In our latest reader-submitted Q&A, Nina Kerkez talks about her pride in helping vulnerable people
What is your full job title?
My job title is Director, Consulting UK and Ireland
How long have you worked in the industry?
I have worked in the financial crime compliance industry for eight years. I started in marketing, moved into product management, then strategy and now I am in consulting, so I have seen almost
every side of the financial crime compliance industry!
How long have you worked in your current role?
I have only just started my new role in financial crime compliance consulting. Prior to making this switch, I was in my strategy-based role for three years.
How did you get into your current role?
Mostly through networking, and by always thinking about my next move. I am pretty clear on where I see my career going, and therefore am only making strategic moves into new roles that help me achieve that.
A lot of people ask me ‘how I got into financial crime?’ I would love to tell people that I am a secret spy, and that is how it happened, but the honest answer is that it was completely by chance. I am very pleased that it did, though!
What does a typical day look like?
Mornings are mostly focused on checking my inbox and responding to any urgent queries internally and externally. We are a global organisation, so a lot of my emails come from various time zones, and there is often plenty to read when I first wake up.
I tend to spend my days with my team in various conversations about the challenges they are facing and discussing how we work to overcome those. As I am in a new role, I am currently meeting all of my new stakeholders and planning for the future success of my team. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by extremely capable and intelligent people, which makes my job fairly easy.
I also I engage with our product and marketing functions on a regular basis to ensure that we are staying on top of our game, and I am able to offer market advice where I can. I also like to leave half an hour of my day to reading the latest news and events related to the financial crime industry – we can never be over informed or over educated.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
As I worked in product management for most of my career, my greatest career achievements have mostly been in that field. I have successfully launched multiple products/modules of Bankers Almanac, one of the most famous products in the correspondent banking world. For example, I launched the first ever Bankers Almanac data file, moving the product from a look up tool to an integrated solution. I also built new modules to the product which resulted in the firm tripling their targets just three months after its launch.
I have received a number of awards and recognition for those developments, but none it would have been possible without the people in my direct team, or the wider business for example technology, operations, marketing and sales.
What is the most challenging thing about your role?
The most challenging thing about my role is perhaps juggling both my personal and professional life I am very career driven and focused, and I have sometimes let my personal life suffer as a result of that.
However, I am trying to get better at this and am taking more time to focus on myself, my puppy and my family. After all, for us all to be successful in our roles, my health needs to be intact, so wellbeing needs to come first.
What part of your role do you enjoy the most?
It has to be getting to work with people from all sorts of backgrounds, cultures and experiences. It is so amazing and inspiring to learn about other people’s journeys and growth in the field, and to celebrate their successes with them.
I also really enjoy speaking in public. When I was a little girl, I was a host on Serbian national television for a children’s news program, and I guess that made me ‘good in front of an audience’. To this day it is something I really enjoy doing. Whether its speaking at conferences, webinars or other events, I really enjoy it!
How do you see your role/industry changing in the next few years?
I am really excited about my new role, there is just so much to do! The LexisNexis Risk Solutions leadership team is giving me the opportunity to start from scratch and build the role in the way I see it working, which is great.
What’s exciting is that we are increasingly operating in a digital world in which the way we move money is changing. This gives the industry plenty of opportunities to do better and catch the ‘bad guys’. Digital transactions, and digital presence in general, allows us to track suspicious behaviours a lot easier than traditional cash movements.
Whilst the whole world is not fully financially digitally connected, we are moving in that direction, which will hopefully prove to be beneficial for the field of financial crime detection. Not only will we see the change in tracking illicit behaviours, but we could see more financial and economic empowerment of people from lower income backgrounds by banking them and offering a wider spread for financial inclusion.
Would you recommend working in this role, please give your reasons?
I would definitely recommend working in my role. I have always been given plenty of opportunity to travel, learn, work with the market and learn directly from the customer, all of which is extremely exciting.
I also love the financial crime industry – understanding the route causes of illicit money movements is critical to prevent such crime, but more importantly it is critical if we are to help the vulnerable individuals involved in these transactions. To think that I have even played a small part in helping prevent such behaviours makes me proud, and happy to be a part of such a great team in the industry.
Do you work in a field tackling financial crime? Don’t miss the chance to feature in one of Fincrime Report’s regular job focus Q&As.
We are looking for people who work in AML/CTF, fraud detection, threat intelligence and related legal and regulatory fields across a range of industries to tell us about their everyday job.
Just fill in a short Q&A and submit a photograph to be considered for inclusion. We want to feature people of all levels of seniority.
If you want to take part, email Carl Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
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