ACA Group (ACA), a governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) advisor in financial services, has released ComplianceAlpha 2021 Q2, the latest version of its regulatory technology (RegTech) platform.
Available now, ComplianceAlpha 2021 Q2 introduces a suite of new features and enhancements designed to help firms globally build more comprehensive and scalable GRC programs in line with the expectations of regulators, boards, management, clients, and investors.
The imperative to digitalise compliance programmes has never been more urgent than now thanks to the rapidly evolving risk and change set off by the Covid-19 pandemic – a phenomenon ACA calls RiskMutation. According to industry analyst Greenwich Associates, 58 per cent of firms invested in third-party surveillance technology in 2020, almost double from the same period in 2019. This is echoed by the findings in Thomson Reuters’ Fintech, RegTech and the Role of Compliance Report 2021: of the 400 compliance and risk practitioners surveyed, 70 per cent said the pandemic has increased their reliance on technology.
Added to these challenges is the need for firms to keep pace with the continually evolving regulatory environment, which most recently and significantly includes preparing to meet the requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) new Marketing Rule.
But while firms are making progress towards digitalisation, there is still work to be done: a Risk Alert from the SEC’s Division of Enforcement (formerly OCIE) in late 2020 noted technology gaps as an area of deficiency in investment adviser compliance programs.
Patrick Conroy, Partner ACA Group, says: “Increasing compliance oversight is a focus for our clients’ clients – they view compliance as critical to doing business. As a result, senior management are recognising that compliance can be a competitive advantage that helps them win and retain business. However, building a progressive compliance function that satisfies these demands requires access to tools and expertise that compliance teams may not have.”
As a result, compliance officers are turning to technology and managed services to achieve increased efficiencies and economies of scale. To help clients toward this end, ACA has added a range of new features across the ComplianceAlpha platform. Key features include:
Automated functionality leveraging natural language processing (NLP) for managing compliance activities for legal documents (side letters and NDAs) and reviews of marketing materials/financial promotions.
Extensive enhancements to the platform’s Marketing Review capabilities to help firms automate and more efficiently manage the end-to-end review and approval workflow for marketing materials and financial promotions.
Raj Bakhru, Chief Innovation Officer, ACA Group, says: “The rapid pace of change and RiskMutation today has compliance officers turning to technology and managed services to optimise their compliance programmes. ComplianceAlpha helps firms bring together their compliance data, activities, and reporting in one scalable, flexible platform that provides harmonisation, transparency, and standardisation while reducing costs across the firm. With these new features and more coming throughout the year, we continue to evolve the platform to help our clients meet their most pressing business needs.”