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Diligent Brings Latest Cloud App for Corporate Boards to U.S.

The New Zealand-founded software firm recently relocated to New York.

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You hear a lot these days about collaboration software that runs in the cloud from the likes of Slack and Hipchat: Companies use them to help their employees work in groups in order to get things done.

And while its great for most employees at a company, the mainstream tools may not be quite right for the people who sit on a company’s board of directors. Now there’s a cloud collaboration tool for them, too.

A New York-based cloud software outfit called Diligent announced today that it has created a tool for directors and officers at large companies, available today in the U.S. Boards deal with a lot of confidential material, they often break into committees that specialize on subjects like compensation and governance and they have lots of legal and regulatory compliance responsibilities. As with regular employees, it’s easy to get bogged down with multiple versions of documents as they get revised.

Boards have the added need of keeping the information they work with confidential, so there’s a need to secure it. And there’s usually administrative staff who keep track of it all.

“There’s lot of documents and often a lot of paper,” said Brian Stafford, Diligent’s CEO. “For a lot of companies it hasn’t changed much in decades.”

Enter Diligent, which got its start in New Zealand in the late 1990s. In 2001 it created a Web-based “board pack” for directors. In 2002 it landed SunAmerica, a division of insurance giant AIG, as its first client. By 2010 it had launched its first “board book” app on Apple’s iPad. As of last year it had 3,300 clients in 60 countries. And while it has recently moved it headquarters to New York, it remains listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, and last year posted revenue of more than $100 million. Customers include the pizza chain Domino’s, defense contractor Bombardier and the Dutch brewer Heineken.

Aside from moving its headquarters, Diligent has also starting beefing up its senior executive ranks. It just named Michael Stanton, the former senior VP of finance at the education software company Blackboard, as its new CFO. Earlier this week it tapped Melinda Lee Ferguson, the former head of operations in the U.K. and Ireland for the software company CA Technologies as its chief sales officer.

This article originally appeared on

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