Broad skills give new compliance firm an edge
A background that ranges from data science to legal services, financial regulations and coding, has given Monika Adams a breadth of skills to stand out from the crowd.
Now she has created her own company, Kastleway Compliance, offering industry sectors in Bermuda the ability to hire a consultant or in-house legal counsel “to consult, devise and implement internal risk management committees or programmes”.
Ms Adams said her background enables her to come up with ideas and solutions in a variety of ways.
As a data scientist and patent examiner dealing with inventions in genetics, and using algorithms for analysing big data, she gained skill sets that can be applied to different projects, “even non-techie material”.
During a break from her scientific career she met her husband, a Bermudian, and switched into the law profession before joining the Bermuda Monetary Authority, where she was involved in anti-money laundering and antiterrorist financing regulations and compliance.
She said: “One might say I was marinating in the compliance space. In 2012, the Financial Action Task Force was completely revamped. Staying on top of global standards, that was my job.”
Ms Adams then worked at law firm Appleby in a dual role as the head of the Bermuda compliance department and corporate attorney, advising on regulatory compliance, cryptoassets and intellectual property matters.
The compliance space has grown, which is one of the reasons she launched Kastleway Compliance.
She said: “I've been lucky enough to have been deeply involved across all the sectors, and each really needs an understanding of what their obligations are. It felt easier to work directly with the private sector with the revamp of all these standards — locally and globally.
“I felt I could help them create that bespoke business solution for becoming compliant.”
She said there was a need to provide tailored assistance to the private sector, rather than a “one-size-fits-all”.
Ms Adams has experience in dealing with everything from start-ups and academia, to global conglomerates.
When asked how Kastleway will differentiate itself, she pointed to her “extensive, collective regulatory and industry experience” and added, “not everyone in the growing sector of compliance is an attorney or a scientist, let alone both; drafted legislation for the AML/ATF framework; collaborated on the design and execution of national risk assessments with the Bermuda Government and the World Bank; and mapped cryptoasset compliance obligations to the FATF standards.”
She enjoys optimising what a business has already.
“Understanding the innovative space of technology in the move towards blockchain and data protection, I can assist that digital transformation of the compliance space,” she said, pointing to innovation and her mixture of skill sets, including legal and data science experience, when looking at systems “whole or compartmentally, to find an optimal solution”.
The demand for compliance services is increasing. Ms Adams said: “That area of regulatory compliance is just going to keep on growing, not just with requirements, but with the technology that supports it.”
In addition to her business, she has added a Bermuda-centric search engine to the Kastleway Compliance website. The Bermuda News search engine is concentrated on the searchable data from The Royal Gazette and a other Bermuda media outlets, including the Bermuda Sun archives, together with the Bermuda Monetary Authority, and Bermuda Government.
She said: “I've tailored my search engines over time, depending what the project is to really streamline and optimise my search. I put it on my website to help people out. It's a quick easy solution.”