Regulatory frameworks are constantly evolving across sectors in Kenya and around Africa. There is an increasing need for transparency and the ultimate the costs of non-compliance with laws and regulations increase, businesses everywhere strive to adapt to the growing pressure from regulatory bodies.
We act for several companies and institutions in the regulatory compliance space including Insurance companies, Investment Companies, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical companies, Aviation companies and the Capital Markets, Banks, companies in the Extractive Industry, large Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs) and Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (SACCOs). For these clients, we are keen on providing advice on developing early response systems and implementing effective compliance programs aimed at ensuring awareness and compliance with governmental regulations as well as other timely and pertinent information concerning the burgeoning demands being made by governmental enforcement agencies.
• Advisory and interpretation of regulatory guidelines: Every often regulators issue fresh guidelines on a variety of issues. We have been at the forefront of timely interpretation and unpacking of every new regulatory requirement to our clients as soon as they are released/gazetted. We waste no time in advising on the impacts and the implications of new laws and regulations as well as minimising the risk of non-compliance with fresh regulations. At the very onset of operations of our client companies, we play an important advisory role in guiding them with the applicable registration and licensing requirements.
• Document Review and Legal Audits: Advising large insurance companies and undertaking document review to comply with the requirements of the Insurance Regulatory Authority. Supporting a large community-focused Micro-Finance Institution (MFI) on an ongoing basis and undertaking legal Audits. The Firm advises, negotiates, prepares and reviews extensive industry specific documentation inline with very specific regulatory expectations. We undertake site legal audits and regulatory required independent assessments. The Legal audits assess procedures, processes, operational and technology compliance, regulatory reporting, document review and departmental interviews.
• Review of Client Regulatory Controls: Acted for major multi-national banks in undertaking very detailed process checks and controls to ensure they are in line with all regulator and statutory requirements. This included technology and system checks, reporting checks in line with statutory timelines, customer experience checks, contract reviews, compliance controls effectiveness checks, sales suitability checks, policy procedure design and development.
• Compliance Trainings: Acting for a large financial institution and big life insurance provider in East Africa in both and corporate segments in training of their staff. Staff members are key to ensuring regulatory compliance in an organization. An ignorant staff member could be the fastest gateway to attracting penalties for non- compliance by a Regulator. We have undertaken numerous staff training on targeted compliance issues depending on the relevant client departments. Aside from unpacking the regulatory and statutory steps in the staff daily work, we check departmental procedures and advise for compliance. Staff members are made aware of any new laws that are passed and are aided to understand the implications of the same on their day to day tasks.
• Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance
Primarily, we advise major domestic and international financial institutions regarding their anti-money laundering requirements as set forth by the International Regulations and individual state laws e.g Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money laundering Act, for Kenya. We teach the institutions regarding their unique Government mandated compliance requirements. We also undertake regulatory enforcement advisory, commercial transactions, as well as AML audits and the Inter-Governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations advisory. Our anti-money laundering practice recognizes that regulatory compliance must at all times remain at the forefront of every financial institution’s attention, and regardless of the specific legal matter we are asked to address for our financial institution clients, the cost of non-compliance on AML laws is too high.
In addition to advising banks, credit unions and money services businesses regarding their anti-money laundering obligations we have also advised, investment brokers, insurance companies, and rising real estate companies, as all of these companies have been deemed to be “financial institutions” under different jurisdictions.
Lastly, while anti-money laundering programs are critical, they must be narrowly tailored to protect against the unique money laundering and terrorist financing risks posed by the individual financial institution, they must actually be implemented. We therefore engage financial institution’s employees’ as part of our training program to give them instructions regarding how to report