Royal Antwerp Football Club, the oldest professional football club in Belgium and a member of the Pro League, like to play a leading role. They like to do so not only on the field, but also in terms of their AML policy. With the products and services of Altares Dun & Bradstreet, they found an answer to their need to vet their business partners meticulously and according to the most recent data. They found a partner that could meet both the conditions of government agencies and their own ambitious expectations on the documentation of all mandatory company data.
ROYAL ANTWERP FC
Football is part of the fabric of our society. It’s a sport that has no trouble filling our stadiums and living rooms and occupying our daily conversations at work and beyond. A world championship is a festival for us all. And whether it’s positive or negative, we each have an opinion not only about the sport itself but also about certain situations or behaviours that occur in the sector around it. Clearly, therefore, football offers an added value to society. Royal Antwerp FC is a football club that is very much aware of its leading social role. It is therefore seeking to set up the field in taking sound and proactive steps to lift their AML policy to a higher level and lower the risk of fraud, money laundering and corruption.
Naturally, the value of reliable data is substantially greater than anything a regular Google search can turn up.
To streamline their AML policy, they started looking for a reliable partner that met their ambitious goals. Key to this process was not only the availability of data, but also the ability to arrive at an in-depth understanding through various parameters that lead to a correct analysis and interpretation. Pieter Demeulenaere, Compliance Officer at Royal Antwerp FC explains: “What’s important in our search for the best partner for our AML policy is that we don’t just receive data overviews from various sources. Thanks to the centralised Altares Dun & Bradstreet's platform IndueD, we get a realtime understanding of companies, organisational structures and all stakeholders. IndueD allows us to carry out intuitive screenings of our business partners. Naturally, the value of reliable data is substantially higher than anything a regular Google search can uncover but it also gives us an enormous time advantage. We have access to all relevant data ranging from elementary data on branches and offices to information on sanction lists and negative press. The ease of use of the tool allows us to move fast – and that is certainly not a minor matter, for instance, during transfer periods when typically the preferred deadline was yesterday. It means that we can do business confidently, expediently and accurately.”
To this end, the platform provides a number of specific tools that shows tailored in-depth view into the data. This is how Altares Dun & Bradstreet facilitates and supports the processes of identification, verification and monitoring of all the business partners of Royal Antwerp FC.Tools like automatic false positives management allows the club to verify whether the data of an entity or a stakeholder are a match with all queried and (potentially) linked data. Furthermore, the audit trail plays an important role in allowing the club to meet all legal requirements. Indeed, this tool allows every step of the screening process to be automatically saved and subsequently compiled into a clear overview. This allows Royal Antwerp FC to show any competent authority complete and transparent reports without concerns over reliability.
The elaborate settings menu and the possibility of adjusting the screening parameters furthermore allows the club to deepen and broaden their analyses on their own initiative and according to their own policy, thus enabling them to enter into a dialogue with business partners based on substantiated findings. This will strengthen their position in negotiations, both nationally and internationally. “These parameters truly allow us to tune the tool to our proactive policy”, Pieter Demeulenaere, Compliance Officer at Royal Antwerp FC adds. “IndueD offers us a central overview that allows an employee to pull data that is not only extensive and correct, but also has an international scope. Sometimes we enter into collaborations with clubs abroad and then it is a nice advantage to know we can rely on IndueD for thorough international checks as well. These in-depth profiles help us to make a substantiated analysis of all potential business partners. As a rule, AMLCO also uses these reports to arrive at a substantiated assessment.”
It doesn’t stop with the provisions of the desired tool or the correct business information. Altares Dun & Bradstreet also provides webinars and live training. As part of the Pro League partnership, it offered all affiliated clubs – including Royal Antwerp FC – training on the use of IndueD. “Such training is very valuable for us”, relates Pieter Demeulenaere, Compliance Officer at Royal Antwerp FC: “Of course we were already familiar with the platform, but this allowed us to fine-tune everything and to screen even more meticulously. It again emphasised the added value of sorting data in a structured way.”
The result is that the football club not only feels supported in raising their AML policy to a higher level, it is also offered the tools and tips to fully exploit the added value of the data and all associated structuring processes. Bringing together the clubs also has the added advantage that clubs with the same ambitions and with the same legal obligations can exchange experiences and challenges. The centralised platform IndueD, fed by up-to-date and global data from Altares Dun & Bradstreet, now allows them to vet stakeholders and document them transparently. This includes business relations like sponsors, players’ agents and other clubs. In doing so, the club sends out a clear signal to the world of football and sets the tone for all future business partners. For the fans, the collaboration with an external and independent partner like Altares Dun & Bradstreet, underlines how serious and committed they are to making a waterproof AML policy a priority.Pieter Demeulenaere, compliance officer at Royal Antwerp FC concludes: “Altares Dun & Bradstreet’s platform allows us to confidently establish business relationships based on reliable data. We know who we are doing business with and we know more about them than they sometimes seem to realise. That affords us a strong position and sets the tone for where we want to go as a reliable player in the football sector. It also shows us as pioneers, people who back their promise to the fans to make their AML policy a solid entity within the world of football. In spite of all the scandals, it puts on the map the efforts each of us makes in dealing with company data and business relations professionally and transparently.”
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