Chairman’s Top 10 During 10 Years of ACAMS

As we mark our 10 year anniversary as the only association truly dedicated to bringing together AML professionals from all walks of life, I am struck by the magnitude of our accomplishments. We have created a meaningful and collaborative forum where we all have the common goal of preventing bad elements from making use of the financial sector to further their nefarious activities. We have a best in class certification program that is recognized around the world. During these 10 years, ACAMS has grown in size, stature and influence. In honor of our 10 year anniversary, I thought it appropriate to identify, from my perspective, "My Top 10 During 10 Years of ACAMS."

  1. A Senate report that identifies you by name is never a good thing.
  2. The "Risk-Based Approach" may not actually mean risk based.
  3. You can actually get something other than chicken at a conference lunch—maybe.
  4. We should always anticipate that just as all of our policies and procedures are finalized, we will need to change them
    because a regulation changes some words, i.e., "stored value" to "prepaid access."
  5. While working for the government is cool, working in the private sector is just as rewarding.
  6. Proposing a "Know Your Customer" regulation and being castigated by an entire industry doesn't actually kill your career.
  7. Having Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officers come to Las Vegas is not a bad thing!
  8. CIP seemed so simple—what happened??!!
  9. No matter what anybody says, there is no such thing as "reverse money laundering" and financial institutions should not be tasked with finding terrorists, but rather encouraged to robustly identify suspicious activity that government can link to known terrorists.
  10. Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officers are a special breed of highly motivated, hardworking individuals dedicated to the common goal of thwarting "the bad guys!"

Rick Small, CAMS, ACAMS chairman, vice president, Enterprise Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Corruption, Sanctions, American Express, New York, NY, USA,

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