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27 September 2017

Understanding the economic impact of targeted sanctions - a video with the US State Department’s Dr Daniel P. Ahn

Ted Datta

As noted here, here and here we recently made five short compliance-related videos featuring speakers from our AML4 and sanctions forum.

In the penultimate video of this series, Dr Daniel P. Ahn – deputy chief economist at the US Department of State – answers questions about the trailblazing research that he conducted on the impact of targeted sanctions, and discusses the pivotal role that Orbis played in the research process.

Daniel begins by pointing out that targeted sanctions – which, unlike more traditional sanctions, are directed towards "specific individuals and entities," rather than regions or nations, "is a relatively newer tool of foreign policy". As such, it's been important for governing bodies and sanctioning agencies to determine the efficacy of this new type of sanctions.

This is where Daniel's research comes in, as the purpose of his study was to try to measure "the impact of targeted sanctions". And Daniel is very clear in stating that Orbis's information has proved instrumental in carrying out this research.

This is because, as he explains, "Orbis is able to provide us with that very detailed firm and individual level networked data to allow us to track the financial health of the entities, such as their operating revenue, their asset holdings, their number of employees, as well as the relationship between the firms and the sanction of the individuals that allows us to do this 'big data study' successfully".

After digging down deeply into some of the details of the study and how Orbis was able to help, Daniel was asked his opinion on what types of industries or businesses he predicts might have an out-sized influence on sanctions screening in the near future. In his well-considered response, Daniel focused on FinTech and RegTech companies and their development of AI techniques. Pointing to a more macro techno trend, Daniel ends by saying: "We suspect that the technology sector will become an ever more important player and partner with the private sector and with the sanctioning authorities to ensure that sanctions compliance is successful."

Watch the short video.

Ted Datta

Ted Datta, Director of GRC Solutions

Ted helps organisations streamline their due diligence, onboarding and risk management processes. He is a regular contributor to Europe’s leading compliance
and financial crime forums.

Ted helps organisations streamline their due diligence, onboarding and risk management processes. He is a regular contributor to Europe’s leading compliance
and financial crime forums.

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