Posted by Brian Monroe - firstname.lastname@example.org 08/09/2021
ACFCS Member Spotlight: For Omri Kletter, fighting fraud, illicit finance in private sector with Bottomline Technologies fueled by military service hunting terrorists, drive to protect the innocent
By Brian Monroe
August 9, 2021
For Omri Kletter, the dangers of illicit finance getting in the hands of organized criminal networks, cyber-enabled fraudsters and terror groups isn’t a theoretical or academic exercise – the safe harbor of talking heads who never get their hands dirty or had lives literally hanging in the balance based on their decisions.
That’s because nearly two decades ago, before stints at some of the biggest counter-crime technology firms in the field of financial crime and compliance — NICE Actimize in top technology roles — Kletter headed the Global Counter-Terrorism section for Israel’s Elite Technological Intelligence Army Unit.
For Kletter, his ascent to a unit dedicated to uncovering the financial trails of terror groups to thwart attacks was a trial by fire.
The position roughly coincided with the Second Intifada – or Palestinian Uprising – that took place in the early 2000s, leading to dozens of attacks and suicide bombings against Israel, chiefly by groups like Hamas and Fatah.
He learned valuable lessons in such a caustic crucible that would fuel his focus, passion and determination for the rest of his career, even as he transitioned to the private sector and worked to offer his investigative insight to help craft technology, tools and systems to arm financial crime fighters at banks around the globe.
“Once you experience the connection between money and human trafficking/terrorism, it’s easy to understand how important our jobs are in this industry,” Kletter said. “To be able to see firsthand how a wire transaction can result in an explosion in another part of the world makes coming to work every day easy.”
Since early 2020, Kletter has been Global Vice President of Product & Strategy, Fraud & Financial Crime, at Bottomline Technologies.
The company provides corporations and banks a suite of systems and technology to engage in domestic and international payments, efficient cash management, automated workflows for payment processing and bill review.
The company, headquartered in Portsmouth, NH, with offices across the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific, also offers advanced fraud detection, behavioral analytics and regulatory compliance solutions.
Who inspires you?
My Grandmother is 94 and she was always able to reinvent herself through her ability to adapt language and technology to her way of thinking.
If there is one thing I wish to inspire others to do, whether that be my children or in business, it is the ability to adapt to the changes around us. If you are good at that, you will succeed.
What is one thing - industry-related or not - that you learned in the past month?
What is something about you that not many people know?
While my brother is a formal theater actor, my impressions are my hidden talent.
What do you do in your current role
What does your career trajectory in financial crime look like?
What is the best advice you have ever received?
What is the worst advice you have ever received?
While it is hard for me to remember bad advice, there was advice that I thought was very wrong, that ended up being the best advice I had ever received.
In a previous organization I received a relocation proposal from Israel to New York.
While this was an amazing opportunity, my wife and I had family based in London. When sharing the news with my late mother, she suggested I go back and propose a relocation to London rather than New York. To which I said “Mom, it doesn’t work like that.”
The next conversation I had with my superior, with my mother’s advice in the back of my mind, I casually proposed the idea of London rather than New York – which was immediately shut down.
However, to my surprise two weeks later I received a call that maybe London would be a good idea after all. This taught me two things:
- Be transparent with your ideas – while it might not help now, it could later.
- Why it’s important to listen to your mother
What would you say are the most important attributes for someone in your position to succeed?
- Listening – though repetitive, is critical.
- Never underestimate the power of positivity.
- Spend time learning and continuing to grow your knowledge.
- Ability to shift from strategic thinking to very deep product details within minutes without losing the bigger picture.
How has (compliance, investigations, etc.) changed and evolved during your career?
What do you see as the key financial crime challenges in your role or in the sector overall?
What motivated you to become a financial crime compliance professional?
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Is there anything that surprised you about your current role?
Why did you join ACFCS or get CFCS-certified?
How did you get your first job in the field and what advice would you give other job seekers to help land their first position.
For professionals with 5-10 years of experience, what advice would give to help them rise in their careers to the next level?
See What Certified Financial Crime Specialists Are Saying
"The CFCS tests the skills necessary to fight financial crime. It's comprehensive. Passing it should be considered a mark of high achievement, distinguishing qualified experts in this growing specialty area."
KENNETH E. BARDEN
"It's a vigorous exam. Anyone passing it should have a great sense of achievement."
(CFCS, Official Superior
de Cumplimiento Cidel
Bank & Trust Inc. Nueva York)
"The exam tests one's ability to apply concepts in practical scenarios. Passing it can be a great asset for professionals in the converging disciplines of financial crime."
(CFCS, Royal Band of
"The Exam is far-reaching. I love that the questions are scenario based. I recommend it to anyone in the financial crime detection and prevention profession."
(CFCS, CAMS Lead Compliance
Trainer, FINRA, Member Regulation
Training, Washington, DC)
"This certification comes at a very ripe time. Professionals can no longer get away with having siloed knowledge. Compliance is all-encompassing and enterprise-driven."
CFCS, CAMS, CFE, CSAR
Director, Global Risk
& Investigation Practice
FTI Consulting, Los Angeles