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Sovereign Wealth Funds – we are experts!

Thanks for all the great feedback regarding my Sovereign Wealth Funds half-day course. Not many courses on this topic on the market and almost none taught by someone who has actually worked for a SWF. I have been enjoying working with groups of graduates on this topic from within the financial sector and elsewhere – give me a shout if you would like an outline.

Questions With Attitude – Graduate Training


Running an AML course for a retail bank graduate group recently, it was fascinating to compare the questions they asked with those I would normally get from more senior staff. Here is a sample:

  1. “Given AML & Terrorist Financing are such big issues, why have so few people been prosecuted & imprisoned?”
  2. “If there are so many ‘malicious insiders’, why do banks not just spend loads of money rooting them out”?
  3. “When did the industry put reward/profit before risk”?
  4. “Why has London become such a magnet for financial criminals”?

It was great to have time throughout the day to discuss these issues and what we concluded was that there does seem to be a culture change happening, at least in the retail banking space, and new Graduates are an important part of this. Their parting shot though was that they would find it difficult to cope with targets and thorough compliance – the most complex of all conundrums!

Anti-Money Laundering

I have just been in the Gulf teaching AML for 5 days to a regulatory body. Not surprised to find the challenges they face are the same as elsewhere but was encouraged by the willingness to learn and how they identified the particular issues to be worked on.

I am often asked how we make AML & Financial Crime understandable to delegates from different countries, cultures and industries – they answer is that each of our courses is a partnership and the trick is to engage the delegates and ensure they contribute throughout the event. It also helps that I have lived & worked in many of the world’s major financial centres and understand what motivates people from each to learn and improve their knowledge, skills and job prospects.

Compliance – Banking’s only growth industry?

I was at the ICA Members Assembly this week and, while networking with some great people, it became apparent that many banks are still understaffed in their compliance, AML, IA and Financial Crime areas.  Seemingly, there is a severe shortage of qualified, well trained and experienced staff who have actually worked in financial services and salaries are increasing sharply for those who have these attributes and are willing to move.

This situation won’t improve anytime soon as banks continue to be fined for AML/Sanctions or are under investigation – my personal view is that we are going to see more hiring, more training and more compliance in all walks of life, not just financial services. watch out the real estate, legal, accountancy and high value professions!

An Introduction to Investment Banking – Training Course

Thanks for the great response to my ‘Introduction to Investment Banking’ course last week. The client has allowed me to share their comments:

“Thank you for the session yesterday. The feedback that we are getting is excellent”.

It is always good to show what really happens within an investment bank and give delegates a thorough of the terminology they use and how they interact with clients, counter-parties & regulators!