The inaugural AFC & Sanctions Forum in the Eurasia region took place on June 22, 2023, in Tbilisi, Georgia, organized by the ACAMS Eurasia Chapter in partnership with LexisNexis Risk Solutions Financial Services, Collections and Businesses.
Some of the hot topics explored through informative sessions at the event related to anti-financial crime/anti-money laundering (AFC/AML) and international sanctions included the following:
- Risk framework for a single customer view
- The future of financial crime risk management
- Customer due diligence (CDD)
- Managing international sanctions
- Supporting the financial sector in the sanctions implementation process
- The best practices for electronic know your customer (e-KYC) processes
The event was a great success, drawing more than 130 in-person attendees from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Moldova. The forum was indeed quite timely, insightful and necessary as it was the first recent regional AFC event aimed at experience sharing and networking among AFC professionals. In addition, this was the ACAMS Eurasia Chapter Board members’ first in-person event. The forum also provided the opportunity for most of the board members to meet each other in person for the first time since the chapter was launched in June 2021.
Following a welcome to the audience and opening remarks from Ani Gordeziani and Iulia Timofeeva, ACAMS Eurasia Chapter Board members, the opening session featured Tamar Goderdzishvili, senior adviser at Financial Transparency Advisors. During her speech, Goderdzishvili addressed the risk management framework, highlighting the importance, necessity and benefits of implementing adequate customer risk assessment, as well as business-wide risk assessment and risk appetite to the organization.
Later that day, Katarina Pranjić, financial crime compliance subject-matter expert at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, provided a comprehensive overview of single customer view as the future of financial crime risk management.
Throughout the day, the forum hosted panel discussions for addressing and covering some of the most important trending topics. During the first panel discussion on managing international sanctions, the significance of adhering to international sanctions regimes was emphasized. Invited expert speakers, including Sophia Asanidze and Eka Goglidze from the National Bank of Georgia, as well as Giorgi Dziguashvili from JSC Bank of Georgia, shared valuable insights on mitigating risks associated with sanctions evasion. In particular, the speakers touched on the sanctions imposed against Russia, provided guidance and, once again, highlighted the absolute necessity of adhering to international sanctions.
The session on CDD was presented by Irakli Kalandadze, co-director of the AML and Sanctions Compliance Department at JSC Bank of Georgia. He emphasized the importance of efficient CDD and ongoing monitoring, along with discussing the existing challenges associated with this process.
The second panel discussion was mainly focused on managing risks related to digital onboarding. Expert speakers Katarina Pranjić, from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, and Ani Ghambaryan and Dr. Artur Golban, co-chairs of the ACAMS Eurasia Chapter Board, shared best practices and strategies to address these challenges effectively.
Overall, the AFC & Sanctions Forum was the first and the largest AFC/AML gathering held in Tbilisi, Georgia, which provided like-minded professionals with the chance to share their experience, expertise, knowledge and lessons learned, as well as the opportunity to network with each other.
The ACAMS Eurasia Chapter Board will continue its efforts to provide a platform for continuous development and networking among AFC and sanctions professionals. We hope to see you at the ACAMS Eurasia Chapter’s upcoming events, to be held both in-person and online.1
Ani Gordeziani, board member, ACAMS Eurasia Chapter
- ACAMS Eurasia Chapter, ACAMS, https://www.acams.org/en/chapters/europe/eurasia-chapter