The 2012 Year Round-Up

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This edition of ACAMS Today is a perfect example of the breadth of issues and anti-money laundering (AML) experts that comprise the ACAMS community. Our award winners are highlighted, as is our Chapter of the Year, an advisory board member and several task force participants. As I have always said, ACAMS is successful because of our members and their commitment to advancing the expertise of AML professionals around the globe.

A Recap of 2012

We hit the ground running in 2012 and never looked back. First, a number of new chapters were launched in the United States and overseas, adding tremendous opportunities for ACAMS members to network and share information on regional challenges and trends. In fact, our chapter meeting at the Annual Conference was filled to capacity — only a few short years after wondering if we would get more than a handful of attendees. The ACAMS Chapter Handbook has been revised by our Steering Committee and provides excellent direction on how-to start, run and maintain a chapter. If you are interested in forming a chapter, do not hesitate to contact us.

Conference attendance continues to grow and with that an interest from the membership to produce training opportunities in many different ways. ACAMS is expanding our regional programming, one-day seminars and conferences and our delivery of web-based training. For example, we are returning to the Middle East in January, holding a one- day AML Risk Management Conference in New York and planning a program in Canada. These are in addition to our programs in Latin America, Asia and Europe.

In 2012, ACAMS was also clearly leading the way with the first webinar on the FATF Revisions, the U.S. Senate Permanent Investigations Subcommittee report on HSBC, Live Chats and a whole host of financial crime issues with our expert advisory board members. These programs drew close to 2,000 sites calling in per topic, a clear indication that through our excellent panelists we are meeting the needs of the membership. We will not rest on these successes so please continue to volunteer your ideas and counsel.

While we were excited about the participation at both the Hollywood conference and the Las Vegas event — both now under the ACAMS umbrella — I was particularly pleased with the September forum we held in New York City. For the first time, ACAMS focused on the need for a full dialogue on several issues challenging the private and public sectors. With limited seating and strong encouragement from me for interaction, the sessions covered terrorist financing, internal control struggles and how-to traverse the tension between regulatory oversight and law enforcement information needs. The program confirmed to me that all parts of the ACAMS community are committed to the same goals and will work to address any obstacles affecting that mission.

New Products and Delivery Mechanisms

Some of you may be reading this on the ACAMS Today mobile application or on If so, you already are taking advantage of new media forms of delivery of ACAMS content that was implemented in 2012. Besides these methods of staying informed, I hope you are following me and ACAMS editor-in-chief Kieran Beer on Twitter. Both of us try to give you quick updates from around the globe on AML, sanctions, anti-corruption and financial crime issues in real- time. Make it a New Year’s resolution to try social media if you haven’t already — you’ll find it valuable in a world where timely information is essential.

This edition contains a roundtable interview on the ACAMS Risk Assessment Tool that we believe will change your compliance approach forever. This tool is yet another example of members asking ACAMS to provide a member benefit that wasn’t being met in the marketplace.

Another example of a needed new offering is the CAMS-Audit Advanced Certification that was unveiled at the Annual Conference and starts in January 2013. This graduate-level training will not only improve and enhance the expertise of AML professionals, but will also provide those that hire these graduates with additional assurance for the regulators for the premise that they have gone above and beyond to ensure that the audit function is well trained in AML.

Again, thank you for all you do and have a Happy and Safe New Year.

John J. Byrne, CAMS,
executive vice president

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