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Tier1 Acquires Compliance and Financial Crime Prevention Software Solution, Alessa

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The acquisition expands Tier1’s portfolio of digital transformation solutions to optimize client engagement, increase operational efficiency and reduce regulatory compliance risk, and is in conjunction with President Jiro Okochi’s promotion to CEO of Tier1.

TORONTO and NEW YORK, January 15, 2021 – Tier1 Financial Solutions, a leading provider of client relationship management (“CRM”) solutions, has acquired Alessa, a compliance and financial crime prevention solution. The acquisition positions Tier1 to significantly grow its portfolio of solutions to meet its ambitious goal to digitally transform processes within organizations for greater client insights, revenue protection, regulatory compliance and AI-driven automation. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Alessa is an industry-recognized software solution that is used by banks, credit unions, money services businesses (MSBs), casinos and fintechs for compliance to global anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. Alessa also has a significant global footprint with organizations in the retail, healthcare, insurance and other corporate sectors with its continuous controls monitoring and fraud prevention capabilities.

Tier1’s acquisition of Alessa is a step towards the digitalization of the entire client relationship workflow. The acquisition will not only increase operational efficiency and reduce regulatory compliance risk but also lead to the “single source of truth” of client data across the full range of financial institutions, from global banks to small, local trading firms. In turn, bank customers will also enjoy a better on-boarding experience which can be frustrating if regulatory compliance is delayed with too many manual processes.

“Regulatory requirements are no longer just a bank compliance department issue but an important part of front-office workflow and client lifecycle management,” said Jiro Okochi, CEO of Tier1 Financial Solutions. “We are very excited about joining forces with Alessa and together accelerating the digital transformation of our client’s transactional workflow.”

“We are excited to be part of the Tier1 family as this allows us to be even more aggressive in our barrier-breaking mindset to deliver powerful solutions to the multi-billion-dollar compliance and fraud prevention market,” said Andrew Simpson, Chief Operating Officer of Alessa operations. “All our customers, partners and team members will benefit from this acquisition as it enables us to accelerate delivery on our bold promises.”

Alessa will become part of the Tier1 branded product suite. Andrew Simpson will remain as Chief Operating Officer reporting to Jiro Okochi who assumed the CEO role of Tier1 Financial Solutions on January 1, 2021. Co-founders Mark Notten and Phil Dias will continue as Board Member and become Board Advisor, respectively.

Portico Capital served as exclusive financial advisor to Alessa with respect to this transaction. Tier1 Financial Solutions investor WaveCrest Growth Partners served as business advisors to Tier1 in its ongoing commitment to and investment in the company’s strategic growth plans.

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About Tier1 Financial Solutions

Tier1 Financial Solutions is a leader in client relationship management software for capital markets and investment banking. Tier1 empowers its clients to create sales opportunities and maximize client interactions while increasing productivity and reducing relationship risk. Trusted by nearly 20,000 CRM users worldwide, Tier1 delivers workflow-optimized experiences, prompted insights and a centralized view of client interactions that drive revenue-generating engagements – all on a capital markets grade security engine.  Serving the unique needs of Research, Sales & Trading, Corporate & Investment Banking, and Investment Management professionals, Tier1 advances client relationships and workflows with data-driven insights across desktop and mobile devices, empowering collaboration, transparency and communication. For more information, visit www.tier1fin.com.

About Alessa

Alessa is a compliance, controls monitoring and fraud prevention solution for banking, insurance, fintech, gaming, manufacturing, retail and more. With deployments around the world, Alessa allows organizations to quickly detect suspicious transactions, identify high-risk customers and vendors and decrease fraud risks that reduces profitability and increases costs. To learn more about how Alessa can help your organization ensure compliance to regulations, detect complex fraud schemes, and prevent waste, abuse and misuse, visit us at https://www.alessa.com/.

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When Ontario declared a COVID-19 health emergency last spring, the first instinct of Ottawa entrepreneur Peter O’Blenis was to preserve cash.

“We basically stopped our discretionary spending,” said O’Blenis, the co-founder and CEO of Evidence Partners, which makes software for accelerating the review of scientific and medical literature, using artificial intelligence. “We cut investments in things meant to help us grow.”

It was a defensive posture born of experience. O’Blenis had 12 years earlier nearly been crushed by the global financial crisis. Another looked to be on the way.

In 2008, O’Blenis and his colleagues, Jonathan Barker and Ian Stefanison, hit a brick wall with their first venture, TrialStat, which helped hospitals manage patients’ electronic data. While TrialStat had secured $5.5 million in venture financing just a couple of years earlier, the founders had burned through most of it during a rapid expansion. When the financial world collapsed, so did their firm.

The trio played things far more conservatively with Evidence Partners, which has relied almost exclusively on customer revenues to finance expansion.

The caution proved unnecessary. Like so many other businesses, O’Blenis underestimated the government’s willingness to keep the economy afloat with easy money. Nor did he anticipate that COVID-19 would prove a significant catalyst for the firm’s revenues so soon.

Evidence Partners is hardly the only local firm with technology particularly suited for the war against COVID-19. Spartan Bioscience and DNA Genotek adapted existing products to create technology for identifying the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Ottawa-based units of Abbott Laboratories and Siemens Healthineers make portable blood analyzers that diagnose patients afflicted by the virus.

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Shepherds of Good Hope wants to expand ByWard Market operation with eight-storey housing complex

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The Shepherds of Good Hope plans to build an eight-storey building near its current shelter for the homeless in the ByWard Market that would include supportive housing for up to 48 people, a soup kitchen and a drop-in centre.

The organization says it wants to be part of the solution to the housing crisis that has fuelled a rise in homelessness in Ottawa.

People would be moved out of the emergency shelters and into their own tiny apartments in the complex, which would include a communal dining hall and staff available to help with mental health, addiction and medical problems, said Caroline Cox, senior manager of communications for the Shepherds.

Some residents in the neighbourhood are opposed, saying services for the homeless and vulnerable should not be concentrated in one area of the city.

“I was flabbergasted,” said homeowner Brian Nolan, who lives one block from the development proposed for 216 Murray St., where currently a one-story building houses offices for the Shepherds of Good Hope.

Nolan said that, in the 15 years he’s lived in the area, it has become increasingly unsafe, with home and car thefts, drug dealing, loitering, aggressive and erratic behaviour, urinating, defecating and vomiting on sidewalks and yards and sexual acts conducted in public on his dead-end street. Before he lets his son play basketball in the yard, he checks the ground for needles and his home security camera to see who is nearby.

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Carleton University Hosts the Forum Lecture: Towards a Feminist Post-COVID City

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evehe Carleton University Forum Lecture: Towards a Feminist Post-COVID City given by Leslie Kern launches Ottawa Architecture Week. Urban geographer, author and academic, Kern will discuss how the pandemic has highlighted long-standing inequalities in the design, use and inclusivity of urban spaces. The talk will share some of the core principles behind a feminist urban vision to inform a wider vision of justice, equity and sustainability.

When
: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
Registration: https://alumni.carleton.ca/event-registration-architecture-forum-series-with-leslie-kern-2/.

About the Speaker

Kern holds a PhD in Women’s Studies from York University. She is currently an associate professor of Geography and Environment and director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Mount Allison University.

Kern is the author of two books on gender and cities, including Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Made World (Verso). The book discusses how our cities have failed in terms of fear, motherhood, friendship, activism, the joy and perils of being alone, and also imagines what they could become.

Kern argues, “The pandemic has shown us that society can be radically reorganized if necessary. Let’s carry that lesson into creating the non-sexist city.”

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