When you put a bunch of experienced finance people in a room together, the results are nowhere near as boring as you might expect.
Our team collects together an impressive track record in global finance, bringing in bankers, risk experts and fintech specialists who love to brainstorm their way around the trickier problems.
There's a healthy dose of technical expertise behind delivering the solutions, but it's the deep understanding of how cross-border trade interfaces with banks, regulators, forex and all its other complexities that makes those solutions work and deliver concrete benefit.
We love technology, but we're not interested in being trendy. That may be down to the innate conservatism of our financial backgrounds, but we think it's good sense not to get the cart pulling the horse. We're far more interested in the right technologies than we are in the best ones.
Many decades of financial experience have taught us that process is more important than detection. The billions levied on banks for non-compliance rarely stemmed from detection shortcomings; virtually all of them point to failures in process. That's why we assembled an experienced, process-focused management team to design and manage our platforms.
Our processes evolved from the better-than-bank compliance of our parent company, Choice International. Since 2004, Choice has set the standard for enhanced due diligence in cross-border transactions. Our task, as the new fintech arm of Choice, has been to make that process scaleable by considered automation of the areas that should be automated, making those that definitely shouldn't easier, quicker and more accurate for MLROs.
That's not to say we're innovation-averse. Our implementation of blockchain is highly next-gen, with a flexibility and immutability that breaks new ground. Our developers cut their teeth on projects for some of the largest financial enterprises. It's just a case of remembering what we're setting out to achieve, not which buzz-words we can build in.
The biz.Clarency platform wasn't the brainchild of any one person; it's the result of the views, experience and creativity of a highly experienced bunch. They've been working together less formally for a long time, mostly on the better-than-bank compliance processes that have driven the Choice Group to its leading position in global payments. It was through those processes that the concept of living diligence was born - the ability to re-evaluate every transaction and its parties rather than just onboarding a customer at the outset.
It's an interesting mix of skills; there's not much duplication, but lots of cross-over, so it's easy for ideas to be shared and nurtured, making it possible to bring those ideas into actual use. It also makes for highly entertaining (and sometimes quite loud) meetings.
Anne-Sophie brings 30 years of experience in corporate governance and finance with a focus on risk management and financial crime compliance acquired in Tier 1 banks. She joined the Choice-Clarency group in an advisory role in 2019 in shaping the group’s best-in-class compliance framework. She's a certified accountant and holds an MBA in risk management and financial crime compliance (ACAMS).
She was formally trained in blockchain strategy at Said University Oxford, and joined the GDF as advisory member for the FATF’s revision of the 40 recommendations to include Virtual Assets and VA Service Providers.
Bob has worked around the world and lived in Europe, Asia and Africa. Throughout a semi-glorious career he's worked in government, technology and financial services, which is probably why just everyone knows him. He has a Japanese wife and a miniature schnauzer, was born in Cornwall and grew up in London. He describes himself - with some accuracy - as an innovator, a change maker and an all-round trouble maker.
He also knows this isn't the sort of resumé you'd normally post on your website, but he's the boss, so what can you do?
Thirty-odd years of technology marketing has seen Jem pioneering possibly the first interactive mailshots at the dawn of the 90s, moving from floppy disk to CD-ROM ahead of the interactivity boom in the middle of the decade. He's developed innovative projects for clients like IBM, Lloyds, BBC, HSBC and Global Payments.
An increasing portion of the last five years has been dedicated to developing products and marketing initiatives for the Choice-Clarency group, and now it's driven out the other distractions. He says it's almost as enjoyable as messing with old aeroplanes.
Khumo is the master of operations and administration. Before joining us she ran the operations at SCF Capital Solutions, funding working capital for small businesses in the green space. Through her work with Sophiatown Green Incubator she's been instrumental in guiding many start-ups and small businesses from concept to prefunding.
She worked extensively with Bob on the development of the GoldPay remittance system, an initiative that is creating an asset-backed stable coin which will allow for cheaper remittance costs for migrants in Africa and Asia.
More than thirty-five years in financial technology and payments markets have taught Sam a great deal about matching real-world solutions to actual business needs, rather than shoehorning in flavour-of-the-month technologies to match the latest hype. His background includes implementing technology solutions in cloud, payments, trading systems and cloud finance, with a particular specialism in APJ regions and a CV taking in names like Unilever, Cray and Sun Microsystems.