Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: How to soar in complex compliance field? Follow the right P.A.T.H – by being Passionate, Ambitious, Thorough and Humble

The Skinny:

  • In this new initiative, ACFCS engages the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling, but demanding and ever changing, field.
  • We are asking minds across the spectrum and around the world of compliance officers, regulators and investigators to share some of their secrets to success.
  • Some of the questions: How can you take the first steps launching a career in the midst of a pandemic? And for those already working, how can you continue to develop professionally and take it to the next level?
  • For this tip, we travel to Canada to gain to key insight on how to follow the right P.A.T.H. – by being Passionate, Ambitious, Thorough and Humble – when it comes to crafting countercrime programs and rising in your career.
  • One key conceit to always remember: Even with experience in different areas, international exposure to multiple compliance regimes and understanding of global watchdog recommendations and best practices, there will always be gaps in your knowledge. 

By Brian Monroe
bmonroe@acfcs.org
April 16, 2021

With minor edits by ACFCS VP of Content, Brian Monroe

In this new initiative, ACFCS engages the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling but demanding and everchanging field.

We are asking minds across the spectrum and around the world of compliance officers, regulators and investigators to share some of their secrets to success.

Some of the questions: How can you take the first steps launching a career in the midst of a pandemic? And for those already working, how can you continue to develop professionally and take it to the next level?

For this tip, we travel to Canada to gain to key insight on how to follow the right P.A.T.H. – by being Passionate, Ambitious, Thorough and Humble – when it comes to crafting countercrime programs and rising in your career.

One key conceit to always remember: Even with experience in different areas, international exposure to multiple compliance regimes and understanding of global watchdog recommendations and best practices, there will always be gaps in your knowledge.

But that is not a barrier to entry, just a new opportunity to learn, grow and connect and network with other top minds.

That is, if you have a warm, gracious and approachable attitude – the foundation of true learning and an absolute must in a field so dependent on informed and defensible decision-making and collaborating with vast teams in and out of your institution, including nitpicky regulators and intelligence-hungry investigators. 

Name: Marie Annabelle Beatrice Migale

Organization: Laurentian Bank

Title: Assistant Manager, Financial Crime and AMLTF

Country: Canada

What initially attracted you to the world of financial crime prevention? What keeps you here now?

Several contributing factors attracted me to this field and keeps me going:

     1. Financial Crime Professionals are what I call Avengers:

I always viewed and even now view people combatting financial crime as Avengers behind the computer screens.

We, as certified financial crime specialists, use our investigative skills and our unique way of thinking to get the bad guys punished or help put them behind bars and I always think that this is fantastic.

     2. Leaders

I am and was surrounded by several AML leaders who continue to believe in me, my skills and my work. Being surrounded by people who value your work and AML knowledge help me to continue to do more in the AML field.

     3. Empowering People

My end goal is to empower people and share my AML knowledge with my Team and the broader AML community. My end goal of sharing my knowledge with the community or new people having a passion for the field allows me to continue in my AML work and duties.

How did you overcome the experience gap for those new to their industry, field or country?

I will share my personal experience: I am from Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean, and I came to Canada two years ago to expand my AML/ Financial crime knowledge.

My previous experience as a regulator and a Mutual Evaluation Assessor for Mauritius focused on the African Region and though I was engaged in several international projects with the FIU of Mauritius, I had limited exposure to this part of the world.

When I came here, despite my international AML experience and knowledge, it was hard to get a foot into AML field, with no country experience.

So, I did not get discouraged and decided to apply what I call my PATH instead. My PATH is just only the good attitudes to adopt to succeed in the anti-financial crime world despite the obstacles:

  • P – Passionate: Be passionate about the financial crime world. It is so evolving, and you keep on learning. Your passion will drive your career and your learning journey
  • A – Ambitious: Set career goals for yourself. Take the time to think about it. What do I want to achieve in the AML field? Do not be afraid to be ambitious and set high level goals while the goal is SMART
  • T – Thorough: Be thorough and consistent in your efforts to achieve your goal in the financial crime field.
  • H – Humble: Be Humble enough to say, “I do not know.” But you must also say, that’s fine, I will learn. Be humble enough to request for help.

Yes, I had international knowledge and exposure, but I was humble (and still am) to say that I do not know the laws of the country and the AML framework here. And I seize this opportunity to learn more about Canada, attending AML workshops. Always stay humble.

Having gaps such as being new to the industry or even to a country is NOT a barrier. Just adopt the right attitude and you will see the end results.

What’s your advice to someone just starting out in the industry and wondering how to chart their career path?

Adopt the three Ps when it comes to attitude.

  • Passionate: Be passionate and educate yourself about the field.
  • Perseverant: Despite the obstacles and hurdles, continue your efforts to achieve your end goal to succeed in the financial crime field.
  • Positive: Always think about positive and good thoughts. Do not lose your time and energy on negative things.

There is no need to rush.

Take the time to learn, to listen and understand and prove yourself.

Any advice or suggestions for job-seeking during the pandemic?

Since everything is done virtually, two words can sum it up: STAY CONNECTED.

What does this mean?

1.     Connect, collaborate and converge: Connect with AML professionals on different platforms, including professional networking sites, like LinkedIn.

2.     The three Rs – read, reading, and read some more: There are so many materials online talking about for instance new trends in financial crime during the covid period.

3.     Virtual events, summits, webinars and more: Attend webinars, online sessions and workshops.

4.     Have a mentor: Mentors will help you in your job search, reviewing, refreshing and refining your resume and helping guide you during your journey to becoming a top thought leader in the fincrime compliance field. Do not be afraid to ask for help

5.     Never stop growing, taking chances: Continue to apply for jobs and stay positive.

Any other thoughts or guidance on getting started in fincrime careers to share?

1.     Entering in any field is not easy: Always take each step of the stairs to achieve your end goal because while taking the stairs, you are enhancing and enjoying your learning journey.

2.     Each of us has a voice: Even if you are an expert or someone entering the market, do not be afraid to share your opinions and thoughts.

Get involved in sharing your career tips: How It Works

Each quarter, ACFCS is asking its members for advice on various aspects of fincrime careers, from getting your foot in the door to finding a mentor.

This quarter, we’re focused on guidance for launching a career – everything from what motivated you to seek out a role in fincrime prevention, to where you’re seeing hiring opportunities and more.

We’ll gather responses and share them back with our member community. Three participants will receive one year of complimentary ACFCS members (added to your existing membership for current members).

To learn more and submit your tips, click here