FS Vector Adds Two Regulatory Experts to Firm

FS Vector Enables Fintech Innovation by Helping Clients with Business, Regulatory and Policy Challenges

WASHINGTON, DC—Today FS Vector announced the addition of Amy Friend and David Cotney as senior advisors.  They offer a unique mix of state and federal regulatory experience as well as a strong background in dealing with cutting edge fintech matters. They will both advise FS Vector clients on a range of matters, including licensing, regulatory compliance, and strategic partnerships. 

I’m both proud and excited to work with Amy Friend and David Cotney,” said FS Vector co-founder Raj Date. “The latticework of federal and state policy is part of what makes the American system so resilient, but it can also be confounding for would-be innovators in financial services. Amy’s decades of leadership in federal financial services policy, both on the Hill and at the OCC, and David’s decades of leadership in state financial services policy, both within Massachusetts but also on behalf of state regulators nationwide, make them perfectly suited to help banks and fintech firms navigate a broad range of regulatory issues.” Date, himself the founding Deputy Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, added “both Amy and David are rare talents, and I couldn’t be happier that they are helping to build FS Vector.” 

Amy Friend previously served as Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Counsel at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), where she led the agency’s legal and licensing activities. Beginning In 2015, Friend led the agency’s innovation initiative that resulted in the publication of the OCC’s first white paper on the subject, and subsequently, the formation of the OCC’s Office of Innovation, and the availability of the Special Purpose National Bank Charter for fintech companies. Friend previously served as Managing Director at Promontory Financial Group and as Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. “Amy’s understanding of the US legislative and regulatory framework is unparalleled. Her experience, especially as it related to financial innovation, will serve our clients well.  We are fortunate to have her on our team,” said FS Vector CEO John Beccia.  

David Cotney previously served as Commissioner of Banks for the Massachusetts Division of Banks where he was responsible for the supervision of nearly 200 state-chartered banks and credit unions. Cotney also served as the Chairman of the State Liaison Committee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). “Financial firms often find it difficult to navigate state licensing and regulatory oversight” said FS Vector Partner John Collins. “David’s experience at the FFIEC and CSBS will be instrumental in working to address these issues from a policy perspective and allow us to assist clients in getting to market,” he added. 

The duo will be joined by Bryan Mulcahey who recently started with the firm. Mulcahey was Principal and Chief of Staff of the Anti-Money Laundering & Financial Crimes Division at Promontory Financial Group. Prior to Promontory, he served in the Honors Program in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations and worked at The Financial Services Roundtable (now the Bank Policy Institute).


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FS Vector serves a range of innovative firms: fintech and regtech, cryptocurrency/blockchain, banks, securities firms, lenders, service providers and trade associations. FS Vector’s core services include: (1) government and regulatory strategy/engagement, (2) business and operational advice, (3) compliance program management, (3) regtech solutions and (4) related training programs

FS Vector Launches New Podcast: FINANCE REWIRED

Today we are proud to announce our new podcast, Finance Rewired. This podcast will explore the issues and ideas that are shaping the next generation of financial services. We will feature a series of conversations with policymakers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who at the forefront of rethinking (and rewiring) financial products and the economy.

In our first episode, FS Vector Partner John Collins speaks with Paul Watkins, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Innovation, in his office in Washington, DC.  They discuss what fintech actually is, what's the latest with sandboxes and no action letters and how Paul ended up coming from Arizona to Washington.

Please give it a listen and stay tuned for more episodes coming soon.

FS Vector: Applying Lessons Learned To Create a New Model for Advisory Services

Nearly five years ago, I left my role with a private bank and joined a startup that was seeking to disrupt financial services and leverage blockchain technology to benefit consumers.  That experience gave me a unique perspective on the challenges facing entrepreneurs who are trying to bring positive change to the marketplace.

As a new type of financial technology company, we not only had to deal with the usual tasks associated with any startup venture (governance, fundraising, etc.), but we also had the added challenge of getting a product to market despite having an uncertain regulatory framework. From a compliance perspective, there was a need to build something that could adequately deal with risks that hadn't been assessed before.  By leveraging technology, and re-thinking compliance, we were able to mitigate these risks and create a more efficient program.   

Generally speaking, financial services firms face a lot of scrutiny.  Examiners, investors, bank partners, insurers and audit firms review the adequacy of risk management controls on an ongoing basis. It is important to have strong compliance programs and to proactively engage with regulators, law enforcement and other stakeholders to make sure they fully understand the business models and how an organization deals with the associated risks.

Over the years, I have worked with several lawyers, consultants and audit firms to address regulatory, compliance and financial risks. In many cases, it was difficult to find external resources that had the proper subject matter expertise.  Consultants often provide general advice that is not tailored to the business or the task at hand. And, larger firms tend to offer services at an exorbitant cost with little flexibility on the engagement structure.  

At FS Vector, we are taking lessons learned from prior experience to alter the traditional model of advisory services.  FS Vector was founded to offer practical solutions to clients and allow new ideas in finance to continue to evolve and prosper.

The goals of FS Vector are simple.

  • First, we want to be a trusted strategic partner with innovative financial services companies of all types and sizes. In order to do so, we will develop a team of individuals with relevant experience who understand these businesses and the related challenges.

  • Second, we will offer a wide variety of services, which includes everything from high level strategic advice to tactical program management and operational roadmaps.  If there are complimentary services we do not provide, we will find the right partner and help manage those relationships for clients as a central point of contact.

  • Third, we want to be more than an external expense. We will rely less on hourly fees and strive to have flexible engagements based on client's needs.  Our goal is to fully integrate with the business, drive efficiencies and allow companies to reach their goals.

  • Fourth, we will continue the development and re-imagining of compliance through the use of regtech solutions that are suitable for cutting edge companies. This can be achieved through the use of data, machine learning and artificial intelligence tools that will make programs more effective in detecting risks and reduce costs.

  • Finally, we want to be at the forefront of helping shape public policy.  Our goal is to create a collaborative forum that is a catalyst for financial services innovation. We intend to achieve this by organizing industry coalitions that will share information, develop best practices and communicate with key stakeholders.  We will also offer training programs, conduct research and organize events to educate and develop ideas on the best path forward. 

I am excited for this next chapter and the chance to work with a terrific team at FS Vector as well as entrepreneurs, compliance professionals and others who are making a positive impact on the financial services industry.   

John, Co-Founder and CEO