3 questions to smart minds

Efficiently digitize processes for MLA-regulated companies

For this 3 questions to Eckhard Ortwein

Photo: Eckhard Ortwein
31. Janu­ary 2023

Compa­nies such as lawy­ers, tax advi­sors, funds and M&A advi­sors, which are regu­la­ted by the Money Laun­de­ring Act §2 (GwG), have high and nume­rous requi­re­ments when inves­t­ing new clients to adhere to certain due dili­gence, compli­ance rules and proces­ses. Those who do not comply with them may be subject to severe penal­ties. How can these requi­re­ments be imple­men­ted not only in compli­ance with the law, but also in an effi­ci­ent and custo­­mer-friendly manner?

For this 3 ques­ti­ons to Eckhard Ortwein, CEO of BetterCo

1. What are the chal­lenges of new client invest­ment for lawy­ers, tax advi­sors and investors?

Lawy­ers, inso­far as they act in the broa­der sense of corpo­rate law, tax advi­sors, funds and M&A advi­sors are “obli­ga­ted” to the Money Laun­de­ring Act (GwG) and are thus subject to the special requi­re­ments of the so-called “Know-Your-Custo­mer” (KYC) process. In addi­tion to deter­mi­ning data on corpo­rate acti­vity, legal repre­sen­ta­ti­ves and bene­fi­cial owners, this also includes a risk analy­sis to derive the so-called “due dili­gence obli­ga­ti­ons” and the iden­tity veri­fi­ca­tion of clients. This is extre­mely costly and complex.

In reality, for the majo­rity of obli­ga­ted compa­nies, the crea­tion of new manda­tes, projects and files is purely email and paper-based. This leads to high through­put times and extreme admi­nis­tra­tive effort for manage­ment and tech­ni­cal staff. Clients who have been promi­sed colla­bo­ra­tion with an inno­va­tive part­ner become frus­tra­ted at the very first step of the colla­bo­ra­tion, as much of the work is dumped on them in an unstruc­tu­red manner. Appearance and reality diverge.

Inter­nal pres­sure increa­ses immensely in situa­tions of money laun­de­ring audits by super­vi­sory autho­ri­ties or audi­tors. Infor­ma­tion capa­bi­lity and trans­pa­rency about client struc­tures and risk posi­tion are virtually unavailable, as the infor­ma­tion is spread across many diffe­rent docu­ments and systems. A process of reapp­rai­sal begins that lasts for weeks.

2. What problems are solved by your SaaS solu­tion? Which work­flows will be merged?

BetterCo provi­des MLA-regu­la­ted compa­nies with an audit-proof SaaS plat­form for digi­tiz­ing the entire custo­mer jour­ney from conflict check, KYC and risk analy­sis to iden­tity veri­fi­ca­tion and file crea­tion. The office team has complete respon­si­bi­lity for these so-called onboar­ding proces­ses of clients, projects and files. Manage­ment only needs to review the risk assessment.

This ensu­res that a complete risk posi­tion can be recor­ded for the entire company and per part­ner. Through the connec­tion to the commer­cial regis­ter, data and docu­ments are auto­ma­ti­cally pre-filled. Commu­ni­ca­tion with clients is effi­ci­ently done via a chat module instead of email. Onboar­ding proces­ses are hand­led via no-code based, custo­mizable work­flows. This includes the KYC of natu­ral and legal persons, risk analy­sis with checks against PEP, sanc­tions and adverse media lists, alter­na­tive digi­tal and analog methods for iden­tity veri­fi­ca­tion, for exam­ple Face-2-Face, certi­fied copy, Video­Ident, and for signing the mandate agree­ment, for exam­ple hand­writ­ten or elec­tro­nic signa­ture. The new record can also be crea­ted in BetterCo and, if neces­sary, trans­fer­red to the opera­tio­nal system.

3. How does your plat­form differ from the competition?

Unlike other systems, BetterCo offers a true end-to-end solu­ti­ons and keeps all data in one system. BetterCo inte­gra­tes many very useful indi­vi­dual solu­ti­ons and, by connec­ting them, elimi­na­tes manual proces­ses and media breaks. In addi­tion, BetterCo has a colla­bo­ra­tion module to enable effi­ci­ent colla­bo­ra­tion with clients.

Our custo­mers reduce their manual efforts by up to 80 percent, speed up their through­put times by a factor of five, are able to provide infor­ma­tion at any time, and have satis­fied customers.

About Eckhard Ortwein

Eckhard Ortwein is CEO and foun­der of — a legal/reg tech startup that provi­des an audit-proof, end-to-end onboar­ding and colla­bo­ra­tion plat­form for regu­la­ted legal, tax and finan­cial firms. Eckhard has over 30 years of expe­ri­ence as an entre­pre­neur, CxO, manage­ment consul­tant and inves­tor in the Fintech, Iden­tity, SaaS and Legal/RegTech sectors.

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