Rob Leslie: A Pioneer of Anti-Money Laundering and KYC domain

Rob Leslie | Founder & CEO | Sedicii

Digitalization has taken an active pace since its inception. Integrating digital technology with business aspects has turned out to be an art rather than ‘a do’. This acknowledgement as an art, led many innovations to flourish in the respective industries. One with such comprehension is Rob Leslie.

In an interview with CIO Look, Rob Leslie, Founder and CEO of Sedicii, shares valuable insights from the experiences he gained on his entrepreneurial journey. Moreover, he broadly discusses the services offered by the company.

Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Rob and CIO Look:

How do you diversify your organization’s offerings to appeal to the target audience? 

We take a collaborative approach to problem solving with our clients, to deliver industry specific, cutting edge eKYC and AML transaction monitoring solutions to achieve their particular goals. Our target audiences operate across banking & financial services, Governments and enterprise – where regulatory requirements mandate high levels of customer due diligence. We help reduce the burden of responsibility and improve efficiencies for our clients and enable them to preserve the privacy of their customers.

At Sedicii we provide a portfolio of solutions which appeal to our target audiences. We help secure identities and provide unique authentication and identity verification services where personal information is never exchanged without explicit data owner consent. Sedicii’s key differentiator is our focus on privacy using our patented application of the zero knowledge proof protocol. With an unwavering focus on adding value to clients, we are constantly exploring innovative ventures.

Kindly take us through your journey on becoming a leader. 

Becoming a leader isn’t something you aim for. I believe leaders evolve, partly by accident over a period. It’s a blend of ideas, circumstances and a determination and drive to bring ideas to life and bring people together that makes a leader in my view. It’s not about knowing everything, in fact it’s quite the opposite -it’s about gathering and inspiring a team of experts and collaborators to achieve common goals. That’s the challenge, something I truly relish! It might well be the engineer in me, but where others may see problems to be avoided, I see opportunities and challenge, and am rarely content until they are fixed.

I whet my appetite with Dell Japan as part of a management team that established and grew the business to almost 300 employees and $300M turnover in 4 years. Since then I have grown a number of businesses to considerable scale. My background is in the Anti-Money Laundering / Know Your Customer (KYC) domain. I co-founded Kyckr, a company which specializes in corporate identity and AML compliance solutions. (Kyckr is now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX:KYK)). This opened up a whole new world of possibilities for privacy protection and preservation of our identity. In 2015 the World Economic Forum named me as a global Technology Pioneer – that was a significant step on my leadership journey and was instrumental in building a network of like-minded thought leaders who inspire me to drive on and to explore innovative opportunities and solutions to crucial challenges of securing our current and future global economies.

What are the crucial traits which every business leader must possess? 

The role of a business leader, in my view is to inspire the people around them to push themselves and in turn the company, to excel in everything they do. Good leaders drive their people forward with energy, excitement, vision, inspiration, good communication and trust. Leading by example, by walking the walk and talking the talk builds that trust.

Warren Bennis was an American scholar and organizational consultant. He is widely regarded as a pioneer of the contemporary field of leadership studies and is known to have created the famous quote “Managers are people who do things right; leaders are people who do the right thing.” As the leader, you know that keeping your team together, working towards a common goal, getting them to support and help each other is your job. If you succeed, they will succeed; morale will rise and more success will follow.

As per your opinion, what roadblocks or challenges are faced by a business in a corporate business? And what is your advice to overcome them? 

The challenges come from many angles, not always from the direction you expect. Sometimes you need eyes in the back of your head to keep ahead of the game. Building the right team with the right skillset is a challenge at the beginning, one we were fortunate to do right from the start. With Sedicii, our unique offering is our technology. Our tech team includes experts in cutting edge machine learning, cryptography and blockchain and they are constantly challenging the status Quo with innovative ways to tackle global issues related to privacy and identity. Roadblocks often represent potential forks in the road where decisions need to be made quickly and being flexible in your approach is important.

What will be your future endeavors and/or where do you see yourself in the near future? 

We are working on some very interesting global projects at present. Our AML transaction monitoring service is one which is creating waves internationally as it allows two banks to mutually assess risk by gaining insight on all parties to a payment transaction using a cryptographic protocol that never exposes any private information about one party to the other party’s bank. Sedicii’s AML solution reduces false positives, identifies risks in real-time, in full compliance with Banking Secrecy and the strictest data privacy legislation.

As a leading expert in Zero Knowledge Proof Protocol, what is your contribution in evolving the digital sector? 

Fragmented and unreliable digital identity mechanisms are limiting growth in the global economy and adding to the costs of doing business. Experts are in agreement that securing identities is critical, especially where the stakes are high. Powered by Sedicii’s patented Zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technology, two parties can now prove to each other that they both have the same piece of information without the need to expose the information that each has in their possession, or under their control, to the other. Combining this capability with efficient and easy-to-use consent management, we can change the digital world as we know it and simultaneously secure the privacy and security of personal information (PII) throughout the world. We see ourselves best placed to ‘Fix’ what we call the ‘Identity Problem’ to enable the quantum leap required to drive the next wave of business innovation.

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