Risk & Compliance Case

Satisfied regulators and peace of mind: How to navigate compliance as a small enterprise  

The challenge

  • Our client, a small investment firm, had upper management in charge of compliance
  • Unable to answer some of the regulator’s questions, they found they lacked specific knowledge
  • They still needed to meet the requirements applicable to their organisation


Our approach

  • One of our External Compliance Officers now handles their compliance needs
  • We determine annual goals and draw up a plan of action in collaboration with the client
  • We have regular updates to discuss progress and new focus points
  • We provide trainings to empower the client in their compliance management


Key results

  • The client is comfortable with their level of compliance
  • They can count on our advice and guidance for strategic decision-making
  • They can focus on their core business, fostering growth and innovation
Date:October 8, 2021

Whether you employ 3 or 300 people, the regulator requires financial institutions to have a compliance officer who helps them navigate the ever-evolving landscape of financial laws and regulations. However, many organisations don’t have the capacity to hire a full-time compliance officer. For these smaller companies, meeting the compliance requirements can be a daunting task. It often requires specialised knowledge and resources they might not have readily available. That’s where Projective Group’s External Compliance Officers comes into play. 

A common challenge 

Our client, a small investment firm, approached us with a common challenge: they were a growing company, required by law to have a compliance officer, yet lacked the resources and expertise to fulfil this role effectively. With only four employees, designating one of the directors as a compliance officer seemed feasible at first. However, the intricacies of compliance proved to be overwhelming. Even as a compliance professional, it’s almost impossible for one person to stay on top of all laws and regulations, given the pace at which they evolve. The client recognised the need for comprehensive expertise in remaining compliant and sought our assistance.  

A mutually shared responsibility 

When faced with a client request like that, the first thing we do is figure out whether we want to work together. “Entering a collaboration like this means sharing the responsibility. Before agreeing to work with any organisation, we do a quick scan. Who is this company? What do they do? How have they fulfilled their legal obligations so far?”, says Paul Hilkman, one of our External Compliance Officers. “An added bonus of this preliminary scan is that it already highlights which areas need to be focused on. It’s a good starting point for drawing up an annual plan of action.” 

In this plan, we outline the most important subjects we’ll be working on for the client and estimate how many hours will be required. This plan not only focuses on monitoring adherence to existing regulations but also includes strategies for implementing new policies and ensuring the client’s alignment with emerging compliance standards. “This can never be fully planned, though. You don’t know exactly which issues will come up during the year or whether the regulator will have additional questions,” Paul says. “During our periodic meetings we always circle back to this. We explain what we have done, what we had planned, where we’re on schedule and where we need to adjust course. In this way, we keep the feedback loop with the client as short as possible.” 

A preliminary scan not only shows us whether we want to work with a company, it also highlights which areas need to be focused on during our collaboration.

Paul Hilkman, External Compliance Officer

Knowledge shared is knowledge doubled 

Given the number of laws and regulations, and the pace at which they evolve, it’s almost impossible for one person to stay abreast of all these rules at all times. “While we strive to warrant continuity for a company by assigning them one dedicated External Compliance Officer, we do stand back-up for each other,’’ Paul explains. “Our compliance tool Ruler is an invaluable asset here. We log our work meticulously in Ruler, so that a colleague can seamlessly take over when I’m not there. The client also has insight into all this information, fostering optimal collaboration between the client and the consultant. And last but not least, each compliance officer at Projective Group also has another area of expertise, so we can always fall back on each other’s knowledge. For example, if a client needs help with ESG or IT compliance, we have colleagues who specialise in these areas of legislation who can help.” 

Our collaboration goes further than merely giving advice, though. We can guide the client in making strategic choices, and advise them on what they need to do when they decide to go a certain way. “If the client wishes, we can also deliver concrete input such as templates for disclosures that the client can then finetune to their specific language and situation,” Paul adds.

It’s impossible for one person to be informed of all the changing laws and regulations at all times. Our compliance software, Ruler, is proving to be an invaluable asset in keeping us abreast of developments in all financial laws and regulations.

Paul Hilkman, External Compliance Officer

Key results: effective compliance and peace of mind 

Here’s what our client gains from their ongoing partnership with Projective Group:  

  1. Compliance, obviously: our tailored approach ensures the client is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations. Our compliance tool Ruler combined with the vast knowledge and expertise of our consultants minimises the risk of oversight and non-compliance. 
  2. Informed decision-making: witch access to real-time regulatory insights through Ruler and the advice of our compliance experts, the client can make informed decisions based on up-to-date information, adjusting strategies as needed. 
  3. Training & awareness: our help extends beyond consultation. We also provide training sessions, in-person or online, to equip the client with the knowledge to maintain compliance. These trainings are either given by the External Compliance Officer or through our training institute, The Ministry of Compliance
  4. Continuous support & back-up: while we always assign a dedicated compliance officer to the client, our network of experts ensures consistent back-up and support, guaranteeing continuity even under unforeseen circumstances.  
  5. Strategic guidance: as new regulations emerge, we guide the client in making strategic decisions to ensure compliance while aligning with their business goals. 
  6. Satisfied regulators: by proactively addressing the regulator’s questions and concerns, the client achieves a positive relationship with the AFM or DNB. 
  7. Peace of mind: knowing that their compliance needs are expertly managed, allows the client to focus on their core business activities, fostering growth and innovation – and eliminating stress and sleepless nights (at least where compliance is concerned). 

Are you a growing business struggling to navigate the intricate web of compliance, laws and regulations? We’re here for you! Read more about our compliance support or get in touch and find out how we can be of service.

About Projective Group

Established in 2006, Projective Group is a leading Financial Services change specialist. With deep expertise across practices in Data, Payments, Transformation and Risk & Compliance.

We are recognised within the industry as a complete solutions provider, partnering with clients in Financial Services to provide resolutions that are both holistic and pragmatic.  We have evolved to become a trusted partner for companies that want to thrive and prosper in an ever-changing Financial Services landscape.