New frontiers of RegTech archiving: interview with Mike Pagani of Smarsh

Fintechna caught up with , Director of Product Marketing and Chief Evangelist, Smarsh at this year’s Global Summit. Mike delivered a session on delivering superior enterprise information and support. In our interview we highlight some of his insights and reflections from the summit.


  • Fintechna: In what ways would you say organisations are responding to the growth of collaboration tools?

Mike: The adoption and use of collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Workplace by Facebook, Symphony and others within the Financial Services industry is happening very quickly, because of the productivity and efficiency they provide employees with compared to email. However, the adoption of these new platforms and tools was not one that IT had planned for and is very much in response to satisfy and catch up with user demands. Rather than being ahead of the curve, most organisations are now suddenly realizing that their people are using these new platforms and tools more and more and must implement archiving and supervision systems as quickly as possible, to make them compliant as an approved means of business-related communications. Whether internal or external communications, all business-related messages must be governed the same way as email, regardless of the form they take and the chosen channel.


  • Fintechna: What are the key capabilities you think an organizations archiving solution should provide it with? 

Mike: In our view it all boils down to 3 key capabilities. It should allow a Financial Services organization to automate the direct “capture” all of its business-related communications from the source, regardless of the type and channel being used by its workforce and retain it in a way that does not materially alter the messages, so original context is preserved for later search, insights and to be used for legal and regulatory responses. It should also provide an organization with the ability to configure the system and fine tune it so it “reveals” the riskiest and most potentially problematic messages to them, as they are captured so the organization can take appropriate action to mitigate compliance and legal risk. And lastly, the solution should enable the organization to “respond” to regulatory requests and legal events in a quick and efficient manner, with granular search capabilities to retrieve very specific information from within the archive and then package them up, so they can be used as part of a regulatory  examination or legal defense knowing that time is of the essence when responding.


  • Fintechna: How are leading financial institutions coping after MiFID II and in what areas do they need help?

Mike: Most financial institutions saw MiFID II approaching and took swift action to establish the correct set of policies to meet compliance requirements. However, many are still in the midst of searching for and adopting the right automated systems to enforce those policies in an effective and efficient manner (such as comprehensive archiving platforms with active supervision and compliance capabilities), versus adding more and more people to compliance and legal functions to meet the new demands.

  • Fintechna: How important is it for a business to actively supervise business communications? 

Mike: Actively supervising business communications is extremely important. Not only to discover potential compliance violations and take appropriate action on them to meet regulatory requirements, but to also spot messages and ongoing activities by its people that could cause legal, reputational and brand damage as well.

  • Fintechna: Do you have a key takeaway from this year’s Global Reg Tech Summit on the importance of social media?

Mike: I do… Financial Services firms of all types and sizes are being forced to embrace social media in a much bigger way moving forward to adapt to significant changes taking place within the age demographics of the clients they are serving and trying to attract, as well as their own workforce. For example, millennials will favor doing business with firms that are socially active and allow them to get the information and resources they care about via the social channels they already know and like to use. For example, using Instagram for a marketing campaign targeted at younger, early in career investors, is something we are seeing a lot more of these days. The days of compliance professionals simply saying no to the use of these new channels are over and they are instead now saying yes to compete and stay relevant, but also stressing the importance of having the right systems in place to make sure that the communications over these new social channels and the resulting interaction stays compliant in the process. The good news is like comprehensive archive platforms with active compliance capabilities has now evolved to the point where it is quick, easy and cost effective to implement a solution that enables organizations to get all the benefits of social media and other new channels while maintaining compliance and mitigating the new risks that they introduce when compared to older channels like email.


Mike Pagani is Senior Director of Product Marketing and Chief Evangelist at Smarsh. With more than 25 years’ experience working with new and emerging technologies, he is a seasoned IT professional and recognized subject matter expert in the areas of mobility, identity and access management, network security, virtualization and information archiving. In his current role, Mike is a frequent industry event speaker, and contributes regularly to trade publications and online media outlets. Prior to joining in November 2014, he held senior technology evangelist positions with Dell Software, Quest Software and NComputing.