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From the land down under to land of the brave, discover how we helped Encompass expand in a small country with huge ambitions

Alex Ford from Encompass
Wayne Johnson and Roger Carson, co-founders of Encompass

If ever there was a fitting metaphor for a business with a strong sense of direction, look no further than Encompass. The 'compass' in its very own name was pointing firmly west. 

The far-sighted fintech, forged in the land down under, has broadened its business to the land of the brave. From Sydney to Glasgow, this dynamic fintech company is 10,000 miles strong. And it's still very much on the march.

The company has received a £1.7 million package of public and private sector investment. This originally included £600,000 from the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), which enables Encompass to continue to accelerate product development.

SIB is the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International (SDI).

Market vision for a Scottish, Australian fintech

The Australia and Scottish fintech now plans to expand its Glasgow development team and customer service operations to accelerate growth in new and existing markets.

Encompass's workforce in Scotland is expected to grow from 26 to around 85 over the next few years with fresh products focusing on the Know Your Client (KYC)/Anti-Money Laundering (AML) markets. Another plan has proposed a centre of excellence in robotic process automation in Scotland, developing products designed for global use.

Wayne Johnson, CEO of Encompass, said: "The investment from SIB reflects this strategic alignment and will enable us take our unique technology to global markets much faster."

Having licensed the company’s first products in Australia, Encompass had global expansion ambitions. Encompass products are the next generation of Know Your Customer (KYC) technology solutions for banking, finance, legal and accountancy firms.

The similarity of the British and Australian legal systems made the UK a natural choice as their gateway to Europe. It was Hugh Sutherland, a GlobalScot business ambassador for Scotland, who introduced the strengths of Scotland and the benefits of operating there, to the founders Roger Carson and Wayne Johnson.

Since opening in Scotland in 2015 Encompass has received several forms of funding, including Regional Selective Assistance, Training Aid and R&D funding as well as a previous SIB investment of around £1.8 million.

RegTech supporting compliance

We're proud to be part of the growing fintech and regtech community in Scotland. The combination of historical financial services depth, with risk and compliance operations, alongside a growing technology ecosystem, make Scotland a great location to develop our KYC solution.

Wayne Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Encompass

With compliance and regulatory standards evolving at breakneck speed, financial institutions are turning to new technology to help them remain compliant, particularly using RegTech.

Many financial institutions are hampered by operating with legacy systems that offer neither speed nor efficiency in customer onboarding.

It's against this backdrop that RegTech has come into its own. The Encompass RegTech solutions turn compliance into competitive advantage by rapidly accelerating corporate client due diligence to satisfy Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance during on-boarding and in remediation.

Commenting on a UK government-led RegTech mission to New York, as the only Scottish firm selected, Wayne added: ”We were delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the exciting developments in RegTech that are happening here in Scotland."

A close-knit business community

Glasgow boasts a close-knit, cooperative and accommodating business community. Before setting up in Scotland, SDI invited the Encompass management team to Scotland to meet its key figures and they were extremely impressed with what the business network had to offer.

A major concern for any technology company is finding and attracting the right people. Glasgow has a wealth of talented graduates from top universities across Scotland, enabling Encompass to grow a highly skilled cross-disciplinary team.

Alex Ford, Vice President of Marketing and Operations has led the establishment of the Glasgow operation and enjoyed the move from Sydney to Scotland.

"Everyone here is very friendly," enthuses Alex. "We’ve been able to quickly become part of local networks like the International Financial Services District (IFSD) and Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE). I meet people at events and they are keen to help out. There’s always a follow-up email, a proper connection."

Explore Scotland's fintech sector

Scotland has given the fintech wings

Encompass is on course with its expansion plans in Scotland, and SDI will continue to work it in partnership, offering strategic advice through our account management programme; helping the fintech to realise its long-term growth potential in Scotland.

Get in touch to find out more about locating in Scotland and the assistance available.

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