Karl Payeur recently joined FTI Technology as a Senior Managing Director leading the Technology and Forensic and Litigation Consulting segments in France. With more than 28 years of international experience, Karl brings extensive expertise in digital forensic, investigation, regulatory compliance, corporate governance, financial crime advisory and technology services to FTI Consulting. We had a lengthy discussion with Karl about technology, key issues facing clients in France and his view on leadership during difficult times. In Part 1 of this Q&A, he discusses the important role AI and advanced technology will play in addressing persistent legal, regulatory and operational challenges.
Karl, welcome to FTI. Can you discuss what you’re planning to focus on in the coming year?
The pandemic has prompted a significant appetite for better use of technology among organizations in France, especially across compliance and legal use cases. This is a big change for most corporations, and many are still yet to start the journey on how to leverage technology to maintain compliance. Compounding the issue is that new guidelines are being issued all the time, so legal and compliance teams are stuck in a seemingly perpetual game of catch-up.
So, this is where our teams will be focused—helping our clients utilize advanced technology like AI to identify and manage risks across a broad range of legal and regulatory matters.
Why have organizations typically been reluctant to adopt analytics tools? How will FTI’s teams help them overcome common barriers or misconceptions?
There are many reasons why organizations have struggled with adopting AI and other advanced tools. One is that in Europe, AI and data use are regulated. This has created a lot of fear and questions. Organizations want to know what exactly is happening behind the machine, how the data is being used and whether it’s creating new data privacy issues.
Poor data quality is another challenge. Most organizations have hundreds or thousands of different data sources that are all generating, sharing and storing information—and these are growing all the time. This leads to massive volumes of disparate data that may contain a significant amount of outdated or inaccurate information that undermines the efficacy of any machine learning application. As a result, transformation stalls.
And so, we need to be flexible. We can help with controls and policies, and getting the data in order. We can help our clients to do small, specific projects that are manageable and provide quick wins. We can put safeguards in place so that clients get value now and grow from there. Then at the industry level, clients can build upon each other’s experiences. In addition, we can help clients with change management. When these processes are new, we need to take time with clients and make sure they know how to help their teams adopt and maintain new systems and workflows.
What other issues do you expect to see among clients in the year ahead?
Things are moving very quickly with digital transformation. In many organizations, this rapid pace of change has revealed significant gaps in legal and compliance operations. In an ideal scenario, legal and compliance teams should be leading their organization in technology use and their ability to anticipate new challenges and crises. In-house teams are beginning to recognize that technology-enabled strategies are needed to meet today’s governance and legal operations demands. I expect we’ll see growing interest in France and Europe more broadly for support and expertise on this front.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.