Staying Focused on the Use of Technology as a Solution
By Erin King, Chief Compliance Officer, Transamerica Asset Management
Emerging challenges in compliance
As fantastic as it is to be part of the burgeoning industry of compliance, the challenges are monumental, including staying abreast of the ever changing regulatory landscape, particularly as businesses move across jurisdictions and produce new and unique products. Part of keeping a grip on products is moving with the business to identify ways to streamline processes and procedures and help guide them through the labyrinth of rules and regulations they face, particularly as the business expands into new lines of business, new products, and new jurisdictions. Another challenge for compliance is to stay focused on the use of technology as a solution.
Compliance officers can be bogged down in the day to day navigation of the ship and may not be focused on identifying and relying upon ways to implement and use technology. This has become easier though in recent years as the focus on compliance expands and vendors seek to fill the needs of compliance in the technology space with record retention solutions, email monitoring and archiving systems, and policy management tools. Attending conferences and networking is a key aspect to meeting and identifying vendors that offer possible solutions. These solutions can help compliance officers focus on meeting regulatory requirements and staying efficient, which in turn allows them to be more available to serve business constituent needs.
Creating a link to make compliance work
Compliance, since I started in the financial field close to 15 years ago, has evolved dramatically from something an organization had to do - “comply”- to an area of focus that is now seated at the table with all key departments and constituents. A driver of this growth is attributable to the quickly evolving regulatory landscape and industry scandals including Enron and Madoff. The regulatory framework with Sarbanes Oxley and most recently Dodd Frank as well as for the investment advisory business, SEC rules including Advisers Act 206(4)-7 and the 1940 Act 38(a)-1 has driven businesses to realize the key to staying compliant and avoiding reputational and financial risk is to employ sound compliance policies, procedures, and internal controls. The critical link for compliance officers is to partner with the business, being solutions oriented within the regulatory framework and constraints. Keeping current with changing rules and helping business partners identify solutions to meet (and comply with) new and changing requirements is crucial to the role of successful compliance.