Don’t forget HR amid regulatory changes, warn software companies

The area of Human Resources should not be forgotten amid the myriad responses to regulations in the pipeline – such as AIFMD, Solvency II, Basel III, MiFID II, Fatca, and Ucits V – according to governance, risk and compliance software and services providers Xactium and Aquarius Management Consultants.

The two companies have jointly launched Role Manager, a cloud based service that is intended for use by larger organisations seeking to implement better ways of keeping track of employee role descriptions, responsibilities and capabilities.

Initially targeting large international banks and UK local authorities, the solution will be marketed elsewhere in Europe – in addition to ex-European markets through the likes of early adopter Barclays Africa – to address the operational and compliance concerns of financial organisations, said Andy Evans, CEO and founder of Xactium.

“Oversight of organizational design is particularly useful in understanding exactly which key roles and jobs across the organization have specific risk and compliance responsibilities, accountability and also capabilities. Role Manager makes clear who should be required to use these systems, what reporting responsibilities they have and how they should be measured. Amazingly in almost all financial institutions this is just not done at present because organizations are too focused on introducing yet more ‘tick box technology’, rather than truly understanding the people aspect of risk and compliance.”

Evans added that there is also evidence that financial services clients may start to look at this type of service as part of a holistic approach to the regulatory burden, and cost, that they face in the next few years.

“This is becoming very apparent. Although not a financial services client, one our customers is using the system to understand how to use Role Manager to track equal pay compliance across a large complex organization. Clearly such disparity and the potential fines for non-compliance apply to the financial sector too. Others are using Role Manager to capture the key accountabilities and capabilities required of their risk and compliance staff – so they can step up to what in 2013 will prove to be their toughest year yet.”

M&A situations are another possible area of application, although so far no clients have used it for this specifically – for example, to understand how individuals’ roles integrate during an M&A process – Evans said.

But the challenge of managing HR through the period of pending regulatory changes – even without M&A activity – remains formidable, Evans added.

“The finance sector’s complexity makes it especially useful and one bank we looked at had 40,000 separate job titiles. With this level of complexity, the potential of a single system of record to radically simplify organizational design is huge.”

Role Manager works by storing data on the platform. The service offers users a suite of web applications to share the relevant information, enable organisational management, and do compliance.

Users also include the employees themselves, with the system intended to provide a better understanding of their roles and skills required within the organisation. Xactium and Aquarius said this is to facilitate career management and learning, with an eye towards improving staff retention rates.


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