Steven J. Bock, Managing Director, Global Head of Operations, Compliance“Technology is a game-changer in today’s global regulatory environment where compliance professionals are required to meet high expectations with reduced budgets, limited resources, and increased dealings with third parties,” declares Steven J. Bock, Managing Director, Global Head of Operations, Compliance, Kroll. Kroll is a leading global provider of risk and investigative services, with 45 years of experience helping clients anticipate, mitigate, detect, and respond to risk. Its wide-ranging services include end-to-end compliance solutions, from high-volume screening programs to complex investigative due diligence. Kroll also publishes an annual Anti-Bribery and Corruption Benchmarking Report (“The ABC Report”), in partnership with the Ethisphere Institute, to support compliance professionals with information on emerging trends, common challenges, and strategies for implementing effective compliance programs and policies.
Kroll’s multidisciplinary team has developed best-in-class technology, featuring automation and customization, that promotes efficiency and transparency in the compliance workflow. The company’s web-based compliance portal provides a holistic approach to managing compliance programs to scale and to easily configure business rules. “Kroll’s compliance process is based on four major components–advice, technology, data, and diligence–that work together to support compliance teams with the myriad of challenges that come with global anti-corruption laws and diligence,” explains Bock. “Technology is an essential complement to the human intelligence that is the foundation of our service offerings.”
The 2017 ABC Report revealed that more than half of respondents identified legal, ethical, or compliance issues with a third party after initial due diligence had been conducted, highlighting the importance of ongoing monitoring. Kroll’s screening and due diligence reports are fully integrated into its portal, as are monitoring capabilities that screen real-time data on companies and individuals against sanctions and enforcements, as well as other data. Additionally, the compliance portal offers a central repository with controlled access to track and customize the compliance workflow as well as to produce an auditable record.
When even small organizations can have as many as 5,000 third-party relationships, building a risk-based program is an imperative.
Technology is a game-changer when appropriately paired with human intelligence, helping compliance professionals meet high expectations with limited resources
Kroll addresses this challenge through its compliance portal, which integrates subject matter expertise and questionnaire capabilities that help measure and categorize risk. A due diligence report can be generated based on accumulated feedback from a questionnaire, which helps segment vendors from low risk to high risk. This helps identify the appropriate level of due diligence and optimize effort and resources.
By way of example, Bock shares an instance when Kroll was approached by a client that was primarily basing compliance-related decisions on vendor-provided documentation. However, the client found that these documents either lacked critical data or were inconsistent in their ability to allow for the identification of ultimate beneficial owners of major third parties in high-risk jurisdictions. Kroll’s subject matter experts developed a customized report scope as well as a layered approach to identifying ultimate beneficial ownership. The firm also provided the client with an escalation path for a typical research scenarios that was facilitated by custom workflows available in the compliance portal.
Moving ahead, Kroll is integrating artificial intelligence with its deep knowledge and global compliance resources and proprietary technology to enhance client offerings. Kroll also looks forward to introducing data integrations from the dark web to enhance research and data capabilities. “Organizations today are under extraordinary pressure to meet expanding regulatory mandates. The seemingly endless torrent of disparate sources, types, and volumes of available information further complicates the challenge. Kroll is continually innovating to facilitate and refine our search processes; this in turn will optimize our ability to provide clients with highly relevant information and meaningful context in the most timely way possible,” concludes Bock.