Our team had an awesome time at RegTech Enable in Washington D.C. last week. As a RegTech company focused on mitigating regulatory risk and ensuring brand safety for our clients, it was good to hear first-hand from top financial, regulatory and investment experts about the trends and innovations happening in the space.
The agenda touched on topics like technology, complex regulation, automation and enabling compliance management with technology solutions. Here are the top takeaways from our time at the conference:
Day 1 - Demo Day
Competition breeds innovation: 8 companies, 2 rooms and 20 minutes on the clock. Demo Day provided tremendous insight into the innovation of a growing new industry. Compliance automation was at the forefront of Demo Day with companies like Ascent and Asurity sharing the efficiency their technology provides enterprise businesses. Pendo Systems and CoreFiling tackled big data and reporting, a topic that’s top of mind with upcoming GDPR regulations in Europe. ComplyAdvantage and Merlon Intelligence honed in on AML/KYC compliance with their platforms and Lawgix and Contract Simply rounded out the group with their vertical specific focus. The key takeaway here was that with a growing focus on innovation, more RegTech companies will continue to emerge and push existing businesses to develop and iterate their solutions.
Day 2 - The Heavy Hitters
The Future of RegTech is bright, and the barriers to entry may be easing up. Day 2 kicked off with a dynamic panel featuring Fenway Summer Ventures, Promontory and QED Investors. Gene Ludwig, CEO of Promontory, encouraged Financial Institutions to focus on their expertise and try not to be everything for everyone. In many cases this includes outsourcing innovation.
PerformLine CEO & Founder Alex Baydin put his own spin on that sentiment during the panel Solving for Regulatory Impediments to RegTech Innovation. “Financial Institutions should institute a Chief Innovation Officer whose role is to source and help vendors navigate the internal landscape of working with these enterprise companies. The existing system is so arduous that many startups are unable to last long enough to get a shot for their technology to be used.” RegTech goes beyond improving efficiencies within organizations and it’s becoming a key retention tool for talent.
Day 3 - The Barriers of the Buyer
“We are tough to do business with and that’s by design” said Cathy Bessant, COO/CTO of Bank of America at the end of Day 3. Bessant peeled back the curtain during her Fireside Chat presentation, Global Bank Challenges and Opportunities. A few notable takeaways:
- What do we need from regulatory partners to better effectuate technological change?
- Talent: keeping up with the right talent to evaluate new technologies is expensive
- Understand the business model of the company being regulated
- Thoughts on AI?
- A complicated term that makes a mystery out of an easy concept (assessing data and producing outcomes)
- Immense opportunity, but risk at scale
- Harness AI with a focus on governance, transparency and ethics of decision-making
- Vendor Management?
- Time to sale is extraordinarily long
- VRM programs were developed when pace of tech change was much slower, these need to be updated
- Cost of failure is extremely high, hence why they are so careful
Final Message: Act as an interdependent ecosystem. Banks can be innovators, small companies can scale and regulators can contribute. 2018 will be a big year for the industry. Anticipate more buying, more competition and more funding!
Interested in learning more on Compliance, Risk and RegTech from experts like Gene, Alex and Cathy? Join us at COMPLY2018 May 16-17 in NYC for the industry's most comprehensive gathering of innovators, thought leaders, regulators and compliance professionals from across the globe.