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Susannah Hammond: Keeping current with risk and regulation

In an environment where regulatory burden and personal liability are growing, a clear voice and guiding hand are needed.

In recent years, financial services compliance officers have seen their traditional remit grow and change beyond recognition. What had long been a rulebook-based, clearly defined role has become all-encompassing, with compliance officers now charged with managing a myriad of issues, including culture and conduct risk, regulatory technology, and a deluge of regulatory changes — all with an overlay of increased personal liability.

Meet Susannah Hammond, senior regulatory intelligence expert, whose team works help to compliance officers navigate the risks and the requirements of this new reality.

Susannah Hammond is a senior regulatory intelligence expert with Thomson Reuters. She is based in Halifax, UK.
Susannah Hammond is a senior regulatory intelligence expert with Thomson Reuters. She is based in Halifax, UK.

For those not in risk and compliance, what does “regulatory intelligence” entail?

“Regulatory intelligence focuses on analyzing regulatory developments and changes that face financial services firms around the world. Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence (TRRI) provides practical and actionable insight into the key issues and keeps firms abreast of the ramifications of evolving regulatory expectations. This is particularly pertinent and useful for senior individuals in financial services firms as personal liability and accountability continue to grow.”

What sorts of things are you researching/analyzing and how do you gather the intelligence?

“TRRI’s analysis covers everything from proposed rule changes to enforcement actions to speeches and policy statements published by both domestic regulators and supranational bodies such as Basel. TRRI has its own tracking service which keeps us, and our client base, informed of more than 50,000 regulatory alerts a year.”

What’s a typical workday like for you?

“A typical day is often a combination of things – researching and writing articles or one of our special reports, preparing for industry events (such as sitting on a panel at a conference or speaking on a WebEx) and then also responding to the queries that come in from sales, marketing and other parts of Thomson Reuters. The RI team members are the acknowledged experts on financial services risk and compliance, both inside and outside of Thomson Reuters, so it is often a juggling act as to what to prioritize. We are a very small team, but particularly popular when it comes to information and speaking requests!”

What types of clients are most interested in regulatory intelligence and why?

“TRRI content is aimed, in the first instance, at risk and compliance officers in financial services firms. The content is also useful for consultants, lawyers and regulators themselves. Our expert analysis helps to not only consider the key issues in a particular area or event, but also to draw parallels and comparisons that provide vital context. We take often complex regulatory documents and concepts and demystify them for our client base.”

Can you share an example of a business decision a client could make (or has made) based on information provided by you/your team?

“One of the critical areas where our content helps our client base is in the management of personal regulatory risk particularly with regard to the evolving qualitative concepts of culture and conduct risk. The focus on individual accountability is growing around the world and our up-to-date review and analysis of changing regulatory expectations is a critical resource.

A specific example of how our expertise has helped a client is a major US bank which used our special report on Culture and Conduct Risk 2017 for their board offsite to discuss the topic and determine the firm’s approach.”

How are your insights typically shared with clients?

“The primary way our insights are shared is through expert analysis articles on TRRI. Our team also has TV slots where we discuss key issues. We produce blogs, special reports and webinars, and also speak at conferences and summits to showcase our content and to connect with our customer base. An example of one of our special reports is the Eighth Annual Cost of Compliance Report, which enables regulated firms to benchmark their own practices and experiences against the wider industry, and helps them with their planning, resourcing and direction.”

How did you become a regulatory intelligence/compliance expert?

“By accident! I had just qualified as a chartered accountant and I was interviewing at Warburgs to work for the finance director but as the interview went on I was introduced to the head of group compliance, John Mayo, and the rest is history.”

What do you think is most interesting area where regulatory intelligence is playing a key role?

“Financial services regulatory intelligence is a blueprint for providing expert analysis to other, heavily regulated, industries. In a world of information overload, curated insight into the key issues which cuts through the noise and complexity will become increasingly sought after and valuable.”

How are things changing in your world with the proliferation of regtech companies and products?

“Financial services firms have always embraced both technology and change. What is different now is that the speed and nature of the technological solutions (whether regtech, fintech, insurtech or suptech) is beginning to feel more like revolution than evolution. Firms are juggling potential new market entrant disruptors, changing customer expectations and the development of their own in-house solutions all while dealing with often fragmented and dated IT infrastructures. Regtech may well bring many benefits but it won’t be without its challenges.”

Tell us about the #RiskyWomen network you’re involved with. What’s it about, and what have you gotten out of it?

“Women hold key roles in risk and compliance in firms, regulators and policymakers and #RiskyWomen brings them together. Risky Women is a unique forum for thought leadership and industry influence which connects, celebrates and champions female leaders in financial services governance, risk and compliance. On a personal level it is fun, interesting and informative and you get to meet some great new people.”

When you’re not thinking about risk, what do you do for fun?

“Play with the new puppy! (Although the early days of house training are a whole different kind of risk management!)”

Susannah Hammond and her dog, Sterling. THOMSON REUTERS/ Submitted Photo
Susannah Hammond and her dog, Sterling. THOMSON REUTERS/ Submitted Photo

Learn more

To learn more about Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence, check out its website. Connect directly with Susannah on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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