Saturday, May 25

Arrowheads – At the forefront of Mauritian crypto compliance services

Arrowheads is a consulting firm which specializes in AML/CFT compliance as a service. We provide advisory, training and audit services to financial institutions and service providers which are required to comply with anti-money laundering laws. We are based in Mauritius, but we target both local and regional clients.

We have been in business since 2018 and have serviced all sorts of financial institutions and service providers, including fund managers, investment funds, an investment bank, and of course trust and corporate service providers (or management companies as they are best known in Mauritius), as well as legal & accounting professionals.
We offer turnkey AML/CFT compliance programs, business and enterprise-wide risk assessments, customer risk assessments, sanction, media and PEP screening, employee and board training as well as audit services.

Our founder, Ovin Goordiah, has over 14 years of experience as a professional in the financial services sector. He started off as a corporate administrator and eventually moved into the compliance field. He is a certified anti-money laundering specialist and qualified in 2017 (CAMS).

Highlights from his career include being responsible during his time at Appleby Mauritius for the implementation and monitoring of the complex structures of HNW individuals mentioned in the Paradise Papers. He was also the Head of Compliance for ARIE Finance, an investment bank which has been established to meet the needs of the underserved mid-market business.

At the top of his career, Ovin took a leap of faith and relinquished a top position with an international institution to start his own business. He was not motivated as much by the money as by his desire to help the local sector in the fight against money laundering, terrorist-financing, arms, drugs, and human trafficking as well as illegal wildlife trade.

He is particularly moved by the non-financial consequences of non-compliance. The human and wildlife cost of the AML/CFT compliance failures of financial organizations and regulators is simply too high to remain insensitive too according to Ovin.

The culture at Arrowheads is one of excellence and the business strategy is that of continuous improvement. Because it is a small organization with a lean structure, all employees are encouraged to constantly look for ways to enhance operations. Ideas are welcome, debated and implemented fast. The top-down message is clear: cutting down unproductive work.

This translates into cost-effective and high-quality compliance services for our clients who are never left with a feeling of having wasted their resources by hiring us. The other main advantage of this approach is that we are always innovating and keeping abreast of the latest developments in the field of AML/CFT compliance.
As a forward-looking service provider, Arrowheads detected the potential for crypto assets in Mauritius early on. It focused on building its capacity and keeping pace with international expertise in this very specialized field of compliance which is increasingly being referred to as crypto compliance. As a result, when the licensing framework for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) was unveiled by the regulators in Mauritius, Arrowheads was ready to offer quality crypto compliance services not only to VASPs but also to traditional financial institutions and service providers which want to know their crypto exposure and how to mitigate the AML/CFT risks.

In January 2022, Arrowheads started a series of educational posts on its Linkedin page to foster awareness among its followers and compliance specialists about the fundamentals of crypto assets. The response was very positive, with the content even being cited by the Mauritius Africa Fintech Hub in one of its periodicals.

Shortly after the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius’ announcement of the licensing framework, Arrowheads started a series of webinars to create awareness about the AML/CFT compliance framework among local compliance specialists. Dubbed as a beginner’s guide, we have talked to the financial services sector and the real estate sector already – the response has been interesting. Compliance specialists are eager to learn, judging by the number of attendees and the many questions, but they believe that there is still a long way to go before the mainstreaming of crypto in Mauritius, even among service providers. The series is ongoing.

We believe that the licensing framework laid down by the Financial Services Commission for VASPs and private market initiatives such as the organization of the Crypto Summit by Wakanda 4.0 will be successful in attracting internationally renowned VASPs to Mauritius. We believe that the local market forces will follow through and that banking VASPs will become a reality sooner rather than later. Mauritius has as much potential as Bermuda or Gibraltar in becoming a crypto friendly jurisdiction. This is why we fully support the cryptoverse summit and have decided to be one of its privileged sponsors.

On the compliance front, the insights and quality AML/CFT crypto compliance services we deliver to VASPs and traditional financial institutions will help build trust and confidence in the regulatory landscape for virtual assets. With Arrowheads as a reliable partner, local financial institutions and service providers will gain the confidence required to get into the relatively new world of virtual assets.

Whether you are a VASP, a traditional financial institution or a financial service provider, Arrowheads has your crypto compliance needs covered. We offer holistic, customized AML compliance programs specifically for crypto asset concerns. Whether you want to get into cryptocurrencies or NFTs, we will design an AML/CFT compliance program tailored to your specific needs.

In terms of risk assessment, we can assess the risk of VASPs, to allow you to understand the risk profile of the crypto service providers which you or your clients are dealing with. We can also profile the risks posed by crypto wallets to help you understand who you’re transacting with, and who they have been transacting with – this is essential to ensure that you remain compliant with sanctions regulations. We also offer crypto transaction monitoring to ensure our clients constantly remain aware of their risk exposure. You will be notified within minutes of any suspicious activity.

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