Based at the LHoFT (the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology), Cascade is the winner of the 2020 APSI Start-up Award. The platform simplifies, organizes and automates the operational complexities of Fiduciaries, Corporates and Fund Administrators, Law Firms, structuring their processes for daily activities. Founder & Managing Director Maciej Waloszyk and Managing Partner Declan Ohannrachain, give you an overview of the services the fintech offers.
Tell us about Cascade.
Cascade is a complete administrative, compliance and governance platform. It is eminently affordable and principally aimed at the SME market, whether Fiduciaries, Fund Administrators, General Partners of Funds or Law Firms.
By being a one-stop-shop it reduces the need for multiple external tools and their associated costs, both in terms of licence fees, but also the IT resources needed to support them. It eliminates the requirement to move data between such tools, reducing the potential for errors, and prevents staff from having to learn multiple applications.
Most importantly, Cascade allows governance in the true sense of the meaning, whereby directors of companies can access all the information relating to their companies directly themselves and are no longer reliant on KPIs being created by their administrators on an ad hoc basis.
How did you come up with the idea?
The concept of Cascade came from our personal experience of running a regulated SME here in Luxembourg. We wanted to digitalise our registers and automate a certain amount of the processes linked to this but found the available tools to be hugely expensive. We were regularly quoted installation costs of EUR 10,000 – 20,000+ and annual licence fees of EUR 20,000 – 30,000 + for a limited number of users or reduced access. We found this incomprehensible and unjustifiable so we decided to create our own platform.
As people from the financial market we also knew the pain points of most teams so we set out to create a single platform that could be used by operations with as many built-in features: generation of contract notes, account statements, AGM invitations and name-screening for example. As the platform developed, we realised that many other departments and functions of the company were reliant on this information too so we expanded the platform to cover compliance and governance and ultimately make it a one-stop shop.
“Cascade primarily targets the SME market, who have until now been neglected by the FinTech and RegTech players.”
What are your products/services?
Cascade is modular and currently covers all the following functionalities, with more being added shortly: Register and Transfer Agency, Corporate Secretary, Compliance & AML/KYC, Sales, Project Management, Company Incorporation, and Governance.
We are particularly proud of the Compliance module which automates the tracking of ID / passport expiry dates, monitoring of policy deadlines and permits the team with one click to extract reports showing any missing AML/KYC documentation for any entity or person entered in the platform. Most importantly, as Cascade automatically does name-screening on a nightly basis, any hits to the PEP, sanction or adverse media lists will be flagged directly, without the need for the Compliance officer to screen manually.
It is also worth mentioning that unlike many other platforms in the market, the customer gets access to all of Cascade´s modules.
Cascade can be installed either on-premise or on a cloud, allowing remote access, which during these times is increasingly crucial for many entities.
Who are your clients?
Cascade primarily targets the SME market, who have until now been neglected by the FinTech and RegTech players. We wanted to create something that was affordable from the smallest of entities upwards. Our annual licence fee starts from EUR 6,000, something many entities in the market are probably already paying just for their name-screening tools, whereas here it comes included.
Apart from adding more modules and functionality, we want to roll Cascade out to a wider audience. Wherever there are fiduciaries, funds, general partners or law firms Cascade has potential clients. We already have clients outside of Luxembourg and have recently onboarded two partners to develop our sales in the UK and Irish markets.
With greater regulations, more European financial regulators are being driven by EU Directives and this requires an increasing standardisation in markets like Ireland, Jersey, Malta, and Luxembourg… We have made it all easier as Cascade can now be used in all these markets.