In this fifth article in our series on the 7 habits of highly effective financial technology leaders we speak to Colin Slight of The Realization Group and Remonda Z. Kirketerp-Møller, Founder & CEO, Muinmos about how they engage in growth and always try to play offence rather than defence.
Financial technology is not always an easy sell. It’s often about solving problems that not everyone has yet fully acknowledged and recognised or introducing efficiencies to processes and organisations that aren’t always wanted and accepted by all stakeholders within the organisation. Some of our most successful visionaries have been truly ahead of their time, recognising the wider trends in the market landscape, seeing how they are evolving, and acting to secure their place in the world of the future. This has meant that investment has been for the long term, and their strategies are proactive rather than reactive.
Back in 2012, when Remonda Kirketerp-Møller founded Muinmos, a Regtech company that developed an AI-driven compliance engine for client on-boarding, RegTech wasn’t yet an articulated concept in the marketplace. A true pioneer of the RegTech space, the firm had to invest heavily in R&D in order to grow their product and bring it to a market that largely did not even yet see the need for it. Kirketerp-Møller, however, had a clear vision of the future. “Everything we predicted back in 2012 has come into play. We have not been surprised by any regulatory frameworks, or commercial drivers. The pandemic, yes, that’s come as a surprise to the market. But for us, actually, the entire foundation of the company was simply an understanding that the financial sector could not survive in the state it was in at that time. And neither can it survive in the state we are in now, there is more change, and more pressure – both regulatory and commercial – to come. And we’re looking into that crystal ball, we’re prepared, we’re ready for this.”
For Muinmos, the uphill battle has really been around human behaviour, and the pandemic has actually driven market demand for the firm’s product. “There were still huge barriers to adoption of RegTech solutions before the pandemic. Lawyers didn’t want it, because they saw it as a threat to their jobs. Neither did compliance officers, for the same reason. But when we’d demo the solution to executives, they were amazed, and keen to bring it into their organisations. And of course, there are still jobs for lawyers and compliance officers. RegTech just frees them up to focus on the high-value and interesting work. Regulators are now embracing and encouraging it, having seen the benefits. And it enables organisations to be more resilient, during, for example, an unexpected pandemic.”