Startup Corner: Encompass Corporation in Focus

As part of a two-month startup initiative here is another of our more grown up startups. Encompass Corporation was founded in 2012 (2015 in the UK) and automates know your customer policies to ensure regulatory compliance.

How would you describe your company to a friend?

We help banks and law firms to automate background checks on potential customers, speeding up and reducing cost within their onboarding process.

And if you had to describe it to a techy?

Founded in Australia in 2012 and launched in the UK in 2015 with a Glasgow head office, Encompass Corporation is a leading RegTech company using technology to automate Know Your Customer (KYC) policies, ensuring companies adhere to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF) regulations in financial, legal and accounting businesses. In addition it also serves the legal profession for insolvency cases.

With KYC checks costing UK banks on average £40 million a year, the demand for more comprehensive and easier to use solutions is growing, and that’s where we come in.

Our software enables KYC checks and initial client screening to be completed up to 13 times faster and with significantly lower costs.   Through our use of web-based technology we also provide an audit trail that is not only regulator ready, but removes the risk of human oversight that is too often part of a manual process.

Using real time data from 12 information providers including Experian, C6i, BvD and Companies House, we currently serve over 200 firms.

When were you founded?

In Australia in 2012.

By who?

Our co-founders Roger Carson and Wayne Johnson founded Encompass after being defrauded in a property investment.   Reflecting on the fact that had they access to the full picture, they never would have considered that property deal, Roger, Wayne and all at Encompass are acutely aware of what can happen should customers not have access to timely and relevant information. With this at the heart of our culture, our Customer Success team works closely with all our customers, ensuring they get maximum value from Encompass’ products, accessing information that not only enables them to be compliant, but fully informed with regard to their customers.

Who are your key managers/senior execs?

Roger Carson, co-founder and global head of sales; Wayne Johnson,  co-founder and CEO; Alex Ford, VP operations & marketing; Graeme Buchanan, VP product development.

What is your growth strategy/have you received investment?

Last year we secured £3.6 million in investment funding which has helped us transition from a company offering support to accountancy professionals, to supporting those in the legal and finance and banking sector.  During 2017 we plan to consolidate and grow this market both in the UK and globally.

Who are your target clients?

We operate in the financial services and legal markets.

Have there been any key changes in direction since you were founded?

We have moved our focus to the financial services and legal markets after initially entering within the insolvency and accountancy sector.

What are the key challenges you face in your market?

With compliance and regulation laws being constantly updated and becoming increasingly stringent, a key challenge for risk and compliance professionals is to stay ahead of legislation passed at a governmental and intergovernmental level.  We deal with this by ensuring our products are agile enough to continually adapt to policy changes.  

What are the most exciting developments you’ve seen in your market in the past year to 18 months?

We forecast that regulations around Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing will continue to be a focus for governments across Europe and beyond. To date, these regulations have been getting stricter on those who are found to be in breach of these rules. This trend, particularly for law firms, will continue. To date, we have seen some serious fines and sanctions passed to banks and financial institutions for being in breach of these rules, but this has not yet been forthcoming in the legal sector. Moving into 2017 and beyond, we will begin to see something approaching parity for law firms.

Tell us something that people don’t already know about the company?

Unless you visited our offices you wouldn’t know that retaining a healthy office is important to us, so that effect as well as providing things like flexible hours, and free fruit, we also provide complementary yoga sessions once a week, and have a table tennis table to allow the sales team to hone their competitive edge!