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Top Ten reasons to be an MLRO

Written by Pekka Dare on Friday March 9, 2012

As a small child how many of us dreamt of becoming a Money Laundering Reporting Officer? None, that’s how many. We were shallow creatures weren’t we? Chasing the tawdry allure of the astronaut, fire fighter, rock star or ballerina (or in my case for a brief ill judged period a chef).

So assuming these career options have come to naught for the next generation of fresh faced young professionals as they stagger onto the treadmill of working life, what makes the role of the MLRO today an attractive one? Here are the top ten reasons to take up the life of an MLRO:

1. The Glamour

First, you will bask in the aura of glamour and sex appeal. You may know that the typical MLRO’s role is as glamorous as a wet winter’s day in Weston Super Mare, yet the rest of the world don’t know that do they? So next time you’re a at a social event and you are asked what you do, gaze off mysteriously into the middle distance, and say “I cant really talk about it, lets just say I stop the bad guys.” 

2. The Interesting People

You will meet lots of people. Some of them you will even like. From the cheeky scamp of a relationship manager determined to onboard that dodgy oligarch to the refreshingly “outspoken” CEO. Even if you make a complete hash of the job you will always make new friends inside, and think about how much in common you will have to talk about with your cell mates. 

3. The Exotic Locations

Paris, Dubai, Cape Town, Cairo, Swindon. All places I have been in the last couple of years. Say no more.

4. The Lifestyle

Long hours? Check. Stress? Check. Job satisfaction? Check. Well it’s not all bad then.

5. The Exclusive Clubs

MLROs are kindred spirits. Like small vulnerable animals everywhere, they tend to flock together. There are any number of associations and member support groups you can join, from the Institute of Money Laundering Reporting Officers to the Money Laundering Officers Discussion Group, you can get together in room with other money laundering enthusiasts and share you problems. Just like AA but more fun!

6. The Alternatives Are So Dull

Think about it. Do you want to end up specialist in the finer points of conduct of business regulation?

7. The Uniform

OK so I lied about that one. But there should be don’t you think? Something with eppeletts preferably.

8. The Rewards

With the worldwide economic crisis, firms are slashing costs, specifically head count and salaries. Generally speaking the Money laundering Team has not been included in this swathe of destruction. In fact the trend for recruitment continues to be that of rapid growth. So for the right people the role is rewarded well. 

9. The Sense of Superiority 

The modern MLRO is business focussed and understands commercial pressure. But admit it, part of you knows that you are on the side of the angels. It’s ok you can be a little bit smug.

10. Because it’s Fascinating

This one at least is true. The role of an MLRO is challenging , annoying and often stressful. But at least it is seldom dull. The subject of ML is intrinsically fascinating and constantly changing. That’s why it’s a great career choice. Honest.


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