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HOW TECHNOLOGY IS POSITIVELY IMPACTING COMPLIANCE AND HOW IT IS HELPING TO STREAMLINE PROCESSING TIME AND COST FOR FIRMS

By Joe Woodbury, Director – Investment Management Solutions at Lawson Conner (part of IQ-EQ)

 

Private Equity & Real Estate fund managers are weathering turbulent times. Recent Equity market fluctuations are in a direct correlation that maps to the Covid19 pandemic outbreak peaks and troughs and continued market adaptation is anticipated. To date, financial markets are broadly seen to be taking a cautiously optimistic view of the major government fiscal injections and QE in support of global and domestic markets during the current crises. These government backed interventions are also playing out beyond equities to a renewed and ostensibly invigorated interest towards M&A.

The key during this period of market volatility for fund managers is to take a focused look as to what levers they can pull to maximise their respective strategies in the near and longer term and what may present itself as a springboard to increased profitability and efficiency.

One predominant force multiplier is to look at what automation might deliver in respect of accelerating market capture, driving down fund costs of entry and reducing ongoing fund operational costs and liabilities.

Exploring automation and technology should be a significant focus area for financial equity and real estate fund market managers that are seeking to deliver increased positive impact. That market disrupter – is here right now – RegTech.

Joe Woodbury

These are predominantly software tools, services, processes and outputs that are able to work collaboratively to produce largely automated, streamlined deliverables around Compliance, Regulatory and Transactional work flows for today’s fund manager. Such solutions alleviate much of what could be termed as ‘generic practices’ associated with fund management and thereby allowing resources to be focused on core business activity that generates real growth over and above day to day ‘housekeeping’.

Regulatory and Compliance for Equity markets combines to be both an imperative and a headache for Fund managers and Institutions in maintaining comprehensive and consistent disciplines. The consequences of failure may result in fines, curtailment, suspension or worst case, dissolution. As mentioned earlier, this represents a huge onerous burden in terms of continuous and ongoing maintenance with regards to the constantly evolving and changing mandatory legislation, governance and best practice guidance covering aspects such as geographic disparate regionalisation and financial regionalisation. No small undertaking.

In addition, the constantly evolving steady upward trajectory of rising costs for maintaining adherence to Compliance and Regulatory obligations appears relentless. By embracing and adopting an automated approach, RegTech can introduce and facilitate cost optimisation, simultaneously improving broader governance whilst reciprocally driving up the potential release of time for increased customer engagement and better, more effective utilisation of highly skilled staffing resources.

Realising the benefits of a joined up, largely automated approach, today’s visionary businesses and Fund manager leaders can leverage this game changer, one that will undoubtably permit them to steal a substantial differentiated offering and not merely track leaders.

 

Fund managers are caught between several competing objectives –

  • Increasing client engagement, personalising interaction and delivering value
  • Adequate time to develop the macro business and fund strategy
  • Fast, effective and minimised risk of on-boarding new clients
  • Ease and speed of new fund creation and market entrance
  • On-going regular compliance and regulatory practices accountability
  • Continued maintenance of existing liabilities and risk reduction in the continued servicing of their current client base and fund portfolio
  • Mandatory industry reporting and submission cadence
  • How to scale flexibly, timely and on-demand

Essentially, automation may alleviate up to three quarters of operational practice overheads that are traditionally performed across most low and mid cap funds. Achieving a result of substantially less day to day interaction of what may broadly be termed as ‘generic’ practices, processes and reporting. The question to Fund managers is what might be achieved through automation that allows key resources to engage and focus on the more important strategic business drivers?

Moreover, recent increased scrutiny and safeguards particularly around AML and KYC necessitate the capability of having a robust audit trail and it is here that the automated approach can provide significant benefits that remove much of the continuous operational overhead, both from a staff resources perspective and the broader operational cost implications. Equally, by definition, supporting external audits becomes potentially more efficient and simpler, whilst having the ability to scale on demand.

It is difficult not to under-estimate the number of areas where fund managers can develop increased efficiencies and improved operational engagement achieved through increased automation:

 

  • Facilitating increased time to focus on client personalisation and engagement
  • Proven long term cost savings
  • Improved audit trails and minimised accounting errors
  • Adaptive compliance across changing geographical and financial regionalisation
  • Managed regulatory practices relating to AML and KYC directives
  • Maintaining policy updates
  • Robust and measured audit trails
  • Supports risk reduction strategies
  • Seeks to reduce human error

By embracing increased automation, fund managers can make choices towards a fully integrated solution or may elect to take a more granular approach towards implementation of solution components best suited to their business ambitions. Either way, RegTech represents a scalable solution that Fund managers both need and should – explore.

 

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Business

TOP 5 LINKEDIN PROFILE OPTIMIZATION HACKS FOR ASPIRING BANKERS

According to Firmex, finance professionals cannot afford to be not on LinkedIn. A significant number of organizations acquire talent in the financial industry through LinkedIn.

Especially for aspiring professionals, your internet presence matters a lot as recruiters are most likely to search your name on the internet before making a decision about your application.

As an aspiring banker on a professional platform, you should consider changing the outlook of your profile, to garner the recruiter’s attention. Your profile is unlikely to get noticed if it is out-of-date and inaccurate.

Here’s how you can optimize your LinkedIn profile:

 

Headline

Here’s an example of a good headline for a banker:

“Aspiring Banker majored in finance specializing in forecasting and risk management best practices”.

Scrolling through most professional profiles for bankers on LinkedIn, these individuals pay little attention to the headline.

A well-optimized headline gives the recruiters reasons to click on a profile. Though you just have 120 characters to make it great and charm the recruiter.

You can include pointers on what you are trying to achieve as a banker, or include your major as a way of connecting the skills-gap. If you are an MBA degree holder, then you can reflect this on your headline along with the major.

Though here are a few things you should know about creating a headline:

  • Be professional and avoid writing words like “superstar worker”, “top performer”, etc.
  • Be discreet with your job search, don’t directly mention “looking for a job”, “unemployed”, etc.
  • Research on other professional’s headlines with a network presence.
  • Include the usage of strong adjectives/action verbs.

 

Connections

On LinkedIn, develop meaningful connections with professionals and recruiters. With little effort, you can significantly increase your number of connections.

However, having 5000+ connections is not valuable if they are irrelevant to your interests. Hence, keep your connections limited to professionals in the finance industry.

  • Connect with individuals that are relevant in the finance industry and send a personalized message along with the connection request.
  • You are most likely to get ignored if you mindlessly send out requests. Though LinkedIn advocates being active, you should derive an invitation strategy for effective network expansion.
  • Message recruiters that are hiring professionals in the finance industry and ask them for advice on how you can further optimize your profile.

 

Professional Experience

Your LinkedIn profile works as a digital resume. It should give an idea of a constructive career progression. Hence, LinkedIn profile optimization becomes quite important.

  • Write points in a bullet form, don’t include long paragraphs.
  • Mentioning your roles and responsibilities isn’t ideal. Construct the points in a way that showcase all your accomplishments & contributions.
  • Add your projects separately; do not add them in the career highlights section.

 

Keywords

As with any other search engine, recruiters are dependent on the algorithm to show them the best profile as per their searches. Based on a certain set of relevant keywords in your industry, recruiters will try to search for candidates on LinkedIn.

Here’s how you can use keywords to optimize your profile:

  • Research: Thoroughly research the keywords that are of prime importance in the finance industry. Check the profiles of other professionals on LinkedIn and refer job postings to gain an understanding of how to sprinkle these keywords in your profile.
  • Section: Utilize each section efficiently of your LinkedIn profile to showcase your contributions and achievements. Don’t just stuff your profile with contextual keywords. In the end, your profile should foremost be easily readable.
  • Industry and Skills: Update the industry in your profile and include all the skills you are familiar with. Further, you can even include skills that you are not familiar with. Let’s say you need to include “Budget Forecasting” in your profile and you have not had any real-life experience with it. You may write it as “Interested in gaining experience in budget forecasting”.

 

Skills & Recommendations

Recruiters look for professionals who can deliver, hence your profile should include the skills that are highly relevant to your targeted profile. Though in the banking industry recruiters search for general skills as well. So, make sure your profile is a match for both.

Further, just listing your expertise is not going to be enough. Get your mentors, employers, etc. to write you a stellar recommendation. If you provide credibility for your skills then it can do wonders for you.

 

Final Word

  • Just as the headline of your profile, your picture is equally important. Make sure you use a professional-looking photograph.
  • Continue to engage with your connections through comments and professional messaging.

As you are a banking professional, your profile is probably going to end up looking like all about your core competencies, However, it is important to include a few pointers about your hobbies that describe your personality as well.

 

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Business

HOW MILLENNIALS CAN GET AHEAD WITH THEIR MONEY

Granville Turner, Director at company formation specialists, Turner Little. 

 

Millennials are often painted as globe-trotting creatures that spend more money on avocadoes than their future. But that can’t be further from the truth. Millennials tend to be good savers, at least compared to other generations. Industry data shows that more than 70% of millennials have started putting money away for retirement and beyond.

“Millennials still struggle with investing. Often because they feel they don’t know enough about the market, but it’s never too late to invest in your understanding. It’s a great way to make your finances work harder for you,” says Granville Turner, Director at company formation specialists, Turner Little.

Here are some things you can start doing now, or preparing for, to set yourself up for a future of learning and investing:

 

Start early

The most apparent advantage millennials have over older generations is the luxury of time. Whilst everyone can weigh up the risks and rewards of investing, you’re particularly well-placed to see a solid return on your investments.

 

Challenge risk

When you invest money for longer, you can become less phased by the ups and downs and be able to view inevitable declines as opportunity instead. It’s better to look at yearly or even longer figures for a more accurate reflection of performance.

 

Put your money to work 

Money that sits in a savings account, uninvested, is almost certain to lose value over time due to inflation, or a creeping higher cost of goods and services. If your money is growing or earning you a return, it’s going to help you reach your financial goals faster.

 

Start small

Many millennials believe you need to have a serious amount of money to start investing. But in reality, even small contributions can build over time. The important thing is to start early, and make it a habit.

If you’re ready to start having the right conversations about the future of your finances, get in touch with us today. With years of knowledge and expertise, we’ll be able to assist with any enquiries, no matter how complex.

 

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