In today’s globalising financial and legal landscape, companies and wealthy individuals face a double challenge: to successfully pursue their goals and to remain compliant with increasingly strict international anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations. United can support them with both.
Through its Malta office, the international group provides financial, legal and AML/CFT compliance solutions with personal service and pioneering IT – including an AI powered compliance platform called Pascal.
Headquartered in the Netherlands and active in nine financial hotspots around the globe, United offers a full range of financial, legal and compliance solutions to clients worldwide.
Its 3,000+ clients range from Fortune 500 companies and leading investment industry players to high-net-worth individuals and families. Its team, totalling some 150 financial, legal and IT experts, combines first-class know-how with the drive to deliver truly personal service to each and every client.
Though United International Management (Malta) Limited is a relatively small unit, it is well connected, packs a great deal of expertise and experience and can daily draw on support from the group’s other offices worldwide.
Managing Director Mihai Cheregi has been with United since its establishment in 2008, and has headed the Malta office since 2013.
“Our business in Malta has grown steadily over the years, and what I’ve noticed is that the kind of business we do is shifting. Compliance and AML/CFT issues are costing our clients more and more time and effort, and United is responding to their needs with increasingly sophisticated IT solutions,” he reflects.
AML/CFT compliance challenges
Clients in the financial sector need to comply with increasingly complex Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) legislation. And in varied other sectors as well, compliance is a major call to action. To avoid financial and reputational risks it is more essential than ever for businesses to obtain the best intelligence on business partners, clients etc. Data is key, but human-based data analysis is slow and costly. So how do you find useful intelligence in the huge masses of data available online?
Mr Cheregi explains how United was introduced in 2018 to a young company called Vartion, who had built a search engine powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). “They were subsequently developing a tool around that search engine that could help companies in and beyond the financial sector with compliance screening of their customers and business partners. They called it Pascal. United agreed to test it and contributed to its development as a launching customer.”
AI-powered compliance support
Pascal, as an AI tool, can read and understand like a human, but in a zillionth of the time. It analyses Big Data, sanctions lists, PEP lists, company data in corporate registers and general news (recognising adverse media coverage). Its algorithms find the truly relevant hits and discards false positives. It discovers patterns in the data, and alerts and reports all hits, along with an indication of risk and sentiment, through a very user-friendly interface. Turning masses of data into actionable insights in a matter of seconds.
Like any IT solution, Pascal is a work in progress. Since its first beginnings, Pascal has matured spectacularly. The proprietary data lake that Pascal searches through, scraped from public media and tagged, contains millions of articles in multiple languages, including data leaks — from the Panama Papers to the FinCen Files. Additions are made every day. In functionality, it is now a fully-fledged compliance support platform allowing one-time checks as well as 24/7 monitoring, and facilitating internal teamwork by producing an audit trail of all searches performed.
Efficiency and sales potential
“United has benefited immensely already from using Pascal in its own compliance processes,” Mr Cheregi says. “It has significantly speeded up our screening of clients and business partners, and keeps us informed whenever an adverse change in their situation occurs. And our staff find it very easy to use. But its real significance for us is as a tool to help our clients achieve the same benefits. It has become a key component of the AML/CFT compliance services we offer.”
These days, United is helping more and more of its clients worldwide optimise their compliance processes with pioneering IT. Mr Cheregi sees plenty of potential in the Maltese market, too. “Financial and legal services are a mainstay of Malta’s economy, so AML/CFT compliance is a big issue here. As a team, we’re hoping to help many existing and new clients upgrade their compliance processes and lighten their AML/CFT compliance risks.”
For further information, readers visit United and Pascal’s websites:
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