For five years now, anti-money laundering (AML) professionals from both the public and private sectors have been nominated and selected to win the ACAMS AML Professional of the Month Award. AML professionals from all over the world are nominated for their leadership, mentorship, knowledge and passion in the AML industry, but they are ultimately recognized for their accomplishments and successes in the AML community. Congratulations to our 2021 winners!
April Hannan, CAMS
January’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to April Hannan, CAMS. Hannan is currently the senior manager, enterprise anti-money laundering (AML) training at Scotia Bank. In this role, she is responsible for building the enterprise-wide anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) training program, working with various jurisdictions and business lines to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements for training. She is also responsible for the AML annual global mandatory training and helped develop annual training for the board.
Hannan has over 14 years of experience in financial crimes, specifically in AML/CTF and fraud. She is currently a board member of the ACAMS Greater Toronto Chapter. Hannan has been an ACAMS member since 2014 and has a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Ryerson University. She also volunteers as a mentor and has recently been part of ACAMS’ Certified Know Your Customer Associate (CKYCA) and Certified Transaction Monitoring Associate (CTMA) Task Forces.
Joan Pilsmaker, CAMS
February’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Joan Pilsmaker, CAMS. Pilsmaker has 30 years of experience in financial crimes for banking and casino operations and has held several leadership positions focusing on anti-money laundering (AML) operations and investigations. Pilsmaker is currently the AML manager for Encore Boston Harbor. Her prior experience includes State Street Bank, Bank of America and Citizens Bank.
Pilsmaker is an award-winning developer of streamlined processes and innovative tools for operations. She is also the joint holder of a U.S. PATENT (U.S. 8,706,587 B1 Statistical Prioritization and Detection of Potential Financial Crime Events). Currently, her passion is working with the other board members of the ACAMS Greater Boston Chapter to deliver high quality informational webinars on a variety of AML topics to its members.
Liz Owens, CAMS
March’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Elizabeth (Liz) Owen, CAMS. Owen is the vice president Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) officer at Avidia Bank, a community bank located in Hudson, Massachusetts. Her responsibilities include overseeing a group of analysts and high-risk specialists as well as a quality assurance team to meet BSA compliance requirements.
During her career, Owen has led the development of internal programs for high-risk business lines, including money services businesses, payments services businesses and other high-risk business activities. She has also held AML positions at various FIs, including Santander Bank, N.A., HarborOne Bank and State Street Corporation, prior to joining Avidia Bank in 2016.
Owen has a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University and earned her Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) certification in 2014.
Art Taylor, CAMS-FCI
May’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Art Taylor, CAMS-FCI. He currently serves as the global head of compliance investigations within PayPal’s Global Financial Compliance and Customer Protection (GFC&CP) division. In his capacity, Taylor leads a team of nearly 1,000 industry experts in charge of risk and compliance investigations across the globe.
With over 20 years in the industry of anti-financial crime (AFC), risk management, business operations, fintech and a master’s in global business management, Taylor brings diverse experience, thoughtful leadership, innovative solutions and a focus on people development. In 2015, he was an early graduate of the Advanced Financial Crimes Investigations (CAMS-FCI) certifications.
Jayakrishnan Jayan, CAMS
June’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Jayakrishnan Jayan, CAMS. Jayan has over a decade of experience as an anti-financial crime (AFC) specialist and has contributed to various essential financial crime controls and capabilities in the financial industry. In his current role as the delegated money laundering reporting officer and anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) compliance manager at ING Australia, a subsidiary of ING Group, Jayan is a critical enabler in identifying, mitigating and managing financial crime risk across the organization.
Out of Jayan’s 19-plus years of diversified experience, he has contributed to financial crime controls and capabilities uplifted at ING Australia, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group, Tabcorp Holdings Ltd and Westpac Banking Corp in the last 10 years.
He has completed the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) certification, the International Compliance Association International Diploma in Anti-Money Laundering and the Graduate Diploma in AML/CTF from the Australia Financial Markets Association. He is also completing a master’s in AML/CTF at Charles Sturt University. Finally, Jayan recently completed the Understanding AML/TBML to Fight Kleptocracy, Illicit Trade, and Financial Crime Executive Certificate Program with George Mason University and is an associate at the TWELVE International Program. He is a member of ACAMS, the ACAMS Australasian Chapter and the GRC Institute in Australia.
Stacy Albers, CAMS
July’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Stacy Albers, CAMS. Albers serves as a Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) officer at First Bank & Trust. During her 10 years in the anti-financial crime industry, Albers has focused on Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) investigations and compliance. Prior to joining the banking industry, she was a crime scene investigator for nine years. Her passion for investigating, uncovering criminal activity and finding solutions translated seamlessly from law enforcement to her work in the financial industry. As a BSA officer, Albers oversees the BSA program throughout the organization, including nationwide credit card, prepaid card and lending programs.
Albers has a passion for learning and maintains the Certified AML and Fraud Professional (CAFP) certification as well as the Certified BSA/AML Professional (CBAP) certification, in addition to her Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) certification. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of South Dakota and a master’s in forensic science from George Washington University.
Niclas-Andreas Müller, CAMS, CFE, CGSS
August’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Niclas-Andreas Müller. Müller is an experienced auditor and advisor with deep subject-matter expertise in anti-money laundering (AML), sanctions compliance and fraud risk management. As a senior manager at the global accounting firm KPMG, Müller assures the integrity of his clients’ businesses by preventing, detecting and remediation exposure to financial crime. In addition, he is an industry-leading expert on corporate monitorships.
Müller is a Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and Certified Global Sanctions Specialist (CGSS).
Müller has been a member of ACAMS and the ACAMS Germany Chapter since 2015. In addition, he is a published author in ACAMS Today and other publications, as well as a regular conference speaker. More recently, Müller has served on the task force revising the advanced CAMS-Audit certification.
Abdul Waris Latifi, CAMS
September’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Abdul Waris Latifi, CAMS. Latifi is a compliance professional with over eight years of expertise in anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF), financial crime, sanctions, investigations and regulatory compliance.
Latifi currently works as the deputy money laundering reporting officer (MLRO) in the operations branch at NBP in Afghanistan. Prior to this role, Latifi was associated with the World Bank in the Afghanistan/International Monetary Fund project, where he focused on strengthening FIs and primary banks to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and did the same with Azizi Bank.
Latifi holds a bachelor’s degree in financial management and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration. He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and a member of the Afghanistan Banks Association as well as the Toronto Compliance & AML Events.
Atuweni Juwayeyi-Agbermodji, CAMS
October’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Atuweni Juwayeyi-Agbermodji, CAMS. Juwayeyi-Agbermodji is a member of the Malawi Bar Association. She holds a master’s in public international law and is currently pursuing a master’s in anti-corruption compliance and collective action with the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Laxenburg, Austria.
Juwayeyi-Agbermodji is the first officially appointed director general of the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) of Malawi. Before her appointment, Juwayeyi-Agbermodji served as both legal and policy advisor and acting director general of the FIA. She was instrumental in the establishment of the FIA in Malawi in 2007. During her tenure at the FIA, she proactively influenced 59 anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) compliance officers and regulatory officials by studying for and achieving the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) certification.
Juwayeyi-Agbermodji has assessed the AML/CTF regimes of various countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa region. She served as the representative for the financial intelligence units (FIUs) in the Eastern and Southern Africa region at the Egmont Group of FIUs from 2015 to 2017. She is currently serving on the ACAMS executive board for the South Africa Chapter.
Geoffrey Raagas, CAMS
November’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Geoffrey Raagas, CAMS. Raagas currently works for USAA with the quality assurance function as a quality assurance anti-money laundering (AML) advisor. He started in banking in 1995 in what was called First Union National Bank (now Wells Fargo) in the funds transfer department, where he was a senior analyst and eventually a manager. After his departure from Wells Fargo, Raagas joined TD Auto Finance. A year and a half later, he found a position with Citibank in their AML department, where he fell into the financial crimes and AML industries. Since joining Citibank in 2015, Raagas has gained experience in the financial crimes industry at institutions such as CIT Finance and Bank as a quality assurance AML analyst, EY as a senior AML/fraud analyst and Deutsche Bank as an AML controls testing officer.
Raagas attended Florida State University, where he earned two bachelor’s degrees, Webster University, where he received his master’s degree in business administration and Harvard University, where he received a certificate in cybersecurity risk management. In addition, he obtained his Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) certification in 2017.
Sarvesh Chadha, CGSS
December’s AML Professional of the Month was awarded to Sarvesh Chadha, CGSS. Chadha is a skilled anti-money laundering specialist (AML) specialist with approximately eight years of experience in sanctions advisory, AML compliance, suspicious activity reports (SARs), client profiling and transaction monitoring systems.
Chadha is currently working with Interactive Brokers (United Kingdom [U.K.]) Limited in the FIU, handling critical case investigations and other key activities at the request of the deputy money laundering reporting officer or the head of the FIU. He was previously handling sanctions alerts disposition for the U.K. market while working for Interactive Brokers India. Chadha earned the Certified Global Sanctions Specialist (CGSS) designation from ACAMS and the Certified Cryptocurrency Investigator (CCI) designation from Blockchain Intelligence Group.