Setting Banks Ready for the Future

Financial IT speaks with Réda Bouakel, CEO of Fortia Financial Solutions on how can financial services firms tackle the regulatory challenges.

Financial IT: Could you please tell us briefly about your background and career path that brought you to launching Fortia?

Réda Bouakel (RB): I am founder and CEO of Fortia Financial Solutions, a company specialized in data processing and compliance. Prior to Fortia, I was the CEO of the French subsidiary of an American software publishing group.

Financial IT: How the rise of modern regulations and compliance are shaping the financial services sector?

RB: Regulatory regimes are constantly catching up with the fast-evolving landscape of financial products and services. New and reinforced regulations are leading market participants to reassess their business operations in multiple countries and world regions. They have to consider the cost of regulation and the impact of compliance requirements on their core processes.

We see that the evolution of regulation requires more standardization in the way information is being exchanged and increases the expectations on the quality of the data and processes throughout the whole ecosystem. As a result, companies are seeking to innovate in the way they run their operations and communicate with investors. And also, they are engaging in initiatives to re-think the organization of their information systems and streamline them with new types of technologies.

The rise of regulatory constraints is having a significant impact on business in general and financial services in particular. Once seen as a center of cost and red tape, regulation is now perceived by companies as an opportunity to transform and modernize their business processes and even become a key element in the definition of their overall strategy.

In concrete terms, regulatory changes have resulted in companies:

  1. A significant improvement in the circulation of information
  2. More transparent governance
  3. Better risk management and prevention
  4. A 360-degree view of business processes and their interactions
  5. Faster decision making
  6. The implementation of validation processes

In short, regulation has made companies more accountable and has pushed them to modernize.

On the other hand, a major hurdle that businesses must overcome is the quality of the data used. Regulations can only be respected and be a source of progress if decisions are based on reliable data of irreproachable quality, which is far from being the case today...

Financial IT: Definitely, regulatory compliance changes are affecting FinTech companies. How exactly is Fortia helping companies to deal with compliance challenges?

RB: Over the past few years, Fortia has been building solutions to solve the challenges in the day-to-day compliance monitoring obligations in the investment management industry.

The objective is to industrialize the process of implementing a change in a regulatory requirement and reduce the time to onboard a new client.

For achieving this we have created AI algorithms which are able to understand the guidelines from fund offering documents and transform them into executable code.

Furthermore, we are helping companies to integrate these requirements into broader end-to-end operational workflows. This provides them with greater visibility and traceability of the whole process as documents, data, user actions, alerts and reports are linked in a seamless and retrievable manner.

Moreover, compliance challenges are linked to regulatory inflation but also and above all to the dramatic increase in data. According to Gartner, 'Data will grow 800% over the next five years and 80% of the data will be unstructured'.

For compliance to be possible, this mass of data needs to be mastered, interpreted, understood, quality and transparency assured, and its use in business processes accurately mapped.

To meet these challenges, digitalization is an absolute must.

Fortia, thanks to its technologies, allows to master all the chain of production, control and processing of data. But also to automate the operational processes that massively use this data. In this way, Fortia's solutions offer perfect control of the risks of non-compliance while ensuring a strong reduction of costs.

Financial IT: What are your plans for Fortia in 2020 and beyond?  

RB: In our opinion, the quality of data will be a central issue for companies in the coming years.

According to Market & market "7 out of 10 companies believe that strategic decisions taken in 2020 will be guided by data. To this end, Fortia will launch in 2020 a platform, totally based on AI, for data processing called Datxt, which will allow to:

- Automatically extract data and information from all legal, commercial, accounting documents;

- Create automatically text content and templates for all company documents.

Always with the objective of providing our clients, particularly fund management companies, with data of impeccable quality, Fortia will also launch in 2020 a service for the provision of investment fund data fully managed by IA. Hence, we will guarantee our clients data quality unrivalled on the market.

We will work in 2020 to provide our clients with cutting-edge technologies that will transform the way you manage their data and regulatory compliance.

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