financial services, document and records management systems find a particular
use when it comes to compliance. Legislation from Sarbanes-Oxley to the Patriot Act requires
companies to provide full audits of their activities, decisions, and processes.
The best way to do this is to capture the documents that form the content of
these exchanges—”documents” include anything from paper records to e-mails,
from electronic documents to voice messages—and put them in a system that not
only tracks and stores them, but controls and facilitates their use too.

have paid million-dollar fines
for not being able to discover and retrieve
information. Others have spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars
hiring temporary staff simply to find e-mails that the courts required.

addition to routine compliance processes are the pressures of dealing with
non-trivial litigation and damage to the brand. It is estimated that, at any
one time, approximately one-fifth of the Fortune 125 companies are engaged in
serious litigation, for which document location can make or break the case. And
banks almost routinely have to fight the bad PR that results from press reports
about information leaks and other public embarrassments.

another area that makes document management crucial is its importance in
deal-related activity. During complex mergers and acquisitions documents are
required from multiple internal departments, multiple external departments, and
third-party organizations—notably the regulators, such as the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC). The information
must be carefully managed to ensure due process but also to ensure that only
the right people see the right things at the right time.

Streamlining business deals with document management

case in point is that of Rothschild,
the international investment bank. Not only does the bank have more than 2,000
employees worldwide, but in recent years, it has been more effective in completing
deals. “You want people working in teams to have access to similar
information, to be current, to know what is going on in their sector, to be
aware of their own work, and you want it all to be tied together,” says
Jerry Kaiser, Rothschild’s director of systems. Accelerating the deal cycle in
this way does nothing less than increase revenues.

Rothschild’s bankers worked effectively as individual working groups, the
inability to access and share financial models, agreements, reports, and market
data made it difficult to collaborate on deals with others in the firm, to pass
work among analysts, or simply to ensure that different product groups were
coordinated in their coverage of clients. Remedying the situation required a
document management and collaboration system built the way Rothschild’s bankers
worked. “Users these days tend to be glued to their e-mail and the Internet,
so whatever system we used had to link effectively with both,” continues Kaiser.

chose to deploy Interwoven’s
product, “a collaborative document management platform that
was built from [the] ground up using Microsoft technologies—COM, ASP,
.NET—enabling you to fully leverage existing investments in Microsoft-based
applications and technologies.” The system was first installed in Rothschild’s
investment banking division in 2001, extended in 2002 to aid collaboration with
realty and asset management, and is now being run to extranets that share
information with clients, partner companies, and investors. By capturing deal
and client information in a single repository, WorkSite helps manage risk and
meet regulatory compliance standards.

believes that the system not only keeps them compliant, and equips them to deal
with investigations when they occur, but also adds to their competitive
advantage. “I asked our analysts how they’d feel if I took WorkSite away.
Their response was, ‘you can’t!'”, he says.

then, is a happy marriage of two worlds—compliance and strategy. For at its
best, document management should not only help a bank to tick off the necessary
boxes, but should make for a better run business.

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