How ZEDRA’s dedication to compliance benefits our clients

22 August 2019

Actively collaborating with client-facing teams means our team has a thorough understanding of a client’s structures and can tailor compliance to suit specific requirements.

While continually evolving and complex, compliance has never been a more important consideration, regardless of whether they are corporate or fund entities, wealthy families or individuals. In recent years especially, we’ve seen a positive shift in attitude towards compliance’s role in our business: our clients no longer see compliance as something to be ‘endured’ as part of a set-up or onboarding process, but rather a necessity which creates a level playing field and provides a better regulated, fair and stable international environment in which to do business.

Although attitudes towards compliance have changed, processes and requirements aren’t simple. The global landscape in which we all do business adds complexity; regulations are changing all the time and what applies today, may well change in the weeks and months ahead, meaning it’s imperative to take a proactive approach, rather than a reactive one.

Compliance is ever-changing and as a firm, we’re dedicated to ensuring that we’re ahead of the curve. In a practical sense, this means that we’re thinking about the regulations which are applicable today, as well as what we expect to see in the short and medium term.

This means that when new regulations are come into force, we know exactly what we need to do as a business to help ensure our clients remain compliant and we have a concrete plan of action. This means for example, that while some EU countries are still implementing 5AMLD, ZEDRA is keeping abreast of those regulatory implications and supporting our clients to be compliant with respect to all relevant legislations, while also looking forward to 6AMLD, and what that will mean for our clients.

Compliance as a value-added experience

In today’s landscape, good compliance practices are rightly, non-negotiable, be it FATCA reporting, ensuring compliance with AML obligations or making sure relevant reports are completed and filed in line with local legislation. This said, when changing service provider or setting up new business operations with the support of a firm like ZEDRA, compliance is often secondary on the list of priorities for the client.

Typically, ensuring compliance is very much on the radar of our clients, but they’re also managing the day-to-day considerations of running their business, setting up their fund or thinking about something like succession planning. Therefore, we see it as our role as a service provider to make sure all processes related to compliance are streamlined. Our focus is very much on getting anything compliance-related done in line with legal or regulatory considerations as quickly and simply as possible. By doing so, we are actively supporting our clients fulfil their obligations in the minimum timeframe so they can go back to focusing on their core operations.

A pragmatic, streamlined approach

Our approach means that compliance is not a ‘faceless back-office team’. Actively collaborating with the client-facing teams means each of ZEDRA’s local compliance departments have a thorough understanding of a client’s structures and can tailor the required legal and compliance documentation to suit specific requirements, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all methodology.

There can sometimes be a trend in our industry to adopt a blanket ‘best standard’ policy, which is admirable, but isn’t always necessary. “Gold plating” protects the service provider but actually doesn’t provide any added value to the client and can create an unnecessary requirement and burden for clients to provide information not required.

In addition, under GDPR we are obliged to collect relevant data which is relevant to the services we provide.  We’ve decided to take a different approach: while it’s an unfailing requirement that our clients supply all applicable legal and compliance-related documentation, ZEDRA doesn’t demand that our clients provide documents which aren’t necessary to the services provided or what’s applicable in the local jurisdictions.

This is a welcome change for our clients and shows how compliance and businesses can successfully meet to create a process that is pragmatic and streamlined for all parties.

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