Risk Avoidance and the Lessons of History

Remember the Panama Papers? Those were the 11.5 million leaked documents detailing attorney–client information for more than 214,000 offshore companies associated with Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that specializes in setting up offshore shell companies. Many of these companies were set up to “hide” money so wealthy individuals could evade taxes. Others seemed part of money laundering schemes.

It’s been just about two years since the documents were leaked to journalist Bastian Obermayer from the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. Since then, as documents continue to be reviewed, a thriving cottage industry has grown up around reporting the suspicions, investigations, allegations, revelations, and prosecutions stemming from the Panama Papers.

Risk Avoidance - Panama Papers

The Lessons of History

It was philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist George Santayana who noted, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Today’s risk and compliance executives would very much like to avoid any involvement in repeating or recreating history like the Panama Papers.

Of course, the question is how? The eighth annual Cost of Compliance report published by Thompson Reuters remarks that, “Instead of throwing ever more money at multiple compliance issues, responses from nearly 900 compliance professionals worldwide suggest that more of them are looking for improved efficiencies through the deployment of technology and automation.”

That makes sense to us. Our experience with organizations trying to get their arms around risk and compliance is that you can’t throw enough money or people at the problem to solve it. There’s just too much information, in too many places that must be controlled, managed, and monitored.

A Holistic View of Risk

To protect the reputation of their brands, organizations need a holistic view of risk, which emphasizes understanding the relationships between risks across the various functions or operating groups where they originate. And, as the respondents — and others like them — to the Thompson Reuters survey have obviously discovered, the volume, variety, and velocity of data used by organizations in their day-to-day operations creates a fertile environment for violating regulatory mandates and internal governance procedures.

We believe that cognitive search powered by AI technologies like machine learning and text analytics, can help organizations can deploy a comprehensive, automated, and scalable risk avoidance solution. To learn more about cognitive search for risk avoidance, download our 5-minute guide.

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