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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2019

An Interview with Damien McGovern, Compliance & Risks Founder: ‘Our Mix of Both Product and Service is Innovative and We See This in Our Ever-Expanding Client Base of Blue-Chip Companies Who Recognize the Value in Our Offerings’


“Over the years, we have become the end to end global regulatory solutions provider across the technology, consumer goods and retail, industrial goods, and life-sciences sectors.”

Compliance is a challenge for any organization, but it’s especially important for large multinational businesses that face serious compliance obligations, protecting people and the environment by often complex and increasing regulations, standards and other requirements across multiple geographies.

In light of the above-mentioned scenario, we’re thrilled to present Compliance & Risks.

Compliance & Risks is a Compliance Knowledge Management (CKM) and data services company that helps organizations manage the impact of global regulations, standards and other requirements on their product categories and business activities.

Compliance & Risks’ flagship product is C2P, a web-based application that integrates a global regulations database with compliance software tools and the features of a knowledge management system. C2P replaces emails, spreadsheets, and paper trails with workflow and collaboration tools that accelerate the steps of determining regulatory impacts, risks and opportunities, and managing compliance.

C2P combines legal and regulatory data in a thoughtful, structured format that addresses the specialized needs of different users across the organization, including executives, product stewards, lawyers, regulatory specialists, environmental engineers, and product managers.

Compliance & Risks was incorporated in 2002 and is headquartered in Cork, Ireland. It has additional office locations in Brussels; Belgium, California, New York; USA, and London; UK.

Damien McGovern, Compliance & Risks Founder, spoke exclusively to
The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?

Our clients want to be years ahead of regulation, not just keeping up, and certainly not firefighting at the last minute. The company was set up to provide a business advantage for clients by providing timely and reliable regulatory information and insights via C2P, our Compliance Knowledge Management platform. Additionally, we also offer market access advice, outsourced managed services, and other solutions. Over the years, we have become the end to end global regulatory solutions provider across the technology, consumer goods and retail, industrial goods, and life-sciences sectors. The company has expanded its offerings over the years by consistently adding new regulations and topics to C2P as well as modernizing the platform for better user experience. We also seek to expand our offerings by moving into new industry sectors.

What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?

One of the biggest challenges the company faced in its initial years was getting enough well-structured regulatory content into the platform. The next challenge was to convince our clients to move away from a multiplicity of tools to a single purpose-built platform, designed to house related corporate memory. The trick is to understand your competitive advantage and be able to communicate it well enough for clients to buy into your vision for the future. Clients want to predict the future as much as possible.

“Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions,” how do you interpret this statement?

At Compliance & Risks, we take the trust of our clients very seriously. We are constantly aiming to deliver higher quality in everything we do. Every part of our company has a deep desire to do better and better. Clients feel this and see the continual improvement. We are always looking to ‘add value’ and one example of this is our ‘Ask Our Experts’ service. This is essentially a service where our subject matter experts will answer compliance questions for free for clients.

What are the factors that make your brand stand out from the competition?

It’s the unique combination of highly structured, high quality content combined with workflow and collaboration tools that allows our clients to capture valuable corporate memory. A big part of our secret sauce is how our team of subject matter experts track new and changing regulations in just about every country in the world. We analyze the information and add it to C2P in a structured manner, writing an English language summary, highlighting products in scope and exempted, materials and substances in scope, and requirement types, as well as relevant dates, including compliance deadlines. This process means ‘dumb documents’ are transformed into actionable information, allowing compliance specialists to do their work sooner, faster and better.

C2P, our SaaS (Software as a Service) platform then enables compliance departments to assess applicability, communicate with their teams, record requirements, store corporate memory and much more. Our mix of both product and service is innovative and we see this in our ever-expanding client base of blue-chip companies who recognize the value in our offerings.

Within the platform itself, we have capitalized on machine learning with a number of innovative features such as our Approval Probability tool. We can predict the likelihood of whether or not proposed legislation will come into force, with an impressive 95 percent prediction accuracy. This allows clients to focus on regulatory developments that are most significant to their business. When C2P users are alerted on new or changing regulations, we also alert them to the percentage probability this will come into force.

How does your company contribute to the competitive global IT platform at large?

Agile software development is all about a proactive, cross-functional approach to technology growth. This ensures our platform is continuously improving the lives of our clients, and illustrating the power of technology to better support the compliance process. We help our clients to deliver cleaner, safer, better products to market for the good of everyone.

Do you have any new products ready to be launched?

In Q3, we are launching a Standards Management Module to the current C2P platform. We will be the first company in the compliance sector to provide a single view of requirements ‘live-linked’ to their informing regulations, standards and other requirements, including those home-grown for competitive advantage. The ‘magic’ comes from the live links between all these structured documents, so when a regulation or standard changes, an alert is triggered and the corresponding requirement can be updated, ensuring companies always have current requirements and the history of why they have
been so created.

The cost of being non-compliant is often not measured on a balance sheet including elements like delays & penalties, stop ships, lost seasonal selling time, re-design, delayed commencement of production, re-work on the line (production loss) and retesting. This Standards Management Module is another way companies can guard themselves against non-compliance issues.

Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

Our existing clients are some of the very best managed and most innovative companies in business. We see that other companies are following their example. Short term we see Compliance & Risks growing as a result of this follow-the-leader trend. Longer term, we see a future where well-run companies will integrate Compliance with Quality, Corporate & Social Responsibility and Sustainability requirements in a more holistic and strategic way, ultimately allowing buyers to match their values with the virtues of sellers.

Damien McGovern: A Formidable Leader

Damien is the Founder of Compliance & Risks. Damien qualified as a Barrister in Ireland, worked at Deloitte Legal in Brussels and then in Outdoor Advertising in
St. Petersburg, Russia.

Before coming up with the idea for C2P, Compliance & Risks’ knowledge management platform, he was working as a Barrister in Brussels for Deloitte. Overwhelmed by the amount of EU official journals being delivered daily to his desk, Damien realized that there must be another solution. Damiens’ experience with legal, regulatory and compliance issues allowed him to find this solution and create C2P.

“We are launching a Standards Management Module to the current C2P platform. We will be the first company in the compliance sector to provide a single view of requirements ‘live-linked’ to their informing regulations, standards and other requirements.”