Written by #MeetAnICAMember on Friday October 19, 2018
I’m a former compliance officer for the Compliance & Risk Management department with KPMG France, and now Anti-Financial Crime & AML Compliance Officer for Deutsche Bank France. Originally from Ukraine, I have been living in Paris for 8 years having grown up and studied in Moscow. I moved to Paris at the age of 18 in order to continue my university studies. I have a Bachelor’s degree in International Trade from the University of Paris Sorbonne IV (major: Trade law) and a Master’s degree in Finance from the University of Paris Dauphine (major: Wealth Management & Private Banking).
Before I joined KPMG, I have been working as a Support Credit & Compliance Officer for Société Générale Private Banking (SGPB) and as a Credit & Compliance Analyst for a small investment company in Paris.
I have been a member of the ICA since 2016. I have passed two certifications: Certificate in Financial Crime Prevention and Advanced Certificate in Practical Customer Due Diligence.
How long have you worked in compliance for? What has changed since you first started to now?
I have worked for 4 years in compliance. The changes that occurred have been drastic: 2014 (the year I started working in compliance) was a significant milestone in the global political situation (conflict between Russia and Ukraine, escalation of tensions between Russia, Europe and the US, conflict in Syria), as well as a year that saw the rise of a new terrorist organisation – ISIL.
In 2015, the new Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive entered into force which meant an important shift in the way we were used to considering compliance. The French regulatory landscape has also changed: the introduction of a new anti-corruption law and of a new ‘duty of vigilance’ law in 2017.
And finally, the GDPR, that now seems to prevail over any other regulation in terms of time, resources and intellectual effort.
How did you land your first role; was it chance or a calling?
I got my first role at SGPB as part of my Master’s degree programme; it was an apprenticeship. After that, I got my first permanent contract with a small investment company in Paris. I just saw this job opening on their website and applied.
What do you find enjoyable about your role? What are the challenges?
I think that the most enjoyable thing in my role is the constant intellectual effort I have to make. Knowing that behind different money laundering schemes are sometimes very brilliant minds is very stimulating – the challenge is to exceed them, to unravel their plans.
What attributes do you think are important for a career in compliance?
I am convinced that to work in compliance, it needs to be not only something you are professionally keen on but also your personal passion. A sense of ethics must be innate; honesty is also a must.
What advice do you have for fledgeling compliance professionals?
When mentoring French students, I always tell them about my profession, and they always ask me to explain what compliance and ethics are, and what the difference is.
I try to explain it as simple as possible: I tell them to imagine they are cooking their favorite pumpkin soup. If they just follow the recipe – it is compliance. If they want to add something to make it better – it is ethics.
I know that young compliance professionals are not always considered as serious professionals and are not always listened to. However, they should remember that most of the time age is not a sign of experience. But to be credible, you must always double-check what you say, you must always be sure of the information you deliver – thus you will build trust among your peers and gain ground.
From my own experience, I know that sometimes you will even need to engage in confrontation with your managers if they do not want to see obvious things or want to hide them, but you should stay firm. And, above all, always be ethical.
Be the one that always wants to make your pumpkin soup better.
Tell us your best piece of life advice!
Be brave – as fortune favors the bold.
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