CareersFinTechRegTech

Celebrating the Women Building ComplyAdvantage

By March 8, 2019 April 30th, 2019 No Comments
In 2018, ComplyAdvantage successfully raised $30 million in our Series B funding, tripled in size, opened our fourth office, and continued to define RegTech. None of these achievements would have been possible without our brilliant, hardworking, and bold team members. Today, ComplyAdvantage celebrates the women who lead, design, build, and push the boundaries of everything we do. Big things are happening, and we are excited to see how they continue to push the business in the years ahead. Happy International Women’s Day!
We asked nine women from our four global offices to answer questions about their challenges, why they’re interested in RegTech and give their advice for young women.

Read extracts from their answers here and download the full interviews by clicking below to learn more about how they are growing our company.


Livia Benisty, Head of Financial Crime

What challenges do you face in your role?

I have never liked the view that ex-bankers struggle in start-ups because they operate so differently. That said, having made the transition I’ve faced a few challenges. Going from an in-house AML officer to a vendor, people now assume I am only here to sell, not solve. I have to re-build a reputation for having credible expertise and making meaningful contributions. I have also had to re-engineer some of my ways of working. For example, I used to think through a piece of work for ages; I’d draft, iterate, improve, think and repeat. Working much faster to then get input makes sense, but I’ve struggled to share something less than nearly perfect. I’ve been listening to Reshma Saujani recently talk about her book “Brave Not Perfect” and wondering if that is a female trait, a cultural thing, or bank training. If women are to be successful in a startup/tech environment it’s important to counteract.


Career Advice for Young Women:
Find female mentors and male allies. Women have a lower propensity to self promote and take career risks. We see it with salary negotiations, self-appraisals, promotions, etc. Watch how others (men and women) handle these milestones and take note.

 

“Regulation is becoming increasingly complex while resources remain finite. RegTech has become an inevitable part of the future of finance. The stakes are high though; companies literally cannot afford to get this wrong. This makes for an interesting challenge. With AML, when regulation and risk become insurmountable, the cost-benefit analysis shifts. This can mean de-risking, and ultimately financial exclusion. I feel strongly that we must build tools to manage risk in an intelligent way to prevent this from happening. ”

–Livia on #RegTech

Check out Livia’s full profile here.


Cathy Calver, VP of Marketing

What challenges do you face in your role?

With fast-growing companies retaining a great culture and communication gets harder. I want to ensure this is given as much attention as the numbers.


Career Advice for Young Women:
Women often think they are not good enough and imposter syndrome is far too prevalent. We are our own worst enemies and need to believe we deserve our place.

 

“It’s all new which means we can help carve out what the space looks like and behave in a way that other companies aspire to.”

–Cathy on #RegTech

Check out Cathy’s full profile here.


Yasmin Centeno, Customer Success Manager

What challenges do you face in your role?

Managing everyone’s expectations. My clients, internal stakeholders, my team, my own! We are the point of contact and support our clients and the face of the company. It’s hard to balance the requirements of the client and what we can do internally as a company; as you would expect they don’t always align.


Career Advice for Young Women:
Don’t worry if you don’t have an idea of what exactly what you want to do, it will come in time. But take the time to figure out what skills you want to learn from a job or experience, and what you want to learn about yourself.

 

“From speaking to customers on a daily basis I can see how manual compliance can be, and with aid of a good API and some technical wizardry, RegTech can make the lives of compliance officers easier and more efficient. Tasks such as customer onboarding, that would take compliance and operations teams days to complete can now take a matter of seconds through automation. As a Customer Success Manager, quick, simple onboarding processes make me jump for joy; and I know when our systems are implemented well by our customers they are happy too!”

–Yasmin on #RegTech

Check out Yasmin’s full profile here.


Elsa Chan, Head of Americas

What challenges do you face in your role?

Being on the other side of the globe from the headquarters certainly makes it more challenging to all discussions and decisions taking place. Our leadership team continues to examine how we can improve communications and collaboration as we grow internationally.


Career Advice for Young Women:
 Speak up and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. In short, practice what Sir Richard Branson once said, “When somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”

 

“With the digital transformation of financial services through a global marketplace, RegTech is poised to see explosive growth to help companies understand who they are doing business with and manage their financial and reputational risks. I am excited to be at the forefront of this growth while knowing that we will have a direct impact to stop terrorist financing and drug/human trafficking. ”

–Elsa on #RegTech

Check out Elsa’s full profile here.


Meabh McAlister, Tech Recruitment Lead

What challenges do you face in your role?

Attracting the best talent! London is a hugely competitive market for tech talent and as such, we need to continuously think of new ways to engage tech talent. More and more EU candidates are choosing Amsterdam, Berlin, and Dublin due to the uncertainty of Brexit. This coupled with the long bureaucratic process of securing visas for tech talent coming from further afield means longer times to hire. When competing in a market alongside other tech startups and giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon, it is challenging to stand out. Creating a strong employer brand is key to promote our culture, mission, people and technology which ultimately sets us apart.


Career Advice for Young Women:
Speak up – don’t be afraid to say your piece. Be confident and take every opportunity that comes your way. I also think it’s important to celebrate your wins and understand that you got to where you are because of the work that you put in – not luck.

 

“Since the crash of 2008, organisations have had to rethink compliance to keep up with everchanging complex regulations. The RegTech industry is providing solutions that not only allow large organisations to make room for innovation but enable smaller businesses to emerge faster by giving access to cost-effective tools. Money laundering alone is a $1 trillion problem – it is exciting to take on a challenge this big. ”

–Meabh on #RegTech

Check out Meabh’s full profile here.


Laura Muncelean, Delivery Manager

What challenges do you face in your role?

Communication is one of the biggest challenges because communication is the key to teamwork, to success, to career progression, to leadership and the list can go on. It’s important to see communication as a two ways skill: listening and speaking and I am trying to continuously develop this ability in my daily work.


Career Advice for Young Women:
Do not be afraid to dream big. Do not be afraid to speak up for yourselves. Do not give up if you failed, failures are going to happen from time to time, so take the best of them and learn from your mistakes. Take on new challenges, always.

 

“RegTech is the answer to achieving compliance in a smart way. The fast evolution of FinTech definitely needs a rapid development of RegTech.”

–Laura on #RegTech

Check out Laura’s full profile here.


Teodora Oltean-Gocan, Associate Product Owner AML Data

What challenges do you face in your role?

The biggest challenge in my role is finding the balance between resources, timeframes, and objectives. Therefore, in order to achieve the goals I am constantly trying to find the perfect mixture of the following principles: calibrate, challenge, balance, collaborate, innovate and last but not least elevate. Being a member of a highly professional and competent team I realized that one of my permanent duties is to gain people’s confidence in order to transform the working place into an environment that encourages idea sharing and high standards.


Career Advice for Young Women:
Learn, learn, learn my dears! Speak-up and dream big! There’s nothing impossible if you could transform an IDEA into a PLAN. Stick to it, because that’s the only thing that can make your dreams come true. Be nice, be gentle but be tough. Try to learn from each situation and transform every experience, be it bad or be it good, in a lesson for a lifetime.

 

“When speaking about risk and risk mitigation from my point of view RegTech is a synonym to the future. RegTech has the potential to revolutionize all sides of compliance management like AML, regulatory reporting, risk management, and even cybersecurity. RegTech is the key to safeness and prosperity not only from a single company perspective but also from a global one. Seeing risks through the lenses of real-life cases it’s amazing how “machines” like AI and ML can face one of the biggest challenges of the past decades, financial crime.”

–Teodora on #RegTech

Check out Teodora’s full profile here.


Heather Tan, AML Technology Sales Director

What challenges do you face in your role?

While I truly believe that ComplyAdvantage offers new technologies that will solve AML issues in a much more effective manner, shifting the mindset of industry practitioners and getting them to see value in these new technologies can be a challenge, especially when potential financial losses in the forms of fines or loss of operating licenses are at stake.


Career Advice for Young Women:
It’s always good to set clear goals and work towards them but also embrace the speed bumps along the way. Challenges are part of growing and it’s important to see them as opportunities for development rather than allow them to get you down. Research have shown that in comparison to men, women often shy away from speaking up as a result of fear that their views may not be valued or that they may be perceived to be too aggressive. This only sets themselves back in terms of career progression so stay true to the voice inside you!

 

“My time in the RegTech industry has provided opportunities to partner regulators, financial investigative units and defense forces and I love that the work we do contributes to the wider ecosystem of preventing crimes such as corruption, terrorism, drug trafficking and modern day slavery which could have devastating effects on societies. ”

–Heather on #RegTech

Check out Heather’s full profile here.


Caroline Ward, Global Financial Controller

What challenges do you face in your role?

My challenges are usually centered around managing cost, it is always difficult to get people to understand the cost aspect within the business and how they manage that within their department. In order to get people to understand I ensure my team leads by example, and you will often hear me saying “if this was your money would you spend it?”


Career Advice for Young Women:
The team you surround yourself with from early on in your career will highly define and evolve you as person. Ensuring you work for a boss that you respect, and trust to do the right thing is essential to developing you as an individual whatever industry you choose. I was extremely lucky at the beginning of my career and worked for some amazing men and women, who I still call my friends and mentors today. These people inspired me daily to become a better version of myself and strive for new and different opportunities.

 

“The ever-evolving and changing landscape of RegTech allows everyone, no matter which department, to bring new ideas to the table to help solve major financial crime issues. Being a part of that is what appealed to me.”

–Caroline on #RegTech

Check out Caroline’s full profile here.


 

Discover some of the extraordinary women who decided to take their talents and help grow ComplyAdvantage.