VoxSmart enhances product development with newly formed Product Advisory Council.

VoxSmart enhances product development with newly formed Product Advisory Council.

LONDON 11/01/2022 – VoxSmart, global leader in Communication Surveillance, have formed a Product Advisory Council to enhance product development across their rapidly growing suite of surveillance tools and technology. 

As VoxSmart scale globally, the appointment of four seasoned financial market practitioners as a Product Advisory Council will have an international footprint. Chairman Larry List, Alan Lovell CBE, Steven Nash and Alan Bennet make up the council – expanding and strengthening VoxSmart’s knowledge pool with years of combined industry experience.  

The Advisory Council brings with it extensive industry knowledge from business and employee conduct to risk and financial crime, which will further enhance VoxSmart’s product suite for regulated businesses. In particular, the Advisory Council will consult on product development, business development and business strategy. 

The news comes as the financial sector continues to face acute challenges around how to effectively capture, monitor and analyse trade and communication data, while also ensuring compliance with global regulation. The focus of the Advisory Council is to enable VoxSmart to continue to address these issues with practical solutions, ensuring reasonable and proportionate risk in addition to control frameworks.   

Commenting on the recent appointment, Group CEO, Oliver Blower highlighted the company’s dedication in providing market-led solutions, working with the very best in the industry. He stated, “We could not be more excited to work with these experienced market practitioners to help VoxSmart build something extraordinary and completely unique in the market. Their wealth of industry knowledge and expertise further amplifies our ambitious plans and will enable us to continue our vision of helping market participants harness the true potential of their communications data”.  

VoxSmart’s purpose-built capture, surveillance and data analysis technology equips wholesale financial services firms with effective data control and management solutions. These tools solve problems across many sectors with similar regulatory requirements, enabling organisations to capture, monitor and better analyse business communications. 

VoxSmart are honoured and privileged to bring onboard such talent and expertise. Introducing the new VoxSmart Product Advisory Council: 

Larry List (New York) 

Chairing the Advisory Council, Larry – who joined the VoxSmart team in April of 2021, is a financial markets professional with more than 30 years of experience. Has served in senior COO and CCO roles primarily within global banking organisations, most recently as the Chief Conduct and Controls Officer for BNP Paribas’ Global Markets Americas business. Prior positions include Fixed Income CAO at BNP and regional COO for Commerzbank where he led the U.S. integration of Commerzbank and Dresdner Bank. Larry also has valuable experience building businesses as a member of the management team tasked with setting up the U.S. Equities division at Dresdner. In his current position at VoxSmart, Larry is leading sales and business development for the North America region and directing the company’s next stage of growth across the Americas. 

Alan Lovell CBE (London) 

After a long career in the UK Ministry of Defence, which included the creation and leadership of the UK’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), the UK’s first multi-agency, all source terrorism analysis centre, Alan became Global Head of Surveillance at HSBC in 2016. While there he delivered a five-year $250m transformation of the bank’s market surveillance capability. In 2019 his HSBC role was expanded to include Global Head of Insider Risk. Alan retired from HSBC in December 2020 and is currently an independent consultant.   

Steven Nash (London) 

Steven has 25 years in-house financial services experience in both 1st line business and 2nd line compliance roles, gained in wholesale financial services firms worldwide including Morgan Stanley, Barclays and Nomura. With extensive corporate banking, investment banking and sales and trading experience, in addition to buy side/hedge fund experience – Steven is well placed to advise and support VoxSmart and its clients to develop, deploy and calibrate technology solutions that ensure compliance, but which are also proportionate, risk based and commercially viable.  Steven has worked at both C-suite level and in day-to-day operating roles, ensuring consideration of both strategic and tactical requirements. 

Alan Bennet (Singapore) 

Alan was a former Financial Futures broker, trading “Open Outcry Markets” with HSBC and Cater Allen on the London International Financial Futures Exchange before starting his role in Compliance. After the move to electronic trading, he initially worked for LIFFE in the Markets Services division before starting a formal compliance role with Citigroup Global Markets in Canary Wharf. Alan brings with him over 20 years of Compliance Advisory experience from working with a wide variety of financial services firms including Citigroup Global Markets, Jefferies International, Credit Suisse and most recently NatWest Markets Singapore, where he was Head of Compliance and Financial Crime for APAC. Alan is currently employed by Equiom consultancy services in Singapore. 

 

We wish the Advisory Council the very best of luck and welcome them aboard the VoxSmart journey! 

 

FCA Market Watch: Firms must reassess their surveillance strategies.

FCA Market Watch: Firms must reassess their surveillance strategies.

The latest FCA Market Watch newsletter has set out their increased expectations regarding Market Abuse surveillance, building on prior guidance on the continuous challenge of surveillance for the financial services sector. 

Recently, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) published their Market Watch 68 newsletter, focusing on their expectations and concerns regarding web-based trading platforms – used for Rates and Fixed Income products, in addition to their concerns about gaps in users’ surveillance of web-based platform activity. 

The newsletter further supports VoxSmart’s views on the importance of being regulator ready and compliant with end-to-end communication surveillance using a one platform approach.  

Market Abuse Surveillance 

Due to the recent spike in remote working, brought on by the latest strain of the Coronavirus, capital markets continue to face obstacles in capturing and monitoring employees away from the security of trading floors. Alternative messaging services like WhatsApp and Telegram have become ingrained in the way traders are communicating, increasing firms monitoring requirement and creating a higher risk for market abuse to take place on these platforms.  

The FCA state in their report; “We are concerned that users of web-based platforms may not be able to monitor all their orders to detect potential market abuse”.  

Persistent Data Challenges 

The newsletter touched on the challenges facing compliance teams in securing useable data in order to assess and uncover market abuse. This is despite tentative steps from certain market participants to understand the quantity of employee activity on diverse communication channels. Gaps in knowledge regarding employee-client conversations still remain, and on discovery of such instances of abuse the FCA criticised the lack of action in stomping out the issue.  

This comes as The Business Times reports that a leading America tier one bank looks set to pay a US$200m fine over lax staff monitoring. Another telling sign that firms must keep evolving their surveillance strategy, now more than ever as the SEC continue to clamp down on trade surveillance breaches. 

Record Keeping 

Failing to capture trade and order data adequately falls short on the regulatory requirements as set out in Article 25(1) of UK MiFIR regarding order handling and record keeping.  

In the wake of the Archegos fallout in April of this year, as covered by Global Risk Regulator’s, we see how regulatory boards continue to clamp down on instances of market abuse. Further calling attention to the importance of eComm surveillance and effective record keeping measures in the year ahead.   

With our Trade Reconstruction solution, we connect the dots between trades and orders, and their corresponding communications for enhanced risk management. Not only are firms regulator ready with this solution but over 800 hours of team resources are saved.  

“Firms that are unable to provide accurate records of when an order was placed on a platform, may be unable to respond satisfactorily to our regulatory enquiries.” 

Order and Execution Tracking 

Highlighting the value in our newly acquired NLP technology, the newsletter indicated the regulatory board’s concerns that firms may not be able to monitor all orders in detecting potential market abuse. With real-time transcription and increased voice recognition accuracy, the benefits in utilising our NLP technology in data surveillance across a firm is tenfold. NLP helps to effectively capture all data relating to trades and orders via communication channels and ensures that no data is missed. It also assists in filtering out malpractice and ensuring compliance, in addition to leveraging this data throughout various facets of the company. 

“Orders are a critical component in effective monitoring for some types of actual or attempted market manipulation, eg, layering and spoofing as well as cross venue and product manipulation where users have a unique line of sight of their own trader activity.” 

As part of VoxSmart´s continued commitment to ensuring firms are regulator ready, we strive to enhance and grow our product suite to give our clients assurance should audits arise. Our one platform approach to voice and eComms surveillance equips firms with the technology needed to meet regulatory requirements and create a seamless audit experience.  

Should you wish to learn more about how VoxSmart’s solutions are solving firms regulatory issues then contact us today for a demo here! 

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2021 Review: A year of growth for VoxSmart

2021 Review: A year of growth for VoxSmart

As the year winds to a close VoxSmart are looking back at all that the year brought with it in our 2021 review! Although the last 12 months presented some challenges, the global pandemic being one, many great moments were still seized and shared throughout the team here at VoxSmart. Capturing the good times – here is our year in highlights! 

Investments 

In March of this year VoxSmart secured a $25 Million Growth Equity financing round to expand its multi-award-winning communication surveillance technology suite. The lead investor in the investment was Toscafund Asset Management LLP – a multi asset fund management firm. The investment was one of the largest fundraises conducted for the RegTech and Compliance sector.  

Apple Approved 

In May, Apple approved VoxSmart Mobile Capture application for iOS enabling our clients to access the application via the tech company’s zero-touch deployment environment. This milestone helped our customers to better control and supervise corporate-owned devices, while remaining network and device agnostic. This furthermore gave clients and users alike greater choice and flexibility with their technology solutions, without hindering their compliance coverage. 

Awards 

VoxSmart wins gold this summer taking the home two prestigious trophies from the FinTech Awards 2021 edition as selected by Wealth & Finance International Magazine. Our Mobile Capture won in the category Best Mobile Capture Solution and additionally our cutting-edge Trade Reconstruction solution was awarded the Best Trade Reconstruction Technology Solution.  

Telegram Capture 

Further strengthening our mobile surveillance offering for regulated industries, we were proud to announce the release of real-time Telegram Capture. The project was fast tracked through the pandemic in order to provide clients the opportunity to address their surveillance requirements of Digital Assets, having seen increased interest in the channel due to the crisis.  

Acquisitions 

Another milestone for the team was in our acquisition of GreenKey – the industry-leading automated speech recognition (ASR) and natural language processing (NLP) provider, bolstering our communications surveillance offering to global financial institutions. This allows us to rapidly accelerate growth and positions the company as the de facto market leaders in natural language processing (NLP) and voice analytics for Financial Markets. 

Landing in New Zealand 

Summer never ends at VoxSmart! November saw the launch of our New Zealand office in the Queenstown region. This marked our commitment to growth and development within the APAC region and further marks VoxSmart as a global company spanning a range of time zones.  

RegTech 100 

Rounding off a great year at VoxSmart with our recent feature on the RegTech 100 list which recognises the world’s most innovative technology solution providers that offer products and services in the areas of compliance, risk management, information security and financial crime.   

 

Some great big wins throughout 2021 to be celebrated, but equally impressive to our external growth is our internal growth which has saw the company grow to over 120 employees in the last 12 months. With five global offices, each individual member contributes to this year’s achievements, and we all look forward with anticipation as to what 2022 has instore. Watch this space!  

Interested in joining out global team? Check out available positions here! 

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Taking stock of 2021 – Industry Recap

Taking stock of 2021 – Industry Recap

As 2021 comes to a close at VoxSmart we are taking stock of the news events which came to light over the last 12 months. Here are just some of the headlines which stood out! 

In January the FCA set out their increased expectations for firms recording telephone conversations while operating in alternative working arrangements in their Market Watch 66 newsletter. This marked the first clear message from the UK Regulator addressing the risks associated with social media communication platforms such as WhatsApp within regulated markets, following the surge in use over the pandemic.  

Winning big with GameStop rocked the headlines in February of this year as the retail investors took on the Wall Street giants. What initially started out as a call to save a struggling video game retailers in the US, turned into a global phenomenon with shares jumping from $40 to almost $400 in a matter of days. Following the announcement of restriction regarding new share purchases by Robinhood, a commission-free investing app, uproar ensued among the online trading community calling the move blatant market manipulation and protecting the short sellers. A financial dilemma that not many would have envisioned, yet an uptake in wider interest in financial markets! 

April brought turmoil to the financial world with the collapse of Archegos Capital, which saw the liquidation of around $30 trillion of US and Chinese stocks and one of the biggest margin calls of all time – shining light on a dark derivatives underbelly.  

Following months of hybrid working models Reuters reported that the U.S SEC had opened a broad inquiry into how Wall Street banks are keeping track of employees’ digital communications. This highlighted the regulators commitment to ramping up enforcements as well as casting light onto the challenges faced by firms in keeping track of communications created by WFH.  

October saw a decrease in trading, caused by the WhatsApp outage which lasted hours disrupting the lives of many users, cutting off business from customers and disturbing trade communications as reported by The New York Times. The outage called attention to the importance and wide use of the social media platform in financial markets and that the use of alternative messengers, like Telegram or Signal. This, according to Oliver Blower, VoxSmart CEO, will only grow in the future despite boss preferences. 

Many big news events in 2021, and many more to come in 2022. What can be taken from the last 12 months is that now, more than ever, it is of vital importance to have the correct surveillance structures in place to safeguard against non-compliance.  

See how VoxSmart´s solutions can get your firm regulator ready by contacting us today here!  

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We’ve made the RegTech 100 list for 2022!

We’ve made the RegTech 100 list for 2022!

VoxSmart are delighted to be included in the RegTech 100 2022 list which recognises the world’s most innovative technology solution providers that offer products and services in the areas of compliance, risk management, information security and financial crime. 

In its fifth year the RegTech list further cements VoxSmart as an industry leader within financial and regulated markets and highlights our commitment to tackling real industry issues with practical solutions. It is VoxSmarts second feature on the prestigious list and the honour is not lost on us as we continue to strive to improve and enhance our offering.  

With increased need for flexible RegTech due to the outbreak of Covid19 and the rapid introduction of hybrid working models, VoxSmart has too adapted to this reality and grown our solutions to offer our clients the safety and assurance of meeting regulatory requirements. With increased regulatory pressures we are delighted to have been able to assist firms in this transition, traversing the unchartered waters of WFH together.  

As investments in RegTech rises, with increased focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), our growing product suite equips firms with the software to surveil communications, alerting to instances of malpractice whilst also reviewing the conduct of employees, reinforcing postive corporate culture and enabling staff to communicate to clients with confidence. Being regulator ready has never been so easy with VoxSmart!  

Check out the full list here! 

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