expects this process to be done with the help of AI). From there, BH Compliance generates a report that shows how a company is doing across the main governance criteria, identifying potential areas of improvement.
This platform works alongside BH Compliance’s primary offering, Comply Pulse, which helps businesses ensure efficient compliance. Many of BH Compliance’s customers are publicly traded companies, which are under increased scrutiny when it comes to compliance and ESG.
BH Compliance has been bootstrapped since launching in 2011. “We were very conservative at the beginning,” Sierra shared, noting that they did not expand out of her native Chile until they had reached profitability.
In December 2021, Sierra moved to Miami in an effort to expand her business. And expand they have indeed. The platform is now active across most Latin American countries. The company has grown 30% in revenue this year. BH Compliance’s 25 full-time employees are mostly based in Chile. While Sierra is currently the only South Florida employee, she said that she hopes to expand locally.
“Being in Miami has opened the Latin American market for us,” asserted Sierra. “Here, the world is at your fingertips.”
“There are so many opportunities to network and explore interesting ideas here in Miami. Every day is something new.” One interesting example of this is the blockchain, which Sierra was able to learn about and deploy thanks to Miami’s deep links to the global web3 community.
“In Miami, you can dream big. For entrepreneurs like us, that is an amazing thing.”
Source: Refresh Miami