id Ship is a digital platform where businesses can search for board members and professionals can offer their services. The goal is to break up the “old boys network” and make it easier for companies to find the right professionals.

The key success factor in every business is the team. And that starts at the very top of the team, the Board of Directors. But how do companies usually recruit for their Board? Typically not in a conventional way. Have you ever seen a job ad for a Board Seat? Probably not all too often.

Usually, companies fill board seats with people in their network, people they trust or who have invested in the company, or people who bring expertise or connections into the company. Often it’s a closed club. And that’s exactly what Eduard von Kymmel wants to change with his new platform. He wants businesses to move away from the “old boys’ network.”

The requirements have changed

Eduard von Kymmel is a former Credit Suisse and VP Bank executive who knows the financial industry well. He was previously responsible for VP Fund Solutions, the fund business at Liechtenstein-based VP Bank, for about six years until last March. Before that, he worked for Credit Suisse for more than 13 years.

The requirements for leaders have changed with the industry. Products have become more complex, operations are more international, markets more diverse, and corporate governance regulations more strict. As a result, today’s selection process and the candidates must meet the highest standards.

But that also means the search for suitable professionals is becoming increasingly difficult, as Eduard von Kymmel explains in an interview with finews.ch. And that’s where his new platform comes in.

The id Ship platform

Von Kymmel’s company is called Id Linked; clearly an allusion to the social business network LinkedIn. The platform is called id Ship. It’s a search and match-making tool that connects the professionals with Board of Directors credentials and skills with institutions that have corresponding positions to fill.

In doing so, von Kymmel disrupts a business model that previously worked primarily on an individual basis via personal recommendations or networks. The platform went live about one month ago. Von Kymmel hoped at the beginning with about 40 participating persons who would offer themselves as independent directors. It’s 70 already.

Interestingly, about 25 percent are women. Von Kymmel believes women will in particular benefit from this type of digital match-making, as they are usually not part of the “old boys networks” which he tries to disrupt.

On the other side, a dozen companies have already expressed interest in placing experts or independent board members, according to von Kymmel. He said he is in talks with other companies, including some U.S. houses with a presence in Europe. His business model is based on a fee-and-commission model, meaning the platform only charges once a placement is made. For individuals, the registration is free.

So far, the platform has focused on the three locations: Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Dublin. Von Kymmel is now planning to enter the Swiss market. He is already in talks with several banks and the relevant specialists. Based on his existing network in this country, it should only be a matter of time before the platform also covers Switzerland.

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