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RJO’Brien’s Bradley Giemza Discusses Regulation, RegTech and Cool Start-Ups

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A-Team Group’s hugely successful RegTech Summit for Capital Markets in London is on its way to New York, where keynote speakers will include Bradley Giemza, chief risk officer at RJO’Brien. Ahead of the event on Thursday November 16, 2017, we caught up with Giemza to find out his views on RegTech and its potential.

Q: What does RegTech mean to you?

A: To me, RegTech refers to a set of companies and their solutions that address regulatory challenges across industries by developing or integrating innovative technology.

Q: Why are you excited about it?

A: The financial crisis of 2008 spurred an unprecedented focus on new regulation in the financial services industry. In many ways, the industry needed regulation to become stronger and better run in such a complex environment. That said, it is time for smarter regulation and more innovative ways to govern our industry. I’m excited to have so many new innovative companies in RegTech that may help us get there.

Q: What is your biggest regulatory challenge?

A: I would say there are three big challenges. First, and broadly speaking, keeping a focus on integrity and responsibility while driving strong governance in everything we do. Second, most companies or ventures transcend sovereign boarders, so having a global view of regulation and being able to manage the differences between countries, regions and regulatory agencies. Third, I am in capital markets and derivatives brokerage so there are some specific regulations affecting this part of the industry that I must keep an eye on, such as Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II), Basel III and the Volcker Rule.

Q: Why is regulation such a challenge?

A: The regulators have written broad stroke requirements creating an infinite set of concerns without precedent on how to meet the hurdle. In a time of so many new requirements, we need to work closely with regulators in an innovative way. I see RegTech, financial institutions and regulators needing to work closely together in a collaborative way to define what we do and how we should do it. I like the sandbox approach occurring in Europe and hope to see the US gravitate towards this type of collaborative approach.

Q: What role do RegTech providers have to play in helping solve the problem?

A: Well, let’s look at what start-up technology firms are good at doing. RegTech is excellent at launching innovative technologies working in an agile fail-forward way, while financial services firms are good at managing complex business processes in complex multinational organisations. We need to leverage RegTech for what it does well and the financial services companies for what they do well and help create new enterprise solutions.

Q: What other cool or interesting RegTech firms have you seen out there?

A: I’m pretty excited about companies like Trulioo, Qumram, James, Dark Trace and, of course, NeoRM, of which I am a co-founder. I am also a big fan and an executive board member of the International Regulation Technology Association (IRTA), a non-profit helping to raise awareness and set technology protocols and standards.

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