Where did it all start?
The APLMA is a professional not-for-proﬁt trade association which represents the interests of institutions active in the syndicated loan markets in the Asia-Paciﬁc (“APAC”) region. It was founded in 1998 by 15 major international banks but today has  members which include banks, non-bank ﬁnancial institutions, law ﬁrms, insurance companies, rating agencies, regulators, multilateral agencies, ﬁnancial information service providers and other ﬁnancial intermediaries.
Which were the main drivers for pursuing this project?
In 2017 an external independent consultant was appointed to conduct a thorough business review of the Association, pursuant to which a new CEO was appointed who was given the mandate to upgrade the Association, to make it more professional, to improve its offering of conferences and educational events, and to ensure access to APLMA’s library of template documents was a smooth and easy user-friendly process. In this context one of the most pressing requirements was to improve the “look and feel” of APLMA’s online presence, which of course meant its website and overall branding image. The existing website was clearly no longer ﬁt for purpose and the Association’s branding was tired and out of date.
How do you select your partner?
Considerable effort and research went into the needs of our members, as well as the tools required by APLMA staff to be able to meet them. It was also imperative to dig deep and research what potential external providers could deliver to ensure that we were actually making the right choice. The new website would be with us for quite a few years to come and IT digital solutions are (and continue to) evolve quickly. What we saw with FunctionEight was years of experience, an extensive client portfolio with positive testimonials and real technical expertise. The pitch proposal made a lasting impression, notably in respect of work done for other trade associations, and was followed up with clear and timely communication in handling our requests and enquiries.
Are you happy with the outcome and your choice of partner?
APLMA has been happy and satisﬁed with the service levels, efficiency, and value for money provided by FunctionEight. The Association’s business requirements were efficiently and systematically collated at the start of the project, and activities and milestones were tracked throughout. Impressively, FunctionEight often went beyond the initial scope of our requirements and frequently suggested new ideas and carried out additional work to improve the project.
To note that many APLMA members have reacted very positively to the ﬁnal project outcome and since the launch of the new branding and website upgrade the Association has seen a surge of new users among existing institutional members and a signiﬁcant number of new member enquiries, which has led to growth in our membership base and a noticeable improvement in our proﬁle among regulators and other trade associations.
Anything else you are particularly proud of with this new development?
The APLMA’s rebranding and website revamp project has turned out to be a great success and the staff have received considerable positive feedback from the Board and from members generally. It manifests the Association’s continuous focus on improving the APLMA’s virtual relevance, enhancing its members’ beneﬁts, and improving engagement with the membership. The project has not only improved the aesthetic appearance of the APLMA’s website and branding but upgraded and streamlined its underlying processes and operations.
To know more details about APLMA, please visit www.aplma.com.