This year we have created a new business unit, Information Services, to focus on gathering the data that our clients need to properly manage their compliance risks.
This means that we are moving beyond our standard ‘database’ offering, which looks at people and companies that you might not want to work with, and adding business information, such as ownership, credit analysis, quality metrics, and customer sentiment, plus access to the data held in the hundreds of thousands of reports we have delivered over the last 12 years.
Put simply, there is a real role for business teams to make sure that they have ready-made information about companies and people that they want to do business with. The world has moved beyond the ‘Is it on the list?’ questions, and so have we.
Last year, the IntegraWatch® | Compliance Screening database moved from being a set of lists related primarily to the risk of corruption to being a set of profiles that cover 30 key risk areas that face our clients. To achieve this, the team has been working on a number of initiatives clustered around:
Improving the sources of data: As the database now covers 30 risk areas from all countries around the world, and since most of the information comes from media sources, we are constantly looking to find new, better sources of data, especially those that cover important news items that are not picked up in mainstream media.
Improving the quality of the data: In addition to the sources, we have been working hard this year to ensure that all the profiles in the database contain enough information for our clients to make sound business judgements even where that requires further research.
Improving the search and monitoring methodologies: We have added a new ‘concise’ method to allow clients to focus on the key profiles that match their partners and to monitor them whenever they are updated.
GOALS FOR 2018/19
This year, for the IntegraWatch® | Compliance Screening database, we will be focused on expanding many of those features, as well as:
• RISK RATINGS: We are adding risk-based ratings to the information entered into the database. Since not all profiles contain reports that would exclude doing business with a partner, the ratings will allow clients to make better decisions, as it can place the information contained in the profile into a wider context.
• RISK ADVICE: Where the risk rating indicates a serious issue, we will also be helping to identify sensible next steps to manage and mitigate the risk.
• BROADER ACCESS: Most clients access IntegraWatch® using the integration with the ComplianceDesktop® technology platform. As the platform is designed for enterprise clients who use it to build their entire third-party programme, not everyone currently has a means to access the data. To help smaller clients, the IntegraWatch® data will be available via our IntegraWatch.com website and for purchase directly via a query API.
• FLEXIBLE PRICING: As not all clients need all the data in IntegraWatch®, one of our key objectives this year will be to provide technology to allow clients to purchase smaller data sets based on volume, risk or geography.
The Information Services team is also working on expanding our data to include business-related information that is not adverse or negative in nature. Examples of this include:
• OWNERSHIP INFORMATION: We have a partnership with a number of providers, which allows us to directly order corporate documentation from registries worldwide. This will be integrated into our products to allow clients to purchase documents without the need to order through a service provider.
• CREDIT: To support onboarding workflows that involve finance and credit teams, we plan to add information about the creditworthiness of partners into our data set — even though it may not have a bearing on the integrity of the partner.
• IDENTIFICATION: Where clients have large volumes of partners or customers, confirming the identity of the owners or controllers is a vital element of onboarding. We will be partnering with providers of identity-verification data (where we can’t obtain it ourselves) to provide that data into our technology solutions to allow for a one-stop shop.
While it is a new business group for the Firm, the Information Services team will be vital to helping us support our client’s risk in a more holistic manner, by including business risks with integrity risks on the same platform.