This is a transcript of our interview with Anastasia Dokuchaeva, Head of Partnerships at ClauseMatch.
You can watch the original video interview here
Boris: Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to our interview with Anastasia Dokuchaeva. Anastasia is Head of partnerships at ClauseMatch, a regulatory technology firm which provides financial institutions, insurance, energy companies as well as the regulators with the modern compliance platform to transform the policy management and regulatory change management processes. Anastasia, thank you for taking your time and coming to our interview today.
Anastasia: Hi Boris, thank you so much for having me.
Boris: This is our second interview with ClauseMatch. We had the first one a few weeks ago with your CEO & founder Evgeny Likhoded. We saw high engagement and decided to invite you guys for the second one. Today we will take a deep dive into the US vs. Europe’s way of adopting new innovative technology for risk and compliance. Anastasia, for those viewers or listeners who didn’t watch our first interview, can you tell us a little bit about what you and your team at ClauseMatch are up to these days?
Anastasia: Absolutely, so ClauseMatch is a regulatory technology company that specializes in automating policy management and regulatory change management. We work with global financial institutions and other regulated firms to help them to address challenges around those areas. Over the last few months what we’ve really been focusing on is having a company of looking into the North American territory and working with clients in the US and Canada and really launching our solution and platform in those regions.
Boris: Ok, so if I understand correctly your company is entering the US market to serve it in the policy management and the regulatory change management space. Congratulations on that! You also recently participated in the virtual Fintech Innovation Lab in New York, can you perhaps share your experience with this program and your perspective on the US market?
Anastasia: That’s absolutely correct. So, in the beginning of the year we had a very clear plan and understanding that our solution has a perfect market fit in the US. And as a part of that we entered the New York Fintech Innovation Lab run by Accenture and the Partnership fund for New York, where we were mentored by global financial institutions and this allowed us to really validate what we felt was indeed the case of that product market fit. And we really found incredible adoption and excitement around our solution in the market. And as a consequence of that recently in the last few weeks we have announced that we launched an office and now have a representation on the ground in North America, we’re working with the existing and new clients in the New York and the greater US area.
Boris: Fantastic! So, let’s dive straight into your perspective on what makes the new compliance normal in the US. What are the specifics of Europe vs. US in adopting new technologies in the RegTech space?
Anastasia: It’s a very interesting topic. So, what we find in general when we work with financial services firms, obviously after the crisis there have been heavy regulatory changes and enforcements applied to that specific industry. But interestingly, when I’m talking about the regions, and we are based our headquarters in the UK and this is where I’m based, we are very used to the principles based, outcome-based regulations so therefore such topics as conduct, culture, governance are very normal to us when we have conversations around policy managements and governments management.
Going into the US we see a really interesting dynamic or a perspective. There is a much more rules-based regulation, ticking the box kind of exercises. But at the same time, it is the complexity: how many regulators are part of the ecosystem and the regulatory framework in the US! That’s an interesting dynamic to see, when it comes to the technology perspective and the adoption of regulatory technology as a consequence.
And a lot of the regulatory technology that I see in the US, is about those rules-based solutions. There are very heavy regulatory reporting requirements and solutions around that. But with that said, very recently Department of Justice has issued this statement in a letter talking about how actually besides all of the different requirements that financial services have in the US, they are recognizing the need of culture, conduct, governance and more importantly a holistic approach to policy management, compliance management so that an organization must embrace a holistic view and structure the process around it.
So, we are in a way in the right place at the right time because solutions such as ClauseMatch I think will find a really interesting application in the US market.
Boris: Interesting, so do firms in the US adopt regulatory technology faster? Why?
Anastasia: I think so, I do feel that in a way and the experience from the Lab we just went through shows that as well. There is a very clear understanding of the need for policy management in the US and I do feel that they are able to perhaps act on it and make decisions much quicker than what I personally saw here in Europe. So, it’s definitely an interesting dynamic or difference between the two territories.
Boris: And why do you think it is the right time now to enter the US market?
Anastasia: Because of this understanding by the US regulators of the importance for the companies to have good culture, good governance processes, because they’re actively looking at addressing those issues and really bring it to the forefront of senior managers in organizations.
Boris: So, what do the US regulators pay attention to in the review process?
Anastasia: I think what they’re looking to do is to see transparency around how companies conduct themselves. I also think they will expect accountability by senior management in general, leadership of the organizations. So, transparency, accountability and efficiency, being actually efficient at what they put in place and how they use the technology to really streamline the processes in business. And I think that’s what the regulators will expect from them.
Boris: So, I understand that with current remote working situation your solution is probably experiencing high demand. Is that something you see on the market?
Anastasia: Absolutely, you just really hit the nail on the head if I’m honest. With Covid and with this trend for remote working or necessity to do remote working, it’s really interesting to experience that organizations still have to maintain business continuity.
They still need to make sure that they are complying with regulatory requirements and that means that they also need to adapt to those changes quite quickly. The challenge was that they are no longer in the same office being able to review and rewrite those processes and procedures and also communicate this to all of the employees across all the different locations they’re in.
So, having tools such as ClauseMatch that allows for real-time collaboration, communication, remote working but also has the precise audit trail. I think that will be a trend. We really saw some amazing feedback from our existing clients around how they felt they were ready for this situation and it doesn’t disrupt their day-to-day activities even though they were now working remotely.
Boris: So with your tool, if somebody updates one sentence in documents, it just propagates to everyone. So, there is no need to go back and forth with it, right?
Anastasia: Yes, you’re right. It’s the ability to work on a piece of content, a document in our case, it’s the ability to work on a document collaboratively with multiple stakeholders. And you can ensure that the document goes to the proper review and approval cycle so that it’s actually validated, approved sent off before it’s communicated and implemented in the firm.
Boris: Ok, I have a question. If someone who is listening to this interview would like to walk away from this with one or two major take-aways. What would it be?
Anastasia: That’s a great question. So, I would say: what is the new normal for your organization? How are you looking to continue working after we get out of this lockdown?
Think of technology that will enable you to work efficiently, to have the transparency and to be able to capture that transparency even though people might be located in different places. Think of technology not as a magic bullet but as a tool that can help you make things easier and reduce some of the administrative work that employees probably don’t want to do.
Boris: Ok, thank you Anastasia for your interview and I wish you and your company ClauseMatch great success in expanding and growing your business and helping your customers in this difficult time.
Anastasia: Thank you Boris, it has been a pleasure to speak to you. Enjoy the rest of your day.