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SNA Lab at SONEAN 2014

At SONEAN our aim is to move our clients beyond financial and non-financial (ESG) data in order to spot risks and opportunities in a profoundly new way. We bring the social network perspective into their decision making processes and as a strategy consultant help them to use network analytic insights in their investment related and organizational decisions. In order to create greater awareness, but more importantly identify future colleagues, we initiated the SNA Lab in 2013 to train young talented people in social network analysis and specifically its application to organizational phenomena. In May/June 2014 we welcomed our latest SNA Lab team and it is an outstanding experience for all of us. By ensuring that more people adopt a social network related perspective we can create greater awareness for its unique and complementary role. In ten years, it is going to be the third pillar and a standard in decision making next to financial, and non-financial (ESG - Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria) criteria, we are already working on this today with our SNA Lab team members in line with our motto “Welcome Tomorrow”. With “SNA at Work” furthermore (initiated by our sister company Funds@Work already in 2012) we ensure that our application related insights and latest research is also spread among academic groups globally. SNA at Work is thus complementary to the SNA Lab and brings together an esteemed team of researchers from across the world, from various continents, to regularly come together and share ideas and latest research but at the same time promote social network analysis and its application among bachelor, master, and doctoral students as well as executives. Below you will find our latest SNA Lab team which we formed in May/June 2014 complementing our existing team members and the core staff.

The SNA Lab team 2014

From left to right: Cem Kaya, Marc Devine, Nicholas Strauch, Katarina Majetic, Cancan Demir, Murat Ünal, Nicholas Fruneaux, Selma Peters, and last but not least Sekip Topcu

Katarina Majetic (SNA Lab Member):
Social Network Analysis (SNA) in SONEAN’s SNA Lab has really given me a whole new perspective of the world. It has brought to light how small and inter-connected the world is. Through the research that I have done at SONEAN I have learned the driving factors of the decisions made by board members. I have found it extremely interesting to research and to learn how individuals are connected, because it gives me the crucial missing piece to the bigger picture. I have learned that finding even one small piece of information on a person can really start a ‘snowball effect’, which enables me then to find more information on that person based on my recent finding. I have realized the importance of transparency in corporate governance and that if transparency is maintained; a stable and positive future lies ahead. I am fortunate that I am already learning about the importance of Social Network Analysis because I have the opportunity to stay ahead of the game and to help make others aware about how crucial it is to connect the nodes.

Selma Peters (SNA Lab Member)
In an era of globalization, processes of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and national governments are inevitable and indicate a beginning of a borderless world. Since I started to work at SONEAN I realize day by day the importance of monitoring such processes regarding the increasing global interconnectedness, not only from a corporate dimension. Thus, I learned how to apply the methodology of Social Network Analysis (SNA) to everyday situations to benefit from my social networks as corporations and their members benefit from their ties. However such links can also be used for wrong purposes creating a lack of transparency and social dependence. Such issues can be revealed and tackled by Social Network Analysis (SNA)."

Cancan Demir (SNA Lab Member)
Social Network Analysis at SONEAN taught me to understand the complexity of the investment industry as well as of the whole world and see multiple ties and connections which you can't see without going so deep into the substance. Through my time at the SNA Lab of SONEAN I have made exciting insights into different networks. It showed me how important the role of transparency is when it comes to organizational decision making such as for example investing in companies. My time at the SNA Lab definitely changed my perspective of analyzing data and networks and influenced me in how I will see the power of networks in the future.

Marc Devine (SNA Lab Member)
My experience at the SNA lab of SONEAN has been very eye-opening. I have never looked in companies in such unique ways and analyzed this sort of corporate governance data. The research was very tedious at times, but also rewarding, when the connections were found that I had been longing to find. Further analyzing this data was another important step in the process and I saw new ways of visualizing and grouping the data that will help me with future school and university work.

Nicholas Fruneaux (SNA Lab Member)
Social Network Analysis is a concept that is inherently relevant in our world due to the omnipresent ties that bind people and organizations. Here in SONEAN’s SNA lab, we learn that these ties not only have implications on a personal level, such as which school one attends or where one works, but also present tremendous explanatory and predictive power with regards to strategic business and investment decisions. Effectively implementing our thorough analysis of social ecosystems into business and investment strategy is what truly distinguishes SONEAN as a consultant to the investment industry. It is with great pleasure that I am able to take part in these outstanding developments and I am confident our work will continue to generate waves throughout the investment world, as professional asset owners and managers seek insights going well beyond traditional financial and non-financial data.

Nicholas Strauch (SNA Lab Member)
After being at SONEAN for only a few days I have already acquired invaluable information on how to look at the world and the people around me. By looking at individual companies and the people that define such companies, through Social Network Analysis (SNA) we can automatically see if there are social connections present. Through the revolutionary idea of looking past general financial information we can better see whether potential investment opportunities will in fact be good investments. Furthermore, I have come to learn through the visualization of the data that was analyzed, that connections between networks is extremely important to ensure that new information is injected into each network. I believe that not only is this knowledge important in business, it is also important at a personal level and I have seen many instances where my newly acquired knowledge has changed how I look at the world.