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Legal team frees 42% time managing compliance data

Legal team frees 42% time managing compliance data

February 1, 2024

The customer is a leading private equity firm in San Francisco that holds over $10 billion in assets under management. The firm’s portfolio includes a diverse roster of companies in technology, real estate, healthcare, and consumer goods. 

The firm helps its portfolio companies scale their growth sustainably. While headquartered in the US, the firm also had 14+ offices in 10 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Its risk management and compliance managers were responsible for GDPR compliance by keeping track of information held on investors, portfolio companies, and their employees. 

Background

A need to simplify and speed up regulatory compliance

Regulations such as the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) require organizations to know what sensitive data they collect, how they process it, and what they do with it. In addition to explaining data collection, storage, and use, organizations must ensure that it’s easily accessible.

GDPR compliance also mandates organizations to track and report breaches within 72 hours

To this end, the risk management and compliance managers at the private equity firm had to manage and continuously monitor all information related to audits and compliance. This would involve (but wasn’t limited to) the following:

Engaging with various business units and teams to continually review their processes and policies, in preparation for compliance audits

Helping in matters involving sensitive data related to regulatory approvals, information governance, M&As, and due diligence

Ensuring that all employees understood and followed corporate policies and standards regarding sensitive information

Spotting and reporting all incidents of non-compliance such as fraud, improper access, and violation of corporate policies or procedures

Analyzing new rules or circulars issued by regulatory bodies and advising business units for compliance on their operations

As the firm’s portfolio expanded, it became challenging to look for the right information, organize it as per standardized formats, and discuss it with the relevant people at scale. 

The managers spent 26% of its time each month looking for information and organizing it. Despite the time and effort invested, they could put together all the data they needed for compliance audits and reports only 76% of the time. 

This could translate to potential GDPR or RBI penalties that affected the firm’s brand image, besides cutting into its margins. 

So, the firm wanted a tool that simplified compliance, access, and visibility with: 

Auto-tagging and classification of sensitive data:

Since several systems captured data at scale and not all of them were interconnected, a large part of compliance still involved manual data cataloging.

Google-like search:

Information was siloed across various systems and departments, making it difficult to find and keep track of all that data.

Seamless information exchange and collaboration:

Sharing After spotting any anomaly, the legal team would have to document their findings, attach proof, and share it via an email.

Discussing the anomaly would involve numerous back-and-forths across various teams, using multiple channels of communication – email, Slack, conference calls, and more.

Real-time curated information feeds on new standards, regulations, laws, and more:

As updates on regulations and standards became more frequent, the legal team was expected to stay on top of the changes immediately.

With the firm expanding across geographies, the team wanted a mechanism in place to curate and share the essential information in real-time.

Legal team frees 42% time managing compliance data

Industry
Financial services
Team size
280+
Established in
2005
Headquarters
San Francisco

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The customer is a leading private equity firm in San Francisco that holds over $10 billion in assets under management. The firm’s portfolio includes a diverse roster of companies in technology, real estate, healthcare, and consumer goods. 

The firm helps its portfolio companies scale their growth sustainably. While headquartered in the US, the firm also had 14+ offices in 10 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Its risk management and compliance managers were responsible for GDPR compliance by keeping track of information held on investors, portfolio companies, and their employees. 

Background

A need to simplify and speed up regulatory compliance

Regulations such as the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) require organizations to know what sensitive data they collect, how they process it, and what they do with it. In addition to explaining data collection, storage, and use, organizations must ensure that it’s easily accessible.

GDPR compliance also mandates organizations to track and report breaches within 72 hours

To this end, the risk management and compliance managers at the private equity firm had to manage and continuously monitor all information related to audits and compliance. This would involve (but wasn’t limited to) the following:

Engaging with various business units and teams to continually review their processes and policies, in preparation for compliance audits

Helping in matters involving sensitive data related to regulatory approvals, information governance, M&As, and due diligence

Ensuring that all employees understood and followed corporate policies and standards regarding sensitive information

Spotting and reporting all incidents of non-compliance such as fraud, improper access, and violation of corporate policies or procedures

Analyzing new rules or circulars issued by regulatory bodies and advising business units for compliance on their operations

As the firm’s portfolio expanded, it became challenging to look for the right information, organize it as per standardized formats, and discuss it with the relevant people at scale. 

The managers spent 26% of its time each month looking for information and organizing it. Despite the time and effort invested, they could put together all the data they needed for compliance audits and reports only 76% of the time. 

This could translate to potential GDPR or RBI penalties that affected the firm’s brand image, besides cutting into its margins. 

So, the firm wanted a tool that simplified compliance, access, and visibility with: 

Auto-tagging and classification of sensitive data:

Since several systems captured data at scale and not all of them were interconnected, a large part of compliance still involved manual data cataloging.

Google-like search:

Information was siloed across various systems and departments, making it difficult to find and keep track of all that data.

Seamless information exchange and collaboration:

Sharing After spotting any anomaly, the legal team would have to document their findings, attach proof, and share it via an email.

Discussing the anomaly would involve numerous back-and-forths across various teams, using multiple channels of communication – email, Slack, conference calls, and more.

Real-time curated information feeds on new standards, regulations, laws, and more:

As updates on regulations and standards became more frequent, the legal team was expected to stay on top of the changes immediately.

With the firm expanding across geographies, the team wanted a mechanism in place to curate and share the essential information in real-time.

Solution

How Needl.ai helped save time and make compliance audits more efficient with automation 

The results were immediate when the firm decided to use Needl.ai to solve its compliance problems. With Needl.ai, the firm was able to set up: 

1. Identifying non-compliance at a glance

Once the firm integrated all data streams with Needl.ai, the legal team could look for sensitive information and who has access to that data without switching apps or tools. 

Additionally, Needl.ai’s Google-like search helped them scour through the entire data ecosystem to find all sensitive data within documents, images, media files, and more. 

So, the compliance managers could target audit risks by searching through all of the firm’s static and streaming data quickly and getting all the context they need within seconds. 

Moreover, they could share details on any violations with the right people immediately via the platform of their choice. 

A centralized cloud-based workspace like Needl.ai made collaborating with the right stakeholders a breeze.

Fig: Integrated data search and collaboration tools for enhanced audit and risk analysis

2. Automatically tagging and tracking sensitive data in real-time

The managers could set up custom feeds for sensitive documents and reports, such as audit logs and share it with only the relevant teams using Needl.ai’s role-based permissions. 

They were also able to auto-categorize information based on user roles to ensure that everyone at the firm followed proper corporate compliance policies and procedures.

So, the firm could keep track of sensitive data and its usage at all times.

Fig: Automated identification for enhanced security and compliance.

3. Continuous and automated syncing and backup of all data

Needl.ai auto-saved all data, removed duplicates, and encrypted it to ensure its integrity and privacy. In addition, Needl.ai refreshed and synced data across multiple devices, apps, and operating systems every three hours. 

As a result, the compliance managers never missed anything important, maintained complete ownership of their data, in addition to always staying on top of everything. Automated, near-constant backups made the recovery process of the “last good copy” faster and more effective, thereby reducing risks associated with data loss or corruption.

Fig: Automatic backup and synchronization for risk and compliance

Thanks to needl.ai, we are now able to utilize the team’s time and efforts much more scientifically, leading to increased operational efficiency.

Chief investment officer

Thanks to needl.ai, we are now able to utilize the team’s time and efforts much more scientifically, leading to increased operational efficiency.

Chief investment officer