Glasgow tech group pledges 33 high-value jobs after £2m AI grant

A Glasgow-based regulatory technology business has scooped close to £2 million to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) platform to help reduce risk for its financial services clients.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Encompass office in Glasgow. Picture: Scottish Enterprise

Encompass has pledged to create up to 33 high-value jobs after receiving a £1.97m research and development grant from Scottish Enterprise, which comes as part of a wider expansion project at the Glasgow firm with a total value of £4.9m.

The regtech, which already employs 46 people, has so far primarily focused on its Know Your Customer (KYC) product – using data analytics to ensure its clients do not unknowingly trade with organised crime or the proceeds of crime, in keeping with new legislation introduced after the global financial crisis.

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This latest funding boost – announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today – will allow Encompass to develop an AI service to help its clients find risk-relevant information about their customers more quickly.

Encompass co-founder and CEO Wayne Johnson with the First Minister. Picture: Scottish Enterprise

Factors such as adverse news reports and risk-relevant data can have a significant impact on a company’s market value. Encompass’s AI tool will allow financial services clients to avoid manual searches by relying on an “accurate and automated” method, which in turn will help their own companies to manage their reputational risk.

'Crucial' work

Wayne Johnson, Encompass co-founder and chief executive, said the grant “will allow us to carry out crucial, timely work. There is a considerable demand in our space for a solution of this kind, and this development will be central to us continuing to bring innovative solutions to the market and our customers.

“We are particularly pleased to be able to advance our work in Glasgow in this way. We have enjoyed excellent support and growth here, and look forward to furthering that growth, while bringing in more skilled employees as a result of this project.”

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Paul Lewis, managing director at Scottish Enterprise, added: “We have a long-standing relationship with Encompass, having supported the company to choose Glasgow for the development of its initial KYC product.

“It’s great to see Encompass expanding its presence into this new area of AI with its adverse news screening tool – for which there is a strong and immediate market demand.

“The decision to bring further investment to Glasgow is another vote of confidence in Scotland’s already-strong reputation for tech innovation and as a location for skilled and high-value jobs.”