Q&A with LEI-Register’s Toomas Pavelson and Timo Vikson
The RapidLEI management team had the privilege to host our first partner roundtable session in the snowy English countryside at the end of January. In between sessions I had chance to sit with LEI-Register’s CEO Toomas Pavelson and its head of sales and marketing Timo Vikson for a brief Q&A on their vision as a Registration Agent and what the future holds for LEI-Register.
Steve Waite: How did LEI-Register get started offering LEIs?
Toomas Pavelson: I was working in the fintech space and had to obtain several LEIs. It was a less than optimal experience. Slow, confusing and expensive and I thought there just has to be a better way!
Timo Vikson: After discussing with Toomas, and looking more into the LEI market, we saw that it was dominated by small number of large LEI issuers and their resellers. We concluded that there was room for an agile, technology company that understood that registering LEIs could be time-sensitive, and that having customer service available at that time is essential. So that’s how LEI-Register was born.
SW: You’ve grown very quickly in the LEI provider space, why do you think customers like buying from LEI-Register?
TP: We focus on the human aspect, we have really smart, helpful people in our company to help guide customers through the process. We now operate across many countries where we provide localised offerings, for example helping customers in their own language.
TV: LEI is ultimately about trust, trust in who you are, trust in who you are dealing with. It’s important to us that our customers trust us. We establish that trust early on by making sure they can easily talk to us and always get a clear understanding of where they are in the LEI issuance process. We’ve established a good name in the industry as an expert intermediary between the customer and the LOU (the Local Operating Unit, or issuer of the LEI, like RapidLEI) – helping all parties get what they need to be able to issue the LEI.
SW: We’ve recently announced a strategic partnership between Register-LEI and RapidLEI for you to offer RapidLEI LEIs to your customers. How do you see this partnership benefiting your customers?
TP: We see that RapidLEI is really the first LOU to actually innovate in the space. They’ve only been around for a short time and already they’re disrupting the industry! Because RapidLEI’s technology automates the workflow, it makes the whole process so much easier and faster for the end customer. Not to mention so much more accurate, which is important as the reliance on LEIs increases. The automation of the validation process for us means the validation heavy lifting is handled by technology rather than people, which allows us to focus our resources where our customers need them most.
We also appreciate that RapidLEI is an API first company, meaning that the innovation we see in their front end UI is made available to partners, like us, who integrate their bulk upload and API functionality. We’re currently beta testing the new RapidLEI API which will make our integration even deeper and will allow us to offer our customers even more innovative ways to buy and use LEIs.
TV: I am responsible for the marketing and sales groups within our organisation. RapidLEI says it follows a partner first strategy, and it really does. They involve us in roadmap planning, process improvements, co-marketing efforts and more. For example, we work closely together to have the GLEIF add approved data sources, which helps us issue LEIs faster and with more accuracy. Our partnership is a real win:win relationship – our teams have grown to know each other very well, and everyone in both organisations is aligned with the same goals to help both companies grow.
SW: You are particularly strong in the banking sector, how are you seeing banks embracing LEIs?
TP: Regulation is still driving the majority of LEI applications within the banking sector. Banks typically have a need for many LEIs, especially as they require their customers to provide LEIs during trades and other transactions. Many banks are now realising that it’s more efficient to build in systems that acquire LEIs in almost real time during such transactions, and we’re working closely on making that a reality for a number of banks across Europe.
SW: How are your customers using LEIs now, and how are you seeing that evolve?
TP: Our growth suggests the LEI industry was ready for a customer-focused new entrant. We’re looking forward to coming months where we will offer even more disruptive LEI services and consumption models. Our partnership is supporting innovation on both sides, and we’re very happy about that.
TV: We service a wide range of customers from all verticals using LEIs to meet all the regulatory requirements. Like the team at RapidLEI we truly believe that LEIs should be the single organisational identifier that provides identity across many use cases. We believe in the bigger vision that LEIs will soon be used in a system to attest to the authority of individuals to represent their companies. That’s why we like working with RapidLEI – they have a compelling roadmap to make this happen.
SW: Finally, what’s next for LEI-Register?
TP: We have a busy 2019 planned. We will soon launch a partner programme to support a multi-tier approach to providing LEIs. We will also launch our new bank offering that is designed to support the on-demand need for banks to obtain LEIs. We’ll also be entering new countries, expanding our team, and of course keep on improving our service as our customer base grows.
LEI’s are available from LEI-Register at www.legalentityidentifier.co.uk.