This article first appeared in the October Orange Rag
Alternative legal services provider Integreon in October announced a new partnership with Seal Software, in what will start as a LIBOR repapering offering but is expected to expand far beyond that. We spoke to Integreon’s CEO Bob Rowe and Integreon’s senior VP of contracts, compliance and commercial services, Jeff Catanzaro about their plans.
Seal’s contract analytics LIBOR Insight Accelerator will immediately be a key component of Integreon’s recently launched LIBOR Transition Readiness Task Force, which is led by Catanzaro, who joined Integreon from UnitedLex in September. Incidentally, he rejoins Rowe: the pair previously worked together at Huron Legal.
The LIBOR Task Force assists banks and financial institutions to move away from the LIBOR Reference Rate which ends in 2021. Industry estimates suggest that phasing out the LIBOR reference rate will impact over $350 trillion worth of contracts and render obsolete LIBOR contract clauses residing in 100+ million documents.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider at Legal Geek, Catanzaro said: “We looked at various tools specially for LIBOR and selected Seal as a result of both product analysis and speaking to clients in the market – the banks that we spoke to as part of our market research and exploratory meetings are picking Seal.”
Rowe added: “We started with the premise that our financial services clients have a big problem, so rather than saying ‘We need to find technology’ we said, ‘How do solve LIBOR?’ That led to this partnership: a point solution that’s a starting point but that we expect to grow and be needed for problems outside of LIBOR.”
Accenture recently conducted a survey which showed that organisations are not nearly as prepared as they should be for LIBOR. Rowe said: “The client doesn’t want to have to put the puzzle together, but they have a lot of people approaching them saying ‘we provide this piece’. We want to make sure that when we walk in, we provide the whole solution. Seal out of the box can get to a deep analysis where others require more effort.”
LIBOR is not just a legal problem, it involves multiple stakeholders and Catanzaro told us: “The stakeholders aren’t talking to each other. There are compliance, contract and regulatory issues and each of those stakeholders is looking at how to solve LIBOR so we’re saying we take a holistic approach. It will cost you £1 to find the contracts but for £1.10 you can address all of the issues. We’re saying don’t just spend £1, be more thoughtful about it.”
Integreon now has 300+ staff in the UK and says it has the ability to scale as necessary. Catanzaro said: “We have people being trained on Seal right now and it’s going to be a continuing education. Our team is building analytical models specific to LIBOR. We’re not just licensing the software, we’re truly partnering with them.”