Finance Awards 2021

12 | Finance Awards 2021 business models to deliver practical solutions that reflect their real needs. This philosophy has proved its worth – today the firm is one of the UK’s leading regulatory consultancies with a team of 40+ talented people working in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin. Its clients include many well known names and it is constantly expanding the range of services and support it provides. Thistle Initiatives’ staff are essential in delivering its service. It is important to have helpful, understanding, and talented consultants focused on the best outcomes for the businesses it works with and, importantly, for their clients as well. The focus is on finding a compliant yet commercially minded solution, which is an ethos adopted by its consultants. As people increasingly use innovative fintech products brought to market by exciting and dynamic new fintechs, Thistle Initiatives wants to continue to be at the forefront of the regulatory space. Whilst the space continues to prove a vitally important one, especially given recent market developments, the diversity and pace of innovation can also prove to be challenging to stakeholders and the companies that support it. The company’s goal has been, and will continue to be, to help these innovative firms navigate the space with the confidence that they are in line with a complex and ever-evolving regulatory framework. Absolute Cover is a trading style of Resolution Compliance Ltd. Company: Thistle Initiatives Contact: Sophie Long, Group Managing Director Email: Thistle Initiatives, part of the Thistle Group, is an award-winning consultancy providing expert compliance advice and support across the financial services sector. Its clients range from niche start-ups to long-established global market leaders, and its expertise is split into specialist practice areas covering investments, payment services, financial crime, credit, general insurance, and regulatory technology. It advises and supports firms in relation to compliance with FCA regulation, PRA requirements, and other key legislation impacting the financial services industry. Thistle Initiatives handles everything, from helping start-ups seeking direct authorisation and firms transitioning from Appointed Representative (AR) to Directly Authorised (DA) status, to advising on capital adequacy, regulated accounting (including CASS), and Section 166 issues. It also provides a range of compliance services including training, audits, M&A reviews and due diligence, plus ongoing support and advice. It offers a practical and bespoke service to each individual client. Businesses are often quoted the rules and regulations applicable to their operation and then left to implement these on their own. In contrast, Thistle Initiatives’ focus is to ensure that it provides the correct and appropriate guidance as well as supports firms in executing these on a practical level, often involving a number of face- to-face meeting and audits, with ad hoc support to follow as required. Thistle Initiatives is a member of the Association of Professional Compliance Consultants (APCC), the body that represents compliance consultancies advising FCA regulated firms in the UK. The APCC promotes high professional standards, sets best practice guidance for members to follow and often works with regulators to pilot or test new initiatives and provide feedback on a range of topics. This relationship gives members like Thistle Initiatives valuable direct access to the FCA, from which its own clients benefit. In 2021, Thistle Group’s services were extended. As well as offering an appointed representative service with Resolution Compliance Ltd (authorised and regulated by the FCA) and a compliance monitoring platform via Compliance Star, it also established Absolute Cover, an Most Advanced Fintech Compliance Consultancy 2021 insurance brokerage specialising in high-quality liability insurance for FCA regulated firms. Absolute Cover can help FCA regulated firms access business insurance including Professional Indemnity (PI), Cyber and Data (Cyber), and Directors and Officers (D&O). Thistle Initiatives supports and guides financial services firms with a wide range of compliance services and provides the expertise to manage both strategic and hands-on projects. Founder and CEO, James Dingwall started Thistle Initiatives in 2012 and while previously working with two of the big four consultancy firms, James recognised the challenges faced by financial services firms and the mix of skills and expertise it takes to deliver effective solutions. James’ experience with blue-chip clients shaped his philosophy of combining high-level skills and experience with a personal, tailored approach. The focus of the Thistle Initiatives team is to always interpret regulations in the light of clients’ specific Nov21856