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Vendor Partnerships Key to Success in Tackling KYC and Entity Data Challenge, Says GoldTier’s Tebaldi

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The most effective manner in which to tackle the challenge of entity data management and meeting know your customer (KYC) requirements is by opting for a best of breed vendor approach, according to Matthew Tebaldi, president of client onboarding and KYC data management solution vendor GoldTier. To this end, the vendor has teamed up with entity data specialist (and now DTCC owned) Avox and a number of other vendors during implementations to build in customer data hierarchies to firms’ data models including those for Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and WestLB.

The vendor, which has been around since 2001, focuses on managing the data workflow of the client onboarding and KYC processes and has been involved in global implementations for firms including HSBC, Standard Bank and BNY Mellon, as well as RBC and WestLB. To this end, it provides a centralised facility for the entity data compliance and risk related checking process.

The focus is on tackling both data quality and the underlying structure of the data via what Tebaldi calls a “solid client data model” to underpin this customer data via partnerships with vendors such as Avox. “I think you will see GoldTier working with more and more vendor partners like Avox in order to allow us to streamline the data getting into the organisation,” he says.

“We have rolled out to a number of very large clients in global implementations,” explains Tebaldi. “As time goes on, banks have really latched onto the idea of having a centralised facility that gives them the opportunity to establish standardise processes and KYC policies being applied, as well as giving them a much more global view of compliance risk. They also have the opportunity to apply shared services models for various areas of their operations and to improve their client servicing.”

To this end, GoldTier is working with RBC to help the bank meet its KYC and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements by controlling the onboarding process for customers and implementing the relevant data checks. The project kicked off earlier this year and the initial proposal was to just use the solution for legal entities but RBC later realised it was of benefit to use one route to add this data onto the internal systems.

“RBC is our first client in Canada and embedded in our application is a workflow engine, a rules engine and a data management engine, all of which are required to do client onboarding. On top of that we have an application built solely for client onboarding that contains all the templates for KYC, including the regulatory policy as a best practice for the onboarding of a client. This includes the documents you need to collect and the checks you need to do based on the various jurisdictional requirements. So as we move to more clients, we need to add more and more regions to our functionality, and Canada is our next region of focus,” Tebaldi explains.

The vendor has also been working with WestLB since 2006 to help the German bank to centralise its customer data in its Dusseldorf operations and manage the onboarding of its clients from one system. The bank signed on the dotted line for GoldTier’s client onboarding and KYC system back in November of that year and the system was deployed across both its London and Dusseldorf operations by June 2007. The work has since been focused on rationalising these two instances of the solution down into just one and the vendor has been closely working with Avox to this end.

Last year, GoldTier worked with BNY Mellon to roll out a tax module off of its already implemented client onboarding backbone, which was rolled out a few years ago. “A lot of our clients are realising that once you have a solid underpinning of client data, you can really start to do a lot of things around client onboarding that have suffered due to poor client data hierarchy,” he explains.

BNY Mellon initially opted for a KYC solution and then this was developed into a client onboarding solution that fed into the firm’s data repository. The tax module implemented last year built on those infrastructures in order to identify more complex relationships behind intermediaries where there is a higher level of tax due diligence required during the onboarding process, elaborates Tebaldi.

Standard Bank has also rolled out the system for KYC and onboarding for the front office and is using its client operations team as a “funnel” into its data repository in South Africa, he adds. The firm is now looking to expand this functionality out to all of its regions. “A lot of our clients like to standardise as much as they can their processes and policies globally before continuing with the rollout,” he says.

Tebaldi indicates that the vendor does not have a direct competitor with the same functionality on offer in the market and most often comes up against internal build proposals, as well as what he calls the various “flavours” of the workflow focused vendors out there. In terms of the typical client base, GoldTier sees interest from medium to large sized financial institutions focused largely on institutional business, although Tebaldi notes there are some projects in the pipe for firms in the wealth management sector.

In terms of geography, the vendor is also looking at the Asian region, in particular Singapore, as a focus for its prospect list. “We have mechanisms to handle the strict data privacy requirements in some of the Asian countries,” notes Tebaldi. “We have also had a lot discussions with clients who are talking to regulators to see how far we can go with the physical location of data.”

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