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Tagged ‘July, 2014’


Laura Goldzung

Getting to Know Anti-Money Laundering Expert            Laura Goldzung

In this "Getting to Know" post, we spoke with TrustedPeer Expert Laura Goldzung. Laura is the founder and president of AML Audit Services, and she has more than 30 years of financial industry experience including AML compliance and training, and securities firm operations and management.

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  1. Why did you decide to join TrustedPeer?
    The opportunity to join TrustedPeer presented itself through a colleague who is an adviser to the board. I thought it was a very unique opportunity because, as a service provider and consultant in AML, it’s hard to find the time to do develop consulting opportunities and get exposure to potential clients. TrustedPeer presented the prospect for greater exposure and added value to my practice.

  2. What are you most excited about in Anti Money Laundering right now?
    There are still many issues facing financial institutions with respect to AML that don’t seem to be going away. There is still quite a bit of challenge in maintaining required compliance. What I’m most excited about is that more and more people are getting into the field, and more of the financial institutions are getting better educated about AML compliance. It’s exciting to work with unique, emerging companies and platforms. It’s always a new day in AML.

  3. How has technology changed AML?
    Technology enables AML compliance, but it’s not the only enabler. A hybrid activity between automation, technology, and human skill is required. You can’t replace human skill with technology. You need to have the competencies to leverage what the technology tools and the advances in technology bring to the practice. For example, if you’re a large bank, you likely have many tools you use to monitor transactions and there are different facets to each transaction. There are many smaller companies that don’t use AML systems and instead use manual processes. Technology is exciting and enabling, but it requires human intervention.

  4. Can you tell us about an “aha” moment in your career?
    My first aha moment was when a new client called me again for new services. Beyond that, my “aha” moments manifest as more of a sustained stream of learning for me and for my client base. I do a lot of teaching, and there are plenty of moments when something just clicks for those audiences.

  5. Where do you predict the future of AML going?
    It’s just going to get bigger and bigger. There’s opportunity for an organic expansion in that there are new industry sectors that will be subject to AML compliance. Some already perform it as a best practice, and there are a couple of new sectors that will be facing a requirement to implement a program. There are also new and emerging products like Bitcoin and emerging issues such as marijuana dispensaries that come with a lot of controversy. There are many payment processor companies who now include AML compliance as a best practice because their bank and other partners may feel more comfortable if they have a program in place. All in all, AML is evolving rapidly.

To read more about Laura’s area of expertise or to book an Expert Session, visit her Meet The Expert page on our site.

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Philip Bouchard

Geoff McDonald on the Importance of Employee Wellbeing

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Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet with a new TrustedPeer Expert, Geoff McDonald. Geoff has a unique and well-developed philosophy on how employee wellbeing affects corporate growth, and it was a pleasure to hear his perspective. Here is how our discussion went:

Can you give me a quick download about your career background?

I worked at Unilever for twenty-five years; my most recent role being the Global Vice President of Human Resources for Marketing, Communications, Sustainability and Talent.  At Unilever, my main goal has been to embed our purpose of making sustainable living commonplace into the core of the business, with healthy purposeful employees working to achieve this purpose, and in so doing, grow and deliver profits in a more responsible way. 

How did you become so committed to this goal of purposeful business and the employee wellbeing?

In the last five years with the fall of Enron and other once respectable organizations/institutions and the financial crisis, companies are realizing they need to go back to their roots and think about why they exist beyond profitability. Organizations are looking for a purpose that will drive growth and profits in the future in a more responsible way. Despite the good intentions of capitalism, the system as we know it today has not served us well. Yes, there has been growth, which has been good for many, but it has left too much inequity and has not taken into account the physical and environmental limits of the planet. As a result, our capitalist society is suffering from a crisis of confidence and is fueled by debt. 

Wealth isn’t evenly distributed. As of a few years ago, the top 1 percent of Americans owns 40 percent of wealth in the US. All this points to the lack of a social form of capitalism. A more modern take on capitalism—one that I would like to see—is one that takes into account the physical and environmental limits that we have on this planet, that taxes on consumption rather than income, and that isn’t addicted to short termism and growth. This more modern take on capitalism would also serve a moral purpose, and success would be just as much about the wellbeing of the employees as it is about the organization. 

What is the best way to address this issue?

We need to create more purposeful organizations with wellbeing of employees at the core of these institutions. In so doing we will have to break the stigma around mental health issues by normalizing it. About one in five Americans will experience some mental health condition—the situation is much more common than we think. Therefore, we must ensure that there are ample resources to educate and improve the problem within organizations.

Do you have thoughts on the source of mental health issues?

Oftentimes, the source of anxiety and depression can be factors in the workplace. Simple acts of not giving feedback to employees regarding their performance on a regular basis can be a real source of stress, distress and at its worst, can lead to depression and anxiety. When you combine already-existing stress and demands with technology and the need to cut costs, the pressures are even higher. The New York Times article Why You Hate Work, documents that 87% of people today find their work disappointing, which leads to less productive work. Therefore, the competitive edge in the future might be to ensure that your employees are well in a holistic sense. In order to achieve this complete sense of well-being, we must focus on what The Energy Project calls the four levels of needs: physical (i.e. recharging your body through sleep, etc.), mental (i.e. your ability to focus), emotional (i.e. your level of happiness), and spiritual (i.e. your sense of purpose). 

I hear that you will be meeting with Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of the The Huffington Post, this week. What will this meeting be about?

In her book Thrive, Arianna talks about well being as the third metric of success—so there are some parallels there. For me, the meeting with Arianna is exploratory. I am about to leave Unilever to try and build an institute to make purposeful business more commonplace, so I am excited to hear Arianna’s perspective on where we may find synergies.


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Philip Bouchard

The Future of Training and Development

There is a widespread assumption that the world has somehow reached the peak of natural selection.  Everything has adapted perfectly and the world is in harmony.

Business is the great crucible where evolution is on steroids. One of the most interesting areas to explore is the employer/employee dynamic. After all, with minimal friction in a decent economy, employees can vote with their feet or their wallets, and employers are left carrying some heavy costs.

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I have always felt that training and development were the foundation of employee retention. In researching this, I found that dissatisfaction with career development is one of the top three reasons employees look for alternative career opportunities. And those who receive more training are less likely to quit than those who receive little or no training.  

Typically, training and development is delivered by sending employees to conferences. Unless the conference is an internal one, I view the travel as a nice-to-have. And, the ability to socialize with one’s peers leads to more lateral mobility than an employer would like. Worse yet, the employer is on the hook for the high costs of travel, hotel, conference fees, meals and "entertainment.”

If you really want to retain employees, I recommend employee development through TrustedPeer Expert Sessions. When I read the Session surveys and feedback, the level of enthusiasm for the amount learned is the standout. And, because TrustedPeer Experts are highly qualified in business strategy and tactics, both employees and the company gain from an immediate increase in skill level and value. 

If you agree with me that turnover is expensive, and that the costs of employee training and development - in its current form - are prohibitive, have your organization's HR group take a test-drive with TrustedPeer.

If you’re not 100% satisfied with your 1-hour session, TrustedPeer will refund your money. If you are, buy a 5-pack or a 10-pack and give the gift of professional development to your team.

If you need consulting on Business Development, contact TrustedPeer Expert and CEO Philip Bouchard.

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