Professional Life Lately In Acronyms: ACAMS, WBC, NYSE | Alyssa J Freitas: Professional Life Lately In Acronyms: ACAMS, WBC, NYSE

May 2, 2018

Professional Life Lately In Acronyms: ACAMS, WBC, NYSE

Do you notice that professional organizations love acronyms? They seem to say, "Listen, we're busy, there's a lot going on. We simply do not have time to use the full name of anything. Acronyms are the only logical way to communicate." Alright, I'll go with it. Here's a recap of my professional life lately, organized by acronyms.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Here's a recap of my professional life lately, as told through 3 acronyms

ACAMS: Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists 


A few weeks ago I attended ACAMS's 24th Annual International AML & Financial Crimes conference in Hollywood, FL. If you aren't caught up on my post-Summit role, I am part of the Watson Financial Crimes team, so this conference was right up my alley. Getting acclimated to all new language has certainly been a challenge, but attending this conference and being able to keep up with the discussions showed me how far I've come in a few months and how fortunate I am to be in a meaningful area of IBM's business.

A main topic of conversation is the upcoming deadline to comply with the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Final Rule. You know how when you open a new account at a bank they collect information from you like your birthday and address? They gather this information as part of their CDD process to ensure they know who you are and can confirm the level of risk of doing business with you. Well, now regulators are requiring financial institutions to identify beneficial ownership of a legal entity (like a business trust or LLC), and to update that information when there is a triggering event (such as an unexplained change in account activity).

Financial institutions are challenged by this new rule, but something the regulators who were present at the conference stressed is that they are expecting banks to manage risk, not manage to zero risk. With these increased challenges, vendors are focused on using technology to decrease the burden of complying. AI was a major focus in every session, and leveraging this technology to decrease the inflow of alerts and tasks for agents is a highly sought advantage. At the same time the regulators require that institutions be able to explain how their tools work and justify the decisions. As you can tell, with each new change and solution, anti-financial crimes professionals are faced with another challenge...I am certainly not jealous of their role and am glad my job is to help!

WBC: Women's Bond Club


Soon after joining IBM full time, I became part of the WBC of New York, one of the oldest organizations for women in the financial services industry. The club brings together women from all different companies with events, volunteering opportunities, and mentorship. Recently I volunteered with the Grace Institute (a workforce development program in New York City focused solely on women) to provide interview coaching, and I was only made aware of this opportunity because I am part of the WBC.

My most recent WBC experience was the IBM hosted Tech Symposium. Our SVP and CMO (look, more acronyms!) Michelle Peluso moderated a panel of leaders in the industry in discussion on new platforms and business models driven by technology, and how the incumbents can be the disruptors. The panel included Hillery Hunter, IBM Fellow and Director of Accelerate Cognitive Infrastructure, Jessica Moser, SVP of Small Business Solutions Group Benefits at MetLife, Ayeesha Sachedina, Director of Innovation at Bank of America, and Maria L. Wieck, GM of Blockchain at IBM.

As you would imagine, much of the discussion was around AI and blockchain. My main takeaway was that in order to have effective change in your organization with these technologies, you need your people to buy in and you need to realize that it will take time to see the full, promised benefits. When asked which technology they thought would be most life changing, my favorite response was "Who knows. In 10 years we may all be back here b*tching about blockchain, like we're complaining about our legacy system now." It's true: who knows, but I'm excited to find out.

NYSE: New York Stock Exchange


I'm guessing this acronym will be the most recognized. Last week I went with a group of former Summits who are now in the financial services industry to take a tour of the NYSE. We were there for the opening bell and the company Pivotal had the honor of ringing it because that day was their IPO (and here we have our final acronym, I promise). It was interesting to learn from our guide which role each type of company plays, from brokers to media outlets, and to see in person what we're used to viewing on television.

So there we have it, life lately as defined by acronyms! TTYL (sorry, last one, I had to).

What are you excited by in your professional life lately? How do you continue to learn and get involved in a community?


-AJF
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