11 women changing the US RegTech industry you need to know about right now

From: RegTech Analyst

The US is spearheading the RegTech revolution. So why not find out more about the women leading the charge?

North American RegTech companies are dominating the industry when it comes to investment. The companies in the US and Canada attracted more than half of the global investment going into the industry between 2015 and 2019, according to RegTech Analyst’s research.

However, while the RegTech industry, much like the FinTech industry, tends to be more male dominated, women are stepping up to lead this emerging sector into the future.

So, we wanted to take the opportunity and tell you more about 11 of the women leading the charge in alphabetical order.

Ivy Dai, chief compliance officer, First Commercial Bank

Ivy Dai has clocked up an impressive CV over the past decade. During that time she has had roles at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Bank of Communications, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of China and, most recently, as the chief compliance officer at First Commercial Bank in New York. During that time she has built up a reputation as an experienced financial services compliance professional with an in-depth understanding of what it takes to ensure regulatory compliance. She is scheduled to share her insights about regulatory risk and RegTech at the US RegTech Forum on March 31 in New York.

Karen Elinski, SVP government relations and public policy, Wells Fargo

Over the past two decades, Karen Elinski has established herself as a proven executive. She currently serves as the SVP of government relations and public policy at Wells Fargo, the multinational financial services company. She has experience of working with governmental organisations and several industry trade associations across the US.

Elinski has also been outspoken about the need for financial services firms to ensure they have inclusive cultures. “A corporation’s overall commitment to the customers it serves is reflected in a more diverse and inclusive workplace,” she recently said at an event, Forbes reported. “We see inclusion emerging as a powerful phenomenon around the world, producing better outcomes and sustainable growth.”

On March 31, she is scheduled to discuss how the introduction of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Consumer Protection Act have changed the playing field for financial services firms and the RegTech companies that support them at the US RegTech Forum.

Anne Higgins, senior vice president and head of regulatory engagement in technology and finance, Wells Fargo

Anne Higgins has come a long way since she graduated in 2003 from University of Technology in Sidney with a bachelor of science degree in computing science with a major in marketing. Since then she has clocked time at KPMG, Aon and JPMorgan Chase before landing her current role at Wells Fargo

As the international financial services firm’s senior vice president and head of regulatory engagement in technology and finance, Higgins is focused on contributing to the establishment of regulatory engagement strategy and embedding these in the overall enterprise as well as the company-wide standards for handling regulatory relations and the management of cross-group regulatory interactions.

Her current role and her experience of developing a technology risk identification program for JPMorgan have made her an expert in the RegTech field. She is slotted to share her insights at a panel discussion on the regulatory risks facing the financial industry at the US RegTech Summit on March 31.

Kavita Jain, director of the Office of Financial Innovation, FINRA

Technology has changed every industry from PropTech to entertainment. Smart devices today help people do everything from regulating the temperature in their flats to gauging what drivers should pay for their car insurance. Finance is no different to any other industry.

Kavita Jain has experienced this change first-hand in her role as director of the Office of Financial Innovation at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the non-governmental body set up to self-regulating the broker-dealer industry.

“The financial services industry has always been at the forefront of adopting technology; going back to the emergence of the internet, brokerage firms were quick to set up online brokerage services,”  Jain recently told Radar. “What is different now, as compared to ten years ago, is the confluence of multiple different emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence, blockchain or robotics process automation.”

She knows what she’s talking about. Jain has been at the forefront of the digitalisation of the financial industry for almost two decades. In her current role, she assists the Office of Financial Innovation to identify and analyse significant innovation-related developments in the securities industry and coordinating with various stakeholders to develop appropriate strategic responses. She leads several FinTech initiatives at FINRA including those related to blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, RegTech and online capital-raising platforms.

Jain was named as one of the leading women in FinTech by Innovate Finance and was included in the Women In FinTech Powerlist 2018.

She is slotted to share her insights from this period in a panel discussion on how regulators view RegTech at the US RegTech Forum in New York on March 31.

Melissa MacGregor, managing director and associate general counsel, SIFMA

Melissa MacGregor is a managing director and associate general counsel in Washington D.C at the Securities Industry and Financial Market Association (SIFMA), the trade group representing securities firms, banks and asset management companies. Her responsibilities at SIFMA include advising the advocacy and policy activities of the SIFMA General Counsels Committee, and the Technology and Regulation Committee, along with several specialised working groups.

Most recently, MacGregor has handled issues relating to electronic communications, FinTech, data aggregation, social media, recordkeeping, privacy and data protection.

Moreover, she is a member of the board of directors of the Financial Data Exchange. Prior to joining SIFMA in 2005, MacGregor practiced securities regulation at Crowell & Moring LLP and Clifford Chance LLP. She holds a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law and a BA from St. Lawrence University.

Jacqueline Molnar, chief transformation officer and global head of compliance, Western Union

The financial crisis of 2008 changed the world of finance. When the US subprime mortgage market bubble popped, it sent shockwaves across the world. Afterwards, lawmakers across the globe made serious efforts to avoid a similar crisis happening again. Laws like the American Dodd-Frank Act and the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) are the result of these efforts.

However, the push to safeguard consumers and the overall health of the financial system has made it challenging for financial service firms to be certain whether they are compliant or not.

Jacqueline Molnar is one of the people who knows a thing or thousand about how to find her way through these complicated times. She is the chief transformation officer and global head of compliance, Western Union, the Fortune 500 global leader in digital and retail cross-border money transfer and payments services.

Over the past two decades, she has had a front-row seat from where she has been able to see how the landscape has changed. She previously served as Western Union’s chief compliance officer. In this role, Molnar was responsible for strategic planning and leadership of Western Union’s anti-money laundering (AML) and countering terrorist financing, anti-bribery and anti-corruption, sanctions, fraud and consumer protection compliance programmes globally. She led a global team of over 2,000 professionals ensuring compliance coverage of business lines, legal entities, geographies and subject matters.

Prior to joining Western Union in 2013, Molnar held roles at Toronto Dominion Bank Group as vice president and associate global anti-money laundering officer, and Wells Fargo as vice president, assistant general counsel. She also practiced law at Gibson Dunn, Latham & Watkins and Herbert Smith Freehills.

Molnar is scheduled to share her experience and her insights at the US RegTech Forum in New York on March 31.

Melissa Murphy, head of US regulatory technology, Scotiabank

Melissa Murphy is not just the head of US regulatory technology at Scotiabank, the commercial banking company. She is also an outspoken senior leader in the banking industry who does not shy away from sensitive topics like diversity of unconscious bias.

She has attributed her passion for these subjects to her Irish and Middle Eastern decent, which made her aware during her studies how the lack of diversity and unconscious bias in the financial industry affects the sector. The core issue, according to her, is the culture in the industry.

Murphy believes that leaders can create an inclusive organisation by changing the culture by correctly balance the incentive structure of the financial industry.

Caroline D. Pham, Deputy head of global regulatory affairs, Citi

When Caroline D. Pham was 16 years old she went to study in Paris as part of an accelerated high school programme. In an Interview with the American Bar Association, Pham said that the experience of being exposed to different cultures in a foreign city made her passionate about international relations.

Since then she has followed her passion through a career as a law practitioner and at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). More recently, her passion for regulations and global relations has served her well in her current role as the director and general counsel and deputy head of global regulatory affairs at Citi, the international financial services firm.

Her current role sees her drive advocacy efforts across critical regulatory reform areas and to maintain coordinated and consistent messages on strategic and regulatory activities across business regions and functions.

Mitzie Pierre, chief compliance officer, IFM Investors

Mitzie Pierre is the chief compliance officer in US and Canada at IFM Investors, the international fund managers. She is responsible for IFM Investors’ compliance and regulatory obligations in North America.

Prior to joining IFM Investors, Pierre was assistant vice president and Canada chief compliance officer at Partners Group in New York. She has also held legal, compliance and business roles at FINRA, GE and E1 Asset Management. Pierre is a regular speaker at various compliance conferences around the issues of cross border marketing, Cayman fund structures and women in compliance.

She received her doctor of jurisprudence degree from Howard University School of Law and her Bachelor of Science in Finance from Florida State University.

Deborah Price, bank regulatory compliance executive

Deborah Price is a New York-based expert on all things compliance. Over the past three decades she has clocked up experience in her field, including time as a national bank examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

Most recently, she served as the director and vice president of consumer compliance at the Bank of China.

Among her prior duties, she has served as regulatory liaison officer for domestic and global commercial businesses where she managed relationships with regulatory authorities. She also worked with information management, coordinated and supervised oversight of the examination processes, managed meetings and conducted investigations.

Patricia Sullivan, managing director and global co-head of financial crime compliance, Standard Chartered Bank

Financial crime is on the rise. So are the ramifications of failing to safeguard against it. Last year, financial firms around the world were ordered to pay $36bn in total for failing to comply with legislation set up to prevent money laundering. In Scandinavia, financial firms are still reeling from the fallout of the Danske Bank money laundering scandal, which saw $223bn in suspicious transactions be funnelled through the bank.

Patricia Sullivan is at the forefront of preventing financial crimes from happening. She is the managing director and global co-head of financial crime compliance for Standard Chartered Bank, the British multinational bank.

She has previously served Standard Chartered Bank as its Europe and Americas head of financial crime compliance. Sullivan has more than 20 years of experience in financial services, criminal prosecution, litigation and financial crime compliance. Based in New York, she is a member of the Conduct Financial Crime & Compliance Management Group, a member of the board and group financial crime risk committees for Standard Chartered Bank. She is also the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the compliance, financial crime and conduct teams.

In her daily work, Sullivan oversees the implementation of an effective and sustainable AML, anti-bribery and corruption, fraud, and sanctions compliance programme for all Standard Chartered entities. This includes overseeing a team of over 3,500 financial crime fighters dedicated to transaction surveillance, sanctions compliance, risk assessment, governance, change and analytics, cyber financial intelligence, investigations and controls, external advocacy to promote effective outcomes in combatting financial crime, and leading for the second line the Correspondent Banking Academy “De-risking Through Education” programme.

Every woman on this list will be speaking at the US RegTech Forum on March 31 in New York City. Make sure you don’t miss out on hearing their insights or to meet other movers and makers of the RegTech industry. Buy your ticket now.

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