Kyckr taps Tesco Bank boss as new chairman ahead of global expansion
International banking executive Benny Higgins has chosen ASX-listed regulatory technology provider Kyckr as his first corporate venture after stepping down from UK-based Tesco Bank early next year.
Regulatory technology, or “RegTech” is a marriage of technology and regulation, providing solutions for businesses grappling with the ever-increasing demands of regulatory compliance.
Kyckr specialises in protecting against money laundering, fraud and tax evasion, by providing real-time information on some 80 million businesses globally.
Mr Higgins is also group strategy director for Tesco Bank’s $26 billion parent — British supermarket giant Tesco — which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Mr Higgins, a former Royal Bank of Scotland supremo and current CEO of Tesco Bank, will take the reins as Chair of Kyckr (ASX:KYK) from March.
Under Mr Higgins’s stewardship, Tesco Bank has turned into a major powerhouse in UK banking — servicing 8.1 million customers. Mr Higgins is a three-decade veteran of the global financial services industry.
First foray post-Tesco
It’s an interesting first move for Mr Higgins to pick little-known Kyckr as his first foray into corporate life post-Tesco.
However, he is convinced that Kyckr has what it takes to break the shackles of its relative minnow status on the local bourse and expand its global footprint.
Kyckr maintains automated, up-to-date critical company identity information, in place of the traditional error and fraud prone manual people based processes. Now available in 180 regulated primary sources across 120 countries, the goal is to push further into Europe and North America.
Mr Higgins said he was attracted to the strong commercial potential of Kyckr’s offering and its relevance to the financial services industry.
“I believe as Chair, my experience will help guide the company in a successful European and US expansion to support the growing needs of customers. I’m excited to be a part of the ongoing success of the Company.”
Kyckr already has a footprint in Sydney, Dublin and Bangkok, and is valued at $17 million. Kyckr provides “KYC” (Know Your Customer) data management solutions to help clients comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing legislation.
Real time data on 80 million businesses
The company has an extensive network with 180 national registries (such as ASIC) in 120 countries which access corporate data on an estimated 80 million businesses globally in real time.
Its technology allows businesses to access up to date identity information. Some of Kyckr’s current clients include Bloomberg, IBM and Citigroup.
The appointment of Mr Higgins to the role of Chair was the handiwork of current Chairman John Van Der Wielen, who personally recruited him to the role.
Mr Van Der Wielen said: “This is a global coup for Kyckr, with the appointment of a deeply experienced global banker and entrepreneur, who has an outstanding reputation within the global banking sector.
“He will provide invaluable guidance to our board and management team, as we pursue our strategic expansion plans in Europe and the US.
“His significant experience in growing businesses to scale, focus on customer engagement, and deep knowledge of the global banking sector will be a significant advantage to Kyckr and make a real difference to the team.
“I am more than happy to pass the torch to such a well-respected individual and remain on the board and committed to the long-term success of Kyckr.”
Mr Higgins would be instrumental in driving Kyckr’s expansion plans into continental Europe and North America and it comes at a time when global regulatory and compliance obligations continue to increase in importance.
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