Exclusive interview with n-Tier, the ‘Most Reliable RegTech Provider’ at FinanceFeeds Awards 2023

Rick Steves

Named “Best Reporting Solution for CAT” in 2021 and 2022, and “Best of Breed in Trade Surveillance for Equities” in 2023, n-Tier’s unique data-first approach to trade surveillance has caught the industry’s attention.

n-tier - Most Reliable Regtech Provider

In an era where regulatory reporting challenges loom large over the financial sector, New York-based n-Tier has carved out a niche for itself as a go-to Regtech provider. Fresh off their win as the “Most Reliable Regtech Provider” at the FinanceFeeds Awards 2023, n-Tier is making waves in the industry.

Regulatory reporting for banks and brokers

With over two decades of supporting a who’s who of financial services firms—from top investment banks in Canada, the UK, and Europe, to the largest global banks and brokers in Asia and the US —the company has established a proven track record for delivering timely and cost-effective solutions.

So what makes n-Tier so effective at helping firms minimize risks and costs associated with regulatory reporting? It’s their unique combination of deep industry expertise and a cutting-edge software platform, designed to resolve some of the most complex data challenges in the business. Whether it’s enabling the correction of data-related issues before they impact your firm or implementing comprehensive validation processes over critical reporting processes, n-Tier’s platform is engineered to be both powerful and flexible.

Of particular note is the company’s commitment to a “zero development environment,” designed to reduce the IT burden and enable business users and analysts to configure datasets and data controls. The platform is highly configurable, allowing for easy adjustments to infrastructure as systems and businesses evolve.

This doesn’t just have an impact at the operational level. From minimizing manual processes to providing cross-region visibility into data control processes, the benefits extend up to the C-suite, illustrating a firm’s overall commitment to data accuracy and completeness.

Whether a firm prefers on-premises or hosted solutions, n-Tier promises a low-cost, low-time-to-market offering aimed at minimizing your firm’s integration cost and time, with a core focus on infrastructure and data security.

Check out our in-depth interview with Peter Gargone, n-Tier Founder & CEO, where we delve deeper into their innovative solutions and discuss what lies ahead for this rising star in the Regtech space.

Congratulations on winning Most Reliable Regtech Provider at the FinanceFeeds Awards 2023. What does this award mean to you at a time of industry consolidation and ever-demanding regulatory compliance?

We are very appreciative of the industry recognition this award represents. It is a testament to n-Tier’s long history of expertise in regulatory reporting, and in the capital markets at large, which enables us to address some of the industry’s most complex data challenges. Over the years, we’ve helped both leading financial services firms and emerging fintechs alike to mitigate the risks of faulty regulatory reporting, some of whom we have partnered with for nearly 20 years. We’re proud to be named “Most Reliable” in a compliance environment that is constantly growing in complexity, and we are resolute in our mission to help our clients navigate uncharted regulatory waters with our unique software platform.

n-Tier offers regulatory technology solutions across compliance, data warehousing, reconciliation and validation, reporting, and profitability analysis. What are the most popular solutions at n-Tier?

While all of our solutions have seen strong industry demand due to the variety of data-driven pressures firms face, our suite of compliance offerings has been of particular interest, particularly following the new regulations passed around the world in the wake of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. With firms now facing the possibility of millions of dollars in regulatory fines due to inaccurate or incomplete reporting, the need to effectively monitor reporting processes and data has never been more pronounced. Our breakthrough Compliance Workbench platform has proven its ability to programmatically unwind the complexity of trade flows across all front- and back-office environments globally. Its highly configurable network can adapt to regulatory shifts across multiple jurisdictions while minimizing the need for IT intervention. This enables firms to produce accurate regulatory reports while providing the independent monitoring and controls needed to manage critical reporting obligations.

n-Tier’s CAT solution, which won Best CAT Reporting Solution at the RegTech Insight USA Awards two years in a row (2021 and 2022), is offering an automated option for broker-dealers at a CAT crossroads, with reporting to be a key aspect of ongoing FINRA examinations, oversight and enforcement. Is there no end to regulatory reporting?

The trend of heightened regulatory enforcement has been underway since the Flash Crash of 2010, and we don’t believe there is an end in sight. In fact, recent announcements and actions from the SEC, FCA, MAS, and other regulators suggest that enforcement will continue to ramp up in the coming years until more global standards are achieved. Data validation thus continues to be of the utmost importance to firms throughout the industry, and n-Tier has kept pace with the rapidly evolving regulatory landscape. We’ve released new offerings around Rule 605/606, trade surveillance, and market abuse – all of which support our core mission to empower firms to effectively manage their data, streamline reporting, and stay ahead of the game.

Regulators are now leveraging CAT data to assess a broker-dealer’s compliance with Rule 606 by checking if both datasets agree with whether a customer order was held or not held, directed or non-directed, etc. Does this mean that broker-dealers are vulnerable to enforcement actions more than ever?

Without a doubt. Regulators have more complete and diverse sources of data than ever before, and they’ve improved their ability to detect cross-regulation (and in some cases, even cross-border) discrepancies in reporting. Therefore, the burden is on individual brokerage firms to implement solutions that validate the ongoing accuracy of this mission-critical data within and across every jurisdiction. Our platform is designed to empower the end-user and provide a streamlined approach to addressing unique reporting management challenges such as those associated with Rule 606, all while reducing associated costs.

Regulators are increasingly leveraging CAT for a variety of use cases, which further raises the importance of the accuracy and completeness of the reports amid greater regulatory scrutiny and enforcement. Can broker-dealers rely entirely upon in-house supervisory and compliance teams?

Given the evolving landscape of regulatory requirements and the expanding usage of CAT data across various scenarios, the question of whether broker-dealers can solely rely on their in-house supervisory and compliance teams warrants careful consideration. Of course, while in-house teams provide valuable insights and expertise, the complexity and volume of the data involved in CAT reporting poses substantial challenges and creates certain limitations; manually tracking every single relevant event and regularly mapping granular fields to source data is time-consuming and error-prone. Ensuring accuracy and completeness is paramount, especially amid heightened regulatory scrutiny and enforcement. Collaborating closely with in-house teams, we offer additional expertise and technology to ensure the accuracy and completeness of regulatory reporting.

How does n-Tier ensure its regulatory compliance solutions always stay up to date?

At n-Tier, we merge technological innovation with unmatched human proficiency, empowering clients to oversee and supervise the entire reporting process. Our team of veteran compliance and operations experts bring highly relevant industry experience and are adept at anticipating client needs while working with our technical teams to adapt and enhance our solutions as needed. Additionally, n-Tier is tightly integrated with a large number of leading brokers and banks firms, which provides a unique cross-firm view on regulatory rule implementation.

Regulatory-wise, what are the most critical challenges for broker-dealers in 2023 and beyond?

Regulators currently possess an unprecedented wealth of data in terms of both depth and volume, encompassing all orders and trades within the US equity and options markets. As we look to the year ahead and beyond, it is clear that regulators’ growing sophistication when it comes to performing automated checks, combined with their increasing willingness to leverage this data for a multitude of objectives – including examining broker-dealers, recreating market conditions, performing timely surveillance and more – will prove to be a challenge for underprepared firms. Ensuring completeness of reports will grow in importance, as will keeping pace with timelines. Flexible and scalable, our future-proofed solutions enable firms to prepare today for what we know is coming tomorrow.

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