What brought you to KPMG?

With nearly 20 years under my belt working at the Guernsey Financial Services Commission the time felt right to explore a different way of working within the financial services sector in Guernsey.

KPMG was a natural choice for me having crossed paths with members of the senior team over the years, whether through Tony Mancini’s representation on Industry Bodies, working with Neale Jehan on the jurisdiction’s response to AIFMD or seeing first-hand Linda Johnson’s Advisory team’s professional approach to remediation and restructuring engagements. 

How have you found the move into Industry?

Working for a regulator for that long, you develop a particular view of the world.  Being back in Industry has reminded me that the financial services sector in Guernsey is largely made up of hard working, decent people doing their best for the Island and their clients.

Working alongside clients and approaching regulation sitting on the same side of the table, whether via helping on individual engagements or through involvement with Industry Associations like GIFA, has been refreshing.  

How would you describe your role at KPMG?

My role can be summed up simply as ‘helping clients’. A frustration of working at the GFSC was the obvious restrictions over interactions with licensees, but now those same licensees are clients to whom I can offer help. 

One service I have developed is a “phone a friend”. Very often issues arise for clients and all that is needed is simply some guidance and hand holding, the solutions have already been reached but clients want reassurance about how the GFSC may react to their proposals and whether there is anything they have missed. “Phone a friend” allows clients to get that extra support when they need it, ad hoc and with speed.

The topics covered are broad, anything from AML/CFT compliance, consideration of new regulations through to how to approach/handle engagement with the GFSC.   Basically, I help clients with anything that has an even remotely regulatory touch point, and as we know regulation is far reaching. 

Anything you have found surprising?

It should not be surprising, but the deluge of information our clients have to handle is immense and seeing that close up has been eye opening. On top of which 2022 brought with it further challenges with heightened financial sanctions monitoring as just one example.  This is where I can help clients stay ahead of the curve, by helping them assess whether they have got everything covered and identify any regulatory gaps.  

Also surprising has been how time really seems to fly in Industry. Our clients need time to implement new policies and procedures or where unfortunately necessary, time to implement regulatory remediation actions and 6 months is no time at all.  Yet at the same time clients have to pivot at speed.

One thing that has not surprised me is that most problems encountered by our clients still come back to governance (ranging from small problems to fundamental issues), which has been the case for as long as I can remember.  Though pressures on staff resourcing (both quality and quantity) is now a close second.   

The breadth of the services that the Island and we, KPMG, as a firm offer has surprised me. Being a multidisciplinary firm, we offer clients the three key services of Audit, Tax and Advisory; however the extent of the Advisory services is notable: 

And the list goes on. 

Being a multi-jurisdictional firm we can support our clients with all of the above services, drawing on resources from our Crown Dependencies partnership, KPMG Islands Group and across our Global Network. Having been Guernsey centric for so long, KPMG’s network has broadened my horizons, matching the experience of many of our multi-jurisdictional clients.  That said, it is still important to me to keep a focus on the growth of Guernsey. 

What are your thoughts on what 2023 brings?

In short more regulation.

Locally you would expect me to mention MoneyVal, and it will of course be hard work, but it is really encouraging to see the Island pulling together to meet that challenge.  MoneyVal means our clients will face further consultations from the GFSC and Government agencies and the subsequent implementation of additional rules and regulations. Identifying unintended consequences will be crucial, so clients should pay attention even if seemingly of little relevance to their business.  

By the end of January 2023, we will see where the GFSC has landed on the Lending, Credit and Finance Law including VASPs, as they issue a feedback paper on the consultation, together with the finalised Rules and guidance, and FAQs, kicking off the application and implementation phase.

Annual Independent Audits and third line of defence – particularly in the AML/CFT area – will likely become a requirement as 2023 progresses and the Insolvency law changes have come into effect and Proliferation Financing will become a well-used phrase amongst MLCOs.

Globally, regulation on VASPs is already ramping up, and recent events including the collapse of FTX, will bring further work in the area from the FSB, and IMF.

Given the continued growth in regulation a trend we expect for 2023 may be the separation of our clients’ Risk and Compliance functions.  Historically grouped together, this combined approach may no longer be practical.

Keeping abreast of all this and much more is a tough ask, and we at KPMG Advisory look forward to helping clients old and new navigate their way through.