Artesian Risk and Compliance Hub

Artesian will be launching its Risk and Compliance Hub, which supports front-line KYC checks, in 2019.
Artesian will be launching its Risk and Compliance Hub, which supports front-line KYC checks, in 2019.

Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates published a year-in-review blog and a preview of their upcoming Artesian Risk and Compliance Hub (ARCH).  The new ARCH capabilities will extend their social selling platform into Know Your Client (KYC) reviews at UK banks. ARCH is in early testing.

ARCH leverages Artesian capabilities around interpreting structured and unstructured data ”to create useful flags and to drive appropriate actions.”  Artesian already is on the desktop of relationship managers (RMs) at most of the major UK banks.  “This puts us in a unique position to make insights regarding financial and KYC risks available to the front-line as a pre-screen, to ensure that corporate banking relationships begin with an appropriate understanding of risk.”

Arch supports an automated audit trail and storage of evidence.  Early tests found ARCH to be “100% accurate in reflecting policy in pre-screening.”  Arch also reduced the time spent in gathering risk assessment data by 90% and identified 14% more risk issues compared with manual processing.

By providing a pre-screen at the front-end of client discussions, RMs can focus on new clients that will pass muster during the onboarding review process.  This process makes both relationship managers and compliance professionals more effective.  RMs will no longer be spending time with prospective clients that won’t pass compliance review while compliance professionals can focus their attention on more complex reviews which require their skill and expertise.

“ARCH gives companies control of a sophisticated decision engine to enable data being accessed to have rules applied and flags created. It means that Relationship Managers can see a summarised view of what their central risk teams assessment of a potential client would be, before spending time and money engaging with them. The automation aspect of this is fundamental as it brings efficiency, consistency and control to the areas it transforms.

But more than that, it places compliance at the heart of the business – front of mind for every member of staff, informing every decision, instructing every interaction and shaping every relationship from pre-screens for new customer prospecting through to long-standing client development.”

Artesian CEO Andrew Yates

Yates cited McKinsey research which notes that the risk function at financial institutions is being transformed “with the detection, assessment, and mitigation of risk” being transferred to all employees by 2025.

Risk and Compliance tools are a greater focus amongst European sales intelligence firms due to the availability of private company registry data.  While US private companies provide only minimalist filings with Secretaries of State offices (with a few exceptions in insurance, banking, and nonprofits), UK company registration data includes directors, shareholders, and financials.  Other UK compliance data includes sanctions lists, Politically Exposed Persons (global government officials and relatives), disqualified directors, gazettes (shuttered business and those in receivership), and traditional credit reports.  Vendors such as Artesian, DueDil, and Bureau van Dijk have recently emphasized compliance and risk tool development over sales intelligence offerings.

Artesian reached 30,000 users in 2018 with their user base tracking over 800,000 companies.  According to Yates, Artesian customers “have received 12.5 million actionable insights, 2.5m unique computational matches each week, automated the equivalent of 2 trillion Google searches per week (13bn per hour), and have made 523,813 useful connections using Artesian data.”

Artesian staff provided over 350 training sessions, webinars, and workshops to more than 3,000 users in 2018.  Artesian Academy delivered an additional 1,200 multi-media tutorials, certification modules, role-based tips, and social media best practices overviews.

Bureau van Dijk Orbis Enhancements

Saved Searches is one of the new features added to BvD Orbis.
Bureau van Dijk Orbis Build a List

Bureau van Dijk rolled out the latest set of enhancements to its Orbis company research and financial analysis platform.  Orbis was re-platformed last year and given a modern user interface.  New features include a document ordering module, improved peer reporting, and enhanced customization.  The new document ordering module assists with KYC/AML and company research by delivering original images of business documents, such as certificates of incorporation, shareholders’ details, and annual reports.  The new module was built in partnership with aRMadillo (FKA RM Online) and delivers reports “usually within an hour.”  Users can even order reports for companies not found in the Orbis database.

Customization features include calculated variables which can be shared across the account group, chapters, and classifications.

“The new interface arranges company reports into “books” that are further organised into “chapters”, that contain related information,” said CMO Louise Green.  “This feature lets you create your own customised chapters, which could include: your company logo or other images; widgets from the profile page; worksheets with selected financials; and any of your own fields that you have imported into Orbis.”

Custom classifications allow users to map their own industry and geographic codes to ORBIS data.

Bureau van Dijk recently released a 2:33 demo of seven key workflow improvements that were implemented in last year’s release:

  1. Favorite Search Criteria
  2. Instant Currency Switch
  3. Alert Management and Quick Alerting
  4. Quick View of a Company
  5. Random Sorting and Sampling
  6. Pivot Analysis
  7. Corporate Ownership Explorer

The Orbis database, which is available for Orbis financial analysis, MINT sales intelligence, and Catalyst workflow product lines, now spans 220 million companies across 200 countries.

Bureau van Dijk Orbis Company View
The Bureau van Dijk Orbis Company View is customizable.

Sales Intelligence: US vs. UK

UK private company financials (source: Artesian Solutions)
UK private company financials (source: Artesian Solutions)

The UK is the second largest market for sales intelligence services.  For US firms, the UK is usually either the second or third market (after Canada) which they support.  Thus, the UK market is served by both British (e.g. DueDil, Artesian Solutions, Bureau van Dijk) and American companies (e.g. Avention, Dun & Bradstreet, Factiva).

A key difference between the US and UK markets is the availability of UK private company data.  Approximately three million active UK firms are required to register with Companies House (the major exceptions are small businesses, partnerships, and public sector entities).  Large firms are required to provide full financials while mid-size firms may only be required to file a Balance Sheet or summary financials.  The smallest firms may simply be required to file a basic Annual Return with Director and Shareholder information and abbreviated accounts.

Along with annual financials, the UK filing regime requires statements concerning Directors and Shareholders (DASH); Mortgages, Charges, and County Court Judgments (MCCJ); and Gazette filings concerning receiverships and the winding down of businesses.  The net effect is a richer set of financial figures, superior intelligence concerning corporate families and ownership, a broad list directors, and intelligence concerning cross-company director linkages.

There are some drawbacks to this system.  First, the filings for private companies are not filed until three quarters after the end of the financial year so one is generally looking at data that is three to seven quarters in arrears.  A company’s financial position can shift significantly during this time.  Of course, few companies in the US are required to make any kind of financial filings.

Second, statements may be filed from the offices of corporate secretaries, accountants, or corporate owners.  Thus, the registered address often differs from the actual “trading address”.  When evaluating UK sales intelligence tools, look for vendors that provide both registered and trading addresses.  You should also ask about the population of URLs and phone numbers.

In the UK, sales reps should be calling into the Trading Address (physical) location, not the Registered Address (legal). Make sure your Sales Intelligence service provides both.
In the UK, sales reps should be calling into the Trading Address (physical) location, not the Registered Address (legal). Make sure your Sales Intelligence service provides both.  (Source: Avention)

Third, while there is very good data concerning corporate linkages, including minority shareholdings, the data only goes to the subsidiary level.  But companies may have hundreds of operating locations not listed.  In the US, vendors capture all of these branch locations, but this intelligence is more limited in the UK.

Another problem with this regime is there is little focus on who is managing the organization.  While a few directors are listed, they may not be the people the sales rep will be calling into.  Thus, the sales intelligence vendors have been working to tie in marketing datasets which provide additional color (British translation: colour) including mid-level managers with emails, URLs, and phone numbers.

Finally, one is more likely to have turnover figures (US translation: revenue) in the UK than in the US.  Conversely, US vendors are more likely to have employee figures and modeled revenue figures.  As a result, the employee count is a better sizing metric when prospecting in the US and turnover is the superior prospecting metric in the UK.

I am currently working on the next edition of my Field Guide for Sales Intelligence Vendors.  One of the key additions to this year’s edition is the inclusion of three UK vendors: Artesian Solutions, Bureau van Dijk, and DueDilAvention, which also offers a strong UK product, was previously included.  The new edition will be available before the end of this year.  I am now taking pre-orders for the expanded guide with purchasers receiving the 2015 edition at no charge.