Wes Moore, founder and CEO of Quarule, was at the epicenter of the financial crisis while in Wells Fargo’s fixed income group.
He had joined the bank in the days of First Union and, over the years, held various compliance-related roles. Then, he got promoted, to run the largest team in compliance within Wells Fargo’s capital markets division.
In this new job, he was to lead a team that took new regulations and applied them to the business. Back in 2010 and 2011, those new regulations came out weekly — to the tune of 500 pages of documents to review. This presented a challenge: A massive amount of resources is needed to digest, interpret and apply new rules, and hiring that many people is economically infeasible.
“We started looking at advanced technologies that were perfectly appropriate to [this] kind of work,” Moore states.
Today, a few hundred regulatory changes are made per month domestically. Banks cannot keep up with that amount of change in a short period of time. And it’s not just banks.
“It’s also bank vendors, IT companies, data custodians, [and] it goes on and on,” Moore adds.
Additionally, “compliance, globally, is not going away,” says Larry Smith, Quarule’s chief revenue officer.
These things combined led Moore to develop Quarule — an intelligent, rules-based, compliance-and-risk-control platform powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“We created a machine that can create solutions for compliance very rapidly,” Moore says. “For AI to have a real impact on risk and compliance, it has to understand the logic of the regulations.”
The platform’s knowledge base grows with each regulation and is designed to be easy to use, Moore says.
“It’s like a financial dictionary with Cliff Notes on the regulations all inside [a] laptop,” Moore says.
Even the name, Quarule, means “the meaning according to the rules.”
Both Moore and Smith come to the startup world with decades of experience in technology and compliance.
Moore has worked with large asset managers, consulted and created stock exchanges in Eastern Europe, amongst other things. He settled in Charlotte in 1999 when he joined Wells Fargo.
Smith is well-versed in technology, having started a tech firm called US Interactive in 1994 and taking it public in 1999.
They, as well as the rest of the Quarule team, are poised to serve a broad audience within the financial services industry.
Moore has been working full time on Quarule since leaving Wells Fargo in October of 2014 to start building the technology. Smith formally joined the team in August of this year.
The Quarule team wants to leverage their technology to help compliance officers and risk managers with their challenges, such as creating controls based on new regulations, redesigning inefficient controls based on legacy software or workflows that are driven by regulation. Currently, Quarule is working on regulations pertaining to information technology, record keeping and data protection.
They are networked within the financial technology space and have participated in several accelerator programs, such as the FinTech Innovation Lab in New York, Dassault 3D Fintech Challenge in London, as well as Queen City Fintech locally.
To date, they have completed four proofs of concept using their technology on real problems, and are planning to launch their product in early 2018.
To learn more about Quarule, visit their website.