The 2019 ACAMS Vegas Conference Poll Results Are In

On September 23-25, 2019, over 2,700 attendees flocked to Las Vegas for the ACAMS 18th Annual AML & Financial Crime Conference. Members were asked poll questions on a wide spread of anti-financial crime topics. A sampling of results from the panels can be read below.

Monday: What’s New, What’s Next—A Regulatory Roundtable on Compliance Trends and Issues

The conference kicked off with the regulatory roundtable, which reviewed regulatory changes including the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Final Rule, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Manual Update and more. Results from the first poll question indicated that the biggest challenge for institutions in 2019 has been overall regulatory expectations, followed closely by getting needed resources.

Monday: Assessing the CDD Final Rule—A Year of Transitions

The CDD Final Rule was a prominent topic of the conference as it was the focus of a later session on Monday afternoon. The most prominent results came from the second poll where over half of session attendees reported to be collecting beneficial ownership information at 25% of ownership.

Tuesday: The Future You—The Skills You’ll Need for the Compliance Career You Want

On Tuesday morning, conference attendees gathered for a session on attaining technological literacy to enhance ability to manage anti-money laundering (AML) programs involving data analytics, robotic process automation and other innovations that impact compliance. Poll respondents overwhelmingly agreed that data analytics is the new skillset required of compliance professionals. Most respondents also agreed that the key to employee retention was either a funded professional development program or promotion and rapid career advancement.

Tuesday: The Body Snatchers: AML Tools to Fight Transplant Organ Smuggling

Tuesday afternoon hosted one of the most popular sessions of the conference, which discussed organ smuggling and the AML community’s role in combating this heinous crime. The large majority of session attendees assumed that the kidney was the organ with the highest demand. Most session attendees also assumed that either the U.S. or India have the highest donor rates.

Wednesday: Dynamic Duos: Fighting Financial Crime with Public-Private Collaboration Initiatives

On the final day of the Vegas conference, conference attendees convened in the main hall to learn strategic approaches and opportunities for public-private partnerships. Interestingly, over half of poll respondents reported to not participate in formal or informal public-private sector working groups.

This was a successful conference with both predictable and unpredictable poll results. The results displayed a temperature of where we are in the industry and the thoughts and concerns of anti-financial crime professionals from all over the world.

Commentary on results written by Stephanie Trejos, CAMS, associate editor, ACAMS, Miami, FL, USA,

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