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Wealth management

Empowering Wealth, Embracing Compliance: RJM's Journey in Financial Precision.

Established in 2012, RJ Management oversees assets totaling 1.5 billion. The ownership of the organization rests with its founding members and their respective families. With a team of 16 employees situated in Geneva and a representative office in Tel Aviv, Israel, RJM provides a range of mandates, including advisory services, financial planning, and family office offerings such as consolidation, supervision, and risk management. The clientele of RJM spans across Switzerland, Europe, South America, and Asia. Company works with more than 15 banks in Switzerland and abroad and with several fund managers. RJM is also a WealthArc platform active user.

Etienne de Bejarry, Head of Sales at WealthArc: Tell us about your role in  RJM.

Sevlija Kernel, Compliance Officer at RJ Management: I have been the compliance manager since July 2022 and mainly deal with compliance management (fight against money laundering, monitoring of the various regulations in force).

EdB: When did you apply for and obtain the FINMA license?

SK: The first steps began during the initial phase in 2020. The request was officially launched at the beginning of 2022, a team made up of people internally and externally was dedicated to this task.

Management regularly informed the RJM team of progress. The license was obtained in November 2022.

EdB: What are the main consequences of new regulations since obtaining the FINMA license in your organization?

SK: There were few changes in the end because RJM is young and was formed by a team of former bankers from a major local bank who wanted to put in place rules and guidelines from the start like in banks. Redistribution of responsibilities internally (compliance manager, risk manager, etc.).

EdB: What impact has this had on RJ Management as an organization? How much time/effort do you need to spend on compliance?

SK: The role of compliance has a more important, more central role, it intervenes on many things within RJM (new prospect, management, updating, closing). It is necessary to regularly update/request documents etc. The time spent is more substantial and more diligent because regulations change very quickly.

EdB: What was the impact on your customers?

SK: We have information obligations (updating the T&Cs, company details, internal documents) and more frequent repapering.

EdB: Can you tell us how you adjusted the processes to match the manual submitted to FINMA?

SK: RJM already had a certain number of processes in place but which were essentially manual, WA allowed us to automate a certain number of tasks (investment control, AML alerts), to have better monitoring of controls, and to create reporting (for audits, periodic controls, for annual reports, statistics, etc.). We are still working with WA to try to automate as many tasks as possible in order to gain efficiency and focus on other things such as file analysis or periodic checks.

Technology remains important in our daily work and also in the areas of Compliance. We also participate in projects such as WECAN which allows us to communicate with the custodian banks certain documents (signature list, identity documents) but also soon with our customers (encrypted messaging system).

EdB: Could you describe the role of technology in the operational efficiency of RJ management?

SK: Technology is central in our field of activity and allows on the one hand to save time when processes are automated (less manual work which takes up a lot of time), to save space (fewer documents to store) and also a way to secure our operations (risk of hacking, loss of data, etc.).

EdB: How do you think technological tools should evolve in the coming years to meet the challenges of tomorrow for GFIs?

SK: Suppliers of these types of technological tools must work in collaboration with banks and GFIs in order to harmonize everyone's expectations. For our part as GFIs, we want above all efficient tools that can make our daily lives easier (for example, in the long term, to place an order we do not have to use all the banking platforms but can be accessible from our PMS).

Our tool already allows the placing of orders and the rebalancing of portfolios. If the question is too general, perhaps it is simpler to detail your point of view a little more on how tech tools should evolve to better serve compliance?

EdB: How do you see the role of Compliance Officer evolving in the next 5-10 years?

SK: I think here that we can rather refer to compliance within GFIs. Compliance within the entire financial field is very complex.

I think that the regulatory framework is not going to become lighter, quite the contrary. In my opinion, the banks will gradually “relieve responsibility” as much as possible to the detriment of the GFIs and that de facto, there will be more and more demands and expectations from the GFIs. In terms of audit, we already have the same sampling quotas used as in banks (see RA70).

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