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Tom Scampion On Raising $90 Million To Bring Global Banking Institutions Together To Prevent Finance Fraud And Crime

In the world of financial crime compliance, few names resonate as profoundly as Tom Scampion’s. Born in Warwickshire, UK, Tom’s career journey has been anything but ordinary. From his early days in the corporate world to leading his own venture, Tom’s story is a testament to the power of data, the importance of collaboration, and the relentless pursuit of innovation.

Tom’s company, Global Screening Services has attracted funding from top-tier investors like AlixPartners, The Cynosure Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and MUFG.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Tom Scampion’s academic foundation in PPE from Oxford University shaped his analytical and ethical approach to decision-making.
  • His corporate career at Deloitte emphasized the transformative power of data and analytics in solving complex global problems.
  • GSS, Tom’s entrepreneurial venture, offers a SaaS-based transaction screening service for financial crime compliance.
  • The collaborative model of GSS reduces costs for banks while enhancing compliance efficiency.
  • Early engagement with regulators ensured that GSS’s solutions met industry standards and gained trust.
  • Strategic investors, particularly banks, provided crucial capital and industry expertise for GSS’s growth.
  • Tom envisions GSS becoming the industry standard for compliance solutions, with potential expansions into fraud prevention and ESG reporting.

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About Tom Scampion:

Tom Scampion has over 25 years of experience in the design, delivery, and evaluation of financial crime systems and controls.

He has led many of the largest global regulatory look-backs and remediation programs in financial crime, as well as the design and delivery of financial crime operating models for major institutions.

Tom has worked closely with regulators, law enforcement, and counsel in the US, Europe, and Asia and has spent time seconded to institutions to help deliver material change.

Before joining AlixPartners Tom was the Financial Crime head of EMEA for a leading big four firm.

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Connect with Tom Scampion:

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Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:

Alejandro Cremades: All righty. Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Deal Maker Show. So today we have a really exciting founder, a founder that is joining us, you know a founder that and has done a lot of things you know in corporate, but now he’s really riding this rocket ship, you know and I think that you’re all going to enjoy you know essentially what he’s going to be you know sharing with us from lessons learned you know like with the first customer that they were able to onboard. to why our people are really collaborating, especially when it comes to competitors you know around what they are up to. And then also how to engage you know regulators, which is quite a really important thing, as well as you know building partnerships with FMIs and getting them excited about the journey that they embarked in. So again, brace yourself for a very inspiring conversation. And without further ado, let’s welcome our guest today, Tom Scampione. Welcome to the show.

Tom Scampion: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be with you today, Alejandro.

Alejandro Cremades: so Tom, originally born in the UK, in the middle of the country. Give us a walk through memory lane. How was life growing up over there?

Tom Scampion: Well, you know, it’s all chocolate boxes and and cookies and cream. I mean, it’s ah it’s Warwickshire. It’s right in the middle of the UK. Your local is fine. I’m a child of the 80s, so I enjoyed that time. and I’ve enjoyed my career since, but I love being based in the UK because I’m equidistant from the wonders of America’s and of course what’s happening in Asia. It’s a great place to be.

Alejandro Cremades: So, how you how do you end up then you know in Oxford you know studying and also combining you know some really three interesting things? you know One is politics, the other one is philosophy, and the other one is economics. i mean quite Quite a complex you know path there on there on the studies that you decided to embark on.

Tom Scampion: Well, I was like a lot of people, I i was a political nerd, like I was obsessed. I thought politics and how we get governed is just fascinating. And I’ve kind of taken that into my career, given what’s happened since, but politics, philosophy and economics is a really standard course at Oxford. Lots of people have done it, prime ministers and presidents and all sorts. It’s a it’s a really good grounding in three related topics and I enjoyed it. Long time ago, but I enjoyed it.

Alejandro Cremades: That’s amazing. so then so Let’s talk about really getting into the corporate a world. you know You ended up getting into the whole world of data you know and analytics. What what really captures the attention and the love for data and analytics for you?

Tom Scampion: When it’s down to decision-making, right, Alejandro? So look, when I was growing up, um being able to make good decisions based on limited information was a challenge for everyone. It still is, right? So how do I understand the data in front of me in order to actually decide what decisions I ought to make and when in a timely way? And the amount of information we’ve been generating has been, of course, growing exponentially. And then the question is, well, how can you make sense of it all? you know I can have lots of data but very little information and that stops everything. It stops commerce, it stops politics, it stops all sorts of things. If I can’t actually make sense of all this data, then I really am stuffed. so i When I was first working in the 90s and then into the beginnings of the 2000s, that was such a hot area. A hot area of saying, how can I look at structured data, unstructured data?

Tom Scampion: How can I make it useful for me? And how can I put this date with people’s fingertips? That was really positive. So I enjoyed that journey. I enjoyed catching that wave. And it’s kind of the basis of everything I’ve done since.

Alejandro Cremades: Now, in your case, you ended up a you know becoming a a big person at Deloitte. you know They are becoming their global head of analytics. so you know when you When you are at such a large organization and you know dealing with so many corporations around the world, I’m sure that you were able to really see data and analytics at scale. In addition to that, you know also running a good-sized team. So, what were some of the learnings there while you were at Deloitte?

Tom Scampion: Yeah.

Alejandro Cremades: Because you were there you know for close to 14 years, which is a long time.

Tom Scampion: yeah Yeah. I mean, the beauty of working for firm like Deloitte, and of course there are many firms similar to Deloitte, but what I particularly liked about Deloitte is the biggest problems were there to be solved. So clients would come to you with their biggest problems, whether they were at scale or whether they were just niche challenges that they’d struggle to get their arms around. the ability to actually take on the biggest challenges at the biggest and most significant organizations is really, really motivating. And also, so It employs a lot of really bright people and they had great technology in the hands of really great technicians and so you really had this wonderful selection of colors you could paint from. So you could really sort of choose anything you needed wherever you were in the world and combine that to really make a difference. So for me it was the size of the opportunity, the excitement of actually solving the biggest problems

Tom Scampion: um That’s a really motivating thing when you’re a firm like Deloitte and of course other firms are available but I knew Deloitte really well and I was there as you say for almost 15 years and it was it was a really great time really proud of the things that we did during that time.

Alejandro Cremades: So, I mean, when you started there also, um data and analytics was perhaps not as hyped as it is today. No, I mean, it hey everyone is talking about data and analytics. So, how have you seen consciousness, you know, and and and and in that incredible wave that they you’ve been able to ride, you know, for all these years?

Tom Scampion: really interesting question is that when you look at how you’ve gone from the back office to the front office with data and then it wasn’t even called on analytics when we first began it was sort of database marketing or it was you know different forms of Management information and remember you used to write the queries send them to the back office the back office would turn the queries around and you’d get You’d get answered and then you said well, I wasn’t quite the question I wanted to have answered and you go around this cycle almost never-ending cycle so for us to see analytics become actually a business tool and The sort of thing that you could not imagine um doing without

Tom Scampion: That journey was was really was really exciting. I mean, ah when you have CVs coming across your desk, everyone knows Python. and Everyone’s got different forms of you know SQL or different query languages that they’re familiar with. That wasn’t the case. Back in the day, it was you know this little team off to the side somewhere that you’d throw questions to and they’d give you answers. And mr therefore, to see analytics, as it’s called now, go on to the main stage Well, that’s great. I mean, that’s catching a wave as well. It’s kind of as business matures, you wouldn’t imagine running a business without really good analytics, really good data. But back then, when I first started, that that that awakening was just happening. So therefore, that journey was something that I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time. um And of course, now,

Tom Scampion: when we talk about the thing that’s close to my heart, which is financial crime compliance and finding bad guys and stopping bad behavior. um Back in the day, it was much more of a kind of a policy driven world. And now financial crime compliance is all about analytics. It’s all about understanding complex data. So again, that’s another market that’s kind of come towards me. Fortunately, as my career has developed, so I found the analytics maturing has been has been something that’s coincided with the work that I’ve done.

Alejandro Cremades: So all your life in corporate, you know, all of a sudden, you know, the opportunity of becoming an entrepreneur and and really, you know, building your own future and and your own destiny, you know, comes knocking, you know, really in the technology side of things. So tell us about how that journey was in in and what was that day like when you’re like, screw it, let’s do it.

Tom Scampion: You know, that the um I think lots of us are frustrated entrepreneurs. We’ve always wanted to do something, we always wanted to drive our own business, but we’ve never had the opportunity, never found the thing that feels right. And so I was incredibly fortunate to have this business opportunity come to me from my from my clients. I mean, the banks came to me and said, It’s ridiculous that we’re all doing this duplicate activity. Can you not build a platform and we can all benefit from it? But but it it took it took the kind of the confluence of analytics

Tom Scampion: financial crime compliance, coming together as an opportunity to create this platform capability, this utility offering, um that idea needed to crystallize before I said, right, that’s it. I’m going to do it. And, you know, I’d been very happy and very comfortable in these different corporate roles. But it’s one thing to be an advisor. It’s an entirely different thing to actually be responsible entirely for the outcomes. and for it to be your business, your decisions, your team, your colleagues who are all making that difference. And so um when it came, or ah when the opportunity came along, because it was in this space, which I feel so passionate about, I didn’t really have a second a second thought. This was always going to be something I wanted to do because of what it was and because of how important I think this is to solve at a business level.

Alejandro Cremades: How did that opportunity come along?

Tom Scampion: I had some banks who expressed real frustration with the way in which the current market solutions are operating, which is very fragmented, very duplicative. um And the genesis of that idea was really with them. I mean, there’s been different authors, I guess, over the over the years, but the idea that common solutions can be built to solve common problems is is one that really crystallized in my space. And therefore, when you’ve got big global banks, big global transaction banks coming to you and saying, why don’t you build this? If you build it, we’d love it. If you build it, we’d use it. That was what I needed, Alejandro. It was someone to effectively say, well, you could do this, Tom. We’ve worked with you for years. We know you know this space. You’re passionate about trying to make this space really

Tom Scampion: um solution in this space are really ripe for for for being for being deployed. um That enthusiasm from those banks made me think, right, this is the time. So so they gave me that impetus. And boy, oh boy, has it been a journey since then.

Alejandro Cremades: So for the people that are listening to Get It Tom, what ended up being the business model of GSS? How do you guys make money?

Tom Scampion: We make money by creating a SaaS-based cloud native transaction fee driven screening service. So fundamentally everyone who is regulated by any institution around the world or any regulator around the world has an obligation to pay attention to the laws that prohibit doing business with sanctioned entities. So that could be individuals, it could be businesses, it could be countries. And you have to screen all of your traffic, all of your transactions and make sure you’re doing so in a level that is acceptable, but also in a way that does not create unnecessary friction, unnecessary kind of cost to the business.

Tom Scampion: So what we do is we say look for every transaction we’ll charge you a fee and the more transactions you give us the lower that unit cost becomes. But we can do it at less money than it costs a bank today and we can do it at higher quality than a bank can do it today. Plus if we’re all following the same standards we avoid the issue of friction and therefore we’ve got three simple messages we’ll do it for less

Alejandro Cremades: Thank you.

Tom Scampion: We’ll do it to higher standards and we’ll take away that friction that blights customers whose name sounds a little bit like someone on a sanctions list, but they aren’t that bad actor on a sanctions list. So it’s a really compelling model. We like it. We love the fact we’ve got all these banks that have worked with us to build it. And we’re really, yeah we’re really pleased to be where we are on Alejandro.

Alejandro Cremades: So as we’re thinking here about the business model, about making money, let’s talk about validating this. What was that the moment like when you onboarded the very first customer and what were the biggest lessons that you got from that?

Tom Scampion: So the the first customer is always gonna be your favorite customer. um Certainly for me, the fact that they press the button, they sign the contract, they sentence the checks, you know that was great to have our first customer. um But the difference between being able to prove all of this in a proof of concept environment, in a and an offline world to actually being operationally live, That step was a big step and it it was probably a bigger step than we realized when we yeah when we got going.

Tom Scampion: um But all of those lessons are invaluable. All of the things you learn about the reality of of you know being in the wild and actually doing this for real.

Alejandro Cremades: you

Tom Scampion: It’s such a wonderful moment. It’s one thing to have the confidence and the contracts and celebrate write all of that good stuff but it’s another thing entirely to say not only have I got the bank’s trust but I’m actually doing something which is now demonstrably better and it’s demonstrably cheaper than what they’re able to do themselves but there were loads of things that we we hadn’t foreseen you know as a new business you know there’s there’s there’s the smell of wet paint everywhere right so there were lots of things that we had to learn and um going through that journey

Tom Scampion: was invaluable. So the the difference between testing and going live, um it was so important for us. And we’ve got the the experience now which is baked into the product. And the beauty of our product is that every cycle gets a stronger and stronger and all those benefits are then there for all the other platform users to appreciate. So it took longer, but wow, was it a great learning experience.

Alejandro Cremades: So I guess you know when you were thinking about users, when we’re thinking about to you know some of the people out there, especially, how do you see the or how have you seen competitors really coming together as one to collaborate?

Tom Scampion: So the nicest thing about our world is that every customer wants everyone else in their industry to a adopt. You don’t want to keep a utility to yourself. You love the fact that everyone else is using it. So the more people that adopt it, the stronger it becomes. So I’ve got this great sales asset, it’s my customers. And my customers are then going to tell all of their customers, or their competitors, but all the banks in their region, or their correspondent banks, their correspondent networks, that this is a profoundly better way of doing doing something, and therefore for us,

Alejandro Cremades: you

Tom Scampion: The ability to have competitors collaborate because it’s in their interests has been really something. In fact, we regard ourselves as a standards-based organization that can benefit everyone because everyone contributes. And if everyone contributes, everyone benefits. And therefore, you’ve got this virtual so virtual circle. because we’ve had, I don’t know, 3,000 one-to-one meetings over our three years.

Alejandro Cremades: you

Tom Scampion: And each of those meetings, experts are giving us their know-how because they know that it’s in everyone’s interests for us to create less friction, higher quality, less cost when it comes to delivering this really important part of compliance. So that journey and understanding how you unlock the power of the network, that’s been really exciting for us.

Alejandro Cremades: What about unlocking the power also of regulators?

Tom Scampion: Yeah, you know, what’s interesting is that, you know, the old adage, you know, do you ask for permission or do you seek forgiveness? And and for us, we went early with the regulators, you know, particularly in North America, in the US Treasury, there’s a couple of big departments, there’s the Office of Foreign Asset Control, OFAC, there’s TFFC, who look after financial crime compliance. And um we told them early on, we said, look, we’re gonna build this, We want you to let us know if you’ve got any issues with us building this. And that was the best decision we ever made. So we’ve seen more regulators than we’ve seen banks globally now. And the regulator engagement is is important because they’re a stakeholder. They also want financial crime compliance to work. They want sanctions when they say that this is a bad actor or these people, these businesses

Tom Scampion: You know, we we want you to limit the business you’re allowed to do with them for foreign policy reasons. They want it to work. And so therefore there is a collaboration actually between the public sector and the private sector, what people call the public private partnership and having the regulators as a stakeholder here. was an important strategic call for us to make because we work in a regulated space. So we want the governments and the financial services regulators and the privacy regulators to know exactly what we’re doing and to feel great about it.

Tom Scampion: Now, they’re not going to endorse us because their public sector and they’re not going to say to the industry, you must buy these services from this private company.

Alejandro Cremades: you

Tom Scampion: But they’re engaged. And when they’re engaged, and they see the banks engaged, it just makes life so much easier. So we are superbly connected, I think, with the regulators and it’s an important part of who we are.

Alejandro Cremades: So let’s talk about fundraising here, because obviously, when you are in a heavily regulated space, too you know it requires capital you know to really build the organization. So you guys have raised about $90 million, dollars you know and that includes a significant Series A. So talk to us about what has been the journey of raising the money for you all.

Tom Scampion: So the most important thing for us um was to choose the right partners. Everybody likes the concept of a utility in the compliance space, using a SAS model. um It ticks a lot of boxes for different regulators, a different investors, but we wanted to choose the right, the right sort of investors. And so for us, a significant community of investors are the banks themselves. ah And that’s important for us because they become customers and it’s endorsement, but choosing um strategic investors has been an important part of this. The other side of it is getting to find financial investors who understand this world.

Tom Scampion: who understand the challenges and the opportunities and the potential. So the but one of our principal regulator investors is the Sinushek Group, who are run by a guy called Randy Quiles, who’s formerly of the US government.

Alejandro Cremades: you

Tom Scampion: He was of the Federal Reserve, the first head of supervision. And more recently, he was the global head of the Financial Stability Board. And he got this in a moment, in an instant, and therefore that connection was really important. He understood our world, he understood the business problem and was really engaged in helping solve it. So yes they’re a financial investor and of course they will have their journey to go on but they’re passionate about this topic. So we were able to find people who believed in us and believed in what this could be um because it’s just so badly served at the moment.

Alejandro Cremades: you

Tom Scampion: And we’re doing this transformation to say, look, the way in which this problem has been solved in the past needs a radical rethink. And so we’re creating a utility approach to something that at the moment is is’s done individually by banks. And you need to be familiar with the topic. and therefore to have experts in the investment businesses who understand it and relate to it. Wow, that that was great. And and we’ve had other other investors too, but that’s when the light bulb turns on, when they really get what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. And so for us, you know, we’re a purpose-driven business. We are really passionate about changing the world and there’s 5,000 banks out there and every bank needs this service. So for us, we want to become the standard.

Alejandro Cremades: So obviously, you know like when you get those investors betting on you, they’re betting on um and a future that you’re living into. now You’re enrolling them into into what that future is going to be. And and and and again, you know like that’s also part of the way that you enroll to customers, employees. So as we’re thinking about the vision, imagine if you were to go to sleep tonight, Tom, and you wake up in a world where the vision of GSS is fully realized. What does that world look like?

Tom Scampion: Well, remember that GSS starts with the first use case. The first use case is around sanctions compliance. And it’s basically saying, why does every single bank duplicate what every other bank is doing when we live in this connected world? And actually, we should do this at an industry level. And we should create the best capability that everyone can benefit from. In a GSS world, we are the standard. We are the standard and we take out cost. we We really improve the quality and we we tackle this friction that affects the end the end customer. But we don’t stop at sanctions. We stop we stop um ah you know in where we run out of use cases um for where competitors should collaborate. So take fraud. The whole area of fraud is it something that we collectively suffer.

Tom Scampion: And actually information sharing can solve fraud in a way that you can’t solve at an individual level. So we have got so many use cases about saying, where are there opportunities for us to do this at a community level? We can still compete in all sorts of areas, but there are many places where it just makes sense. to do this at a community or an industry level. Now sanctions is obvious, um so too is fraud, but but ESG reporting, in fact, there’s there’s about a dozen areas

Tom Scampion: where actually you don’t benefit by being better than the next bank in the chain, you benefit if all boats go up on a rising tide. And so that connectivity, um where there’s connective tissue, There’s common interest in us solving it as a community. For me, I love that because that’s transformational.

Alejandro Cremades: you

Tom Scampion: You know, we’re not just about making bucks. We’re going to make a lot of money. And of course, that’s all great. We’re transforming the world for the better. And I i don’t want to sound too pompous when I say that, but I believe it. I mean, I’ve worked in this space as we touched on the beginning of our conversation for years, decades. And you know, I go to banks when I was a consultant and and oftentimes the first question from a bank is, What is everybody else doing? Right? So now we can share what everyone else is doing. We can make it available, whether you’re the biggest or the smallest bank in the world. And we can say, we can solve this as an industry. And I feel really good about that.

Alejandro Cremades: so Obviously, we’re talking about the future here, but I want to talk about the past with a lens of reflection, Tom. If I was to put you into a time machine and brought you back in time to that moment where you were you know now getting that little push from you know those folks that you were engaging you know as a consultant and they And basically, that thing they were telling you, hey, you know there’s the problem that we’re dealing with. Let’s say if you were to show up right there you know with that day Tom that is thinking about venturing into becoming an entrepreneur, entrepreneur and you were able to give that younger Tom one piece of advice before launching what ended there up being GSS. What would that be and why, given what you know now?

Tom Scampion: And I can’t take my code base from now back to then, right?

Alejandro Cremades: That’s right.

Tom Scampion: Okay. So assuming I don’t have what I have today, I think um it’s that simple word focus. ah You know, we live in a target rich environment where there’s loads of things we could do and um everyone gets excited. Oh my goodness, you’re doing this. What about this? And we can do that. And you know, we don’t want for ideas. We’ve got so many things that we can do, but you need to walk or you run. You need to make sure that actually your focus on what’s in front of you. And um I think we did a solid job on a handrail, but actually I think even more ruthless focus on

Tom Scampion: Get the basics in place. Make sure your foundations are rock solid before you start worrying about where else you might go. Because there’s there’s it’s very easy to be distracted. We create wonderful momentum because it’s such a fundamentally good idea and everyone wants us to win. But you’ve got to focus on converting the near term and making sure everything is 100% complete before you do the next thing because it’s very easy to get this back. So for me, I would just remind my younger self that focus is our friend and you stay focused because the future, we’re going to have lots of opportunities, but you don’t get to have those opportunities unless you’re proven. So let’s make sure each step of the way you’re proven.

Tom Scampion: and you don’t have to build a massive edifice in the first 12 months. I don’t need infrastructure for this than the other. You know what you need? We need to prove the service. Convert the customers, have the the wonderful experience of running the operations, and then you can build and you can build. And I think that’s the lesson, I guess, moving from the corporate world. If you move from the corporate world, you’re you’re used to these big businesses with teams doing this and teams doing that. You know, when I speak to my fellow entrepreneurs, they’ll say to me, the biggest mistakes.

Tom Scampion: I built big too early. I had big marketing teams or I had, you know, big governance risk and compliance teams. I didn’t need that. I didn’t need that. I should have just reminded myself what I’m here to do. And so we’ve had a few course corrections as we’ve had to remind ourselves, this is the core. This is why we’re here. um And reminding ourselves of that focus every day is the best lesson I could offer.

Alejandro Cremades: I love it. so Tom, for the people that are listening, I would love to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so?

Tom Scampion: I am on LinkedIn. I am incredibly accessible through any channel you like, but I guess the default we’re all using is LinkedIn, but you can also put a message message on our webpage and well all my contact details are there for anyone who’s interested.

Alejandro Cremades: Amazing. Well, hey, Tom, thank you so much for being on The Dealmaker Show today. It has been an absolute honor to have you with us.

Tom Scampion: Alejandro, thank you. My pleasure entirely.

*****

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Tom Scampion On Raising $90 Million To Bring Global Banking Institutions Together To Prevent Finance Fraud And Crime

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