Career Path of a Certified Anti Money Laundering Expert

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In 2017, Indiaforensic conducted a study involving over 1000 Certified Anti Money Laundering Experts (CAME) worldwide. The study focused on understanding the career path of these professionals. The journey of AML experts starts as an Anti Money Laundering (AML) Analyst and holds promising opportunities. It leads the way up to becoming a Chief Compliance Officer.

Certified AML Experts are often thought of as more high-profile and meaningful because of the corresponding exposure they get. Even though the job is demanding, it’s valuable.

The AML Risk Management Career Path

Further, the study reveals that most CAME professionals prefer to go on the risk management trajectory. There are multiple entry points into risk management. Those entry points may be from operations or from consulting or advisory experience. Likewise, they all have CAME in common.

Sometimes, the professionals of Revenue Intelligence and other regulatory agencies also enter the profession with CAME accolade. But, there is less of a concrete hierarchy from an “entry” level standpoint. However, they work in risk assessment processes and report suspicious activities. Additionally, policy and procedure development or maintenance and update is part of the job. Sometimes, audit or exam management activities and training are inherent aspects of risk management.

Besides risk management at the higher levels involve strategy, planning, and ownership of functional areas. At the enterprise program at larger organizations, compliance professionals involve in Board reporting and other governance activities like financial crime compliance are within this level.

Similarly, this path is more of a lateral journey. It often requires you to make external movements to get different experiences and exposure to more complex programs.

Becoming a Compliance Officer in a financial services company is the highest level of risk management. This role may have various titles in today’s market, but the Chief Compliance Officer is the one in charge of the whole program and its operations. They are responsible for making sure the company follows all the rules and regulations to keep things running smoothly and securely.

There is a difference among organizations in terms of the level of this role. Some are part of the top management team with direct access to the board. Some are close to being considered as “senior” management. Many are in middle management positions with limited access to top executives, the board, or budgets.

CAME Job Roles

  1. Trainee Compliance Audit Assistant – Entry-level roles are responsible for the administration of compliance processes and carrying out routine, familiar, and predictable work.
  2. Compliance Officer – Responsible for evaluation and analysis of client data, transaction data
  3. Compliance Manager – They are managerial and specialist practitioners responsible to perform both general and specific functions that include analysis of complex data, review of compliance issues, and specific compliance projects.
  4. Associate Director for Banking Compliance – They work in important management and specialized roles, holding senior positions and influencing decision-making. Their main responsibility is to oversee and manage specific compliance functions within the organization.
  5. Director of Compliance – his role involves taking charge of strategic leadership and management, with a specific focus on ensuring compliance throughout the entire organization. The main responsibility is to build and nurture strong relationships within the organization to achieve this goal.

The AML Career Path

Many AML Experts land up in the big four and top ten accounting firms or consulting firms. There are boutique investigation and advisory firms, that need Certified AML Experts.

The professional services path is similar to the path in any IT company. You need to know the technology to identify suspicious transactions. There are big technology companies that provide services to the banks and typically require Certified Anti Money Laundering (AML) Experts.

Moreover, the huge upside to consulting is exposure and experience condensed into a shorter period of time.

These individuals handle paperwork and work in offices with strict rules, and they usually don’t work on weekends. Their work mainly involves tasks at their desks, and they can use a laptop and a good internet connection to do it. Because of this, many companies let their employees work from home.

The downside, however, is billable hours and the rat race of making it to the top of your firm. Sometimes, they have to work according to the client’s time zones

Reaching the highest point in the advisory field means running your own boutique firm or becoming a partner in a professional services firm. This pinnacle comes with significant sacrifices, and it involves shifting from being a hands-on practitioner to focusing more on sales and building relationships with clients.

Those that can only see some of the realities and obstacles outlined above – often tucker out and never find the positives of this field and the upside that does exist.

Experienced CAME Professionals may contribute to the industry through thought leadership, research, or writing articles on AML topics. Sharing knowledge helps shape AML practices and policies worldwide

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