Trading places - a compliance success story


With over 200,000 trades and trade volumes of close to two billion shares for the six-month period as it approached a major IT systems review, the ability to meet the legislative and operational requirements meant the pressure on Afrifocus was extraordinary.

The industry that the company plays in is possibly the most complex when it comes to compliance and legislation – most especially after the latest market crash. Moreover, email requirements stipulate that messages ,specifying and financial transaction need to be archived before they are even opened. In addition, the attachments can often be very large, with some research notes easily exceeding 5MB and an average trader’s public folder sitting at around 40GB. Being aware of the impending compliance requirements, Moosa Kotwal, IT Manager of Afrifocus began searching for solutions by closely examining hardware, software and offsite storage – all of which turned out to be exceptionally expensive.

Offsite archiving and how it is done affect the chain of custody when working with electronic evidence. If data is stored correctly, the integrity of the mail is retained and it can be used as supporting evidence should it be needed. In the financial services industry where the timing of an instruction from a client can mean the difference between a profit and a loss, the integrity of email evidence is vital.

“The cost of archiving and storage alone was a headache, but add to this the costs of skills transfer and maintenance, and it’s clear that we were facing a business operations nightmare before we turned to Mimecast,” says Kotwal.


Afrifocus turned to Mimecast Unified Email Management (UEM). Mimecast UEM is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering the gives clients access to carrier-class archiving infrastructure which ensures absolute compliance and email business continuity without a cent spent on equipment or software.

The understandable crackdown on compliance in the financial industry means the encryption and security requirements are onerous. Kotwal believes that the Mimecast UEM solution solved all of the business issues the new compliance standards raised, but without requiring new hardware, ongoing maintenance and any of the costs of the related IT skills.

Afrifocus can now tag certain documents as confidential, ensuring failsafe corporate security and absolute compliance to various legislation and JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) regulations.

If challenged or facing legislative proceedings, email data must be complete. Mimecast UEM provides Afrifocus with proof of delivery and copies of email pre-posting of disclaimer. The chain of custody is complete, meaning that each email sent and received by Afrifocus will stand up in court.

The Mimecast team worked closely with the Afrifocus IT department to ensure the correct policies were applied to each email, that it was impossible to tamper or delete email or attachments and that access and eDiscovery searches would be performed timeously and rigorously. In addition, Mimecast provided data leak prevention and an email antivirus solution that work with the Afrifocus email client, combined with constant email monitoring and email archive services.

Mimecast provides email continuity software solutions for end users through any planned or unplanned outage of the Afrifocus email environment. Regardless of whether the problem is with the mail server (such as a database corruption), or with a supporting system (like an Active Directory outage), Mimecast ensures users can still work normally from a variety of email clients including Microsoft Outlook, mobile devices or a webmail interface.

This is of particular importance to a company like Afrifocus that can lose a personal fortune in the blink of eye if a trade instruction is missed. Mimecast delivers an email continuity solution as part of its unified approach to email archiving. It can deliver 100% access to email, even during catastrophic outages and server recovery.

Sector: Finance, Banking, Insurance
Size: 45+End Users
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
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