Monthly Archives: August 2019

With Global Sanctions Activity Increasing, How Can Compliance Departments Keep Up?

Joel Kornblum, Global Head of Strategic Alliances & Consultant Relations

If the world was flat in the early aughts, as the economist Thomas Friedman implied in his best-selling book, the past few years have become increasingly bumpy thanks to increasing populism and a volatile environment for global sanctions. This doesn’t just pose challenges for portfolio managers trying to stay ahead of geopolitics to manage risk. Compliance departments also have their hands full trying to keep track of certain positions and whether or not there are sanctions in place that ostensibly bar a fund from owning specific securities.

As evidenced by the initiation of several notable sanctions in just five months, it is evident that sanctions are growing. In November of 2018, for instance, broad sanctions were reinstated in Iran as a result of the U.S. withdrawing from the Iranian Nuclear Deal, while the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) also added Petróleos de Venezuela to its sanctions program (also known as the SDN list), following an executive order that cited human rights abuses of the Madura regime. OFAC also lifted sanctions on EN+ and Rusal, highlighting the challenge of not only tracking potential securities that are under sanctions, but also those that aren’t.

In light of how challenging these efforts can be, Eagle recently hosted a webinar, “Managing Global Sanctions Data with Eagle and SIX” in June. Webinar participants included Jeff Bellemare, Product Manager at SIX; Akhar Mathews, Head of Sales Support at Eagle; and myself.

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