How I accidentally started the first Regtech firm in the Midwest.
Our Story, A year Out.
I came up with the idea of a Tech enabled community bank consulting firm after 4 years of being a large bank regulator at the Chicago Fed from 2011 through 2015 and researching the current state of management consulting. I had numerous discussions with bankers and regulators alike, and we were always talking about the challenges of dealing with the onslaught of bank regulations and how much large banks (defined as banks with assets over $50B) spent on traditional consultants. However, I noticed that community banks (with assets under $10B, and roughly 90% with assets under $1B) often did not have the resources to comply with avalanche of banking regulations internally, nor could they afford these high-priced consultants like their large bank counterparts.
I also knew that with the ongoing innovations and increasing popularity of cloud-based/SaaS platforms and artificial intelligence technologies, a consulting firm like mine could effectively compete with larger, bloated generalist consulting firms by picking a niche and executing on delivering great professional services enabled by these technologies. In July of 2015, I launched Big Leaf to solve these community bank regulatory and consulting challenges.
Technology enabled regulatory compliance, or RegTech as it is called today, was not even ‘a thing’ just a year ago. What’s more, there is no FinTech or Future of Banking (FoB) without RegTech: technological innovations in the way compliance, risk management, and audit are performed. Put simply, bullet trains cannot ride old rails.
It has not been an easy road, but after a year we are certain Big Leaf is helping to birth a revolution in bank regulatory compliance and risk management. Contributors, collaborators, and enablers welcomed; we’re quietly leading from the middle/Midwest where things converge.