Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: To conquer compliance, champion convergence, have an open mind to think globally, act locally

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.
  • For this tip, we travel to India, where a consultant for one of the biggest audit firms in the world has come to a compliance epiphany: In order to close your bank off from illicit infiltration, compliance professionals must have an open mind – to better understand not just their own piece of the program, but to see all financial crimes in their totality.
  • As well, professionals must also not paint compliance best practices with too broad a brush, as in many cases, top programs must be adjusted and tuned by local compliance rules.

By Brian Monroe
bmonroe@acfcs.org
May 11, 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 India, where a consultant for one of the biggest audit firms in the world has come to a compliance epiphany: In order to close your bank off from illicit infiltration, compliance professionals must have an open mind – to better understand not just their own piece of the program, but to see all financial crimes in their totality.

This means that to truly understand anti-money laundering (AML), counter-crime teams must also learn about the red flags tied to the many faces of fraud, the relentless grip of graft and corrosiveness of grand corruption and the rising digital dangers of cyberattacks and ransomware hacks – the current industry trend of convergence. 

As well, professionals must also not paint compliance best practices with too broad a brush, as in many cases, the best programs must be adjusted and tuned by local compliance rules, regulatory pain points and criminal groups with a regional fraud focus.

Name: Eesh Kerwin Gaur

Organization: EY India LLP

Title: Consultant

Country: India

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

I started off my career in the Internal and Con-current Audit space, during which I realized my acumen toward the various landscapes of Financial Crime. The world of Financial Crime Prevention is no less than a white-collared cop chasing a thief.

As finance gets easier for individuals to access, the higher the accessibility, the higher the chances of miscreants engaging in financial crime. It’s a race to outsmart one another, and as a prevention specialist, you must think like a fraudster at times.

What keeps me going is that it is one of the fastest growing areas of risk management.

The introduction of newer technologies and more regulations are at the forefront of this ever-evolving sector, triggering seismic growth over the past few years as firms seek skilled specialists within compliance, AML advisory and sanctions.

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

As the industry continues to grow, increasing demand for high-caliber financial crime experts has been drastically increasing.

Industry experience is a priority for businesses looking to strengthen both detection and prevention of criminal and fraudulent activity.

However, someone new to the industry, field or country can overcome an experience gap by understanding the functional whereabouts and various departments/products the industry has to offer, including a person’s particular interests, roles and skills.

As far as financial crime expertise is concerned, one must proactively read, learn and grasp as much knowledge about global criminal and regulatory trends along with local trends to understand the mindset and behavior of fraudsters domestically and internationally – and the laws in place to stop them.

There are various specialized certifications like the CFCS, which will help in building one’s credentials as it helps individuals develop and enhance their knowledge in a holistic and inclusive manner.

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

For someone just starting out in the industry, you must have an open mind to grasp as much as possible because although the expertise around maybe niche, but there are wide and complex landscapes of risk and threats than ever before.

  • Anti-Money Laundering
  • Bribery & Corruption
  • Cyber-Security
  • Data Privacy
  • Sanctions
  • Terror Financing
  • Fraud, to name a few

Understanding the domain and various primary, secondary and tertiary risks involved will take time.

And over time, one does realize how keeping an open mind in this career is necessary, since there are global, local and various other laws/regulations involved. Being humble and learning is the simplest of things, which a lot of times during the course of time one forgets and under values.

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

The year has been hard for everyone during the global pandemic and understandably, businesses have taken a cautious approach towards hiring laterally or gathering fresh talent.

As these things are not in one’s control, the only thing that a person should look forward to is to grow their skillset in times like these.

Rather than thinking about situations that aren’t in your control, you should focus on what you can do to increase your domain knowledge and credentials. Certifications and other credentials are in today’s times one of the biggest differentiating factors.

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

Enable yourself, your team, your organization.

With the rise of cashless transactions, mobile transactions and biometrics, technology is bringing many new challenges for the financial services industry, leaving it open to new potential threats, as well as an increasing requirement for data security.

Thus, by enabling yourself you are enabling the team and the organization to be dynamic and envisage a transition to a complete solution-oriented organization.

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