The Silicon Review
Cloud-based Tools that Simplify GRC Management’
Management of Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) has come a long way since 1995. That was the year a small, focused start-up, called CFM Partners was founded. At that time, the company was engaged in helping major financial institutions consolidate their policies and procedures, and integrate them with their education and training programs into a single, plain-English resource that professionals could easily consult while conducting business.
Integrating these elements around high-risk issues, so that participants received a single, streamlined message, was a revolutionary concept at the time. Before CFM Partners brought its solutions to market, financial services professionals had a difficult time finding answers to policy and procedural questions. Getting the answers meant poring over massive volumes of information and “translating” the legal jargon on the fly – often while clients were waiting on the phone.
CFM Partners’ President and CEO, Beth Murphy, understood this problem well. A former bond trader, Ms. Murphy understood the fast paced and often stressful environment in which traders and broker-dealers work. The need for easier access to better information was clear to her, and she saw an opportunity to effect real change.
Today, CFM Partners’ solutions are used by over 1.5 million users worldwide and in multiple industries, including financial services, insurance, and banking. Over the past two years, the company has also expanded into the higher education and sports governance (from youth to professional sports) markets.
First in the Cloud
In its early days, CFM Partners was primarily a consulting firm working with some of the most successful financial service firms in the world. The close working relationship CFM enjoyed with its clients soon uncovered an acute need for technology that could support and facilitate the management of policies and procedures across large enterprises, including the ability to communicate, educate, and monitor progress for large numbers of employees. The technology did not exist at the time. So, CFM leveraged the deep expertise of its consultants and built it.
In 2001, CFM launched its first software solution, making it possible for firms to integrate policy and procedure management with employee education and monitoring, and regulatory requirements. Then in 2005, in an unprecedented move, the company delivered its first cloud-based solutions to better ensure around-the-clock accessibility as well as simplify maintenance and support for its clients. With that strategic shift, CFM Partners became the first provider to offer GRC solutions in the cloud; its product, called Access Compliance™, was the first of its kind.
The Right Information in the Right Hands at the Right Time
Access Compliance, the company’s flagship product, is an integrated compliance management solution that delivers the right information to the right person at the right time. Designed to ensure a high-functioning, high-compliance, risk-informed environment, Access Compliance includes a comprehensive suite of applications:
Roughly two years ago, CFM expanded into the higher education and sports governance markets, placing the firm at the forefront of making mission-critical GRC tools accessible to address a broader range of high-risk issues and behaviors. Today, Access Compliance is available in multiple versions to meet the needs of multiple industry sectors, including Access Compliance FS™ for financial services and Access Compliance EDU™ for higher education.
CFM also offers an easy-to-use App for Microsoft® Office 365 and SharePoint, called Access Policies sp: Manager™ (APSPM). APSPM has proven to be an efficient, effective way to help standardize policy management across an organization, and maximize the use of content already housed within SharePoint by hundreds of thousands of businesses.
One of CFM Partners’ newest products rapidly caught the attention of athletic programs at the youth, collegiate, and professional levels over the past year. The Athletic Compliance Portal™ (TACP) is a cloud-based education and training solution that delivers interactive, engaging, learner-centric courses on hot-button issues, such as Concussion Awareness, Sexual Misconduct, Social Media, and Entertainment & Gifts. Now in use among NCAA Division 1 athletic programs and one of the world’s largest youth sports programs, TACP is adaptable to every level of athletic participation – from school children to professionals, and from intramural to international competition.
Where the Client Comes First
Deep subject matter expertise, advanced technology, and unwavering commitment to client success are the keys to CFM’s longevity. But the company’s philosophy of meeting the needs of every client and supporting their success is its true advantage. Considering some of CFM’s clients have been with the firm for over 15 years, this strategy seems to be a winner.
Exciting times ahead
CFM has just released the new version 2.0 of its Concussion Awareness solution for the sports/athletic market, and its DOL Fiduciary Program™, the comprehensive benchmark solution for U.S. financial services firms. The next few years will be exciting for the company, as it looks forward to continuing to expand and refine its offerings, entering additional markets with solutions that will help them meet their GRC challenges, and working with clients and partners to innovate around their needs.
Meet the Key Executive
Elizabeth (Beth) Murphy, Founder, President, and CEO: Elizabeth Murphy, president and CEO of CFM Partners, Inc., has over 20 years of hands-on experience in the financial services industry. As president and CEO, Ms. Murphy sets the company’s vision and oversees most aspects of the company’s operations, with special emphasis on the firm’s business development efforts.
Prior to founding CFM, Ms. Murphy worked at GNA (the predecessor of GE Capital’s, GE Financial Assurance), now Genworth Financial. In her early career, Ms. Murphy spent eight years as a fixed-income trader at Riggs National Bank and Wheat First Butcher Singer.
She holds a degree in Psychology from The American University.