Tom Padgett

Tom Padgett

Smarsh President and General Manager of Enterprise, Tom Padgett, discusses the latest innovations in regtech and how Smarsh is leading in compliance

How does your position now differ from your dream job as a child?  

I wanted to be a pro athlete so it’s very similar in that it’s highly competitive and there’s typically a winner and a loser, but there certainly aren’t crowds cheering for me or booing me.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?  

I’ll position this as it relates to leadership advice. I was told to actively try to recruit people who are better than me, then struggle to try to find ways to develop them.

Describe yourself in three words.  

Competitive, Caring, Accountable

What is the biggest workplace challenge you face day to day?  

It’s really not much different than it has always been as a leader.  It’s effectively communicating to different individuals with different goals and aspirations in a way that they all feel aligned around what we’re trying to accomplish and they understand how important they are in achieving that goal.

What is the best thing about your role at Smarsh? 

The best thing about my role has to be the proximity I have to our customers and really being able to understand why our solutions are so valued. As head of the Enterprise business, I’m in regular communication with our largest customers, learning how Smarsh platforms and services are solving their compliance challenges. It’s also so fulfilling to observe how, as their relationships with Smarsh develop, our customers increasingly perceive their communications data not as a challenge but as a source of valuable intelligence.  

Can you tell us about the latest innovations in regtech?

An area of innovation that has really caught my attention in recent months has been how regtech providers are responding to the normalisation of hybrid working models and the increasing use of mobile communication channels. 

Smarsh identified early on that these developments would make “Change-of-venue” conversations, whereby people continue the same conversation across different channels, a serious compliance challenge. In response, we’re constantly expanding the platforms we monitor, meaning that our customers can supervise conversations regardless of the channel – this includes encrypted apps like WhatsApp and WeChat.  

How can, or will, AI change the game in regtech? 

In many ways, it already has. As our customers increasingly adopt AI tools in their businesses, they’re naturally curious about how we are incorporating this technology into our solutions. Furthermore, for RegTech companies focused on communications compliance, I do believe that the rise in the scale and diversity of content means that AI is no longer “nice-to-have”, but an essential component to compliance solutions. 

What is Smarsh doing to help innovate in the space?

We spotted the trends earlier than most, and over five years ago, put together machine learning engineers and compliance experts to collaborate on the opportunities presented through the use of AI in compliance. This years-long collaboration culminated last year with the release of our AI-powered Smarsh Enterprise Platform, which provides our customers with unique insights into how communication drives their businesses.

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