KPMG named consulting firm of the year at Regulation Asia awards

23 November 2018

KPMG has been named as the consulting firm of the year at the inaugural Regulation Asia Awards for Excellence held in Singapore.

Big Four professional services firm KPMG has taken home the inaugural Consulting Firm of the Year award at a ceremony hosted by financial regulatory media agency Regulation Asia in Singapore. The firm also received a ‘one to watch’ acknowledgement in the KYC (know your customer) Shared Ledger  category, while PwC and BearingPoint were among the other firms to be honoured on the night.

Established to recognise tech, legal and consulting firms which have helped to shape the regulatory landscape in Asia Pacific over the past year, the inaugural Regulation Asia Awards for Excellence received more than 60 submissions across some 25 categories, including in such areas as Risk Data Management (won by Moody’s Analytics), Anti-Money Laundering (Datarama) and AI & Machine Learning (Silent Eight).

“Adapting to the vast number of regulations has been an ongoing challenge for financial services in Asia,” said Regulation Asia co-founder Nick Wakefield. “Technology has been the driving force behind ensuring these requirements are met. These awards recognise the significant work done by leading firms in this area, and the quality and number of submissions made this year is a testament to the strength of the industry as a whole.”

The big winner on the night was KPMG, which took home the Industry Award – recognising firms that are integral to financial services at the industry level, providing services to financial institutions, technology firms, regulators, market participants and a range of other stakeholders – for Consulting Firm of the Year, alongside Herbert Smith Freehills in the Law Firm of the Year category and the SGX as the leading exchange.KPMG named consulting firm of the yearAccording to the panel of judges, which included a range of industry experts, KPMG was honoured for “demonstrating strong domain expertise and its ability to understand the views of regulators as well as the entities they regulate, a position strengthened by its diverse team of consultants that includes compliance specialists, technology experts and former regulators.”

Sean Chen, KPMG Head of Financial Risk Management for the Asia Pacific, said of the win; “This accolade reflects the strength of our regulatory and compliance practice across ASPAC where we bring to bear a holistic breadth of experience and a deep understanding of the evolving regulatory technology and open banking landscape… It further demonstrates the commitment and drive of our compliance, technology and regulatory professionals to deliver innovative change management solutions and exceptional client service.”

Fellow Big Four firm PwC was meanwhile ‘Highly Commended’ in the category, specifically for its work in the anti-money laundering and KYC segments – “helping major banks with remediation and implementing preventative measures.” PwC according to the judges also demonstrated domain expertise in BCBS 239 (for which it took home the Implementation award), IFRS 9, data ownership, and change management among other areas.

In addition to the consulting firm of the year nod, KPMG was also won the award in the KYC Shared Ledger category – for delivering a proof-of-concept shared ledger which leverages blockchain technology to facilitate the sharing of digitised KYC information across banks – and was highly commended in the Regulatory Change Management category for developing GRC solutions that help banks in Taiwan comply with new rules requiring them to implement firm-wide risk management systems.

Other winners on the night included BearingPoint in the Tax Reporting bracket, for its standardised and ready-to-use tax reporting software, “which is in use at some of the biggest banks in Asia Pacific [the Dutch-origin firm’s FiTAX solution was recently adopted by Standard Chartered], enabling them to report to tax authorities across the world, including for FATCA and CRS, from a single centralised platform.”

Related: Deloitte posits regulatory outlook for APAC financial services sector.

South Korea the global 5G leader on Arthur D. Little maturity index

29 March 2019

South Korea has been identified as the clear global leader in the deployment of 5G in an analysis conducted by management consultancy Arthur D. Little.

“5G will soon become widely available – and first movers have a significant lead.” So begins Arthur D. Little’s Global 5G Leadership Index report, with South Korea not just identified as a first mover, but a clear runaway leader – ahead of other strong performers the US, Australia and Qatar. From a regional perspective, the Asia Pacific was also considered the most advanced.

Benchmarking more than 40 countries across the globe, the analysis considered the maturity of each country’s 5G deployment against two dimensions – the development of infrastructure and levels of commercialisation – with South Korea leading in both, its 5G spectrum already allocated and its large mobile operators having since rolled out their networks across considerable areas.

South Korea was in a group of only eight 5G ‘leaders’ worldwide, joined by Switzerland, Finland, Spain and the UAE together with the US, Australia and Qatar, while Japan and Singapore lead the ‘followers’ group – with both countries assessed as very advanced in terms of technology adoption, 5G trials and infrastructure availability, but hampered by their lack of 5G spectrum allocation.South Korea the global 5G leader on Arthur D. Little maturity index“All leading countries have in common that they have already allocated 5G spectrum,” state the authors of the report. “These countries have enabled operators to roll out 5G networks quickly, many commercially, in 2018, and to trial use cases successfully. Markets with high-performance backhaul infrastructure rate higher, as this capability allows them to roll out 5G faster.”

“Additionally, the leading markets demonstrate high willingness to adopt new services supported by high 4G usage and fiber take-up, as well as several competitors to foster fast 5G roll-out. Overall, they do not face any major limitations, be these in terms of infrastructure, regulation, market demand for 5G applications, economic strength, or competitive dynamics.”

Elsewhere in Asia, China and Hong Kong were also among the ‘followers’ – respectively scoring a 6.4 and 6.1 rating on the index (compared to 8.8 out of 10 for South Korea), while the Philippines was assessed as a ‘5G laggard’, ranking last overall of the 43 countries analysed with a rating of just 3.4. Other table dwellers included Greece, Cyprus, Croatia and Bulgaria.

“5G is the first mobile network generation which promises the data throughput, latency, and flexibility to enable the next level of digitisation across consumer types,” said Karim Taga, Arthur D. Little’s global Telecommunications, Information Technology, Media & Electronics (TIME) practice leader. “Future business competitiveness will rely on 5G networks, making their fast deployment essential.”

5G skeptics

Meanwhile, the global leader of Accenture’s network practice, George Nazi, has been moved to respond to the lingering skepticism from the business community toward 5G network technology – with a survey of 1,800 executives finding that more than half thought it would be of little advantage over 4G. “The reality is that 5G will bring a major wave of connectivity that opens new dimensions for innovation and commercial and economic development,” Nazi said.

Nazi pointed to breakthroughs in three-dimensional video, smart-city infrastructure, autonomous cars and immersive television as examples which will unleash transformative opportunities that are still difficult to imagine today, noting that if companies fail to plan for 5G now they could well miss out on such opportunities. "Telecommunications companies will play a pivotal role in bringing these prospects to light."