Meet Laurie Clark, Principal at Cancheck Corporation
Tell us a little about Canchek and why you got into this space. Canchek Corporation is a RegTech firm that was incorporated in 2016 to enable Canadian investment firms to meet their Anti-Money-Laundering and Countering-the-Financing-of-Terrorism (AML/CFT) obligations. The principals of the firm all had experience either as regulators or as technologists (for example as the creators of (Broadridge’s) Dataphile brokerage system).
The original business plan was focused on smaller participants in the Canadian financial market such as investment counsellors and portfolio managers that, in the opinion of the founders, were not well served by existing internationally based vendors. It appeared that the available systems were:
a) very expensive for small and mid-size dealers, leading to non-adoption of automated systems;
b) broadly focused beyond Canadian requirements, making outputs laden with ‘false positives’ that increase burdens on compliance resources; and
c) not providing coverage of Canadian-specific data such as corporate insiders, NRD registrants and cease trade orders.
Canchek planned to differentiate itself by providing a service for Canadian firms and doing this at a lower cost by leveraging strategic partnerships and new technology. Early success led larger firms to review and adopt the solution, with some incorporating it into their own proprietary technology by means of an application program interface (API)
The tag line on the Canchek website sums up the package: “SANCTIONS - CEASE TRADE ORDERS - INSIDERS - PEPs - HIOs - NRD - ADVERSE MEDIA: ALL IN ONE PLACE.”
Who are your clients and what types of regulatory challenges are they facing?
The number of firms using Canchek for AML/CFT screening continues to double each year and includes large and small financial institutions. We serve insurance advisors, portfolio managers, investment counsellors, robo advisors, exempt market dealers, mortgage investment corporations, IIROC dealers and correspondents, mutual fund dealers, law firms and more.
The challenges to our customers are many and varied and significantly more felt during this time of crisis:
What type of emerging technology do you think will have the greatest impact on your business?
AI is sometimes dismissed as the fad of the hour but we believe that it is having a real impact in identifying patterns in data that indicate suspicious behaviors. There are of course many issues to overcome in employing this technology such as false positives and the auditability of the process which, to compliance officers, may seem like a black box.
Canchek is constantly working to improve its matching algorithms but the greatest immediate challenge for us to introduce is the basic automaton of compliance tasks using proven technology to the benefit of our customers
How do you think the CRTA will help your business (industry)?
Canchek is a RegTech company serving the members of the CRTA and the Canadian financial community. Of course, we wish to make the members aware of our company and our products, and to bring them information on the regulatory impacts and changes to their business; but where the CRTA and Canchek align particularly well is in the true passion driving our company: our wish to become the “proven centre of excellence” for AML/CTF in Canada – driving continually updated information, product improvements, expert support, and state-of-the-art technology that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on any device and in real time, at a cost that simply can’t be beat.