Market Flash: Artesian Solutions and DueDil Merge

This morning, Artesian Solutions and DueDil announced the merger of their two firms.  Both vendors serve the B2B FinTech/RegTech/SalesTech spaces with products that assist their 700 customers in onboarding clients, performing KYC/AML checks, prospecting, and monitoring customers.

The merger took place six weeks ago and was described as a partnership at the time. However, they held off on the formal announcement until “everything was aligned.”

Artesian/DueDil is currently working on a combined brand identity that reflects the offerings of both companies. For this blog, I am, therefore, referring to them as “the merged company.”

Over eighty percent of their revenue comes from the financial services sector (Banking and Insurance), with products covering the UK, Ireland, US, and Canada.  While Artesian and DueDil serve the same market, they have only eight joint customers, providing significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities for their primary offerings:

  • Engage – Artesian’s Sales Intelligence offering supports prospecting, customer research, financials, Companies House images, industry research, and high precision news tagging and alerting.  Other tools include the Ready mobile app (meeting prep and meeting chat) and CRM connectors for Salesforce and MS Dynamics.
  • Connect – Artesian’s compliance and onboarding platform supports company screening, customer due diligence, and a configurable decision engine that ingests third-party data.  As a compliance and decisioning platform, Connect displays early warning indicators, supports KYC and AML checks, and delivers adverse media alerts.

    Artesian Connect includes a bespoke rules-processing engine that captures client know-how, including business rules, sales preferences, prospecting criteria, and onboarding checks.  Connect supports Artesian’s Premium Data feeds, the B.I.G., and customer-licensed third-party data integrations.
  • B.I.G. – DueDil’s Business Information Graph spans 270 million relationships, including companies, directors, shareholders, and subsidiaries.  Roughly thirty percent of the relationships are curated.  The graph is updated three or four times a day.
  • DueDil APIs – DueDil’s premium API also provides the capability to access B.I.G. data and plug it into existing systems “quickly and seamlessly” to power automated KYC / KYB and onboarding journeys.
Artesian supports sales intelligence (Engage) and FSI onboarding and compliance (Connect).

The companies have complementary capabilities.  Artesian Solutions offers mobile tools, CRM connectors, business events, a rules engine, and web applications.  Conversely, DueDil has focused on a set of APIs and relationship data.

“Our new company will be able to make strategic investments for sustainable and profitable growth, remaining agile to new opportunities whilst keeping focused on leveraging our newly combined strength to drive greater value for our customers.”

Artesian+DueDil CEO Andrew Yates

“If you can imagine the Big Information Graph, the APIs with their published endpoints that make them really quick and effective to integrate, a rules engine, and then a host of really powerful frontline applications, and middle-office applications, that’s what we mean by end-to-end,” explained Yates to GZ Consulting.  “There’s a market in the FinTech space, which is ‘just give me the data as it is’ as a service prepackaged with rules to do things like digital onboarding, straight-through processing, and automated underwriting. And then at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got people-centric relationship management.  People not only want to get access to the insight and the data, but they need the applications that link all of that together and link that back to the customer.”

“We’ve been very effective at helping our customers find the right customers, and more laterally, using things like screening technology and forensic analysis with the rules engine,” continued Yates.  “DueDil has been focused on the onboarding journey and the remediation journey, so onboard them faster and keep them for life.”

There are two ways that Artesian adds value to commodity data, said the merged company’s COO Justin Fitzpatrick, who formerly led DueDil.  The first is by creating “proprietary, derived data” such as relationship connections.  The second is to embed “business logic around those data points” to answer “business-critical questions.”

“We can provide data that helps them check that they can onboard the customer. But at the end of the day, ideally, our clients want to be able to shortcut that process and know whether they can safely onboard that customer,” continued Fitzpatrick.  “And so that’s where we started developing things like our integrated KYB endpoint, which pulls together the different bits of data, runs logic and rules over it, and spits out a sort of Pass/Fail/More type answer so that people can kind of have direct responses to the business questions that they’re asking.  Being able to layer Artesian Connect’s programmable rules engine on the API was a really attractive proposition for us.”

The firms have competed against each other for around a decade but saw less of each other over the past three or four years as they focused on meeting complementary market requirements.  While DueDil focused on its API strategy and B.I.G., Artesian focused on event triggers, Artesian Connect’s rules engine, and workflow tools.

“Over the past decade, DueDil and Artesian have delivered some of the most innovative and successful technology solutions, tackling the financial service market’s biggest client lifecycle challenges.  We will continue to draw on this experience together to push the boundaries even further.”

Artesian+DueDil COO Justin Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick argued that official registries such as the UK’s Companies House “do a great job” as “electronic filing cabinets to make sure that people file their accounts on time.” Still, they were never designed to connect the dots between “company information, director  information, and shareholders.” 

Fitzpatrick argues that registry data is, therefore, a commodity, with the company adding value through disambiguating the filings, matching data, identifying relationships, facilitating onboarding, client monitoring, and delivering client and prospect intelligence via an API.  For example, they disambiguate about two million director profiles in the UK, ensuring that all John Smith listings are correctly matched, and that name variants are properly managed.

The merged company will continue to focus on Directors and relationships but will not become a contacts database with emails and phone numbers akin to ZoomInfo or Cognism. 

“We absolutely will cover that from a regulatory standpoint,” said Yates.  “Directors, officers, non-exec directors, how those people link together, entities linked together.  These are absolutely critical questions that regulated industries that are trying to engage with customers need answers to.”

CEO Andrew Yates will head the merged company with Justin Fitzpatrick assuming the role of COO.  The broader leadership team contains individuals from both companies.  The new firm has between seventy and eighty employees, “and that number will be growing.”  The combined turnover is in “double-digit millions” of pounds.

The strategy is to focus on the “multiple 1000s” of FinTech, financial services, insurance, and insurance broking institutions” that require “access to our combined capabilities.”  Not only are there significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities, but “the actual number of institutions relative to the total addressable market…is still very large,” said Yates.

“When you bring the data smarts in at the next level, you start to be able to really give people a laser-guided focus in not only who the right company is, but exactly how they should engage,” expanded Yates.  “If we can forensically analyze the data and combine it with rules, we can provide an engagement signal, which is essentially a next best action or recommendation as to what the individual should do – it goes way beyond giving them a piece of killer insight or a set of financials or some short animation around the structure and the way they’re organized and the ultimate beneficiary.”

Customers will also benefit from the “much more integrated experience” that unites the frontline teams and back office with a shared set of data, insights, and APIs.  The goal is to “find the right customers, onboard them faster, and keep them for life.”

Marketing graphic from the Better-Business-Faster website.

Yates is promising that Artesian Customers will have access to the B.I.G. and DueDil’s APIs “in a matter of weeks.”

“What’s emerging is a new company that allows more functionality, more value, and more freedom for our clients,” stated Yates.  Artesian Customers will “have one of the most extensive and accurate views of every UK and Irish company at their fingertips, in real-time, and available instantly.”

Venture Capital investors Notion Capital and Octopus Ventures backed the merger, stating that “the UK is one of the leading financial centres in the world, supported by a technology ecosystem built around trust, security, and innovation.  The combination of Artesian and DueDil creates an exciting growth company chasing an enormous opportunity in the FinTech market.  We are thrilled to play our part in supporting them on that journey.”

Artesian is coming off of a “strong” H1 marked by profitable, double-digit growth.  It added three significant customers, including two banks.  Its gross retention rate was 94%, and its net retention was over 100%.  Artesian has a track record of efficient revenue operations.  Its LTV/CAC ratio (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost) was 9X last year, indicating an efficient sales engine with low churn.


I interviewed Andrew Yates back in 2018. He discussed technological disruption, AI, and data insights.

Artesian 2020-21 Growth

London-based Artesian Solutions announced strong growth and EBITDA profitability in its 2020 – 2021 fiscal year (31 March FYE).  The company outpaced its revenue goal by 135% and posted a net retention rate of 110%.  Turnover grew 15% last year.

Artesian Solutions supports both sales intelligence (Engage) and financial services onboarding and risk assessment (Connect).

The firm has long been profitable, with a 9X LTV/CAC ratio (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost).  Furthermore, customers have been integrating the Artesian platform into their workflows, with 65% of new business coming from platform-leveraged transactions.

While Artesian continues to offer sales intelligence tools, its recent focus has been on serving the financial services space.  In January 2021, it launched Artesian Connect, “a new platform that combines the latest advances in data-science with the world’s best business information to solve complex, high-value frontline execution challenges such as client pre-screening for risks and opportunities, triage and credit scoring, underwriting risks, accelerated client onboarding, screening and remediation of back-book, monitoring for early warning indicators / enhanced lead indicators.”

Artesian Connect includes a bespoke rules-processing engine that captures client know-how, including business rules, sales preferences, prospecting criteria, and onboarding checks.  Connect supports both Artesian’s Premium Data feeds and customer-licensed third-party data integrations. 

By combining first and third-party datasets with business rules and existing policies in Connect, the customer engagement process can be streamlined and standardized across large teams.  Some of Artesian’s customers have thousands of users, so improving efficiency without impacting the customer experience is critical to successful implementations.

As rules and policies have been codified, employees do not need to review as much company intelligence.  Instead, decision-making is reduced to the core information.  Supported processes include sales engagement, onboarding, KYC/AML, insurance policy underwriting, and business-specific steps and requirements. 

“It’s been a pivotal and transformational year for Artesian.  We’ve set new benchmarks in terms of growth and profitability by addressing head-on the disruption caused by COVID-19, being in a strong position to help our customers help theirs, and by harnessing the world’s largest source of intelligence in combination with the latest advances in data science to help our customers solve their most complex challenges and realise their highest-value opportunities.  As we move through 2021 and beyond, we will continue to help our customers create more time to spend with their clients by better anticipating needs and navigating the road ahead.”

Artesian CEO Andrew Yates

91% of new revenue came from Financial Services as the company added seventy new clients and expanded the size and duration of contracts during last year’s renewals.

Connect Platform deals were signed with Lombard, QBE Insurance, Triodos Bank, Premium Credit, and Metro Bank, helping drive 22% growth in new business deals.

The firm also expanded the scope of its data licensing partnerships, inking deals with Experian, D&B, Refinitiv, LexisNexis, Graydons, and other business and credit vendors.  These partnerships allow customers to process preferred vendor data through the Connect platform. Like many of its peers, Artesian Solutions has thrived during the pandemic.  Their mobile push notifications have had high usage during WFH, and financial services firms have increased platform utilization due to economic dislocation and CBILS checks.  According to Yates, renewals remain strong, with gross retention in the 90s.

Artesian Connect Platform (Part II)

Continuing my coverage of the new Artesian Connect platform [Part I].


Metro Bank, an early customer, deployed Connect for customer onboarding and back-book screening, complementing their Artesian Engage deployment:

“We started working with Artesian to explore ways we could introduce greater efficiency to the customer onboarding journey. We loved the idea of being able to aggregate data from a number of different sources and map our risk appetite to Artesian’s rules framework to flag issues immediately.  The result meant we could deliver a process which in some cases was 94% quicker than our existing process.”

Ronan Heeran, Financial Crime Risk & Control Manager at Metro Bank

QBE, an early insurance adopter, employed Connect for underwriting and COVID-risk checks, delivering consistent decisioning across its 200 underwriters.  According to QBE Director of Underwriting David Jones, Connect’s configurability let QBE be “proactive, rather than reactive, to changes in data for client assessment.”

Along with a rich set of news event monitoring and triggers, Artesian provides a broad set of Experian UK data, including financials, Companies House images, Gazette filings, Directors and Shareholders, Mortgages and County Court Judgements, Family Trees, and Ultimate Beneficiaries.  Artesian recently added Irish datasets from Experian.  They also offer US and Canadian profiles from a highly credible provider.

Clients can access Artesian Premium Data in Connect or opt to retain preferred vendors.  Connect also provides API connectors for Dun & Bradstreet, LexisNexis, Equifax, Refinitiv, LDC, and Graydon, with more data integrations planned.  Many financial services clients opt to feed their legacy PEP (politically exposed persons) and sanctions list vendors into Connect.

Connect supports a business rules-engine, development toolkit, and scripting engine.  Users can either work with Artesian’s technical consultants to define models or build their own decisioning and customer support tools.  Artesian employs a “3-D” solution process: Discover, Design, Demonstrate.  The 3-D process, combined with the Connect platform, allows Artesian to build complex business requirements in days or weeks, significantly faster than third-party developers.

Artesian has trademarked the term “Know-How Equation,” which describes their method of capturing “collective expertise” to “transform efficiency, efficacy, and consistency of frontline and middle office teams.” The equation is represented as

The Know-How Equation captures a company’s knowledge about its customers, business, and market in the Artesian rules-engine.  Artesian then processes structured and unstructured data to display “impactful insights and risk intelligence needed to deliver the ultimate in business acumen.”

“Artesian Connect can deliver transformational results in client acquisition, client onboarding, risk and compliance monitoring, and relationship management.  With Connect, modern frontline banking teams can rapidly merge disparate data sources, create bespoke rules for risk selection utilising rich firmographic data and, most importantly, deliver insight from unstructured data that paints a much deeper picture for client assessment.”

Artesian CEO Andrew Yates

Artesian has also updated its Engage homepage to provide a custom briefing book to clients.  Features include dynamic Connect calculations, advanced engagement signals, historical screening, and account followers.  Customers can opt for either a data-first view or a news-first view.

Like many of its peers, Artesian Solutions has thrived during the pandemic.  Their mobile push notifications have had high usage during WFH, and financial services firms have increased platform utilization due to economic dislocation and CBILS checks.  According to Yates, renewals remain strong, with gross retention in the 90s and net retention around 110%.

The firm has long been profitable, with a 9X LTV/CAC ratio (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost).  Furthermore, customers have been integrating the Artesian platform into their workflows, with 65% of new business coming from platform-leveraged transactions.

Artesian Connect Platform

Artesian Solutions formally launched the Artesian Connect platform aimed at transforming frontline execution and effectiveness.  The platform supersedes ARCH, which was built on the same architecture as Connect.  The expanded platform now supports advanced sales engagement, customer onboarding, Insurance and credit underwriting, and relationship management.

Connect is Generally Available.

Artesian Connect includes a bespoke rules-processing engine that captures client know-how, including business rules, sales preferences, prospecting criteria, and onboarding checks.  Connect supports both Artesian’s Premium Data feeds and customer-licensed third-party data integrations. 

By combining first and third-party datasets with business rules and existing policies, the customer engagement process can be streamlined and standardized across large teams.  Some of Artesian’s customers have thousands of users, so the ability to improve efficiency without impacting the customer experience is critical to successful implementations.  

As rules and policies have been codified, employees do not need to review as much company intelligence.  Instead, decision-making is reduced to the core information.  Supported processes include sales engagement, onboarding KYC/AML, insurance policy underwriting, and business-specific steps and requirements.

Artesian Connect delivers an improved customer experience, reduced employee onboarding time, and standardized processes and rules across all team members, which is particularly important when engagement priorities and regulations change, as they did in March.

CEO Andrew Yates emphasized that Artesian’s focus is not only on data but on rules and the ability to expedite decision-making based on scores and flagged items.  A new feature, engagement signals, go beyond traditional trigger events and look at multiple recent events before offering next best action recommendations. 

Connect supports four modes:

  1. Quick Tasks such as pre-screening customers or performing a CBILS (UK SME COVID business loan) check
  2. Tracking Companies and alerting on events, opportunities, credit changes, filings, etc.  As alerts are based on company-specific rules and policies, they have greater precision than general notifications.
  3. Multi-linked Analyses that evaluate multiple recent events and determine whether a more in-depth analysis of a prospect or loan is required
  4. Other Application Calls based on customer criteria

Platform apps can be delivered via the desktop, mobile device, or a broker management system, with output such as custom proposals delivered as Word Documents or PDFs.

“Artesian Connect is pioneering a new era in modern data and insight-driven Relationship-Banking – helping commercial teams leverage their extensive know-how and by combining this with the latest advances in data science, we can empower them to do what they do best at a scale and speed never seen before,” explained Yates.


Continue to Part II. Yesterday, I covered their new Irish Dataset and expanded UK content.

Artesian Data Extensions

Sales and Risk Intelligence vendor Artesian Solutions announced three data extensions to its company and contact universe: two U.K. dataset extensions and an Irish dataset.  On January 14th, they unveiled their new Connect platform and a broader product vision.

“We’re delighted to kick off 2021 on such a high. These new premium data points are fundamental to the KYC and compliance processes for many of our customers, so it was a logical extension to the data they currently rely on to engage with their customers.

Artesian CEO Andrew Yates

The first data extension is U.K. County Court Judgments (CCJs) and legal notices such as receiverships and winding-up petitions.  CCJs are useful for financial services onboarding, due diligence, and risk assessment.

The Adverse Director History dataset assists with KYC/AML processes and highlights whether a Director was previously associated with a firm that ended up in insolvency, administration, or bankruptcy.

Artesian already provides access to other compliance datasets such as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), terrorist lists, and sanctions lists.  Additional details will be released in next week’s platform announcement.

The new Artesian:Connect platform supports custom processing rules and alerting for CCJs and adverse director histories.  Data goes back as far as twenty years.

The Irish dataset provides four years of company financials, director checks, and company news.  Firmographic data includes addresses, trading status, registration numbers, and auditor information.  Company data is available through Artesian Engage, the Artesian Ready app for iOS and Android, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics.  Coverage spans 250,000 companies.  

Artesian did not publicly disclose the Irish data vendor, but it is a highly credible data source.

Artesian Solutions already provides coverage of Britain, the U.S., and Canada.  Customers can license the countries in any combination, including Ireland only, U.K. + Ireland, and all four countries together.

Artesian had a successful 2020 as customers looked for remote vendor solutions for both sales and compliance/onboarding.  Usage was up sharply for both product lines.  According to Chief Customer Officer Mike Blackadder, Artesian’s “training teams have never been so busy.”

Artesian hosted a virtual summit for its Connect platform on January 14th. Coverage continues tomorrow.

Artesian ARCH Compliance Released

ARCH combines firmographics, compliance flags, and credit insights into a unified company profile.
ARCH combines firmographics, compliance flags, and credit insights into a unified company profile.

Artesian Solutions, the UK Sales Intelligence vendor, has been teasing its Artesian Risk and Compliance Hub (ARCH) compliance service for over a year.  The new offering, now Generally Available, “enables relationship managers, underwriters and frontline teams within banks, insurance companies, and other financially regulated industries to quickly assess and better understand their corporate clients at the start of the customer journey and throughout the life of the customer.”

Financial services generally perform KYC / AML (Know Your Customer / Anti-Money Laundering) processing during onboarding, but ARCH moves initial processing to frontline staff at the top of the sales funnel before a client is signed.  This “distributed compliance,” helps expedite the process, sets client expectations when processing may take longer than normal, and allows relationship managers to avoid prospects that will have arduous compliance processing or which may not meet the institution’s “appetite.”  

ARCH flags risks which may require additional information from the client.  By flagging them at the outset, the RM can request the missing data before it delays onboarding.

ARCH performs event-driven reviews which begin before onboarding and continue through the life of the loan or policy.  Thus, KYC is no longer subject to periodic reviews but is performed dynamically as new information about the client is ingested by ARCH.  Instead of client reviews determined by the calendar, events can trigger full client reviews as needed.

ARCH supports commercial insurance policy writing “with a combination of data and sophisticated rules, bringing efficiency, consistency, and accuracy so that underwriters can focus on underwriting.  Decisions can be recorded whilst both justified in the future and used for decision analysis and pricing optimisation.”  Artesian’s fine-grained taxonomy and assisted machine learning help to identify potential underwriting risks “according to the predetermined definitions of an insurer.”

By moving compliance reviews to front-line workers, commercial insurers can perform a KYC check and risk evaluation prior to quoting a policy.  “One reason for using it is that they might want to look at what gets declared to them by the new customer compared to what they can see from ARCH,” said Artesian VP of Risk Solutions Matt Elsom.  “To do that they can have a look at some of the fraud-focused data sources and financial data.”

A January survey by Fenergo of global financial services executives found that poor onboarding negatively impacts client experience and reduces the lifetime value (LTV) of clients.  36% acknowledged losing customers due to onboarding issues and 84% tied the onboarding experience to reduced LTV.

“The Cost of Poor CX,” Fenergo, January 2019. N-=250 global Financial Services executives (Source: Artesian Solutions) 

Figure 2: “The Cost of Poor CX,” Fenergo, January 2019. N=250 global Financial Services executives (Source: Artesian Solutions)

Artesian noted that KYC compliance team workloads have “grown beyond all expectations” due to the availability of international ownership linkages and ultimate beneficial ownership data.  “The overall effect of this is an MLRO [Money Laundering Reporting Officer] and board being put under pressure to reduce onboarding delays whilst maintaining adherence to regulation – and the only effective solution has been to recruit more compliance analysts.  The cost associated with this approach has become unsustainable as the work queue continues to grow simply to maintain current levels of new business.”

According to Artesian, “ARCH is not only an innovative new technology, but a huge leap forward in the drive for ‘distributed compliance’ – the ability for central teams to distribute KYC and AML tasks to their frontline colleagues who are best placed to engage with the client and solve issues in the fastest, most productive way.  It places compliance and powerful risk data 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-screening prospective new customers through to ongoing tracking and long-standing client development.”

The “configurable decision engine” monitors real-time credit risk and KYC data sets and applies bank or insurer policies to the compliance decisions.  Each client determines which data sources to ingest and “applies custom policies to that combined data in the form of multi-dimensional rules” which are screened and interpreted based upon institutional policies.  Flagged issues are delivered through a browser interface or loaded into other compliance systems via an API.

“We have the great privilege of serving 80% of the UK’s major banking institutions, providing powerful sales engagement insights to relationship managers.  We asked what we could do to make our software even more useful and the answer was ARCH. Almost two years of engineering and millions of pounds later we’re announcing ARCH’s general availability for customers.  We believe this puts Artesian in a unique position to be able to combine customer engagement capabilities together with credit and risk in one single application delivered through a browser or mobile device.”

We’ve built a strong team of specialists to extend our core competencies and have worked closely with our key partners at Experian, LexisNexis, and Refinitiv (Thompson Reuters) with more partnerships to come.  This allows our customers to select the data sources they already rely upon and trust and easily integrate them into ARCH”

Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates

During a beta test with a top UK bank, ARCH decisioning was fully consistent with existing bank processing while flagging 14% more “critical risk” issues than current bank processes.  ARCH also reduced average case time from two hundred minutes to eight, “allowing relationship managers to know more, know sooner and save time – enabling them to focus on delivering a better customer experience.”

PwC recently added ARCH to its eleven-week incubator program Scale InsureTech which is “aimed at identifying and developing fast-growth technology companies in the insurance sector.”

Artesian financial services clients include RBS, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, EY, and Marsh.

North American sales intelligence firms do not normally support client onboarding and risk assessment, but UK and European firms support these functions due to a richer set of registry data.  European vendors such as DueDil, Bureau van Dijk, and Artesian support sales, marketing, and regulatory compliance.

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.

DueDil: Interactive Lists, Ownership Selects, Webforms, & Compliance Checks

DueDil Interactive List Segmentation Analysis
DueDil Interactive List Segmentation Analysis

European company research firm DueDil rolled out a set of enhancements spanning list building, list analytics, compliance validation, and their API. DueDil’s products are used for sales intelligence, company research, and onboarding Know Your Client (KYC) / Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance checks.

DueDil added four Ownership search filters to assist with targeting firms with concentrated shareholdings “ripe for takeover.”  The new screens include Total Shareholding Count, Individuals Count, Companies Count, and Shareholder Name.

The firm rolled out interactive lists that build upon their list capabilities.  “Interactive List Reports offer a unique way of mapping whitespace and identifying new prospects, based on high-performing segments identified in a List Report,” said Product Marketing Manager Sam Hockley.  “By accessing a customer list in Report view, common traits and trends are visualised, and the characteristics of quality customers can be easily identified.”

Users can now view any List Report segment in Advanced Search, surfacing the companies and related criteria.  Users can drill down on segments to research anomalies or focus on size brackets within the list. The functionality can also be used to display similar companies while suppressing the original list, providing a tool for expanding the pool of ABM candidates.

Both the browser and API now support compliance checks including Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), sanctions, fraud warnings, and adverse media.  These checks are part of standard KYC / AML onboarding steps.  The Adverse Media Check includes Gazette Status (receivership, shuttering a business) and County Court Judgments.  Politically Exposed Persons lists identify government officials and close family members to flag funds which could be related to bribes, kickbacks, and money laundering.  Sanctions lists flag individuals associated with terrorism, trafficking, and money laundering.

“Conducting these checks with DueDil allows businesses to identify any and all linkages of corporate ownership and associated individuals. As a result, when a check is run against a specific entity, that check can be extended to all of these related parties, returning any flags or sanctions across the entire group. Advanced datasets reveal the ultimate beneficial owner of a business and enable checks for PEPs and any sanctions levied against a business,” said Hockley.

DueDil performs KYC/AML checks against both businesses and individuals.  People checks are performed in conjunction with Callcredit.

DueDil also recently launched API support for webform auto-population and enrichment.

Orbis: Analysis of Global Financial Disclosure Rates

Orbis Coverage Table
Orbis Coverage Table

I came across an interesting analysis of financial disclosure rates by regions around the world.  The blog, written by Mark Bodnar, a librarian at Simon Fraser University (British Colombia), observed limited financial disclosure in North America and much of AsiaPac, but broader financial availability in Europe.

Of the 18 million North American companies covered, only about 35,000 have detailed financials.  That’s about 0.19%. Those would be from the relatively rare cohort of publicly traded companies we mentioned earlier.  The other 99.81% of the companies are privately held, and in North America that means that they are under almost no obligation to reveal their financials.

Compare that to Western Europe, where about 10 million of their 30 million companies in the database have detailed financials…

Oceania (incorporating AUS, NZ, and many wonderful island nations) is also down around 0.2%, largely because there are detailed financials for only about 0.15% of the companies based in the biggest country in the region, Australia.

While none of this would be a surprise to people in the business information sector, it was a good way to surface the information for students and non-experts.  European countries have a long history of requiring non-public (aka non-quoted or non-listed) companies to publicly file annual returns.  The depth of filing varies by country and size of company, but Europe has a deep set of financials available to assist with credit and supplier risk analysis, prospecting, company research, KYC/AML, and market analytics.

In the US, disclosure is limited to public companies, non-profits, and financial services companies.  Of these, only public company financials, which are filed via EDGAR (SEC), are fully transparent with few accessing state insurance filings, IRS 990 filings (non-profits), or the FDIC (banks).

I would take the author’s analysis of countries with deepest coverage of financials with a grain of salt.  It is likely that many of the countries with the highest disclosure rates have limited coverage of companies not subject to financial disclosure.  Furthermore, some of the filing regimes do not require financials for smaller companies.

 

 

 

DueDil KYC for Business

UK business information vendor DueDil partnered with CallCredit Information Group for an enhanced KYC (Know Your Customer) service.  The new API service provides real-time access to company, director, and beneficial ownership data to expedite onboarding and financial compliance.

“This service provides a one-stop-shop for a business’s identification and verification needs,” said Alan Golob, CallCredit Data Solutions Director.  “By combining Callcredit’s data, industry knowledge and first line support capabilities with DueDil’s data and development expertise, we’ve created a service that will fully integrate into a client’s system or work as a standalone tool.  Advancements in regulatory requirements have caused many businesses to reassess their processes and checks, and this solution answers this need.”

DueDil covers forty million European companies across nine countries with plans to expand across all of Europe.

“Compliance is not only a regulatory requirement, it is the heart of every resilient business,” said DueDil CEO Damian Kimmelman.  “This can only be achieved by having a true and comprehensive profile of the customers that you are dealing with. Customers of our new service will have the comfort of knowing that they can make KYC checks in a simple, automated way through a platform which is underpinned by one of Europe’s largest company information sources.  Enhanced due diligence checks should form part of a balanced risk-based approach and can help organisations assess customers and meet regulatory requirements.”