Thomas Obermaier, CEOMoney laundering—the act of disguising the source of criminal proceeds—is big business. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that cleaning dirty money amounts to two to five percent of global GDP—or $800 billion to two trillion dollars annually.
The release of the Panama Papers—a leak of 11.5 million files from a Panamanian law office detailing the ownership structure of thousands of offshore firms, and was investigated by global news organizations —highlighted for a global audience how simple it can be to keep illicit money a secret, and how difficult it can be to detect it.
“Compliance officers are struggling to procure a trusted risk diligence solution to overcome regulatory pressures and margin compressions,” says Thomas Obermaier, CEO of Regulatory DataCorp (RDC), a diligence technology company that is one of the world’s premier Anti-Money Laundering, Know Your Customer, Anti-Bribery & Corruption solutions provider.
Obermaier is a risk management veteran and has played a major role in transforming RDC into a leader in the governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) space. He is fascinated by irrational human behavior and believes that financial crime prevention lies at the intersection of the limits of our reasoning and what he calls the “boundless optimism” of technology.
Stakeholders in the GRC space are turning to RDC’s technology. The firmhas developed the world’s largest database of risk-relevant records—known as GRID (Global Regulatory Information Database)—and an array of due diligence products and services that enable compliance with Anti-Money Laundering laws, Enhanced Due Diligence, and Know Your Customer rules. RDC’sSaaS platform is an integrated solution that enhances protection of the financial system and drives efficiencies for its clients.
GRID is the foundation of RDC’s services. It was created by screening 2.5 billion news articles, examining over a million websites, and scrutinizing over two million government lists.All of this data is tagged, assigned a risk code and risk stage, and is completely configurable to each firm’s numerous risk tolerances.
You’ve seen us embrace Big Data. You’ve seen us already embrace machine learning. The next wave is going to be in terms of cognitive processing.
For the long-standing financial crime conundrum of politically exposed persons (PEPs), RDC developed a unique rating system for its multi-million collection of PEPs. Every PEP is scored using both micro and macro factors, and is configurable, allowing firms to better process and risk allocate their resources to prevent PEP risks from materializing.
“In today’s age of massive data creation it is critical to help organizations make sense of the data. Our solutions put the data in a format that is readily digested and immediate to those organizations,” says Obermaier.
Side-by-side with this solution is a hybrid technological and human analyst engine that substantially enhances productivity for RDC’s clients by helping to find needles in haystacks, eliminate false positives, identify current risks, and monitor a firm’s entire customer, counterparty, and vendor list on a daily basis.
Under Obermaier’s leadership, RDC continues to simplify compliance workflow with end-to-end SaaS technology. The company recently added a screening tool that incorporates data straight from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the publisher of the entire Panama Papers document dump, offering clients an even more robust solution. And the company is also working towards creating real time solutions that will combine transactional data at financial institutions and other data from open sources to make a more predictive model.
As stated by Obermaier: “You’ve seen us embrace Big Data. You’ve seen us already embrace machine learning to allow our analysts and clients get better results. The next wave is going to be in terms of cognitive processing and we are poised to ride this new wave.”