How Julius Caesar might navigate today’s financial regulatory challengesPublished on 29th November 2023
HOW JULIUS CAESAR MIGHT NAVIGATE TODAY’S FINANCIAL REGULATORY CHALLENGES
Elaine Mullan, head of marketing and business development, Corlytics
This week, I listened to a radio interview talking about an exciting new theatre production featuring the legendary Sir Ian McKellen (AKA Gandalf). Renowned director Robert Icke has combined two of Shakespeare’s plays, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, into a single production. This got me pondering the idea of blending stories, much like how Julius Caesar (well, I am on a bit of a Shakespeare play list) might approach the complexities of regulatory inflation in the financial services sector and the difficulties of staying abreast of ever-evolving regulations. An interesting fact linking this emperor to the financial markets, is that he was the first leader to feature his own portrait on coins which set a strong precedent for this type of coin decoration, right up to the current day.
So, if Julius Caesar were to face the modern-day challenge of regulatory inflation, his approach might mirror the oft noted strategic brilliance he displayed on the battlefield (well at least if you were on his team). So how would the renowned Roman general tackle the complexities of keeping up with and tracking financial regulations.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER OR ORGANISATIONAL EFFICIENCY
Just as Caesar divided his forces to conquer territories, he might advocate for a strategic division of responsibilities within financial organisations. Establishing dedicated teams or departments to monitor and interpret specific aspects of regulations can enhance efficiency. By assigning experts to focus on different regulatory domains, businesses can better stay ahead of the curve and ensure compliance across the board.
VENI, VIDI, REGTECH OR EMBRACE REGTECH
In Caesar’s time, the phrase “Veni, Vidi, Vici” meant “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Today, financial leaders must come to terms with technology to conquer the challenges of regulatory inflation. Automation and artificial intelligence can be powerful allies in staying abreast of regulatory changes. Implementing robust software solutions (regulatory technology or Regtech) that can scan, analyse, and update regulatory requirements in real-time can help financial institutions keep pace with the ever-evolving landscape.
ALEA IACTA EST OR RISK MANAGEMENT
Caesar’s famous words, “The die is cast,” reminds us of the importance of strategic risk taking. In the face of regulatory uncertainty, financial institutions must adopt a proactive approach to risk management. By understanding the risks associated with regulatory changes and obligations, compliance teams can make informed decisions and adapt swiftly.
CAESAR’S ALLIANCES OR INDUSTRY COOPERATION
Caesar formed some clever alliances that ultimately gave him greater power, and in the financial world collaboration is key due to the complexity of the sector. Agreed best practices to collectively support the sector are just one way to tackle this issue – although today’s financial regulators go further than just agree to best practices and this all leads to a multitude of overlapping regulations and regulatory obligations.
CROSS THE RUBICON OF COMPLIANCE OR PROACTIVE COMPLIANCE CULTURE
Just as crossing the Rubicon river marked a point of no return for Caesar, establishing a proactive compliance culture is non-negotiable for financial organisations. Leadership should instil a mindset that views compliance not merely as a box-ticking exercise but as an integral part of the business strategy.
In the modern financial arena (no gladiators required in this one), the challenges of regulatory inflation may not involve swords and shields but do demand a robust and appropriate framework coupled with fit for purpose technology to overcome those challenges (because nobody wants to be fed to the lions). By channelling the spirit of Julius Caesar—strategically dividing responsibilities, leveraging technology, embracing risk management, fostering collaboration, and instilling a proactive compliance culture—financial leaders can lead their organisations to victory in the face of regulatory complexity. Et tu, regulatory challenges? Caesar would say, “We came, we saw, we conquered.”