December payrolls are already being prepared and the year that was 2017 is fast disappearing.

Obviously the 10th anniversary party was the event of the year for Voyonic and we could not have asked for a better weekend for our guests and their partners to spend some time here with us in Guernsey. The weather was perfect and the setting for the event was amazing and of course it was a pleasure to welcome so many people here from all over the world.

On a less glamorous front, I think one of the dominant themes of 2017 has been the stop/start implementation of the French Social Security Decree that has caused so much confusion and damage amongst the French yachting sector, in particular to repair and refit facilities. It is to be hoped that some form of clarity will be arrived at in early 2018 before the next season gets underway. The whole situation was probably exacerbated by the amount of “fake news” that was in circulation, particularly earlier on in the year when “experts” were delivering proposed solutions to the wrong problem. As the saying goes act in haste and repent at your leisure. Fortunately with our sister company in Malta we are/and have been able to provide solutions to most problems arising as a result of this Decree.

Last year I mentioned electronic signatures and just as a brief note we are closer now to these been acceptable globally but one or two flag states appear to be holding off based largely upon the fact that Port State Inspectors don’t like e-signatures. Sounds like a training opportunity to me as the rest of the world goes about its business electronically?

2017 has seen the introduction of a new member into the Voyonic group of companies. For the past 10 years we have relied upon the services of third party Corporate Services Providers (CSP’s) although as global compliance requirements have increased we found ourselves dealing with 90% of the work on behalf of the CSP. It became readily apparent that our accounts, QMS and commercial teams contained people with the right competencies for compliance purposes and it was therefore a logical step to take this “in-house”.

Aspire Corporate Services Limited was established and on the 1st October began operations with a team of 8, soon to be 10 staff. The GFSC have issued the necessary licensing and so we are now able to ensure that our clients companies are fully compliant in all aspects of our business from the corporate services through to MLC 2006.

One of the crowning achievements of the year has been the recent awarding of the Investors in People Silver Award to the company. I will not go into detail here other than to say that the phrase “our people are our most important asset” really does apply to Voyonic. Our staff retention is second to none because we genuinely know the value of people to the business. I will let the assessor have the final word on the subject.

“Voyonic and Aspire have been accredited under the Investors in People framework since 2014, although this latest assessment presented particular challenges as the framework itself has changed. The company rose to the challenge remarkably well and not only achieved a further accreditation but provided enough evidence to warrant a Silver award. This is an amazing achievement for a small company and reflects a focus on developing its staff and making the most of the talent within the team. Staff are engaged and well-motivated and are dedicated to driving the success of the business. For me, this project was a pleasure to work on and everyone involved was very open and welcoming. I look forward to continuing to work with Voyonic and Aspire and wish them continued success.”

Looking ahead to next year all I can promise is that we shall, as a group of companies, continue to seek out new ways of improving our services to our clients. Our simple philosophy of treating every client as the only client will continue.

With the imminent arrival of GDPR we are already in a good position having been registered with the Data Protection Commission since day one. We have always ensured that we not only have the most advanced systems at our disposal but we ensure that every client has a separate database on our servers so that there can be no chance of data being accidentally “shared”. Our move to cloud technology two years ago has improved our security and operating efficiency and we continue to keep improving this.

The business pipeline is encouraging for the start of the New Year and we have already recruited and are training new staff to be able to deal with the anticipated increase in new business. One result of our operating methods is that forward planning is essential in order to allow time to train new staff.

There are already one or two major projects lined up for Voyonic in 2018, one of which will be announced in early February.

We look forward to the challenges that next year might bring and will continue to strive to be the very best in our field which is no more than our clients deserve.

Might I conclude by wishing everybody all the very best for Christmas and a healthy and happy 2018.


Neil Carrington