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STAR application simplifies compliance, saves time and boosts efficiency for global firm

StarCompliance technology enables US compliance team to manage the compliance requirements and improve regulatory performance for a global workforce of more than 7,800 employees.

Client Profile: An asset-management firm offering funds, advisory services, investment management and retirement services for individuals, institutions and intermediaries. 
Employees: 7,800

The Challenge
The client needed a new compliance-management system to replace its existing platform. The aim was increase the compliance team’s efficiency and effectiveness, optimize its resources and make the process of meeting regulatory obligations as simple and convenient as possible for employees.

Why StarCompliance?
The STAR application offered the capabilities and functionality the client was looking for, while the size of StarCompliance meant the client could work directly with key directors, decisionmakers and technology specialists to adapt the platform to its needs.

The client chose the STAR platform for two main reasons:

  1. Usability. Having trialed a demo version of the system, both the compliance team and test users found it to be well designed and intuitive to use. They liked its interactive features and the fact that it would be easy for employees worldwide to adopt quickly with minimal training.

  1. Efficiency gains. The system made every-day compliance tasks quicker and simpler for both end users and the compliance team. The automation and ‘straight-through’ processing of transaction confirmations removed a huge data entry burden for the compliance team. It enabled them to focus on more valuable tasks such as reviewing pre-clearance requests, carrying out post-trade reviews, monitoring regulations and fielding queries.

“The team at StarCompliance were very forthcoming with information. They really partnered with us in configuring the system for our purposes. It was a huge bonus for us that the system was adaptable, and that StarCompliance were willing to listen to us, and work with us. It means that the platform we now have feels like an in-house system. Even the terminology used and the colors are ours. Little details like that are really important in building confidence in a new system, especially when you’re entrusting confidential information to it.”    — Legal Compliance Manager

The Journey
Implementing the system across the client’s global operation took just eight months, from proof of concept to releasing the system to end users.

Throughout the implementation process, the client met regularly with the StarCompliance onboarding team, who spent time learning its business processes and translating these into STAR’s capabilities.  

Once built, the system was rolled out to a small test population of frequent users. This was deemed important, not to teach people how to use the system, since it is so intuitive, but to get frequent users to champion the new system and support the change-management process.

“The StarCompliance IT team gave our technology people every assurance in the security of the STAR platform. Their passion and attention to detail in this area put our managers at ease. Since the initial roll out, StarCompliance has continued to focus on mitigating any new threats to data security. We have never had a single data security issue while using STAR.”  Legal Compliance Manager

The Solution
The client opted to begin with the STAR employee trading product, since pre-clearing trade requests and entering transaction confirmations were areas where significant efficiencies could be made. The client has since added more functionality, including gifts and entertainment, outside business activity and annual certification management. The platform is continuously being developed and updated by StarCompliance to improve everything from the way it looks to its usability and the products available.

The client has a single code of ethics for the global firm, which is based on the most stringent regulations in the world for each area of compliance. By adhering to these ethics, the firm ensures it remains compliant wherever it operates. The STAR platform is configured to support this code of ethics, providing a single compliance system for the whole business.

“Our goal with STAR is to make it our employees’ one-stop shop for all employee compliance activities. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to meet their obligations. With STAR, employees don’t have to think about which form they need to fill in or where to find it – because it’s all in one place. They can submit a trade request, complete a certification, fill in a gift and entertainment declaration or report an outside activity, all on the same site. STAR makes compliance quick, convenient and straightforward for everyone.”  Legal Compliance Manager

The Results
The STAR system is used by more than 7,800 people around the world, but is managed by a relatively small US-based compliance team.  By managing the compliance requirements of such a huge global workforce with such a small compliance team, the client is maximizing the efficiency of the STAR system.

Implementing STAR has delivered significant efficiency improvements for the client. Previously, only 25% of transaction confirmations were automatically posted to the system.  With STAR, 93% of the transactions are posted automatically using data feeds from more than 20 broker-dealers.

STAR has made collecting annual compliance certificates from all 7,800 employees simpler and more effective. The company now has a 100% on-time completion rate for these essential compliance documents. Every year, every employee is required to complete a compliance certification within a very tight deadline. STAR enables all notifications to be sent out at the same time, certification forms to be pre-populated with data, and employees to verify and approve the certificates at the click of a button. The compliance team has much greater control over the whole process, with up-to-the-minute reports enabling it to track progress and send out targeted reminders. Automating the process enables the compliance team to work more productively by focusing on the small number of certificates that need to be reviewed.

The range of reports and documentation produced by STAR enables the client to quickly respond to enquiries from regulators. The speed of response made possible by STAR helps to strengthen the client’s reputation among regulators and to improve its performance in regulatory audits. 

“Now that the system is up and running, the STAR helpdesk is very responsive whenever we need support. That enables us to provide a highly efficient service to our end users.”  Legal Compliance Manager