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A unique perspective: In conversation with Stuart Frith

Wednesday 22 November 2017

The RegTech space is evolving quickly. Lucsan, an Australian-based RegTech firm that caters to financial services, was listed recently in the top 100 RegTech firms by FinTech Global. It is just one of three Australian RegTechs to merit a mention in the list, after a panel of experts reviewed 416 RegTech firms worldwide.

This news comes shortly after Lucsan announced a strategic partnership with IRESS.
Stuart Frith, Group Sales and Delivery Director, is the newest member of the Lucsan family, bringing to Lucsan over 4 years at the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), together with a long history in management positions with FinTechs and Banks.  

Frith has known Harold Lucero, Group Executive Chairman of Lucsan, for a number of years, and admired the innovative capabilities Lucsan had developed. He sought an opportunity to contribute to this next exciting phase of Lucsan’s growth.

“I have spent the majority of my career in the financial technology space, primarily with equities markets and the technology enabling these markets, including trading systems and compliance systems,” Frith told the GRC Professional, in a recent interview.

Frith spent four and half years with ASIC in two roles. One involved aligning the regulatory strategy and technology capabilities within the market integrity group; and the other involved regulating licenced equity markets.

According to Frith, this variety of responsibilities gave him insights into the potential for technology to streamline compliance processes, regulatory strategy and actually regulating.

“While I don’t think of myself as a regulator, hopefully my time at ASIC has given me some understanding of what they are trying to achieve. After 20 years’ experience with the commercial realities of our client base, I’m able to give the right balance to Lucsan’s solutions and help to solve compliance challenges in a commercially pragmatic way,” Frith explained.

“Overall, I enjoyed my time at ASIC. There is a unique perspective in the financial services industry when you work for a regulator and it’s quite a broad perspective.”

A return to tech and finance services
Frith’s move to Lucsan is a journey back into the marriage of finance services and technology. He described the industry as the one he finds most interesting and challenging.

“Structural or regulatory change, as the financial advice space is currently undergoing, creates opportunities for businesses to re-imagine how they engage with their clients; as well as manage compliance smarter and more efficiently.

“There is a great opportunity for technology to help with that, as exampled by other financial services sectors adopting new technology and analytics to solve compliance challenges. At Lucsan, it is our objective to help the financial advice industry be more successful and trusted by retail investors.”

For risk and compliance professionals
The entire industry is pushing to digitise the financial advice and wealth management process.
“This is something ASIC has promoted strongly in the media and with events such as their ‘RegTech’ showcase recently, where a number of vendors, including Lucsan, were able to illustrate the power of technology and analytics.

“As financial advice becomes increasingly digitised, there is a wealth of data about the business processes, the advice given and the client’s details that is collected as part of dealing with a client,” Frith said.

This increase in data means the old ways of doing risk and compliance will sooner or later break down. It is important to have tech solutions in place that can support the risk and compliance functions by sifting through mountains of data and identifying what is important.