Working within an agile, empowered workplace culture, the team at Objective seek to provide regulated companies with cloud solutions to provide better governance. We hear from Stewart Davies, head of UK Financial Services, Objective ahead of the Festival in November.
What is Objective – what problem are you solving?
The focus of Objective is to provide regulated organisations with cloud solutions that apply better governance to their high value and complex regulated documents and related processes.
Objective Keystone specifically, a purpose-built, cloud-based solution reduces the burden and cost incurred in the production of compliant customer, shareholder and regulatory communications. Keystone supports the entire document life cycle: authoring, approval, process management & publishing, in one place.
Objective Keystone uniquely brings compliance and marketing teams together to support accountability across SMCR, SYSC and Financial Promotions and Adverts.
Objective Keystone provides “Smarter Document Compliance” with the system and controls to manage your regulated documents.
For the financial services industry – your offerings concern being able to update, verify and collaborate on various documents that are subject to various levels of regulatory scrutiny – How do financial services clients deal with these issues currently? (How large is the scope of the problem?)
The range of business areas fit for transformation through Smarter Document Compliance is extensive and impacted by regulations such as SMCR, SYSC and Financial Promotions and Adverts. The most common areas are customer facing brochures and documents, regulatory submissions and shareholder updates.
Currently the main approach to solving this problem, that we have seen in the market, is word, with track changes, coupled with a combination of SharePoint or email approvals with various attachments – all of which is underpinned by significant manual effort by a combination of highly paid compliance experts and senior members of project teams. All of which restricts their ability to focus on higher value tasks, preventing does not provide a high degree of certainty or efficiency. How we help is by providing solutions. The typical problems we address are:
- The First problem is maintaining a single source of the truth: When producing new content, it can be difficult to keep track of changes made by multiple authors and reviewers. There are changes made on different email threads and various word documents, there is then a task to compare them and decide which ones need to be included
- The Second problem is providing complete and immutable evidence. Once a document is completed it can take significant time & resources to pull together a comprehensive audit trail and verification pack showing who authored which section & who approved it
- The Third problem is tracking changes over time, particularly those related to regulation: As the pace and scope of regulatory change continues to increase there is a new complexity & effort of tracking what changes have been made as a result of which piece of regulation, to which document and when. E.g the ability to demonstrate to the regulator how your approach has evolved over time to react to updates and guidance
- Fourth, the increasing need for a quick turnaround: The above challenges, combined with strict deadlines – be it print, regulatory or statutory – often leads to short turnaround times at the end of the process, putting pressure on the marketing and design teams
- Finally, the need for consistency: The need for a harmonised and consistent use of branding, financial information, disclosure statements and data across all channels, documents & regulated content
Objective Keystone supports FI’s in solving these problems through a single automated solution that provides “Smarter Document Compliance” with the system and controls to manage regulated documents.
Your blog section features many posts looking at teams, culture and empowered workplaces – how important is fostering and building these types of cultures at Objective?
The power of teams and culture is extremely important – both internally and externally. Internally this is developed through great initiatives such as:
- Innovate Friday – every second Friday afternoon – anyone can take time to develop an idea they believe will create value or solve a problem, as well as Innovate Hackathon Days for our engineers.
- Day in the Life: Spend the day learning and gaining insight into the working life of another role, along with The Boomerang program which offers long term placements of up to six months
All of these initiatives are supported by agile and flexible working across our locations. This way of working then translates externally into how we look at digital collaboration across the with partners to deliver comprehensive customer focussed solutions.
How important do you think collaboration is for the industry, in general?
Collaboration at all levels is increasingly important & prevalent. At every level be it, Government, Regulators, Large Banks or fintech providers there are growing networks providing joined up solutions across the industry. Collaboration is not new, take agency and correspondent banking, for example, have been around for some time. What has changed is the breadth of collaboration with new FinTechs providing best in class solutions. In order for any business to grow, or indeed to survive, collaboration has to be at the centre of that journey.
Objective as a company isn’t really a *startup*- however, how do you foster that *startup* mentality with your teams, developing products and entering new markets and sectors?
With a team of 25 in the UK, split between Reading and Edinburgh we very much live the startup life. An agile approach to how we work with our clients and the ability to react quickly in a small team provides that startup flexibility. The bonus for our clients is that we have an Australian Head Office with over 200 people providing scale and resources to support what we deliver locally.
We have an array of craft beers and independent music at FinTECHTalents – Give us a great song to listen to AND tell us your favourite tipple .
Avicii – The Nights. One of the main lyrics is ‘live a life you will remember’, this is a sentiment that I apply to all elements of my life. In the spirit of this lyric I can say that I am looking forward to trying new craft beers from near and far!
Objective will be presenting as part of the FinTech Stories Stage at FinTECHTalents this November.