New Company Helps Financial Institutions Comply with Patriot Act, Bank Secrecy Act and Other Regulations

New Company Helps Financial Institutions Comply with Patriot Act, Bank Secrecy Act and Other Regulations Fortent, a company created specifically to deliver a comprehensive suite of risk and compliance solutions to financial institutions worldwide, was launched today. Warburg Pincus, the global private equity firm, provided a significant equity commitment to the new enterprise. In a marketplace characterized by fragmented offerings from a multitude of suppliers, the new company satisfies the accelerating demand for a total risk-compliance solution.

Fortent combines Searchspace, a leading anti-money laundering solution, and Semagix, a pioneering Know Your Customer and Enhanced Due Diligence product, into a single, powerful brand. This new combination, for the first time, sets a global standard for risk and compliance services.

In the wake of 9/11 and other terrorist activity around the globe, regulators have increased the pressure on financial institutions to stem the flow of money laundering and address the estimated $500 billion to $1 trillion of “dirty money” slipping through the world’s financial markets each year. With this stepped up law enforcement and the broad new requirements of the USA PATRIOT Act and Bank Secrecy Act, financial institutions are in a rapidly changing, often confusing regulatory environment which exposes them to reputational, operational, and financial risks, as well as potential criminal charges.

“The combination of Searchspace and Semagix is an unbeatable one-two punch in the risk and compliance area, and what is exciting is that this is only the beginning,” said Sandy Jaffee, CEO of Fortent. Ms. Jaffee joined Fortent from Warburg Pincus where, as Entrepreneur-in-Residence, she was part of the team that acquired Searchspace and Semagix. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, she served as President and CEO of Citibank’s Global Securities Services.

As part of its expanding global footprint in risk and compliance, Fortent also provides Fraud Management Solutions that identify unusual and suspicious behavior, targeting risk that directly affects a company’s bottom line. In addition, this fall Fortent will launch a comprehensive subscription-based News and Information Service addressing regulatory developments.

Supplementing the industry-leading technology systems of Searchspace and Semagix, both of which will retain their names as product brands under Fortent, is a management team recruited from executive positions in the regulatory area and major financial institutions. “This ‘bankers talking to bankers’ approach is Fortent’s signature,” observed Tony Terracciano, a leading voice in the banking industry for over three decades and a member of Fortent’s Board of Directors. “Risk and compliance are major areas of concern for a CEO, and the fact that Fortent knows how financial institutions and regulators think makes them invaluable as a business partner and advisor.”

“When Warburg Pincus was looking to invest in the risk and compliance area, we interviewed more than 75 CEOs, regulators, industry advisors, and consultants around the world,” said Mimi Strouse, a Warburg Pincus managing director and Fortent’s Chairman of the Board. “We consistently heard the need for a comprehensive solution, and we set out to find the best. After researching over 180 vendors in the compliance-risk industry to find the company with the best products, clients, expertise, and reputation among the world’s leading financial institutions, we found that company in Searchspace, which became the launch pad of this new enterprise.”

In addition to Sandy Jaffee, Mimi Strouse, and Tony Terracciano, other Fortent board members include Rich Green, Executive Vice President of Software, Sun Microsystems, Inc.; James Neary, a Warburg Pincus managing director; and Peter J. Wallison, former White House Counsel and General Counsel to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Observed Mr. Wallison, “Regulators both here and abroad put the responsibility for managing risk and compliance strictly at the top of the organization – the CEO and the Board. This is a C-suite issue, and Fortent is the company that provides the combination of technology and expertise to address its strategic importance.”


Fortent offers financial institutions the security of working with the leading provider in enterprise-wide risk and compliance solutions. From ongoing access to its experienced advisors to its intelligent, ABA-endorsed technology platform, Fortent is redefining the role of comprehensive risk and compliance solutions in the financial services industry.

Fortent’s clients include Commerce Bank, JP Morgan, Barclays, Chevy Chase Bank, First Bank of Tennessee, Lloyds TSB, Société Générale, The Bank of New York, The Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, and Washington Mutual. Fortent has offices in New York, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Sydney, Atlanta, and San Francisco.


Leading regional, national, and global financial institutions, including more than half of the world's top 25 banks, rely on Searchspace anti-money laundering and fraud solutions. A highly flexible and scalable platform, Searchspace monitors simple, low-volume product lines to mega-volumes of transactions to complex financial instruments such as derivatives and swaps. These sophisticated, 24x7 detection techniques mean that both new and existing forms of money laundering and fraud can be detected – safeguarding financial institutions today and tomorrow. The Searchspace anti-money laundering solution is endorsed by the American Bankers Association.


The Semagix Know Your Customer solution allows financial institutions to deploy an adaptable, risk-based approach to identification, verification, and enhanced due diligence processes to comply with legislative regulations, including Sections 312 and 326 of the USA PATRIOT Act and other directives. The fully customizable solution can adapt to changing requirements in the compliance environment, allowing an organization’s investment in a system to grow with its changing needs.


Warburg Pincus has been a leading private equity investor since 1971. Throughout its 40- year history in private equity, Warburg Pincus has invested at all stages of a company's life cycle, from founding start-ups and providing growth capital to leading restructurings, recapitalizations, and buy-outs. The firm currently has approximately $13 billion under management and invests in a range of sectors including information and communication technology, financial services, healthcare, LBOs and special situations, media and business services, energy, and real estate. Warburg Pincus has raised 11 private equity investment funds which have invested more than $23 billion in approximately 540 companies in 30 countries. Currently the firm is investing from an $8 billion fund which closed in August 2005. An experienced partner to entrepreneurs seeking to create and build durable companies with sustainable value, Warburg Pincus has offices in North America, Europe, and Asia and an active portfolio of more than 100 companies.

The firm also has a long history as a successful investor in the financial technology sector, including investments in TradeCard, Wall Street Systems, and Yodlee. For more information, please visit:

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