Ari House: Mentorship

Ari House serves as the chief financial officer of ACAMS. He has been in this role for over three years and oversees the company's finance, human resources and legal departments. Prior to joining ACAMS, House was director of corporate development for Fortent Inc., a software provider of AML transaction monitoring, know your customer and case management tools.

House began his career in the corporate finance division at Salomon Smith Barney and worked for several subsequent years in asset management focusing on investments in the software and technology-enabled services, telecommunications and information business sectors.

Since joining ACAMS, House has worked closely with other members of the management team to develop a three-year strategic plan for the company. ACAMS has already begun to implement some key elements of the plan which include the launch of several new product offerings e.g., ACAMS Enterprise (features unlimited access to ACAMS membership and all associated benefits, ACAMS and ACAMS webinars) and an ACAMS Risk Assessment Tool which will offer a global view of AML risk through the establishment of a universally accepted and comprehensive report card of products and services offered by financial institutions worldwide.

ACAMS Today: Describe a typical workday?

Ari House: For me there is no such thing as a typical work day. Each day has its own unique characteristics and may involve tactical initiatives such as the preparation of our financial statements or working with our sales team on a new proposal, or more strategic initiatives such as preparing a return on investment analysis for a potential new product launch.

AT: Which new ACAMS product are you most excited about?

AH: I am most excited about our Risk Assessment Tool. The ACAMS Risk Assessment Tool is an automated software application that will offer members a comprehensive and global view of risk assessment not just AML. The tool's methodology has been designed with industry/membership input and consensus, and serves as a universally accepted and comprehensive report card of products and services.

AT: Which ACAMS conference has been the most memorable?

AH: Our recent October 2012 Las Vegas conference was my most memorable conference to date. There were over 1,500 attendees which was a company record! And the feedback we have received regarding the sessions and the content has been exceedingly positive.

AT: As a chief financial officer, what tips or advice would you give compliance professionals on how-to make the most of their budgets?

AH: Budgeting can be challenging in that budgets by definition reflect educated guesses concerning what resources will be needed in the year to come. As a result, it is important to set up metrics that help analyze resource allocation for your departments and that can also be used as tools to make the case (if necessary) for additional funding.

AT: What is the best career advice you have received?

AH: Early on in my career I was encouraged to seek out a mentor. I have been lucky to have had very good ones thus far and I have benefited immensely from their collective wisdom.

AT: Do you have a New Year's Resolution you would like to share with the membership?

AH: I am still debating on which resolutions to make official, but I am planning on taking the CAMS exam soon.

Interviewed by Karla Monterrosa-Yancey, CAMS, ACAMS, editor-in-chief, Miami, FL, USA,

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