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Leen Cuypers

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09/03/2018by Matt Elton

Author: Leen Cuypers

On a day like today, you can’t miss the original quotes and pictures on social media, complimenting and encouraging daughters, mothers and wives.

This somehow triggered me to reflect on women’s role in society and on my own life as a woman, mother of 2 wonderful little girls, wife and entrepreneur.
My thoughts brought memories to the women I worked with in Colombia as a 22-years old. As war victims, they had lived through the worst of times and had lost many of their beloved ones, still, they were able to look forward and play an active role in the peace process. I will never forget their resilience, persistence and strength.

The past, today & the future

More than a century ago, the foundations of the current women’s day, were laid, when women started a strike to petition safer work and better salary conditions as well as to fight against sexual intimidation. We have undoubtedly come a long way since then, and I can’t show enough gratitude to all women who acted and brought us where we are now. From explicitly standing on the barricades to more implicitly teaching their sons to treat women equally and respectful, all of these women shaped the reality in which I got the chance to study and do what I like in life. This being said, a bumpy road full of challenges remains ahead of us. When looking further in the future, I can’t help but wondering what ‘gender equality’ will mean when my little ones are grown-ups and how the #metoo era will be perceived by then.

Balance

As an entrepreneur in a male-dominated tech industry, I can see many benefits of having a more balanced gender representation. The European Union as well as governments have launched campaigns to attract women into tech jobs and many groups exist on a global scale to support women in tech. I am a strong supporter to the efforts taken to break stereotypes and to stimulate people to find out what really interests them. I strongly believe that is the foundation for a healthy and long-lasting career. A great example in this sense, focused on the STEM professions, is the LuxKids Lab, with the aim to cultivate children’s passion for science and action. Such an initiative is in my opinion a great way to break the stereotypical gender roles and to show girls there are no limits when they want to follow their passion.

The bigger picture in tech

With technology taking an ever more important role in our lives and in society in general and with the technology industry growing increasingly, I think it is however important to look in another way at the career possibilities in it. Are engineers and IT specialists the only profiles the technology industry needs? Do we need to enrol our girls in coding courses? The answer is in both cases no, unless of course your little one shows a genuine interest in coding! In our company, we are very proud not to all have a tech background. We are proud to have a team of people with many different back grounds, all bringing a very distinct approach and view. It takes more than technology to create a digital success story, as technology is but a solution to a problem. In order to create a successful solution to that specific problem, valuable skills are irrefutable the comprehension of the wider problem context, the ability to extract and define the root cause and understanding the impact of the implementation.

To all the girls out there, and especially to my two favourite ones, my deepest wish for you is to be able to create a life path that is in sync with who you are. Whether you want to be a scientist, an entrepreneur, a nurse or a housewife… do what YOU feel like doing, don’t let anyone turn you down, look through the stereotypes and break them when needed.


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31/01/2018by Matt Elton

Author: Leen Cuypers

When thinking about using technology in HR, addressing compliance issues might not be the first thing that pops up in your mind? While many people link technology to the cost-saving aspect of automating labour-intensive, highly manual processes, there’s a lot to say about the less-explored use of technology to facilitate HR compliancy. It is in fact the point where the highly matured HR Tech meets RegTech.

The HR Contradiction

My experience in HR companies and the intensive collaboration with HR professional across big and smaller organisations have given me the insight there’s generally speaking two kinds of people in HR: the ones that are detailed, administrative workers and the ones that are the people-centric, less analytical but highly soft skilled people. Human Resources does combine two of the most contradictory functions: the administrative management of everything involving employment on one side of the spectrum and the people-focused, enabling employees to grow in their roles, supporting the management in building an attractive workplace, able to bring in the high potentials they’re aiming at. In some companies, the different roles are clearly separated but in many organisations, they are not, resulting in the HR department not being the most popular within the organisation.

RegTech as HR enabler

RegTech is a wonderful enabler for HR professionals to focus on their core tasks and be the people centric department they should be. When looking into more detail at the multitude of EU and national regulations all companies, and therefore every HR department, should comply with, there’s a multiple page checklist, dealing with topics like working conditions, redundancy, training, equal opportunity treatment of job candidates and employees, pensions, social security, taxation. For HR managers to ensure their people are working within the limits the law prescribes, the use of technology could be a useful means. Imagine, a state-of-the-art certified technology, able to check your current policies against the newest regulations in place, wouldn’t that be a time- and cost-saver, leaving no doubt about the topics on which you do and don’t comply. Audits would become a ‘one-click’ operation instead of the stress they are causing now.

Conclusion

We firmly believe the time has come to add the compliancy piece to the HR Tech puzzle and enhance HR’s ability to fulfil their people-centric roles. Will 2018 be the year in which HR Tech (automation) solutions add a RegTech layer assuring the company to have a real-time view on the compliancy status and as a result protect the firm as well as its employees?

About the Author

Leen Cuypers: Leen’s ability to see creative solutions, coupled with her analytical skills and drive to get things done, helps her investigate, define, and solve business challenges for the 21st century. Focussed on RegTech for emerging economies she delivers credibility and trust.


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04/07/2017by Matt Elton0

Author: Leen Cuypers

Wednesday, June 28, FinnoLux hosted an event focussed on ‘RegTech Solutions for the Fund Industry’ a collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, and the International RegTech Association.
The purpose of the event was to the opportunity RegTech brings to the fund industry. As ‘digital enablers’, at FinnoLux work, on a daily basis, with clients in the financial sector, defining with them their digital strategy, executing the delivery roadmap, to enable them to take full advantage of the opportunities available.

We believe the use of technology, especially RegTech, has an exceptionally positive impact on the organisation and the industry, when those technologies are applied which strengthen instead the business. When a digital strategy is developed and executed in line with the overall business strategy. For those who are not aware, RegTech is the application of technology to solve challenges relating to regulation, compliance and supervision. RegTech, has however, a value beyond the area of compliance. This is driven by the value proposition of RegTech itself which is not one of disruption but is one of strengthening.

One of the key take-away messages from the event is that RegTech will play an important role in the defining of the future of the Fund Industry in Luxembourg.

It became evident that the future of the industry depends upon the industry’s ability to redefine themselves by applying RegTech. Regulatory Technology is the application of technology to facilitate compliancy with regulations. While one of the values what RegTech brings is to simplify and improve compliance, the wider benefit is far larger and acts as a stimulus to bring automation to the processes.

RegTech’s Value Proposition

In our daily interactions with the Fund sector and more generally with the financial industry, we understand that the ever-increasing regulatory burden and complexity, make it harder to manage costs and human errors are more likely to occur. Margins are under pressure due to competition from new market entrants, especially those in Asia. RegTech allows the companies to avoid spending millions on compliance projects and instead to shift their focus to products and services which can truly differentiate them. By introducing RegTech, companies free-up time and resources to enhance regulation and compliance while strengthening the industry and protecting customers.

By freeing up both people and money, the companies can focus on developing the financial industry of the future. The annual spend of firms in the financial sector on regulatory compliance ranges between 10% and 15% of their annual revenues, with much of the work performed manually. Imagine if a large portion of this could be spend on the business itself.

A second main take away from the event, is that RegTech opens the door to collaboration, as we all know ‘being compliant’ isn’t regarded as a differentiator. We focused specifically on Luxembourg and Ireland as the two main Fund Centres in Europe. It was recognised there is an opportunity to collaborate and to present a strong European front. The openness and willingness from the industry – the Fund industry, as well as the RegTech companies – to work together across borders was shown during a round table discussion. Laurent Marochini, Chair of the ALFI working group on Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies mentioned: ‘Luxembourg and Ireland are competing for the end customer but are not in competition in terms of technology or compliancy. We should find ways or niches to work together. We don’t have the knowledge everywhere, we cannot be the best everywhere. We can exchange with the key people in Ireland. We speak the same language, we are used to speak English and the language of the client. We need to find out how we can progress together.’  From the RegTech companies’ perspective, CEO of Luxembourg-based governance.io Bert Boerman added ‘we are already collaborating across borders as our different solutions are in many cases very complementary and together deliver real solutions to the customer’s many challenges’.

This openness is a major step forward in building a strong European Industry. The different Fund Centres can compete for their end customers, whilst simultaneously building a strong framework in which they can thrive. If we would succeed in doing so, we wouldn’t have to look to the United States to see what they are doing and how they are doing it – regardless the cultural and regulatory differences – but we would be able to build on and tap into the European capabilities, talent and rich innovation history.

Luxembourg’s opportunity

Dr. Subas Roy, global chair of International RegTech Association (IRTA), former Global RegTech Lead at Ernst & Young and reputed as being one of the ‘famous five of RegTech’, while presenting in Luxembourg this week, explained the RegTech industry is rapidly growing, with an estimated size of $20bn by 2020. ‘That is a huge opportunity, at a global scale, for Luxembourg too, to be the leading pioneer of RegTech in the Assets Management and Fund sector, to help create a global centre of excellence, an innovation zone that can help further foster its current 4% economic growth for the years to come!’

One of the International RegTech Association’s core missions is to work with the financial industry, including the Funds sector, to bring the solutions they need. Take for example the six RegTech companies who presented their solutions during the event in Luxembourg this week – these solve real problems that the people in the room actually experience every day. IRTA is furthermore dedicated to build Centres of Excellence on a global scale, where prestigious academics, the industry, regulators and all other stakeholders meet and work together to find solutions that will strengthen the industry.

Matt Elton, CEO of Luxembourg-based FinnoLux, and Vice-chair and co-founder of the IRTA, has, as a true visionary understood RegTech’s powerful value proposition for the Luxembourgish and global Financial Industry. He acknowledges the tremendous opportunity Luxembourg has in strengthening and shaping the very industry in which it is the most successful, by leading the way in the field of RegTech. Matt elaborates, ‘The groundwork which has been laid by Luxembourg’s leading academic institutions and, in particular, SnT’s cutting-edge research in machine learning, artificial intelligence, machine readable regulation, … reinforces Luxembourg’s position, as these technologies are directly applicable to RegTech. It is by the highly collaborative model between academia and the private sector that gives Luxembourg this wonderful opportunity to remain in the lead. Moreover, it is worth stating that the Luxembourg Institute for Science and technology have for several years been developing a capability in RegTech itself. This positions Luxembourg as the ideal place, not only to develop RegTech capabilities but also to apply them to one of our strongest industries. By using the talent and capability which we have and applying it to our industry, we can enable Luxembourg to remain a leading financial centre whilst at the same time becoming one of the world’s leading RegTech hubs’.

FinnoLux is focussed on the creation and execution of digital strategy in the financial sector, of which automation of mid- and back-office are key parts. As a digital enabler, we make digital ‘happen’ for our customers, assisting them in reinvigorating their business and enabling them to reduce costs and inefficiencies and instead focussing on the true differentiators. Our deep understanding of the industry value-chain as well as our true business experience puts us in the perfect position to align your digital strategy with your future perspectives.


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22/03/2017by Matt Elton0

Authors: Leen Cuypers & Anna Velvet

“Train your enterprise to be Digital ready”

The Digital Revolution has changed the world around us and continues to challenge established ways of interaction and doing business. FinnoLux recognizes that there are huge opportunities for those companies who can adapt to the new reality and its Digital customers. FinnoLux have devised a unique programme to help your employees, supervisors, managers and executives set for the Digital world.

As customers’ expectations have changed the ability to understand their needs and to look beyond has become more vital than ever. Customer empathy is considered the key to excellent customer experience and results in increasing loyalty from new as well as existing customers. Companies who deliver an excellent digital customer experience outperform other competitors and experience real success.

Programme

We have created a training programme to develop your organisation, in order to gain understanding of the digital revolution and to be able to identify the opportunities it creates. This training is specifically aimed at the financial sector including financial services, banks, investment fund industry, clearing & settlement, wealth management & private banking, insurance companies and accountants. The programme is modular and can be tailored to your specific situation as Digital presents many different opportunities, depending on where you currently are as a company and where you want to be in the future.

We believe, a holistic approach where different people in an organisation are involved, is the key to realizing a successful Digital strategy. Creating a shared understanding throughout the organisation of the need to digitally transform, and the opportunities resulting from it, a solid base to successfully innovate and establish different initiatives can be established. The Digital Revolution is an opportunity for people to embrace the changes and create solutions.

The programme consists of modules capturing vital topics, each one of them highlighting a specific effect Digital has on the financial industry. The areas covered can include Digital Customers and Banking, Retail Banking, Asset and Wealth Management, Credit Sector, Impact of technology on Banking, RegTech and Regulatory Solutions, PSD2 and API driven services, Crypto-currency in Banking, Blockchain Technology and Distributed Ledger technology.

Upon finishing the programme, the participants will not only understand what a Digital Customer is and how to engage with them, also will they have a clear view of the emerging technologies and their potential. As well, they will develop an understanding of Cybersecurity, cloud computing and data protection issues. We are happy to extend our programme with specific topics related to the scope and nature of your business.

The different modules differentiate between three levels: Executive Level, Senior & Middle Management, Staff.  The modules can be applied to all three levels, the approach and emphasis will be adjusted to the needs and aspirations of the specific audience.

Our differentiator

FinnoLux brings a multidisciplinary team of real industry experts including specialists in banking, wealth management, the development and delivery of innovative products and services, digital transformation, education and service management. This allows us to bring a team in the correct blend to fit the organisation and their objectives. Many years of experience on the crossroad of technology and finance combined with our daily work with customers and our observation of how they work with technology, have provided us with deep insights in the current trends and their impact on the people, processes and business.

Our people take the role as a catalyst during this training programme, by providing the participants with unique insights as well as interactive scenario’s and engaging activities. Our approach goes beyond the transfer of knowledge but aims to stimulate the participants to look beyond the obvious and to enable them to translate change in opportunities.

Digital in Finance has emerged and is transforming the industry as we know it. This programme will equip the organisation with the tools and knowledge necessary in order to excel in this new reality. Creativity and innovation will no longer be an obstacle but an opportunity to engage in meaningful interactions, within the organisation and with customers.

Availability

This training is provided in Europe and in Canada, and can be tailored to the specific characteristics and aspirations of the company.