At a time where the need for sound compliance is more important than ever, there is a growing question facing the industry – how can you successfully scale up a compliance team?
In the third part of a Women in Compliance Series, RegTech firm Clausematch spoke to Livia Benitsy – global head of business AML at Banking Circle – to gather her thoughts on the topic.
When it comes to successfully growing her team and changing her mindset from acting as an AML advisory specialist, Benitsy claims she asked herself ‘How do I do this? What do I tackle, and in what order? What’s the bigger picture?’.
To this question, Benitsy believes you can build a team that works from an AML perspective, based on people’s experience and skills. However, this team sits within the wider context of an organisation. So, she believes that you have to ask yourself what you are trying to achieve, who your main stakeholders and how the AML team fits into that specific context.
Benitsy said, “Figuring all of this out was the main challenge. What I learned throughout doing it, and didn’t always get right the first time, was that you should start with people, then go to processes and then go to tech.”
While there are RegTech solutions that are available to deal with more business problems and automate most processes – Benitsy underlines people as the most important starting point. “People are the absolute core of what you’re doing” she claims. This is due to the fact they can bring in experience and help develop good policies, which can in turn positively impact a business.
Another key aspect for compliance professionals is that they need to interact more frequently with technology. Benitsy said, “I have just hired someone who has SQL and Python skills because it was absolutely essential. I needed someone that could help me assess business requirement docs, do testing, go and run queries. I needed that specific skill set in an AML team. But also the ability to talk to engineers, to win them over, to be their friend, it is often a very different skill set, a very different personality type. Knowing how to handle that is absolutely essential, and that’s probably what’s driven the team forward the most in the last couple of years.”
How do companies attract the best and top talent? Benitsy said she believes it is very hard to hire people currently, but this shouldn’t lead to panic-hiring, and the company should recognise in which areas it needs ‘alphas or superstars’. She said you need people who are happy doing their job and are content to stay in the role for the foreseeable future.
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