Top 10 reasons to be an MLRO

Written by Pekka Dare on Monday October 5, 2020

As a small child, how many of us dreamt of becoming a money laundering reporting officer? None, that’s how many.

So, what makes the role of the MLRO today an attractive one? Here are our light-hearted top ten reasons to take up the life of an MLRO.

1) The glamour

First, you will bask in the aura of glamour and mystique. You may know that the typical MLRO’s role is as glamorous as a wet winter’s day, but the rest of the world doesn’t know that, do they? So next time you’re at a social event or on a Zoom call and you’re asked what you do, gaze off mysteriously into the middle distance, and say ‘I can’t really talk about it, let’s 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 exuberant relationship manager determined to onboard that mysterious oligarch to the refreshingly ‘outspoken’ CEO.

3) The exotic locations

Teams, WebEx, Zoom (lots of Zoom). Maybe one day you’ll get the chance to actually visit diverse locations again post lockdown, such as Paris, Dubai, Cape Town, Cairo, Swindon. 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 becoming a member of the ICA to  the Money Laundering Officers Discussion Group, you can get together in a real or virtual room with other money laundering enthusiasts and share your problems.

6) The alternatives are so dull

Think about it. Do you want to end up specialist in the finer points of MIFID or Prudential Regulation?

7) The uniform

Okay, that’s not true. But there should be don’t you think? Something with epaulettes preferably.

8) Job security

With the worldwide pandemic, firms are re-designing processes, accelerating digitisation and the anti money laundering team continues to be a vital part of managing risk in uncertain times. As criminals evolve, money laundering scandals and issues continue to hit countries and firms around the world. So, the demand for skilled AML professionals continues.

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 okay, you can be a little bit smug.

10) Because it’s fascinating


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