By Terry Flanagan

2015 Outlook: Anna Mazzone, Thomson Reuters

Anna Mazzone is global head of KYC Managed Services at Thomson Reuters.

What were the major themes of your business in 2014?

Anna Mazzone, DTCC

Anna Mazzone,
Thomson Reuters

2014 was the year when leadership in financial services, their clients, and the regulators recognized that after 25 years the cycle of more regulation, more cost, bigger failings/fines as a response to financial crime and money laundering needs a new, more systemic approach to solving the challenges associated with KYC. KYC is not simply about exchanging documents associated with a counterparty. KYC is ultimately about a series of rigorous processes and controls that identifies the Ultimate Beneficial Owners (i.e. controllers) in each organization.

2014 will be remembered as the year KYC moved to a managed-service model, where client profiles could be built, validated, and exchanged with multiple financial counterparties. This model introduced standardization to provide a more economical approach for financial institutions to obtain timely and quality information on their counterparties. Financial institutions and their clients recognized in 2014 that with epic levels of fines, financial institutions are not information businesses so KYC is not something they should be betting the business on.

What are your expectations for 2015?

If 2014 was about proving that KYC managed services can provide the industry with a more economic model for accessing counterparty regulatory profiles, 2015 is about accelerating the ability for funds, corporations, and financial institutions to use a managed service to distribute their regulatory profiles. The challenge will be to control the distribution of sensitive, private information of CXOs and their board members as well as private documents associated with the legal entity.

With the introduction of FATCA (USA Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) in 2014, now over 65 jurisdictions have already publicly committed to the OECD’s Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) to expand the collection of tax information. In 2015 we will see firms preparing to use managed services to share this tax information.

The development, testing, and utilizing of the KYC standard through a managed service model has proven to be the most economical approach to implementing regulation. In 2015, the big event will be scaling these new centralized service models to enable financial institutions and their clients to accelerate their ability to do business together.

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