The ACAMS South Florida Chapter organized an outstanding learning event in this second quarter! Continuing to pursue its mission to advance the professional knowledge, skills and experience of those dedicated to the detection and prevention of money laundering, the chapter continued to provide its members with diverse educational events as well as networking opportunities.
As you may know, in 2009, a SEC order approved FINRA AML Compliance Program Rule and in 2010 a joint guidance was issued by FinCEN, SEC and other Federal Regulators on obtaining and retaining beneficial ownership information, with these in mind, the chapter organized an event specifically geared to broker/dealers by hosting, on May 12, a panel composed of prominent members in the industry. The panel included Peter Gonzalez, principal examiner and an AML regulatory specialist with FINRA's Florida District Office. Prior to him joining FINRA, he worked in the Southeast Regional Office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Jeri Dresner is the senior special counsel in the Division of Regulation at the SEC's Miami Regional Office. In this position, she is the legal counsel to staff of the Investment Adviser, Investment Company, Broker-Dealer, and Transfer Agent branches and is liaison to enforcement. Nicholas P Salas is CCO at InterBolsa Securities located in Miami. With 16 years in the industry, former experience includes among others, Wachovia Securities, Prudential Merrill Lynch. This event, held at the Wells Fargo Bank in Miami and titled "Blueprint for a Compliant AML Program for broker/dealers," was attended by numerous AML professionals from different industries. Speakers were passionate and highlighted their vision on the due diligence process, the agencies' examination process, compliance best practices and some recent enforcement actions.
The presentation was dynamic and interactive during the whole learning event with interesting questions from the attendees. The event was so enjoyable that it continued beyond the scheduled time. The event ended with a networking session followed by drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
The members of the board also held the chapter's monthly networking event on May 26, at Fado Irish Pub in the Miami-Brickell area. Like every month, the objective of the event was to meet with the current members of the chapter in an after-work, stress-free casual setting. It was a great opportunity for everyone to discuss relevant industry issues and to have a good time.
The ability to conduct comprehensive and focused investigations while addressing the full gamut of financial crimes is one of the most important aspects of sound BSA/AML compliance. On July 14 ACAMS held a full-day training program to put proper investigative planning in perspective with plan execution, and provided in-depth information and practical solutions through the use of case studies, hands-on exercises, peer information sharing and networking. Presenting on such topics was Dennis Lormel, former FBI special agent who served as the chief of the FBI Financial Crimes Program and Edward Rodriguez, Former IRS Criminal Division chief. It was a fantastic event with great interaction from the attendees. The event was followed by a networking event at Fado Irish Pub which had an excellent turnout.
The chapter is planning exciting educational and networking events, for the third quarter. The South Florida Chapter is committed to assisting ACAMS with its global efforts of partnering with local organizations to offer members additional avenues for training and exposure in related fields. To fulfill this goal, the chapter will actively participate with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and the Institute of Internal Auditor (IIA) in September. The one-day conference will cover many relevant topics including risk assessment for MSB's, broker/dealer and banking.
Remember that most of the chapter's learning events count toward continuing education credits for CAMS certification or recertification.
We welcome all ACAMS members in South Florida to join our chapter, and invite those in the private and public sectors who have not joined ACAMS to do so.
See you at upcoming meetings and events!
For more information on future events or to join the South Florida Chapter, please visit the chapter's web page at http://www.acams.org/south-florida-chapter/.