With days to go before the IDENTITY.i Virtual Summit, we talk to Rachel Woolley, Director of Financial Crime at Fenergo to understand how Fenergo has been helping clients navigate uncertain times and what makes their solutions so unique to fighting financial crime.
CGG: The topic on everyone's agenda, "how has the COVID-19 crisis affected the Financial Crime landscape". What have you observed thus far and what actions should banks be taking to mitigate emerging threats?
RW: COVID19 has presented a number of challenges for financial institutions from a number of perspectives.
The crisis has opened doors to more illicit behaviour and financial crime, including increased COVID-related fraud such as telephone fraud, phishing scams and PPE scams. In response, global regulators and industry bodies have issued notices outlining guidance for financial institutions, highlighting the need for vigilance against financial crime.
As criminals seek to exploit vulnerabilities, including the misuse of financial services and bypassing customer due diligence measures, many regulators have encouraged the use of digital technology to ensure the continuity of financial services in light of social restriction measures and to mitigate the risk of financial crime.
We have seen a significant increase in financial institutions seeking to implement remote account opening and onboarding solutions in order to facilitate new customers, as well as robust solutions to ensure ongoing maintenance of existing clients. Fenergo has recently launched a new Remote Account Opening solution to help financial institutions to address this with fully integrated digital ID&V and eSignatures to ensure a truly streamlined and digital process.
CGG: What strategies/solutions/services is FENERGO implementing to help customers navigate these uncertain times?
RW: For us it has been business as usual with a pivot. We are fortunate in that when we started the company, we started it as a distributed team with employees all around the globe. Therefore, we have always been set up to run remotely before the Covid-19 pandemic. We find that people are more productive working with the infrastructure that they have in their own environment. Our professional services team would previously have worked on site with clients but are now having to do this remotely with the tools that are available. We are finding that these sessions are now more productive, structured, and planned. People are positive, and the clients are really engaged and have embraced this way of working. When we look at the client success management team, they are now having to conduct their strategic business reviews remotely. Having that connection with the clients and being able to communicate flexibly and quickly using the different tools is really reassuring for them. There is no doubt that selling is different. Previously, we would have very much been an in person selling organisation. We have now pivoted to remote selling and have put the right sales tools in place and the clients have embraced it. There is a push for digitalisation in terms of clients needs and they have really embraced this by taking on new tools and looking at Fenergo. It is a change, but we have really adapted to it. In general, from our clients prospective and from our target market, physical and in branch onboarding of accounts is going away and it is just an acceleration of the push for digitalisation; less paper, more digital channels etc. and that is what we offered anyway. By and large, this is an opportunity and is accelerating and reducing the time it takes for us to work with clients to get live.
CGG: Fenergo is well known in the market for your client lifecycle management solution, which is used by a variety of tier one and two banks including UBS, Santander and BNP Paribas. What makes Fenergo’s solution so different and attractive?
RW: There are probably 6 things that really differentiates Fenergo from the competition.
1. We have 100% focus on financial services – we spend our entire working days, weeks, months and years finding solutions to help financial institutions to digitalise, optimise and rationalise operations and customer journeys
2. Out-of-the-box content – We deliver regulatory surety through pre-packaged rules covering 100+ jurisdictions and API integrations. This allows banks to implement quickly, integrate easily and configure to meet their needs. This reduces risk and project uncertainty, resulting in lower cost of ownership.
3. Active client community – we serve 70+ of the world’s top FIs. We have a series of client engagement forums that allow our global family of clients to help Fenergo envision, design, develop and deliver world-class CLM and KYC technologies by providing direct input into our regulatory and product roadmaps.
4. Technology & Regulatory Experts – Fenergo has more CLM experts than any other vendor company. We are made up of 850+ technology and regulatory experts whose sole focus is to create leading-edge technologies that deliver streamlined efficiencies, reduced costs and great customer journeys throughout the client lifecycle. We also partner, train and accredit leading consulting houses and system integrators, providing thousands of Fenergo-certified specialists globally and allowing us to provide global deployments quickly and efficiently.
5. Strong Financial Backing - Fenergo is majority owned by Insight Venture Partners, a global investment and private equity house, with US$20bn AUM. In 2020, we received an additional $80m in funding from DXC Technology, world-leading independent, end-to-end IT services company, and ABN Amro Ventures.
6. Award-Winning Market Recognition - Fenergo has been consistently ranked as No. 1 for CLM and KYC solutions by Chartis Research for six consecutive years, outstripping competitors in key areas of functionality, market presence, innovation and strategy.
CGG: Fenergo recently partnered with IBM to fight financial crime. Can you tell us a little about that partnership?
RW: We have signed an OEM deal with IBM, where they will integrate Fenergo CLM with their AI-driven financial crime’s prevention suite. When you look at what Fenergo offer and you look at the IBM financial crime insight suite, they are two natural complimentary products. We are the CLM backbone providing structured orchestration around customer journeys throughout the client lifecycle. Added to their financial crime suite, powered by AI, this becomes a very formidable proposition that allows financial institutions to put customers at the heart the client lifecycle and ensuring a great client experience while also assuring the regulator that it’s safe to do business with the client.
When you think of the types of services that the IBM FCI can offer; negative news services, looking at regulation policies and interpreting them and validating to what extent you have implemented the policies, entity deduplication, entity resolution, risk services just to name a few, the key in these is that they are all AI powered. As such, having more data, smarter data, embedded into the Fenergo client lifecycle management process is just a natural way and really helps us to deliver the goal of becoming the number one client lifecycle management technology for financial institutions.
CGG: What motivated Fenergo to have a partnership role at IDENTITY.i?
RW: In exactly the same way that Fenergo has pivoted to a new normal and new reality, so too has Connect Global in how it has adapted its face-to-face events into a compelling virtual one. This is another opportunity for Fenergo to engage and connect with the wider audience of financial institutions and showcase our solutions. We are offering all prospects an opportunity to see a demo of our CLM solutions for themselves. We very much look forward to engaging with our peers, listening to other experts in the industry, sharing our own insights and expanding our network during this virtual event.
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Rachel has over 10 years' experience in the Financial Services industry having worked primarily in the funds industry and retail banking. She has a strong background in regulatory compliance, particularly in the areas of anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF).Rachel holds a BSc (Hons) Degree in Applied Accounting from the Oxford Brookes University and is an ACCA Affiliate.Rachel currently holds three professional designations; Licentiate of the Association of ComplianceOfficers in Ireland (LCOI), Certified Financial Crime Prevention Practitioner (CFCPP) and Certified Data Protection Officer (CDPO).
Fenergo is the industry No.1 provider of Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) software solutions for financial institutions spanning capital markets and investment banking, commercial, business and retail banking, private banking and wealth management, and asset management.
Fenergo CLM is an end-to-end platform that transforms how sell-side banks and buy-side firms manage clients – from initial onboarding to KYC/AML compliance, to client data management and ongoing lifecycle KYC reviews and refreshes.