Evolution or revolution? The experts’ view on GDPR (part 2)

The second in our two-part report on the Wealth Dynamix GDPR roundtable looks at the experts’ view on the scope of this far-reaching regulation and the best ways of instilling this in house. The panel comprised GDPR experts from EY, PIMFA (The Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association) and the IRTA (International RegTech Association). Here is their insight.

In just over a month, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, but the panel members’ on-going discussions with financial services firms have confirmed that many are lagging somewhat behind in their preparations. They have also indicated an industry-wide lack of process to support the on-going deletion of data prior to the regulation, pointing to the need for a clear change in attitude for the objectives behind GDPR to come into play.

GDPR needs to be considered in tandem with other regulations, but unlike the developments that have assumed the industry’s focus of late, this is a cross-industry regime that applies to all sectors. The regulation raises questions around best practice for the archiving of data in an unfortunate situation where a customer is off-boarded, particularly considering the apparent conflict with data retention imposed by other regulations. Ian Cornwall, Director of Regulation at PIMFA said that for many, this requires a change in mind-set, similar to the clean desk policy. PIMFA’s advice for firms questioning how they should store such data is to archive it separately from CRM insight so that it sits outside day-to-day processing but is accessible if required.

The panel agreed that whilst financial services as an industry has, at least of late, been on the receiving end of more regulatory change than other sectors, this in fact could prove to be something of a blessing when it comes to meeting the challenges posed by GDPR. It was discussed that all regulated firms should have operational risk frameworks in place – these outline risk and mandate the number of controls needed to manage this risk – the same applies for privacy. These firms have a good head start.

As an industry that has shifted its focus to the consumer, many front office teams in financial services are viewing GDPR as an opportunity to enhance their client servicing capabilities. However, GDPR ripples through the full breadth of an organisation, including HR and third parties. The panel considered how businesses are repositioning themselves to meet the GDPR requirements, and noted that while many businesses have deemed the COO responsible, there is a clear emergence of the Head of Information Security role within many firms – a hybrid between compliance and security and the technology and information perspective required to bring this to life.

Regardless of whether they have the scale to warrant this, the panel agreed that firms should nominate data champions who ensure responsibility is devolved across the breadth of their organisation. But there is a clear need for guidance in many quarters. One delegate said, “Data management and data strategy are new and overlooked skills. We have policies in place to deal with these but there’s a need to re-educate and reinforce a real change in business, the way we have seen with TCF (Treat Customers Fairly).”

And with the International Association of Privacy Professionals estimating a 75,000-strong shortfall of experts qualified to support firms with GDPR within Europe, the stakes are high as we venture into this new territory.

The delegates, who represented a number of wealth and investment management firms, agreed that full business engagement is key to GDPR readiness. One recounted the impact a senior working group – with full business representation, from operations to client services – had on his organisation, ensuring accountability, engagement and effective data mapping.

Wealth Dynamix recommended a two-tier approach to implementation. As Johnny Beloe, Senior Product Consultant at Wealth Dynamix explained, “As many firms look up from implementing MiFID II within their businesses, the challenge is to understand what is required, and what is practical between now and May. After that, firms must focus on the aspects that emerge in the course of practice where legal precedents will provide much needed clarification to a regulation that, in parts, could be considered dangerously open to interpretation.”

It was suggested that firms use this approach to drive more efficiencies. Every time we have new regulation, the industry runs around in circles – we have seen a massive wave on resilience, security and now privacy. Organisations should focus on embedding GDPR into business as usual, then take stock and leverage the insights provided through this and wider regulation to stand them in good stead for future developments.

The industry has a tendency to rely on the regulator for support in dealing with compliance matters, but GDPR has forced firms to take a much more proactive approach, it was pointed out that across the board, firms are communicating with their customers and updating them on their approach to data. Over time, almost by osmosis, consumers are more conscious of data, its usage and implications and their rights. We are all becoming more vigilant so we have higher expectations of what firms should do with our information.

Richard Maton, Head of Strategic Initiatives at the IRTA agreed, “It is about the consumer and how they respond – suddenly everyone is aware of their rights. We have seen a shift, whether it has been driven by regulators or consumers. Traditionally, the regulators have taken the approach that if firms have a planned and documented process, they are comfortable. However the dynamics are different here due to the unknowns around the customer.”

So, how will the regulators govern such an ambiguous and largely unknown entity? It is all about transparency and instilling the right processes for the long term, said Giulia Lupato, Senior Policy Advisor at PIMFA. “When you make a decision, record it. Show the thinking that got you there to demonstrate how your business is managing data.”

The roundtable provided varying perspectives on this impending regulation, but the over-riding view of the panel was clear – where GDPR presents ambiguities, common sense must prevail if businesses are going to act in their clients’ interests. As EY summarised, it is not just about what data firms capture from the outset, but what they do with it once they’ve captured this. So, while GDPR may be about evolution rather than revolution, it is clear that this evolution will continue well beyond May 2018.

Please click here to download our GDPR brochure.


Wealth Dynamix delivers Client Lifecycle Management solutions to the world’s leading private banks and wealth and asset management firms.

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Gabriel Chan

Head of Sales – APAC

An accomplished, results-driven sales and marketing professional, Gabriel has held sales and marketing leadership positions in Singapore and China at some of the world’s most successful and respected global technology enterprises.

During more than 20 years spent at IBM, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft, Gabriel developed and implemented sales and channel strategies to support strategic business objectives.

His specialism is growing and extending sales territories to grow revenues and increase market share.

Travis Morgans

Head of Consultants

Travis combines 15 years of software delivery, business modelling and leadership experience with a passion for transforming business needs into effective digital solutions. Before joining Wealth Dynamix in March 2018, Travis led Operations for Nikon – a role which incorporated CRM product ownership responsibility and initiated over 10 years of MS Dynamics experience, from 2011 to Dynamics 365​.

 Since joining the Wealth Dynamix team, Travis has been instrumental in designing and delivering some of our most strategic WDX1 projects. Leading the consulting team for WDX1, he is responsible for their recruitment and development. The team’s complex remit supports a fundamental aim – to ensure Wealth Dynamix delivers the best client experience. ​Travis is also responsible for ensuring the WDX1 product is designed and evolved in the most adaptable way possible to drive adoption across our client base, existing and future.  

Joanne Donoghue

Chief Marketing Officer

An experienced, tenacious marketer, Jo joined the Wealth Dynamix team in 2021 as Head of Marketing and quickly rose to the position of Chief Marketing Officer. A Brand and Marketing specialist with a proven track record in BRB and B2C communications, Jo combines a customer-centred approach with strategic thinking.

Having held senior Marketing positions in numerous FTSE 100 businesses, including Asda Stores Ltd, The Co-operative Retail Group, plus financial services brands MBNA, OneFamily, TransUnion, The Co-operative Group, she possesses a wealth of experience in the fields of finance and technology.

Jo is passionate about activating the Wealth Dynamix brand across every channel, taking a holistic marketing approach to drive consistency, salience and thought-leadership activity.

About – Agustin Collazo

Head of Strategic Client Relationships

Agustin joined Wealth Dynamix over six years ago bringing a wealth of experience in change management.

Having experienced first-hand the challenges of managing clients through change, Agu now brings that expertise to Wealth Management firms looking to leverage technology in order to help them connect more effectively with their clients.

Agu has a deep technical knowledge of our solutions that allows him to deliver our products effectively, unlocking the full potential of every feature.

As our Head of Strategic Client Relationships, Agu’s specialist expertise supports firms to become more efficient, transparent and dependable using our CLM solutions.

Juan Stoppa

Head of Development

Juan has over 20 years’ experience developing and implementing CRM solutions and has spent the last 10 focusing primarily on the Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) in the Wealth Management industry.

Currently Head of Development, Juan is responsible on overseeing the technical direction of the product.

Before joining Wealth Dynamix, Juan has worked for Barclays, Fujitsu and Ciber delivering large scale CRM projects in the financial services industry.

Juan has a first degree in Telecommunication Engineering from Universidad Blas Pascal and a MSc in Business Information Technology from London South Bank University.

Ben Altmira

Director of Operations & Change

An internationally experienced change management professional, Ben is responsible for overseeing projects both internally, and for clients.

In a career spanning more than 20 years in global banking, finance and management consulting, Ben has led strategy formulation, project planning, change management adoption, business networking consultation and transformational change projects at Fortis Investments, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management and Verisure Securitas Direct. Since beginning his career at Deloitte, Ben has also amassed a wealth of experience working on complex CRM system implementations, and is a PROSCI-certified Change Practitioner and a Certified Scrum Master (Scrum Alliance).

David Backx

Director of Pre-sales and Implementations

When David joined Wealth Dynamix in 2015 he brought with him a vast amount of experience delivering large-scale Microsoft Dynamics CRM projects. As a Senior Business Analyst at Royal Bank of Scotland David managed deployments with more than 2000 users, for both Business and Commercial Banking, as well as working on key AML initiatives for RBS International. In his current role at Wealth Dynamix David supports the growth and strategic direction of client implementations in Europe. Wealth Dynamix leverages David’s product expertise to shape the product roadmap and ensure that the firm delivers solutions with the right capabilities, that will be enthusiastically adopted, by all customers.

Prior to his involvement in the wealth management sector, David worked as a waste management contracts manager, working with Multi Services Kent to ensure effective waste clearance and re-use at the 2012 London Olympics.

Cedric Neuville

Director of Pre-sales and Consulting Europe

Since joining Wealth Dynamix in 2019, Cédric has worked closely with clients to ensure that the WDX and CLMi solutions are deployed efficiently and effectively.

In a career spanning more than 25 years, Cédric has become an accomplished business and global project management leader covering both technology and financial markets sectors. Having held various roles in private banking (front, middle and back office) and brokerages, in both functional and technical roles, Cédric has led many projects including client onboarding implementations and KYC reviews, regulatory compliance projects (including PSD2, MIFID2/PRIIPS, GDPR, CRS, Rubik) and digital transformation projects (online and mobile design and implementation).

Cédric has vast experience building and managing international project teams, having created three offshore teams in Tunisia and India, managed a 70-employee company as Deputy CEO and a startup Fintech founded to create smartphone apps.

Johnny Beloe

Director of Pre-Sales

As Director of Pre-Sales, Johnny is responsible for maintaining the firm’s pre-sales policies, methodologies and resourcing. He is also leads some of WDX’s largest pre-sales analysis exercises, conducted for a wider variety of financial services firms spanning multiple jurisdictions.

Continual engagement with existing and prospective clients helps to inform the WDX1 product strategy, roadmap and pricing.

Johnny has spent his whole career in financial technology in various consultancy and
pre-sales roles. His expertise covers the full stack of systems required by leading Private Banks and Wealth Managers, encompassing core banking solutions, portfolio management solutions, Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) solutions and more.

William Rouse

Commercial Director UK MEA

William’s commercial expertise in connecting technology to solve wealth management business challenges was borne out of his early career as a stockbroker, followed by a variety of Client Relationship Management and Sales roles in asset management and banking.

Having experienced first-hand the challenges of doing the job, William recognises that an unwavering focus on client service is required to build progressive and mutually beneficial partnerships in FOR the longer term. Having gained further experience working for financial technology service providers including Calastone and Contemi, he has the specialist expertise needed to identify how to leverage technology to help wealth managers connect more effectively with their clients, and become more efficient, transparent and dependable.

In addition to his role as Commercial Director at Wealth Dynamix, responsible for new business development in the UK, US and Middle East, William sits on the board of the Securities Investment Management Association (SIMA) where he is actively involved in exploring industry trends and challenges.

Dominic Snell

Chief Product Officer

An experienced and accomplished specialist in CRM technology and wealth management, Dominic is responsible for defining and leading the product roadmap for Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) solutions at Wealth Dynamix. Experienced in SaaS strategy definition, Dominic formulated the development and launch plan for the firm’s cloud-based CLMi solution.

Prior to joining Wealth Dynamix in 2014, Dominic held senior positions in both RBS and Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, where he was responsible for leading enterprise-scale CRM implementation projects.

With more than 15 years wealth management and WealthTech experience he has vast expertise and insights into best practice CRM and CLM execution.

Francois De Lescure

Chief Revenue Officer

François joined Wealth Dynamix in 2020 to grow the company’s presence in France and further extend business operations across Europe and has since been designated Chief Revenue Officer, a member of the board. 

Having closed several flagship deals for the company across Europe and Switzerland, today his role encompasses responsibility for new and existing revenues, recruiting, structuring and managing the sales team, plus owning the business forecast and reseller channels.

Previously, François served as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Executive Committee member and investor at DreamQuark, an Artificial Intelligence software startup. At DreamQuark, he secured the firm’s first recurring revenues with Tier-1 banks and insurance companies, won the Fintech of the Year award and enabled A and B level fundraising. Before that François spent almost 10 years at Nokia Networks, leading European Sales for Analytics Software.

François has an MBA awarded by INSEAD and an engineering degree from the École Centrale de Nantes.

Natalie Levine

Chief Operating Officer

Currently Chief Operating Officer and Board Member at Wealth Dynamix, Natalie is responsible for the strategic direction of operations across the business. A wealth and investment management industry expert, with more than 25 years experience delivering large-scale technology projects, Natalie plays a pivotal role in ensuring the efficient running of the firm and meeting key business goals.

Prior to joining Wealth Dynamix in 2019, Natalie was Head of Technology at Bridgepoint Advisers, a UK-based private equity investment firm. She joined Bridgepoint following an 18-year tenure at Quilter Cheviot, where she was Head of Technology responsible for Operations and execution of the firm’s business plan.

Brent Randall

Co-founder and CFO

A wealth and investment management industry expert, Brent has more than 25 years of experience in developing front to back software solutions that address sector-specific operational and compliance challenges.

Prior to co-founding Wealth Dynamix in 2012, he was a Director at Third Financial Software, where he drove product development.

Previously, he led business development and product strategy for the wealth management division of Financial Objects.

Brent spent 13 years at DST (now SS&C) until 2007, where he was Associate Director responsible for the global product strategy of institutional front office and wealth management solutions.

He graduated from Downing College, Cambridge, with an honours degree in Geography.

Gary Linieres

Co-founder and CEO

With a lifetime career in wealth management, beginning in front office sales more than 25 years ago, Gary is recognised as a highly successful, award-winning executive and serial entrepreneur.

Currently CEO at Wealth Dynamix, one of Europe’s fastest growing WealthTech firms which he founded in 2012, Gary has pioneered a new approach to Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) and built solutions suited to both enterprise-scale and mid-size financial institutions.

In his early career Gary excelled in a wide variety of FinTech sales management and executive roles in the UK, Switzerland and France.

Following his tenure as Managing Director at Financial Objects, which saw revenues grow by more than 300% on his watch, Gary founded and subsequently exited from Third Financial Software after it became a leading front office technology provider.

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