Cordium - Best Global Regulatory Advisory Firm

According to Stephen Burke, Managing Director, EMEA, at Cordium, one of the world's leading regulatory compliance consultancies, regulation has changed the fund market. There is much more complexity and both investors and regulators are more exacting. This has led to Cordium focusing on its software proposition, which culminated in the launch of a product solution set earlier this year around how clients organise their compliance arrangements and engage with their compliance programmes. 

"This software includes Cordium ELF, a personal compliance software management system, Cordium Pilot, a compliance workflow management tool, and Compliance Trak, which provides AML functions; in aggregate, our systems ensure that a firm's compliance arrangements are properly organised and that the compliance officer is able to oversee and monitor the compliance activities of the firm, whether resourced in house or by Cordium staff," says Burke (pictured).

As well as developing the underlying platform infrastructure, Cordium has focused on developing its on intellectual property on the myriad regulatory compliance tasks that managers face. It is, says Burke, "the bedrock of every one of our client relationships".

To provide solutions that are most appropriate to fund managers' needs in the UK, Cordium recently launched `tiered services' support by their software. At Level 3, Cordium is heavily involved in a manager's compliance programme. 

"We might be on site with the client weekly, certainly monthly, doing a programme of work. In Level 2, we might visit the client on a quarterly basis and with Level 1 it is much more of an annual check, making sure that the client is doing the right things and that their compliance infrastructure is in good order. 

"In a software-only arrangement, the client simply uses our tools, harnessing their own intellectual property; we are talking about some of the world's largest financial institutions in this context," explains Burke. 

This ability to provide tiered services underscores the commitment that Cordium has to supporting clients as they grow, and their compliance needs change. 

"We don't provide a one-size-fits-all solution, which has become relatively common in the marketplace. We're trying to differentiate ourselves. Our technology framework is really the skeleton on which we build solutions for clients. The compliance tools that we've built are out of reach for most firms as the cost burden would be too great," suggests Burke. 

Over recent years, managers' compliance needs have evolved in response to a seemingly endless stream of regulation, the latest example of which is UCITS V. Given that UCITS V largely borrows from AIFMD (e.g. the remuneration code), this isn't expected to give managers too much of a headache. 

Nevertheless, the fact that UCITS V is just one piece of regulation in a regulatory soup that also includes AIFMD, Dodd-Frank Act, FATCA, upcoming Common Reporting Standards, MiFID II, Burke says that managers increasingly need to rely on technology to better manage data and meet their obligations.

"With respect to MiFID II the details remain unclear. We think that people should focus on MiFID II after the summer break; particularly those who will be registering for the first time," advises Burke, who, on winning this year's award, comments:

"We are delighted to be recognised by Hedgeweek as the best global regulatory advisory firm. Cordium puts incredible energy into ensuring our clients have world class regulatory compliance arrangements, we work hard to define good practice, to find practical and cost effective ways of meeting ever increasing compliance obligations."

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