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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | editor, Singapore

Galvanize's Acting MD & Director, Client Partnership, Asia - Pacific & Japan shares insight on how exponential technology reshapes finance firms

Robert Luu was one of the speakers in the recently concluded ‘Utilising exponential technology for business' transformation’ webinar.

Robert Luu is the Acting MD & Director, Client Partnership, Asia-Pacific & Japan for Galvanize, a company that builds award-winning, cloud-based security, risk management, compliance, and audit software to some of the world’s largest institutions today. Over the past nine years. He has architected strategic governance solutions and integrated technology platforms across global organisations to reduce the cost of risk and compliance, and has also lent his expertise in increasing stakeholder confidence and executive visibility.

Robert has closely worked with Galvanize's customer base to implement all areas of the HighBond and Robotics platform for risk, audit, compliance, IT, and finance. He has also implemented operational functions that included data automation and continuous monitoring programs in banking, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, retail, oil, gas, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, education, and public sectors.

Today, Robert plays a key role in leading the go-to-market strategies for Galvanize's innovative solution stack. And as a Forrester-certified Customer Experience Professional, he also oversees the overall success of the customers for the Asia-Pacific region.

Robert was one of the speakers in the Utilising Exponential Technology for Business' Transformation webinar. Asian Banking & Finance sat down with him as he shared his knowledge on how to optimise the value of finance functions through the use of exponential technology in business.

What are the trends and shifts you have observed in Asia-Pacific’s finance and banking sector in recent months?
I think there is an increase in regulatory pressure (in addition to COVID-19) that has put additional stress on businesses to reduce the cost of mitigating risk and compliance. It is now more important than ever to demonstrate an effective control environment in order to provide confidence to finance professionals that the compliance posture of the organisation is strong.

How do you think industry players adapt transformation using exponential technologies? How can this benefit them?
Using technology to supplement the transformation benefits finance professionals and the banking industry by automating key business tasks, freeing up time and driving insights from the data that is collected throughout the organisation. This allows executive teams to make key business decisions in a timely fashion, which reduces the risk of overlooking opportunities for further growth or expansion.

Technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning analytics, regulatory compliance monitoring, and automated controls monitoring are a few examples of tools in the market to support these transformation initiatives.

What challenges should industry players prepare for and how can they address these?
Data privacy and data protection across multiple jurisdictions is a misaligned responsibility. It is the responsibility of every individual in the organisation (as well as third parties) to ensure the protection and safety of data which is used or processed throughout the business.

Often reliant on the security practice governed by the IT security team, banking professionals could miss the financial impact that these risk events might have on the business. According to the 2019 IBM Security “Cost of a Data Breach” report, the average cost of a data breach is USD $3.92m, where USD $1.42m is the direct average cost of lost business.

Finance professionals are encouraged to partner with the Cyber Risk Management teams to effectively prioritise and forecast the potential impact of poor cybersecurity practices. Additionally, introducing proper remediation processes combined with timely workflow automation is crucial to mitigating the impact of these risk events.

How do you think exponential technologies can help optimise the value of the finance function in order to better position a financial organisation for the future?
It can help optimise the value of the finance function by using technology, particularly in the finance function. The value of the function will be substantially increased by providing greater executive visibility into the financial posture of the organisation with increased accuracy.

The timeliness of the assurance activities will allow the finance function to be agile and quickly respond to market trends and unforeseen risks that arise whether it be investment portfolio changes or foreign exchange fluctuations.

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