Neil Ward & Associates signs partnerships in Europe and Asia

19 October 2020 3 min. read

UK-based consulting firm Neil Ward & Associates has in the past weeks bolstered its offerings with two new international partnerships. 

Property offerings

The partnership with LightWorks Ventures – a Singapore based business – sees the two firms team up to establish the joint venture Lightworks Digital. This venture will invest in promising property and real estate start-ups in Southeast Asia, help portfolio companies with their growth, and build mutual collaborations with existing companies in LightWorks Ventures’ portfolio. 

Founded in 2018 by Bruce Musick, Lightworks Ventures owns a portfolio of brands including digital media companies as well as a number of property-related companies. The latter portfolio includes a regulated fractional property transaction business, a short-term rental platform for experiential travelers, a student digital market platform, an integrated co-working platform and an urban accommodation for young professionals. 

Neil Ward & Associates signs partnerships in Europe and Asia

Established in 2016 by Neil Ward, a former General Manager at Skype and most recently CEO at financial services firm KNEIP, Neil Ward & Associates is a consulting firm that helps clients in the UK and beyond with a range of management consultancy services. The firm also has a track record in venture capital, having previously invested in companies in the education, retail, technology and energy sectors.

“Lightworks Ventures felt like the perfect fit,” said Ward. “We are focused on investing in businesses that strive to make a positive change in the world [housing is a serious issue for many in Southeast Asia]. Bruce and his team of visionaries gives us a powerful opportunity to realise this mission.” 

According to Musick, “the experience and strength of Neil Ward & Associates in working with businesses of all sizes to optimise their entire operations, including their digital capabilities will help us be a driving force for change in the region.”

Banking proposition

Meanwhile, in Europe, Neil Ward & Associates has entered into a partnership with Salv, a company that provides financial services institutions with an anti-money laundering, crime-fighting platform.

“Having worked closely with the Salv founders [Taavi Tamkivi, Jeff McClelland and Sergei Rumjantsev] over the last 15 years, we are proud to be advocating such a smart technology solution,” said Moly McMillan, Associate Partner at the UK consulting firm. “Their unique understanding of operating scale and compliance needed, along with deep anti-money laundering understanding, make this a natural partnership opportunity.” 

The collaboration comes at a time of heightened interest for anti-money laundering technology. Banks globally are struggling to efficiently comply with regulatory requirements, and more so, in the case they fail to do, they face hefty fines for non-compliance. According to data from the Association of Financial Crime Specialists, in 2019 alone 58 penalties were handed down worldwide totalling a staggering $8.1 billion. 

Technology is seen as a key enabler of improving effectiveness and efficiency, and this is where Salv comes in. “Their platform gives companies the money laundering detection, flexibility and speed they need to get ahead of today’s financial criminals,” explained McMillan.

The partnership will be integrated into the Financial Services offering of Neil Ward & Associates. “Their vast expertise in management consulting combined with our innovative technology is a winning combination to solve a key risk and cost centre in financial institutions today,” said Tamkivi.