Case study: Fiske plc
8 July 2021
"When I joined the company we had a room full of lever arch files. I knew that we had to do something to enhance our effectiveness and efficiency. We needed a technology solution that would help with the daily tasks that a modern-day compliance department has to manage."
Leigh Middleton-Ross, Head of Compliance
Established in 1973, Fiske is one of the few remaining independent stockbroking and investment management firms in London. Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), They offer a range of services to private investors, trustees, charities, pension funds and institutional clients.
Like most firms Fiske’s compliance activities were managed using manual processes and many different Excel worksheets and other documents. This generated a lot of paperwork and administrative tasks; an ever-increasing challenge to track and execute all the many activities the compliance team have to carry out.
Fiske have always been proactive in managing their regulatory obligations. Maintaining high standards of compliance is seen by the Fiske Board and senior managers as being central to its brand and reputation. They realised that the plethora of documents and manual systems were creating inefficiency, hidden problems and potential risk.
What did they do?
Fiske were aware that compliance management technology solutions existed that addressed the issues they were facing, offering the opportunity to modernise how they manage their compliance responsibilities and overall firm governance.
It was important that the chosen system provided greater control, was scalable and gave them consistency in the management of different tasks and reporting requirements. Leigh Middleton-Ross, Head of Compliance at Fiske explained "We wanted a system that would help with the daily tasks that a modern-day compliance team has to manage. I knew that the right system would save time and increase control for both the compliance team and wider company.”
After evaluating a number of different system solutions Fiske selected My Compliance Centre.
Fiske adopted a structured approach to implementation, onboarding each of My Compliance Centre's modules one at a time. By adopting this incremental adoption approach, they quickly benefited from the workflow and automation provided by the system but did not disrupt business as usual as this process transition took place.
As Leigh explains “We had weekly project meetings with the My Compliance Centre team. They helped us set the system up and load in our data. We started with our policy attestation process, which was a very effective way of getting our wider team to use the system. What was pariicularly pleasing was the ease of use for all of our team. Even colleagues that are not tech friendly had no problem navigating the My Compliance Centre system.”
Fiske were then quick to employ additional modules for compliance monitoring, regulatory change, governance and file reviews. According to Leigh “It was really important to have a system where all of our compliance data was in one place, replacing all our different spreadsheets. We like the way My Compliance Centre supports a wide range of functions and it has definitely help to simplify and streamline our compliance operations dramatically. Modules like the Governance and FileChecker modules are unique in my experience, and having them integrated with our other compliance functions is really effective.”
How has this benefited Fiske?
Within three months of implementation, Leigh was able to identify a number of indisputable benefits:
A more professional compliance function - Leigh could demonstrate control over a wide range of issues to all stakeholders.
The team were working faster and smarter, saving vast amounts of time. It has allowed Fiske to half their compliance resourcing and still be significantly more effective. As Leigh explains "I have been encouraged by the board to recruit more compliance staff, but I really don’t need to at this point in time".
Improved monitoring, evidencing and reporting of regulatory compliance.
Enhanced the governance culture, which is very important to any regulated firm.