Fintech Interview with Compendor

„A shift of business consciousness is required”

Elmo Olieslagers | Compendor GmbH

Elmo Olieslagers | Compendor GmbH

RegTech (short for Regulatory Technologies) aims at providing time-efficient, configurable and reliable regulatory solutions for businesses. A few years ago, complex Excel spreadsheets were needed to process compliance-related issues. Today, young and emerging RegTech companies offer software solutions addressing regulatory requirements in a simple and efficient manner and support and document their implementation. Following the implementation of MiFID II / MiFIR regulations, RegTech companies gained considerable attention in the financial community. One of these companies is the Frankfurt Main Finance member Compendor. Elmo Olieslagers, founding partner of Compendor, shares his insight into the world of an upcoming RegTech company in an exclusive interview!

What led to the founding of Compendor? Were there any specific triggers that led to the launching of the company?

MiFID II / MiFIR became effective on January 3rd, 2018 and being comprised of 7,000 pages, the legislative framework is not always easy to apprehend.

In order to implement MiFID II / MiFIR a client required a structured, detailed and pragmatic gap analysis. At the time, law firms offered gap analyses in – often not structured and still complex – Excel spreadsheets. In other words, it was not always clear to clients what the specific requirements were that needed to be fulfilled unless they hired law consultants. This was one reason why one client asked us to come up with a solution. Our solution combines the knowledge and expertise of lawyers, bankers, and compliance specialists into an online application. Using structured decision trees as a basis, we established an innovative way of mastering regulatory changes by Financial Institutions.

In the meantime, we service clients around the most important regulations concerning Investor Protection and GDPR for banks.

Where does Compendor fit into the RegTech eco system?

To answer that, let us take into account the typical actors and typical solutions along the lines of a generic Regulatory Response Process.

The Regulatory Response Process typically consists out of three steps:

  1. “Signaling” of a regulatory requirement and a first quick scan for impact
  2. “Implementing” a detailed gap analysis and corresponding solutions
  3. “Monitoring” for compliance on a continuous and detailed basis

Various German banking associations and law firms already provide “Signaling” solutions. We provide the solution for “Implementing & Monitoring” regulatory compliance. The main difference is that a more detailed level is required to conduct high-quality compliance monitoring.

Why should an asset manager/banks consider using your solution?

We see that many asset managers and smaller banks do not have the capacity nor the knowledge to keep up with all the new regulations. And even if they succeed in dedicating (available and trained) resources to a certain legislation, this is often concentrated within one or only a few employees. This results in concerns regarding continuity. How do you deal with key-people leaving or being unavailable for a longer time?

Our solutions can help organizations with addressing these issues. By using our RegTech solutions, knowledge is secured and less resources are needed to cope with the regulatory burden.

Compendor in 3 sentences. What makes Compendors Compliance Monitoring Solutions so successful?

  1. Knowledge is secured. Both with regards to the regulation as well as to the interpretations made during the implementation process (full audit trail)
  2. Always up-to-date with the latest status of regulations
  3. Resource (and cost) friendly, by using technology rather than human resources

What are currently the biggest challenges for RegTechs in the financial industry?

To fully capture the benefits RegTech can bring, a shift of business consciousness is required.

Management should:

  • Accept that regulation is a hygiene factor, not a strategic differentiator
  • Ensure that legal and compliance departments accept technology as an opportunity
  • Embed industry best practice solutions instead of in-house developments which often are cost and time intensive and do not incorporate industry-wide knowledge
  • Adopt a unified, value-chain based approach, instead of fragmented autonomy of business lines and entities

Why is Frankfurt the ideal location for (FinTech) start-ups?

Frankfurt is becoming more important in the European financial landscape. More Banks and other financial institutions settle in Frankfurt, resulting in a huge demand for financial and regulatory expertise. This scarcity of financial/regulatory resources functions as a catalyst for alternatives like FinTech/RegTech.

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Fifth visit of FMF delegation to South Korea and Hong Kong

In January 2019, a German delegation, headed by Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance, traveled to South Korea and Hong Kong.

Seoul

In Seoul, the delegation attended the FinTech & Blockchain Forum at Sogang University at which Korean and German companies were presenting their business models. Moreover, the group met with Suk Heun Yoon, President of the Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) to discuss Britain’s exit from the European Unit as well as the potential implications for European financial markets and the Financial Centre Frankfurt. Furthermore, the World Alliance of International Financial Centres (WAIFC) was discussed with representatives of the city council – a global strategic alliance of which both the Korean financial centre Busan and FMF are founding members.

Busan

On the second day, the delegation took the KTX high-speed train to Busan  – the second largest Korean city and partner of FMF. After meeting with the Busan Economic Promotion Agency (BEPA) and a warm welcome by Chairman Dr. Ki Sik Park, the delegation went to the United Nations Memorial Cemetery –  a burial ground honoring United Nations Command soldiers who fell in the Korean War (1950-1953).

Thereafter, the delegation was welcomed at the Busan city hall by Jae-soo Yoo, Deputy Mayor. Mr. Yoo and Dr. Raettig emphasized the close collaboration between the two financial centres following the signing of the cooperation agreement in 2013, which will be further strengthened by the joint WAIFC membership. Back in Seoul, the delegation met with Korean politicians, companies as well as with Prof. Sooyong Park, Head of the Global FinTech Research Institute.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the delegation participated at the Asian Financial Forum (AFF) – titled Creating a Sustainable and Inclusive Future and held under the auspiece of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

Asian Financial Forum 2019

The stall of the International Financial Centre Frankfurt, jointly organised by FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH, Hessen Trade & Invest and Frankfurt Main Finance, attracted many visitors who were interested in Brexit related topics as well as Frankfurt’s thriving FinTech scene.

In her opening address, Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, highlighted the success of FinTech in Hong Kong. Moreover, she emphasized how important the Greater Bay Area initiative, implemented by the Guangdong province, Macao and Hong Kong, are to the government of Hong Kong.

While the members of the delegation with a background in the banking sector listened to interesting presentations, the Frankfurt-based FinTech company AsiaFundManagers presented itself to a number of potential investors at the so-called Deal Flow Matchmaking Session of the AFF. At the final meeting with Dr. Raettig on the last day of the trip, the two participating managing directors of AsiaFundManagers voiced their satisfaction with the results of the talks.