SmartSearch, a provider of digital compliance and anti-money laundering solutions, has appointed Phil Cotter to the position of CEO.

Based in Ilkley near Leeds, SmartSearch featured in 16th spot on our RegTech 50 ranking late last year.

The move follows the completion of a majority investment by Triple Private Equity, the first investment made by Triple’s inaugural Fund I, focused on investing in B2B mission-critical vertical software and data businesses headquartered in the UK and the Nordic Region.

Cotter brings a wealth of compliance, risk, and leadership expertise to the role, having held senior positions at the London Stock Exchange Group, Refinitiv, Thomson Reuters and Experian. He joins following the decision of outgoing CEO Guy Harrison to move on to take on a new opportunity ‘closer to home’.

Cotter has been working as an external advisor to Triple and has worked with Triple’s founding partner, Ben Shepherd, for several years prior. 

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“SmartSearch is at the cutting edge in the digital compliance market, and it’s an incredibly exciting time to join this growing business,” said Cotter. “Organisations in regulated industries need to ensure they remain compliant in the markets within which they operate, while also keeping their customers safe from fraud and money laundering. 

“These two challenges are intrinsically linked, and SmartSearch is perfectly positioned to help businesses rise to the task. I look forward to leading the organisation during this next period of growth.”

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Martin Cheek, co-founder and managing director of SmartSearch, said: “SmartSearch was born to help protect people and businesses from money laundering and fraud. This remains at the heart of our business. 

“Now, with this significant investment from Triple and the vast industry expertise Phil Cotter brings to the role, I look forward to making it even easier for our customers to stay compliant, while going even further to protect them from money laundering and fraud.”

Shepherd added: “SmartSearch’s market-leading product and services and exemplary approach to customers has made it a category leader in the UK with significant customer traction and led by a great team. 

“It’s great to be able to work with Phil again, and he’s undoubtedly the right leader to take SmartSearch to the next stage of their growth.”

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