PODCAST SERIES: Risky Women

The Transformation Journey
PODCAST SERIES: Risky Women

Welcome to our Risky Women Transformation series where Lucy Pearman talks change, innovation, and what’s next in the world of governance, risk, and compliance. Lucy Pearman is the global leader for Protiviti’s TRANSFORM Risk and Compliance practice and focuses on innovating the field of risk management. She has more than 20 years of experience leading complex change initiatives across a variety of organisations to optimise their business performance through operational effectiveness, enhanced governance, process automation and emerging technologies. Click below to listen to the episodes.

Episode 1 – The Transformation Journey with Lucy Pearman

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Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Welcome to Risky Women Radio. Today’s risky woman is Lucy Pearman. And this is the start of our Transformation series. We will be talking about change innovation and take a look ahead at the views from some amazing risky women on what’s next in the world of governance risk and compliance. And who better to kick off the transformation series? Let me briefly introduce Lucy Pearman. Lucy is the global leader for Protiviti’s Transform risk and compliance practice and focuses on innovating in the field of risk management. She has more than 20 years of experience leading complex change initiatives across a variety of organisations to optimise their business performance through operational effectiveness, enhanced governance, process automation and emerging technologies. Prior to joining Protiviti Lucy was the managing director at Deutsche Bank, where she held several leadership positions including the head of regulatory transformation for the Americas and the controls office for the commercial and investment bank. Before that, Lucy held change leadership roles at HSBC, Barclays and RBS (Coutts Wealth Management). So let’s start our transformation journey. Welcome, Lucy.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Thank you, Kimberley, thank you for having me.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
So I gave a brief bio, but I’d love to hear in your words more about your sort of career journey and your story to date.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
So I started my change journey over 20 years ago, I started out as an IT programmer. So building developing b2b and b2c solutions. So I was the proud programmer on the first ever Eurotunnel ticketing website. So that really probably shows my age, I very quickly progressed from being a programmer to wanting to be the project manager. So started to manage IT projects and then had a very traditional kind of trajectory up through the programme management route to leading portfolios, and then transitioning over to the business side of transformation. And that’s where I spent the last 10 years of my career, really on the business side of change, and helping organisations change their people, their processes, and implement new technology.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Fantastic. We’ll dig into more of that a little later on. But I’m not sure how many of our listeners will know Protiviti. So can you give us an overview of the firm and specifically around your practice?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Yeah, sure. Protiviti is a global consulting firm. And we deliver deep expertise objective in science and a tailored approach, and collaboration to help organisations confidently face the future. So really, Protiviti is a very progressive working organisation to help with the future. We help our clients address challenges and opportunities in technology, in finance, in transformation, business process, risk compliance transactions and internal audit. So real breadth of experience across the Protiviti organisation. My solution fits into the transformation space, and risk and compliance so really covers both of those angles, helping organisations change their risk management processes. Protiviti is an organisation that believes really in teaming together with each other and with our clients, we adopt a really agile mindset, so that we can collaborate with our clients and with each other to really find the right solutions to solve problems, particularly in the fast changing world that we’re all starting to live in as a result of COVID. So we’ve got more than four and a half thousand people and more than 85 offices in 20 countries. We’ve served over 60% of Fortune 1000 companies and 35% of Fortune Global 500 companies. And our values are important to us. And this really is resonant for me and the segment in the work that we’re doing. Integrity, so we’re really committed to doing the right thing in all situations. We’re a very inclusive organisation. So we succeed through teamwork through global collaboration, through diversity and just respect for each other. And we’re innovative. We expect value and deliver new ideas and approaches for our staff, and really embrace an innovative mindset as we’re solving our client’s problems.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Brilliant, I think we’re going to have a lot of opportunity to explore several of those ideas and with your customers as well, which will be fantastic. So what really excites you most about the industry at the moment?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
I think, the constant evolution the industry is going through so much change and COVID really been an accelerator for that. And it’s looking to constantly reinvent itself. So it gives people like me who are in transformation careers a real opportunity to help an organisation think through their problems and find the right solution for them, that works for them and gives them the benefits that they’re looking for very specific to their organisation.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Great. Yeah. So back to you. What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken in your career?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Two risks I can think of Kimberley, the first one was when I was at university or college, as it’s known in the US, I was studying for international business studies with modern languages, and then I was going to be a translator for the UN. It was either that or a concert pianist. And I decided,
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
I love it, what a choice!
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
And I decided I was gonna do none of the above. And I was going to go and get myself a job before I graduated, and really had a strong desire to get into the workforce, and just learn business. And that’s exactly what I did. So that was a huge risk. That was a huge frustration for my parents. But it was one that really paid off because I took to the commercial world much better, despite expectations, than I’d enjoyed being in the academic environment. So that was when I was probably young, and probably more giddy headed than I am today. Then the second risk I took was moving to the US. I took a role to transition with a banking organisation from EMEA into the US, it was a much smaller role. But it really gave me a trigger point to inject some real disruptive change into my own life. And it paid off me and my family. And now living in the US. We’ve been here for five years. And it’s proven an incredibly valuable risk that we all took as a family.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
I think it’s always interesting, that sort of risk versus opportunity, you know, two sides of the same coin. So yeah, really interesting on especially international moves, I would agree. And then what advice would you give to your younger self, when you know starting out your career journey?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Be open minded and go with the flow. Don’t put yourself inside a box. So you grow up with you mum and dad telling you you must be a lawyer, you must be a doctor at least that’s that’s for my generation. And none of the above is true. So I think I would tell my younger self, be bold, be confident, and trust your gut. Because you know yourself better than anybody and what you’re really good at. So be open minded. Embrace everything that comes your way, with full gusto.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Love it. So just to end this section, then who inspires you? And are there any risky women or just women in general, that inspire you?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
I’m inspired by all women, I think women, particularly those in senior leadership roles, you know, faced day by day challenges, and we still live in a world where it can be quite undiverse. So I really, really admire every woman that’s really trying to forge a really strong career, in risk, in transformation, in anything. And kind of fighting those day by day challenges that unfortunately, we still do experience. So kudos to all women that are really, you know, trying to make a difference.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Lovely. So thanks so much for sharing about your career journey so far, and some really interesting areas. And there’s going to be a lot more time for our risky women to get to know you, as we are super excited to have you take the reins and move to my side of the microphone for the rest of our transformation journey. I think it’s a really fascinating area, and there’s so much that we can discuss so it’s going to be fantastic to dig into a few more areas around transformation.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
This episode is brought to you by Protiviti. Protiviti is a global consulting firm with deep expertise in transformation, risk management and compliance. Partner with productivity and face the future with confidence.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
So let’s sort of set the scene now. Can you outline the landscape as you see it and you know, what are the biggest challenges and opportunities that you’re sort of talking to your customers about.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Yeah, sure. I mean, I think we’re living in an incredibly dynamic and ever changing landscape. I think everything that we knew before, and all the rules that we knew before no longer apply. And that’s the same for risk management, we are really facing a future of high uncertainty and high risk. We tend as humans, and as organisations to react to those changes very quickly. They cost a lot of money, they’re not sustainable, we put quick fix solutions in, which actually puts even more pressure on the resilience of an organisation. And I think what we’re gonna look, you know, to it in the future. And what I’m certainly experiencing with clients, is a real appetite for turning back to basics. And taking a step back and looking at the basic risk management framework. If we put that into the context of what we’re trying to do. Then question where the true synergies are. I think risk management has mushroomed over the last 10 or 15 years from the pressures that have been applied by the regulators, and particularly in the US market where the scrutiny is so high by the regulators, they operate, you know, so differently to to the rest of the globe, which are fairly strategic. And people are really questioning why the mushroom? Why the need for the increasing costs, why can’t we simplify the way that we manage risk across our organisation, and then apply the right technology to solve that problem. So I think we’re really starting to see that swing back to having an effective risk management operation that’s enabled by technology, rather than what we’ve seen the last five years with, with digital being used as a buzzword, and the the heavy investment made in digital to improve the customer experience, and nothing done to help the downstream impact for our managers.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Yes, it’s certainly an interesting time in which we live. So what are the some of the most disruptive or thought provoking ideas that you’re hearing at the moment?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
The most provocative thought that I’m hearing is there’s no longer a need for risk managers, or compliance officers, and actually, they can be replaced by robots. And that’s controversial, you know, given the risk management and compliance functions have grown so significantly over the last 5 to 10 years. That’s a very provocative thought. And there’s some truth to it. There’s absolutely the ability to apply robotics to do some of the more mundane tasks of managing risks, which frees up risk officers to really be trusted advisors sitting with the traders and giving them real time advice. So that’s the most provocative thought. And I think, in general, Kimberley, there’s lots of conversations around how to really, truly automate risk management, and actually help risk managers get off the spreadsheets, and be closer to the deals environment and help make a more productive, real time credit decision for traders as they’re doing their business.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Yeah, very interesting. I think it’s interesting as well, because there’s been a lot of fears around the sort of black box technology and what’s actually going on. So yeah, that’s quite quite a disruptive thought to think taking people out of the equation. So when you think about transformation, and the changes that we really need to see, what is your vision? And how are you sort of doing this with Protiviti in your practice?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
I think our focus is to solve real problems. So I think from a consultancy perspective, you tend to see a focus on providing a solution, rather than solving the problem that you’ve specifically going in hand. And I think that’s something that we really want to drive through for the Transform risk and compliance segment of creativity is solving real industry life problems. And using technology innovation and data to help innovate and transform the risk management processes rather than to replace them and not add the value and drive the benefits that an organisation needs. I think the solutions that we want to put in place, and that we’re working through with clients is really taking risk management from the beginning and aligning it to a business strategy. So you’ve got a very, very focused risk aligned business strategy that flows through the organisation and helps risk management have effective controls in place and proactively manage risk. So you end up with a very optimal risk management framework that’s able to support the business and be reactive to it in a way more dynamic way, I think you see lots of investment in the digital customer experience, you don’t see so much investment in risk management. So I think what we want to try and achieve as a set of solutions for our clients is wrapping risk management and compliance around the digital customer experience, and avoiding the additional costs and lack of value that’s driven by bolting on solutions to those more digital technologies that are being implemented in the front office. So forging and merging the two concepts together, rather than as two separate entities.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Yeah, I think that’s a really interesting approach. What do you see that transformation means for the industry in a broader sense? And what are the top priorities?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
I think transformation means lots of different things to the industry. And I think it depends where clients are on their maturity scale. So at the bottom end of the maturity scale, you’ve got organisations that are just trying to stabilise their processes. So you’ve got organisations that are in a very heavy state of remediation. And transformation for them means just getting a stable set of processes that enables them to operate within their risk appetite. And then you’ve got at the extreme end of that maturity scale organisations that are really embracing digital technologies, and using robots and using machine learning using artificial intelligence, using predictive analytics to really drive the customer experience. So I think transformation can mean so many different things to industry today, depending upon where they are in their own levels of maturity. I think the top priorities for the financial services today are twofold. It’s having an incredibly resilient operating model, at the same time, as driving down their cost base. And I think therein lies the challenge for many organisations, which is where the transformation strategy really, really helps. Because to maintain a resilient operating model, whilst reducing your cost base is hard. And it needs good sound advice to help get through that journey.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
And what does it mean kind of for individuals as well?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
I think it means for individuals, we have to embrace a different mindset, I think there’s a completely different approach to managing your own career. I think there’s a culture of continuous learning that everybody needs to adopt, and be agile, I think, you know, being able to react to your environment is more important than it ever was today, and making sure that you’ve got those skills that the workforce, the organisation around you needs. So being very in tune with the trends of your organisation, and where you’re going, so that you can really maintain your relevance and really prove yourself a strong leader in these fairly adverse times that we’re operating in.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Yeah, very, very good points. So when you think about leading companies, what are you seeing that they are doing in order to successfully transform?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
I’m seeing organisations be really successful when they’re embracing the concept of a virtual culture, and creating a future ready workforce. So to have a future ready workforce doesn’t mean rolling out new training. It means really thinking outside the box, it means co-creating with vendors, whether that’s a technology vendor, whether that’s a marketing vendor, but ultimately getting into a co-creation state of mind. So you’re not trying to solve the problem on your own, you’re trying to solve it with other people. Another really progressive idea is to create capacity and capability outside of your own organisation. So I’m starting to see organisations think about teaming up and creating a bench so that they can effectively manage their resources and make sure that they’re all fully occupied. I mean, if you think about JP Morgan and Bank of America sharing resources, those organisations that are starting to embrace those kind of revolutionary ideas are really starting to forge a way forward. Particularly in the 21-22 timescale, where the workplace that we knew yesterday isn’t the workplace we’re going to know tomorrow.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Really interesting. And look you’ve been involved in change and transformation projects for a very long time. When we’re transforming by its very nature means change. So how is change best handled?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
With extreme care and empathy. I think the people aspect of change is always forgotten and underestimated. So most organisations tend to focus on the process and technology elements of change, because it’s easy to rewrite a process. Using Visio, or some other workflow tool like Promap, it’s easy to implement a new system, even though it feels hard at the time. But the people side of change is really, really hard. And taking people on that journey with you. And sustaining that change by making sure those people who have got the skills to be able to manage their jobs in that future environment you’re creating for them, is the bit that most forgotten, the most valuable part of any change journey.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
And why do you think transformation is so important? And and I guess, on the other side of it, you know, what, what’s the consequences of not transforming?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
I think the consequences of not transforming is you lose your relevancy. You know, we’re living in an environment where there is a lot of competition, particularly in the banking environment, there’s more and more challenger banks coming to the fray, there’s fintechs, that are starting to operate as banking organisations. So if an organisation isn’t agile, and isn’t open to change, and innovative, it will just lose its relevancy. And it really needs that constant transformation, I think transformation itself is changing, you know, from the more traditional three to five year programmes that we’re used to seeing, to a culture of continuous innovation and change, so that organisations can remain competitive. But also, the investment in change becomes much, much smaller, and much more manageable when it’s continuous, instead of these multimillion dollar programmes that get abandoned halfway through because the organisation’s can no longer afford them. So it’s relevancy.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Yeah, that’s really interesting. And in thinking about the future, you know, what do you think is going to make the biggest impact?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
I think, adopting a virtual culture. So coming back to our people aspects of change, our reality is that COVID has changed the way we live. If we have gone back to work, after three, four or five months of COVID happening, we would have gone back to the way we were. But our reality is that we’re looking at virtual cultures being here to stay. And it’s going to be really impactful for organisations that embrace that cultural change, and can get it right, because how do you integrate people from other organisations into your organisation’s virtually, and help them really adopt the culture that you want the values that you have in a virtual environment? So I think embracing all of that is going to be the biggest impact on organisations as we move through 2021 and into 2022.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
I’m so glad that we’ve got a whole series on transformation, because I feel like we’ve only really just sort of touched on, you know, the very top level of what we could get into here. So for this session, though, what are those first steps that an organisation needs to take to begin their transformation journey, and then we will move on to some fun things.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
It’s a really simple set of steps. And I think it’s not over engineering the simplicity of those first baby steps. It’s working out how do you operate today? How do you want to operate? And what’s the steps that you need to take to get there? And keeping it that simple. And not letting technology or any other thing complicate the very simple statement of how do I get from A to B? And what do I want B to be? And how is it beneficial to me to get to that space? So I think just those those very three simple steps are absolutely critical for really successful transformation.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Brilliant. Well, I’m looking forward to hearing more from you, Lucy, of course, but also from our guests on our transformation journey, so it’s gonna be a fantastic series.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Connecting, celebrating and championing women in risk regulation and compliance, Risky Women Radio takes an intimate look at the rants and revelations of the top women shaping the debate and the industry.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
So on to one of my favorite sections of Risky Women Radio is our rants and revelations. We would love to hear what is your revelation? So that light bulb moment something that shaped the choices that you made in your career?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Really basic trust of my own instincts. I was sat in a room in a banking organisation being told about how everything was not being done well. And I had a revelation whilst I was sat there being reprimanded thinking, no, what we’re doing IS really good. You just can’t see it. And I need to help us See it. And that was really pivotal for me for moving into the more business transformation, the cultural behavioral change, that I’ve really kind of warmed to in my career, instead of reacting and defending myself, putting myself in the other person’s shoes and helping them understand what they needed to be able to see.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Great. And then on the other side, what’s your rant? What is that one thing that, you know, if you’re a ruler of the world for the day that you would change?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
This is going to sound incredibly cheesy, but freedom, real freedom, everybody to have the right to be who they want to be in whichever form they want to be without any prejudice. I think if I could make that happen, we would be a lot happier human race.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so now on to our rapid fire around!
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Risky Women is a vibrant network at the center of a global community in a rapidly growing, evolving and influential industry. Given the continued pace of change, our rapid fire round revisits the most pressing topics to share ideas and offer listeners new perspectives.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
In one word, what do you see is the top priority for the year ahead?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Relevance.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
And what is the biggest risk for our industry?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
People.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Ooooh. Best quality for successful leaders in risk or transformation roles?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Tenacity.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
And if you could teach one subject in school, what would it be?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
It would be English Lit.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Oh, okay. And who do you most admire?
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
My mother?
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Ahhh, I love it. And one book that you would recommend to all with transformation leaders in mind.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
That sounds interesting. I’ll definitely have to look at that one. Okay, well, that brings this episode of Risky Women Radio to an end, but I’m super excited to hand over the reins to you Lucy and continue on our transformation series journey. I think it’s gonna be a fantastic one as you have outlined and set the scene for there is so much change going on. There is so much transformation and agility needed. I love the how do we stay relevant. So I think there’s going to be really amazing sets of interviews coming up. So thank you for joining us today and we look forward to having you hosting us on the next series of interviews.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Thank you very much, Kimberley, and I’m really excited to interview some of these really great women we’ve got coming up on the podcasts.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Thank you for listening to this exciting episode of Risky Women Radio to connect, champion and celebrate women in risk, regulation, and compliance. I’m Kimberley Cole, based in Hong Kong. For more information on the Risky Women global network, head to our website, in the Episode Notes and please be part of the ongoing conversation by subscribing to this podcast, connecting with us @RiskyWomen on Twitter or even reaching out to me directly by email.

Episode 2 - Collaboration Can Transform with Karyn Kenny

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Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
This is Risky Women Radio – a show to connect, celebrate and champion women in risk, regulation, and compliance. Sharing insight and perspectives from the most influential members of our global Risky women network on the latest developments, we need to think about, the challenges we should all talk more about and the innovation we are most excited about governance, risk, and compliance. Bringing together the hundreds of senior women professionals already connected with a new emerging group of leading women and men. I’m Kimberley Cole, your chief risky woman.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Welcome to Risky Women Radio. Today’s risky woman is Karyn Kenny. Let me tell you a little bit about Karyn before we hear from her. Karyn has an incredibly impressive CV and we’ve got many interesting areas to discuss. Karyn Kenny serves as the attaché at the US Embassy Croatia for the US Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training, whoo that’s a bit of a mouthful. For South East Europe regional justice sector initiative, overseeing the anti money laundering, asset forfeiture, anti corruption and transnational organized crime portfolios. Previously, she served as the attorney advisor for general counterterrorism programs and served as the resident legal advisor for two US embassies. Karyn is the recipient of the US Department of State’s meritorious Honor Award for creating the US Bangladesh bilateral banking sector dialogue. In 2020, she designed and taught the first webinar for the US federal prosecutors, analysts and investigators at the Department of Justice national Advocacy Center and launched the first public private FinTech Partnership Dialogue. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Karyn was the attorney advisor for money laundering and asset recovery section international unit and from 2008 to 2009, was a senior justice sector consultant for the World Bank. In 2007, she was selected to serve as a US Supreme Court fellow and in 2006, was named a Fulbright Scholar teaching criminal and constitutional law courses in Lithuania. Prior to that, she held roles in the US and has also taught in Switzerland. She’s published multiple articles and lectured on FinTech, anti money laundering, counter terrorist financing, combating wildlife trafficking, transnational crime and constitutional law issues. So welcome, Karyn, we have got a lot to get through.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
First, may I commend you, Kimberley, for for all of those acronyms in the alphabet soup that sometimes dominates our government? Thank you so much.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Yes, you must need a very big card to fit your title on.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
I just put on my card, Karyn Kenny, public servant. It’s an honor and a privilege to be with you today. Thank you.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
So there are so many highlights, even in that brief bio that I read out. So take us on your career journey. It’s it’s obviously been quite a ride. Give us some of the you know, more detailed highlights.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Sure. Thank you, Kimberley. And and if I may, with your permission, if I could start as a true attorney and just give a disclaimer that I’m delighted and honored to be on your Risky Women today. But any of the thoughts or opinions I express are simply my own and do not reflect the official position of the US Department of Justice or our embassies. Thank you. So my journey, Kimberley, again, I’m a native New Yorker. And originally I thought I was going to be an English professor. I have a great love for teaching, and for interacting with the students. And following a fellowship that I received from NYU in New York, I was on my way. And then that pesky thing of having to get a job and support myself came into the picture. And I actually started as a paralegal, on the John Gotti prosecution in the United States. And there were a number of them, but this was the final prosecution, in which John Gotti was convicted in the Eastern District of New York, one of our federal courts in the United States. John Gotti will be known to some from a recent movie, but more importantly, he was a major organized crime figure within New York. So as a paralegal, I was able to work up close with the Assistant United States attorneys who were prosecuting him, and I found my place, I found my niche. I loved the courtroom. I loved the quest for justice, and said I was now going to be a lawyer. So I put myself to law school at night. I worked nine to five during the day and then I went a few blocks to law school and sat in law school for three and a half years. Graduated and got my dream job at the Manhattan DA Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which I will share a tidbit is actually modeled on law and order for those of you who may have been familiar with a TV show. And that was an amazing experience. I was a prosecutor dealing with all the crimes that occur in any major city, the robberies, the assaults, the attacks. And it’s very dark in many ways. But it’s also very light in many ways, because I found my true calling was, I loved justice. And I love seeking justice and justice is many things to different people. But I learned a great deal that is a phenomenal office at the time, and follow my experience trying cases and grand juries in Manhattan. I then became a federal prosecutor in Las Vegas, Nevada. Some of you may have heard of that. And they’re in I found my second niche and that really was very interested in financial crimes. And I began my career within the financial crime sector combating I should say financial crime sector. I began with just bank robberies bank robbery squad working with FBI agents. Sadly, there were many bank robberies occurring in Las Vegas for a number of reasons. And graduated over the course of a few years from learning, you know, learning my craft, which is critical to actually take on very complex financial fraud schemes. And following that, after about three or four years, I went back a little bit teaching, it was going to be my first career and I started teaching night school at University of Las Vegas, Nevada. I had a fantastic. Chair there, Joe Lieberman who is still there. And I began teaching classes on organized crime and Criminal Procedure, and was from there, I then was very honored to receive a Fulbright Fellowship, which is a flagship program at the State Department, and went to Lithuania, and was a fantastic experience, beyond compare, and also learned a lot about the diplomatic world. And the important part, all of our embassies across the globe play in promoting peace and stability and democracy. Thereafter, I was a Supreme Court fellow as you said, then the World Bank and then the World Bank, I was working in this region, with Croatia, Turkey and Serbia, as they were all in the process of gaining accession to the EU. And then after that, I came back to the mothership, as I like to call main justice, and had the honor of serving in money laundering, asset recovery, working mostly in Latin America at that point, working with asset sharing, which I will not go into. But it’s a very important tool, the Department of Justice and our State Department has to make whole victims of crime, specifically also money laundering crimes. And then I joined that, which I can talk a little bit about later. But that is a fantastic section within the Department of Justice. We work very closely with our State Department. And I served as a resident legal adviser, first in Bangladesh in Dhaka, and then in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And then now I’m now sitting in Zagreb, Croatia talking to you. And I’m taking a breath right now. And I don’t know what the next step will be. But that’s a little bit of my journey.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
That is amazing. That is amazing. And you’ve worked in so many kind of interesting places. So as we said, I think you’re definitely our first guests from Zagreb.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Fantastic city and country, I urge everyone to come visit when when times are safe.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
And really interesting, all of the kind of areas that you get involved in. And especially some of those will be fascinating for risky women around financial crime, and fraud schemes, and all of those type of things. So tell us a bit about your role now and what you’re doing now.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
So now I’m starting with the Department of Justice’s OPDATs, a regional advisor for South East Europe. And my my role now two days into it, is to work with our counterparts, both US and regional, a number of regional countries work with their justice sector, their judges, their prosecutors, or law enforcement, and very importantly, the central banks. And FIU, and working as partners, to bridge the gaps that divide us to work towards the common good in combating money laundering, tax evasion, you know, a number of issues. And it’s creating relationships, Kimberley, which I’m very much a proponent of everything starts with relationships, and combating those bad actors that seek to infiltrate and subsequently destroy our financial sectors.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Fascinating. And we’ll get a bit more into our topic for the day, which will be around building connections and how collaboration can really drive transformation. But sort of thinking more about your, you know, career, if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now. And you spoke about teaching as part of an option. What would have been your dream career?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
If I had a dream career I’m very lucky because I love what I do, and I love incorporating it. The diplomatic world with the Justice world, so very, very fortunate and blessed. But if I can have one talent, which I will readily admit I do not, it would be to be a poet, because I truly believe that poetry is a positive factor for change. And poetry speaks to us. And as I said, I was almost an English professor. And one of the things that made me think of this, Kimberley was recently with the recent inauguration of US President Joseph Biden, during the inauguration ceremonies, there was a fantastic young woman named Amanda Gorman, who is the first ever Youth Poet Laureate for the United States. And she brought to poetry, the entire vibrancy of the New World, if you will, and her recitation of the hill we climb gave me chills. It was amazing.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Absolutely. Yeah, it was just amazing, wasn’t it?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Wasn’t it? Yeah. And I looked at her and I wanted to cry. I wanted to laugh. I want to clap. I wish Jill Biden actually the president’s wife, the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, who had actually first had encountered Amanda and then asked her to recite at the inauguration. But I thought when I watched that, it’s Lord, if I had a dream career, wouldn’t that be amazing to go and use that? That energy and that creative talent to spread hope? So I will leave it at that.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Fascinating. And then what do you think of the biggest risks that you’ve taken in your career? And then did they pay off?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Yes, I think looking at the biggest risks, I think it’s what we all face, as women, and it’s stepping out of the boxes, the pre prepared boxes that people want to place us in. And whether those boxes are determined by the way you look, the way you speak, where you went to school, your accent, I have a New York City accent, I’m very proud of that, Kimberley. But people want to file you away, because it’s just human nature. And for me, it’s always been defining for myself, what do I want to be? How do I want to live my life. So when I look at that, it would definitely be the fact that I want to the biggest adventure I’ve had, I’d call it an adventure as well is stepping out of my comfort zone. And for me, I jumped out of my comfort zone, I went so far and did so many different things. And sometimes it has been a fantastic experience, for the most part. Absolutely. There’s also been bad experiences in there to Kimberley, because that that is the mixture of life, the good and the bad. But I would say that’s what it is, is stepping out of my comfort zone, putting myself into situations where I love not being the smartest person in the room. I love meeting other people, I like to listen. And you do that by seeking answers. So I guess I’m a seeker.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
That’s great. And that probably leads nicely into what I was going to ask you Next, which is, you know, what have been some of the most important lessons that you’ve learned along the way?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
I would have to say three and two are more humanitarian based Kimberley and then one is specifically with, you know, my my role as a prosecutor with the United States Department of Justice. So my prior experience, first what I’ve learned, whether it’s New York City, or Dhaka, Bangladesh, or Kompang, which is a village, in Malaysia, or Hong Kong, all the places I’ve been in the globe, that people are basically the same, they have the same sense of dignity, they have the same wants, they have the same needs, they have the same hopes. So although many things divide us Kimberley, whether it’s politics or religion, we have many divisive forces. But as a whole, what I’ve learned around the globe, is that everyone wants a better life for their children, than they’ve had, and everyone wants to feel secure in their home and their job in their government. So that to me was, it’s a kind of all inclusive view of people. And that’s something I’ve definitely learned that my journey along the way, I call these things pebbles. And as I walk along, I it’s equates almost, if you will, to a beach and as you walk along, there’s millions of pebbles, but once in a while you stop you look at one, you put it in your pocket, and you take it with you. So this people can be that what concepts. So that’s the first concept. The second one that I would say what I’ve learned is that it’s so important to connect with people specifically myself, I am a huge proponent of empowering women, empowering all people who seek a better life. And then finally, this is my justice, prosecutorial viewpoint. Kimberley people cheat, steal and lie the same all over the world and no one has a no one has a simple entry to that. We just do it in different ways. It’s our human nature. And that’s why with the Department of Justice and others, it’s our job to, to tackle that, investigate it, tackle it and prosecute it.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Okay, now let’s move on because you’ve sort of led into this but this whole concept of building connections and talking about how collaboration can transform the way we do things. So, at the moment, what are the biggest trends that you’re seeing in the in the regulatory landscape and where you see collaboration could really improve outcomes in the sort of, especially in some of the areas you’re working in around financial crime?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Absolutely. I think that the biggest trends are ones that we’re seeing every day. They’re not the newest, but they continue to be the kind of watershed moments in the financial landscape. And these are things that are familiar to all of your listeners, AI, the blockchain, what I find very, very interesting as well, FinTech, obviously, but also the implications of the open banking era. And then finally, the relationship that is still being created between, you know, instead of FinTech, it’s TechFin, the impact of these large technology companies that are becoming, which are, not becoming they are financial vehicles, and how do those two worlds, How do they meet? And when they meet? How do we then regulate it to make sure that it is a positive joining, if you will, of those two areas?
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Yeah, that’s really interesting how you join those together.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
And then in terms of collaboration, you know, I think it’s like everything else, you’re looking at balance, you’re looking at, again, the theme of our we’ve been speaking about in terms of collaboration, looking at regulatory authorities, and also law enforcement, and others, looking at using the tools that we have already, such as sandboxes, you know, innovation, innovation events, and making those incorporating those into the framework of what we do so that we’re not just using, for example, sandboxes, to see what the latest application that a developer wants to introduce. But we also need to use sandboxes to learn what’s happening out there. What are the emerging trends, what’s happening when the rubber hits the road, at exactly that right time. And as regulators, government authorities, we’re not on the fast lane, right? That’s the entrepreneurs, they’re moving fast, they’re breaking things, our role is to protect, and to take a look at whatever, let’s say the product, maybe they’re moving fast, we need to say, That’s fantastic. We want to promote innovation. But we also must take the time to understand it. And then to make sure that we protect the economy and the end users of that. So collaboration and really utilizing sandboxes and innovation labs in a very positive way for regulators to inform and educate themselves as well.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Looking at those trends, and building connections and building bridges, you’ve done a fair amount of work around public private collaboration. So that sharing you mentioned as being important, how important is that? In your view?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
It was I think it’s critical, because I think if we look at the public and the private sector, and specifically when I speak about it, it’s from the perspective of prosecutorial and Department of Justice and others, we cannot see ourselves as two enemy camps. If we look at ourselves in that way, then we have already decided that what the narrative will be. So I think that if you can take a smaller group and sit down, listen to each other’s concerns, we learn more. And for myself, I find that the public private partnerships have been a excellent tool. I don’t make them huge. With 350 people in the room, there’s a place for that. But the way I approach it is getting the key people at the table. So for example, when I did the public private partnership, I developed one with the banks in Bangladesh. And at that point, I went literally with a fantastic young woman who works for Wells Fargo, Shahnaz Sultana is an excellent partner. She took me and we knocked on the doors of the CEOs of leading banks in Dhaka, Bangladesh. And we said, we would like you to sit at the table with some of our regulators. And we want a discussion, we’re not interested in finding out about cases without using this as a lead in to find just tell us, what are you seeing, and we’ll tell you why, when all these regulatory mandates come out why it’s happening. It’s not to make your life harder. We don’t sit up at night and think how we can really make more and more issues for you. It’s really due to the fact that we have trying to understand each other so that we can work towards a more productive, efficient, transparent financial sector.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
That’s, that’s fantastic. You’ve obviously worked on several of these kinds of projects throughout your career, are there are others that you would also sort of call out that have created that kind of impact.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Yeah, I will. And if I may, for a moment, take off my financial hat and put on more my diplomatic Department of Justice hat. When I was in Malaysia, I had the good fortune of working with a former Chief Justice there, Richard Malanjum, who was a Malaysian but also a member of the Kadazan tribe, which is one of the indigenous tribes in Borneo, and he was the first ever Chief Justice in Malaysia to come from an indigenous tribe. And through him, he taught me and his judges, he taught me the lesson of the access to justice, how important that is. And it’s almost the same as the access to financial sector. If you don’t have access to the financial sector, you don’t have access to justice, then you are cut out and you begin, you know, already 10 feet, you know, below the starting line. And one of the things I did with the Malaysian judiciary and the chief justice was we went into very remote villages in Borneo, where you either had to walk in Kimberley, you had to row yourself in by boat or be dropped by a helicopter. And we went into these very rural communities, and the Malaysian judges, brought these courts to them. So they would set up courts in whatever, it was a school house there, and then the people would come in with various issues. And they would hold court without, you know, some of these places had no electricity, you know, very rural. But again, people had the same kind of problems you and I would have in a metropolitan setting. And to me, I slept in a tent on a mountainside. And I thought it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. So that’s the the two hats.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Fabulous, fabulous, and where the challenges still remain, and that we really need to sort of see more knowledge exchange?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
I think that one of the things I was just reading about this morning, reading an article from the US, US authorities, was that there needs to be clear rules as to cryptocurrency and that urgently needs to happen, because we have major companies that are embracing these assets. And if we don’t have those rules, then we get ahead of ourselves. And if we get ahead of ourselves, then that we’re going to run into two problems and issues. I think that is a main issue, one of the challenges, and which is happens when you have a new landscape, there’s always going to be a catch up phase to it. And then also one of the challenges, I think it’s from a legal point of view, as well is the jurisdictional. So who is going to have jurisdiction and when I say that, I speak in terms of the courts, the court, a functioning efficient, transparent court administrative system is incredibly important to a solid financial economy in any country. In terms of jurisdiction. Right now, in the United States, there is a question being decided by our federal courts as to who has jurisdiction over Neo banks. So that is, banks and I’m your audience is well aware of Neo banks, those banks that do not have a physical presence, and it’s purely digital. And the issue right now is who controls the bank charters? Who’s going to charter these Neo banks? Who’s going to control them? And in the US the issue is, will it be the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which is our Federal Bank regulator? Or will it be by our states, we have all of our states? So there’s it was an issue that began with the New York State Department of Financial Services, the Lacewell case, and it has progressed in a number of years since, and it’s still being played out. But I think that’s one of the challenges, we have to find out who has control Kimberley, who is going to be the regulatory oversight. And what does that mean? And I think that is a key challenge. We’re just playing out right now. And it’s very interesting.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Yeah. And look, you’ve been doing a lot of work around helping educate on FinTech and regtech on all the developments. And I know you’ve got a an article that you co authored with two other DOJ women that’s titled Introduction to FinTech Ecosystem. I think it’s due to be published in March. So we look forward to sharing that with our audience as well. So tell us a bit more about, you know, that article, what you’ve been doing in the education around FinTech and regtech, and how you’ve done some of those initiatives.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Sure. And actually, the article hopefully will be published within the next three months or so. And we published within the US Department of Justice’s Journal of federal law and practice, which is available to the public. And it’s an introduction to FinTech, as you said, and I had the fantastic experience working with two fellow women from Department of Justice, Jill Rose, who’s the Deputy Chief of DOJ OPDAT. And then Kelly Andrews, who’s no longer with the department, but just an amazing experience. And I’ve also taught the first webinar class at our national Advocacy Center on the introduction to FinTech. So the reason I did that, honestly, Kimberley was that when I was based in Bang, in Malaysia, I should say, in Asia, which is really a driving force with the FinTech sector across the globe. I was learning so much, and I who I like to keep up with what’s happening in developments, I didn’t know a lot about this sector. And I thought to myself, well, if I don’t know a lot about it, maybe others, you know, maybe my colleagues, maybe they do, but if they don’t, then I want to fill in that gap. Because as the Department of Justice as a prosecutor, you know, just as a anyone who is working in the enforcement regulatory landscape, if you do not understand a sector, then that is a, it’s a danger, because ignorance means you miss things. And then that can turn into a lot of problems. So I wanted to educate myself so that when we’re looking at these type of cases, that’re coming in, we understand Kimberley, what we’re looking at, we understand the problems that could arise from it. So I thought, you know what, I’m going to step back and do an introduction, I’m going to share what I have learned on the basics of going through the fintechs. How, what’s the culture of the fintechs? How does that differ from the traditional financial structure? What’s the difference between a front and back office? You know, what are the words that we hear all the time? We don’t know what it means. What’s a unicorn? Before I did this, I thought a unicorn was a sticker on a little girl’s bed. And now I’m learning Well, it’s a lot more complex than that. So I want to share that with my colleagues and the others. So that’s why I’ve done it.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Excellent. Well, we look forward to seeing the article and reading and I still think there’s, you know, plenty of room for education in that space. And in thinking about the future, which we always like to do a bit of a look forward. What do you think is going to make the biggest impact?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
I think the biggest impact within the financial sector, from my perspective is right now. And using an American iconography, it’s a bit of the Wild West, okay, there’s a lot of players in town and different things that are happening. And it’s interesting and dynamic. But we’re looking to see what’s going to happen when the dust settles, when it settles, where does it settle? And where are we headed? I don’t read tea leaves. So I don’t know what’s going to happen right now. I just know we’re in the midst of it. And that’s going to be the biggest impact is that future is happening now, Kimberley, and it’s going to continue to happen. And then I would say the other issue with perspective of looking at it from prosecutorial point of view, is the choke point is going to be the exchanges. And with this, I’m talking about cryptocurrencies and the digital currencies. Let’s talk about the exchanges and how can they be regulated? And then how do we then factor into that formula, decentralized exchanges? How do we look at that? And how do we strike a balance between privacy due process but also enforcing the laws, so that we protect our economy and protect our consumers? So I think those are going to be the challenges, continue to to be the challenges.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
And I do think we could almost have a couple of other sessions to really dig into those issues. Big topics, then back to sort of transformation, what transformation, do you sort of see that you would envision for the future in terms of how things are done? What’s going to happen given all of these challenges?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
In terms of transformation, I would have to say that we are always in a stage of transformation that is just who we are as human beings. But right now, I think the transformation is going to outplay based COVID, as well, Kimberley, it’s really changing our world. And in many sad ways, you know, the loss of life, and all of those negative implications, but also the way we work Kimberley, the way we communicate. And I think that is going to continue to play out in the future. And it’s, I think, that if we look at the way we lived our life, and worked in the financial sector, and otherwise, before March of, you know, 2020, and today, and five years from now, we might not even recognize it. You might say Oh, yeah, those were the old days. I remember that. I remember going into meetings and sitting down. And I think also a transformative tool will be things such as the opt out program, where we adopt a program run by the Department of Justice, but it’s funded by the State Department, working within US embassies abroad. And specifically now at the US Embassy in Croatia. It’s been a fantastic experience, that outreach between our diplomatic law enforcement and private sector community, I think that’s going to grow as well, because people are always seeking connections Kimberley, and and we’re always seeking answers. And I think we need to come together as much as COVID and other things have pushed us apart. I think that this is going to push us back together. So.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Fingers crossed for connecting back together. And and then just sort of finish on a sort of slightly different tangent, but what have you learned recently that really blew you away?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Kimberley, I have to tell you that you know, every day I open the newspaper online and I’m just blown away. One of the things I actually was really blown away by was the latest tweet by an Elon Musk, which had the picture of you know, Elan Musk, you know, holding I think it was Gene Simmons holding Snoop Dogg is holding the Dogecoin meme, and it’s all replicating or take a riff on the Lion King. And I just saw that and I said, This is fantastic, stand aside from what’s happening with Dogecoin and all of those issues. But if you told me there was going to be a tweet with Elon Musk, Snoop Dogg and Gene Simmons of KISS, that blew me away. But music unites as does money.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Very true. Well, that Yeah, but certainly a change in tack on that one. So now we go into rants and revelations.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Connecting, celebrating and championing women in risk regulation and compliance, Risky Women Radio takes an intimate look at the rants and revelations of the top women shaping the debate and the industry.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
This is one of my favorite section of the podcast. So what’s a revelation for you? What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to share with the audience?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Thank you, Kimberley, it wasn’t given to me personally, I wish it was. But it’s a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, who was a diplomat and activist, had many roles. One of them was also being married to a United States President, but fantastic woman, interesting woman. And the one thing she said that I heard when I was very young, and has always stayed with me. She said, Do one thing every day that scares you. Do one thing. And she was not talking about something that would put your life in danger. She was talking about doing one thing that scares you, because when you confront that fear, then it doesn’t have a hold on you anymore. And for me, when I was in high school, I was very concerned about public speaking. It made me very nervous to get in front of the classroom. And I remember my mother told me, she said, you know, Eleanor Roosevelt. Do one thing that scares you. I got out there. And I did it. It wasn’t a work of art. Kimberley, it was a little messy. But I did it. And then you know, 20 years later, I’m speaking to 700 people in the audience at Thomson Reuters giving the keynote address.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
I went to that, and you were fantastic.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
You’re a good woman. And I got to meet you. So it was fantastic all around.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Excellent. And then what’s your rant? We always this side, we seem to have lots of ideas of you know, if you had your magic wand, you’re going to pick one thing you were going to change what’s that going to be?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
If I had a magic wand and speaking from the financial sector perspective, it would be to break down the silos. What frustrates me and vexes me if I may, is people who view power connections or knowledge as a limited supply and don’t want to share it with others because they think it decreases that, that vexes me it’s it’s, it’s when you share your knowledge, you share yourself, you share your time, Kimberley, that’s truly when you are wealthy and when you are successful. So let’s wave that wand. Let’s then get rid of all the people who see knowledge and sharing contacts, etc. as a limited, valuable tool that has to be protected. Let’s wave our wand to get rid of them.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Fabulous. I love it. So and it brings us right back to our connections and transformation as well. So excellent.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Risky Women is a vibrant network at the center of a global community in a rapidly growing, evolving and influential industry. Given the continued pace of change, our rapid fire round revisits the most pressing topics to share ideas and offer listeners new perspectives.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Alright, we’re into the rapid fire round.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Uh oh!
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Exactly. It’s like pop quiz for you.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Alright, I’m ready!
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Alright, one word to describe the world of governance risk and compliance?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Dynamic.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Oh I like it. One word, what is the biggest risk for our industry?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Complacency.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Nice. And the most important focus for the future.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
The most important focus is going to continue to be maintaining adopting and maintaining a global perspective. We need to really think about financial markets across the globe, not just in our own backyard. And also innovation, we have to continue to adopt our regulatory controls as well, that is occurring with innovation. And we have to continue to be resilient. You know, that’s kind of the buzzword probably for the last year is resiliency, which can have many forms mental health, physical health, but also within the employment sector, its resiliency, and as we many women know, as well, you have to have many times transform and reinvent yourself. And we do that and that comes from a deep well of resiliency, which is built within each of us. And if we don’t have it, we can definitely then learn how to have to gain it.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Are you optimistic, pessimistic or neutral in your outlook for the year ahead?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Kimberley, there’s always choices and I choose hope. I am optimistic. And as my wonderful grandmother would say, she said, It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, you have to light a candle. Right now, it’s a lot of darkness, we will see it through. So I am optimistic for both the markets because we’re in such a transformative time right now that the dust will settle. And we will have really new dynamic tools to help with financial inclusion and other issues. And then also just for our world and our people that we will be able to overcome the virus.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
And then what word represents success for you?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna ask you, if I can fudge it a little bit, and I’m gonna put a hyphen in between three words, if that’s acceptable. But that’s a lawyer, right?
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
You go for it. Create your own rules!
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
So I would say and I’ll put in the hyphen, service hyphen to hyphen others service-to-others. That’s my success. If you have skills and talents, then I think serving others with sharing that with the world. And with those around you. That to me is success.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Well, that’s a good one, then. So what’s your top skill needed for the future?
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Adaptability, you have to adapt to quick changes and human beings like stability. We like stability in our financial markets, we like stability, but we have to adapt. And if we do not adapt, we will be left behind.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
And then we just like to end on a couple of risky women recommendations. So we’d like you to share a book to read, something worth watching, and your favorite podcasts.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
All right, well, the favorite book to read and I am a voracious reader. I love it. But what I’ve read most recently, which profoundly impacted me and touched me, which is truly the the hallmark of an excellent book was Promise Me Dad, by Joe Biden, our President Joseph Biden. And it was an incredibly insightful, touching, candid view of how he, President Biden and his family struggled with handling not only the pressures and challenges that came with being a vice president, but also at the same time confronting the cancer of his son Beau, who very tragically ultimately passed away. And what’s interesting, Kimberley, at the end of that book, he explains why he chose not to run in the prior presidential election, because he didn’t think it was the right time. And it’s just very interesting to read that now following his appointment as the President United States, so Promise Me Dad, fantastic book. In terms of TV, I’m going to do throwback, it’s like Throwback Thursday, right? Let’s throwback, let me give a parental warning. This is a gritty TV show. It’s not for those of the faint of heart or the minors. But if you really want to watch a TV show that is really going to show you what happened on the street and how you really do a financial investigation. I highly recommend The Wire, it began as an HBO program. And it started with looking at a fictionalized version, which was very close to reality of investigating a drug operation drug kingpin operation. And then ultimately, it turns into a fantastic portrayal of a money laundering investigation. And there’s this fantastic character, Lester Freeman, who says, in this kind of iconic clip, he says, if you want to, you know, get the drugs, you follow the drug dealers, but if you want to follow the money, you don’t know where it’s gonna go. I’m paraphrasing, but this is a little bit more vivid vocabulary in that quote, because it is gritty. But that is a fantastic way to understand at a very base level. I shouldn’t say base level, but a very realistic level of how you turn one investigation into a very effective money laundering investigation and truly get the kingpins and not those on the lower levels. So The Wire is a great watch.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Interesting. And then your favorite podcast!
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
My lord miss Kimberley! It is definitely Risky Women. I’m very serious. Kimberley, thank you. You are truly a mentor. When I first met you at Thomson Reuters. You sought me out, you sat down you shared with me your knowledge. you embrace women within the financial sector and you do it simply because it is who you are you you have no other expectations other than opening up this world to more women who are seeking a foot place in the financial sector. So and the fact that you’re even doing this podcast and you started this podcast, Kimberley that is also my kudos to you. And I shan’t clap because I know that will interfere with the audio but it will claps to you. So definitely Risky Women.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Well, thanks…
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
And I enjoy spending time with you.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Exactly. Well, that’s part of the delight of Risky Women Radio I get speak to amazing women. So it’s all part of the connecting, celebrating championing. And I just hear so many interesting stories. And as you say, I learned so much along the way as well. So I’m so glad that we could connect. And we thought we were going to be speaking from Hong Kong to Malaysia. But no, we’re Hong Kong to Croatia. So, you know, it doesn’t matter where we are, we can connect across the globe. And it’s been an absolute pleasure to do this session of Risky Women Radio. So thank you.
Karyn Kenny 50x50
Karyn
Thank you, Kimberley. It’s fantastic spending time with you. I appreciate it. And all my best to you, your family and your listeners. Thank you so much.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Thank you for listening to this exciting episode of Risky Women Radio to connect, champion and celebrate women in risk, regulation, and compliance. I’m Kimberley Cole, based in Hong Kong. For more information on the Risky Women global network, head to our website, in the Episode Notes and please be part of the ongoing conversation by subscribing to this podcast, connecting with us @RiskyWomen on Twitter or even reaching out to me directly by email.


Episode 3 - Regulatory Change Transformation with Diane Minunni Callan

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Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
This is Risky Women Radio – a show to connect, celebrate and champion women in risk, regulation, and compliance. Sharing insight and perspectives from the most influential members of our global Risky women network on the latest developments, we need to think about, the challenges we should all talk more about and the innovation we are most excited about governance, risk, and compliance. Bringing together the hundreds of senior women professionals already connected with a new emerging group of leading women and men. I’m Kimberley Cole, your chief risky woman.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Welcome back to our transformation series on Risky Women Radio, where we will be talking about change innovation, and taking a look ahead at the views from some amazing risky women on what’s next in the world of governance risk and compliance. Let me briefly introduce today’s risky woman Diane Callan, Diane leads TD Bank’s enterprise corporate office compliance programme. And in this role, she is responsible for leading the enterprise in the ongoing development and enhancement of the corporate office functions compliance programmes. Diane is also responsible for compliance’s regulatory change management process, covering all business segments globally. Diane partners with compliance teams, business leaders and control functions to keep TD business leaders updated on all current and potential business conduct regulations and guidance. In addition, Diane is responsible for TD Compliance Academy, a dedicated in house training programme for compliance team members focused on the knowledge and skills that promote core competencies and excellence in compliance. Welcome, Diane.
Diane
Thank you. Great to be here.
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Lucy
I know I briefly touched on this, but I’d love to hear in your words more about your story and your career journey.
Diane
Sure, I actually started as a bank regulator, and during my time as a regulator I actually split it between safety and soundness and consumer protection. It’s a great way to start anybody’s career and risk by the way. From there, I went into the industry, right. Until a local financial institution, and then with a few different financial institutions spreading my time, mostly in the risk area. So I’ve done risk, compliance, Community Reinvestment Act, global anti money laundering programmes, and a brief but not wonderful stint in human resources. It’s where you find you don’t have your fortes, but right now, I’m sitting in the compliance function at TD happily.
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Lucy
Fantastic. That’s a very diverse career that you’ve had, what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
Diane
I would say the very biggest risk I’ve taken is, during a merger and acquisition, I was offered a fantastic role at the acquiring institution. And I was also offered another role to start a de novo institution is a 90 day contract. That was it. And I took the 90 day contract, which I’m a bit I’m a tad risk averse. That’s kind of a surprising move for me with three little kids and a husband starting his business. It just was not the right time. But it just was the best move I’ve ever done. And it taught me so many things. That’s the biggest lesson.
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Lucy
And with all of that in mind, what advice would you give your younger self, if you were starting out on your career journey again?
Diane
It’s the same advice I give myself just about every day, which is relax. Just just relax.
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Lucy
Yes, good, good advice, stay calm and carry on, as we say. And the industry is changing so much around us, particularly driven by the COVID pandemic, what excites you most about working in the financial services industry?
Diane
It really is that constant change, there is so much to take in and it changes literally daily. There’s always an opportunity to learn and to solve problems. That tends to be my forte, so I’ve never been bored in this job. Never been bored, in this job.
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Lucy
Very good. Before we dive into our main topic, today, tell us a bit about the transformation work that you’re doing and the role you’ve taken on with TDs global regulatory change and Compliance Academy.
Diane
Sure, high level for regulatory change, we’re working on leveraging technology to accelerate and reduce risk in our process. I don’t think that makes us unlike others in the industry. And I’m sure you’re aware of all the advances of technology that are happening in that space. For the Compliance Academy. This is our in house training programme. We curate a lot of content to try and develop quickly and targeted to our compliance individuals. And we’re transforming there is we’re trying to move a bit from the traditional training space to deliver content in microbursts branded approaches just rethink the more traditional way that you deliver training.
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Lucy
Very good. So let’s let’s set the scene. Can you outline the regulatory landscape as you see it today, along with the biggest challenges and opportunities that you think arise coming out of that landscape. And where do you think companies are going wrong?
Diane
Yeah. Where we talked before about the constant change – The pace varies, but change is always been part of our business, right? I mean, this regulatory change is not a surprise to anybody. But I think what’s different now, is that you still have the pace of, you know, regulations coming out globally. But now you’re seeing some of them be driven societally. The ESG space, environmental, social governance structure, that’s not new. I mean, we’ve had fairness standards in the US, but seeing this sort of focus and the pace with which these regulations or the evolving regulatory expectations are coming out. I think that’s, I think that’s just completely different than I’ve seen it. And I think where companies can go wrong, is not paying attention to regulatory expectations and waiting for the actual regulations to drop. I don’t think that’s just an ESG. I think that that’s actually across the industry.
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Lucy
Yeah, it’s a it’s a fast moving environment, and many organisations can’t keep up with with that ever increasing change.
Diane
I would say you would ask me about the challenge in there, right? The challenge is not taking it in and not managing it in a cohesive manner. And by that, that means you really have to understand that if a rule seems to be impacting this business, how does it really impact other businesses, the strategy you have in place, the strategy you’re looking towards? So I think understanding how those expectations play into the broader base is just it’s tantamount here.
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Lucy
And if we think about the technology aspect of keeping up with those ever changing regulations, how do you think organisations can really successfully take that first step in leveraging more new and emerging technologies to really transform the way that they’re, they’re managing that regulatory change process? And how are you doing that at TD? How are you leveraging emerging technologies, and in particular, predictive or advanced analytics?
Diane
I would say the first thing you need to do to embrace technology is to actually know your compliance management programme, your risk management programme, and that you need to know how technology can enable what you already have in place, right. If you’re going to try and build a house on sand, you know, I don’t usually look for technology to solve those programmatic issues, they should enable it and make it much better. I will tell you that for regulatory change operates on a continuous feedback loop. And when you do that, in a manual environment, you have risk inherent in that approach, because you’re often doing it on Excel spreadsheets, you’re looking for your stakeholders, you’re trying to find your controls. Technology is a wonderful way to introduce an automated system that if it’s set up right, can can enable that sort of intake analysis, the gap assessment, the impact assessment, everything you need to know, without losing a citation, or missing a stakeholder or not capturing a control. And it also helps quite frankly, at the end of the end of the regulatory change, in a post implementation review to know that you had it right. You asked how we’re doing that. Right. One is we’re making sure our programme is ready and good. And I actually think we do have a very strong one. We’re implementing a platform that will enable exactly what I just talked to you about. And we’re midway into that stage.
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Lucy
There’s lots of emerging technology, you know, you’ve got FinTech starting to help used with AI and ML, but the whole downstream impacts of a new regulation coming in, what are you seeing the leading organisations do to help really transform and manage that downstream impact every time a new regulation comes in? And do you think that technology, particularly AI and ML is really where the focus should be for compliance at the moment?
Diane
The short answer is yes to that last part, but there was a lot to unpack with that question. I think that leading is really incremental in this space. Right now, most large financial institutions are exploring how technology can enable regulatory change here. I think artificial intelligence and machine learning for sure is where we should be focusing now. But you have to do that compliance programme first. You have to make sure that’s in place. Do you know the rules that apply to your institution? Do you know the businesses if they impact? You know, what’s your current control structure? All those things I was running through before and then AI can actually bring bring the speed to those efforts. It can bring in or can reduce the risk associated with all of those elements. I think it’s actually a way you can reduce cost and the process too. I mean, time is money in this case.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Yeah, and I think data, the use of AI and ML is is a key enabler for the data challenges that most organisations find. Leveraging AI to unpack really unstructured data, disparate data, siloed data, I think, is a key enabler for compliance functions to at least read their environment, and then be able to do something with it.
Diane
I think you’re completely right. And I think the other place that we see your changes the expectations under data governance as a whole, right, often what you’re doing in this space is being enabled by the bank’s overall data governance structure. So it’s all very interesting, but I think it’s going to be an exciting space for the next couple years, for sure.
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Lucy
And I think the landscape around technology is changing, you know, there’s much more appetite for digital transformation, it goes in peaks and troughs, but we’re, we’re really seeing a lot of energy around it. largely driven by the fast paced environment. And again, it’s coming to the foreground, as well starting to open up coming out of that pandemic, the environment’s changing even even more quickly than it was say even six months ago. But you know, based upon all of that, what are the most thought provoking ideas that you’re hearing in the global arena of compliance?
Diane
This is not necessarily the regulatory change, I would stick with environmental social governance, because I just think that’s completely fascinating. But I think the other idea is the use of digital currency to reach more un- and underbanked people. Watching a lot of that, I mean, cryptocurrency obviously, has a lot of regulatory attention right now. But the fact that you could do good, and reach a population that may be struggling, I think, is is absolutely fascinating. So, you know, I think financial institutions are similar, expanding their capacity in that space. I think that that’s kind of one of the more disrupting ideas that are quite fun right now.
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Lucy
And a disruptive idea, you know, I’ve heard Diane is, is having bots on the front office desk, in place of a risk and compliance officer.
Diane
Never in a million years! I will tell you, I think bots have a space right, in searching for a rule or finding a policy or something like that, or whatever your element is, but I will tell you that, and this does not reflect necessarily a long career, I think you need that advice. And I need you, that you need context, you need all kinds of other information where you’re always going to need the warm body to do it. But bots do certainly have a place and, you know, you find which policies, procedures, controls, speak to this element.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Totally agree! Thank you for that. We’re going to move into Rants & Revelations which is the third part of the podcast.
 
From a revelation perspective, what is your revelation? What’s the lightbulb moment that shaped the choices that you’ve made during your career?
Diane
I would tell you, my lightbulb moment for me just with career management, honestly, was that I could balance having, you know, a family and a life and a career all once were when I was younger and started out I pretty, I was pretty certain it was hands down 60 hours a week. I think that honestly, was my lightbulb moment, I could manage a really cool career and compliance and risk, you know, with other things that I wanted.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
That certainly rings true fit for me as well, Diane, it’s it’s a light bulb when you realise that that’s the case. And what’s your rant, what’s the one thing that if you were the ruler of the world, that you would change for the day?
Diane
You know, it’s going to take more than one day and certainly one ruler, but man if I could change one thing and be the hate that, you know, seems to permeate these days.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
So now to the rapid fire round. We’re gonna give you one rapid fire answer for every question. In one word, what do you see is the top priority for the year ahead?
Diane
Transformation for sure.
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Lucy
And how would you describe you in one word?
Diane
Happy.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Diane
I am not kidding at all, a Zamboni driver.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Fantastic. So a slight variation from working in compliance! Who do you most admire?
Diane
It’s a tie between both of my parents. They’re fabulous people.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
And what’s your favorite podcast or book?
Diane
Aside from this podcast, right? I’m a huge fan. My default while I’m driving is Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Very good. What advice would you give to women pursuing careers in risk and compliance?
Diane
I have two daughters starting their career journeys, actually now, one of them is actually studying for her last exam to complete her MBA as we speak. The advice that seems to be resonating with both them now is to be bold, to find their voices to trust their guts to only work for companies where you align with their culture and to maintain their integrity. And I think that that’s probably true for anybody else I give advice to but I would also say for what we’re talking about today, I would tell women to jump into careers in risks. I think there’s so many paths within our world that are interesting. And they’re varied, that if one doesn’t resonate, another one will. And I think the career progression, you know, shows really no end in this role.
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Lucy
Yeah, I would agree with that. I think there’s a great career in risk today. And in the future. Well that brings this episode of Risky Women Radio to an end, and I’m super excited to continue on our transformation series. Thank you so much, Diane, for joining us today and sharing, sharing your thoughts with us and your valuable insights. Thank you.
Diane
Thank you for having me. This was fun!
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Thank you for listening to this exciting episode of rescue women radio, to connect, champion and celebrate women in risk regulation and compliance. I’m Kimberly Cole, based in Hong Kong. For more information on the risky women global network, head to our website, and the Episode Notes and please be part of the ongoing conversation by subscribing to this podcast, connecting with us at risky women on Twitter, or even reaching out to me directly by email.

Episode 4 - RegTech Transformation with Jo Ann Barefoot

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Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
This is Risky Women Radio – a show to connect, celebrate and champion women in risk, regulation, and compliance. Sharing insight and perspectives from the most influential members of our global Risky women network on the latest developments, we need to think about, the challenges we should all talk more about and the innovation we are most excited about governance, risk, and compliance. Bringing together the hundreds of senior women professionals already connected with a new emerging group of leading women and men. I’m Kimberley Cole, your chief risky woman.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Welcome back to our transformation series on Risky Women Radio where we will be talking about change innovation, and taking a look ahead at the views from some amazing Risky Women on what’s next in the world of governance, risk and compliance. I’m Lucy Pearman Global Head of Risk Transformation at Protiviti. And I have the pleasure to introduce today’s risky woman Jo Ann Barefoot. Jo Ann Barefoot is CEO and co-founder of AIR, the Alliance for Innovative Regulation, and the host of the global podcast show Barefoot Innovation A noted advocate of regulation innovation, Jo Ann is Senior Fellow Emeritus at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government. She has been Deputy Comptroller of the Currency, partner at KPMG, Co-Chair of Treliant Risk Advisors, and staff member at the US Senate Banking Committee. Welcome Jo Ann.
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
Thank you, Lucy. It’s great to be here.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
I know I gave a brief bio, but now in your own words, Jo Ann, can you tell us your story?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
Yeah, I’d be happy to. I started my career, believe it or not, when sex discrimination in employment was still commonplace, and overt, actually, and I had lots of impact from that. And actually, before credit discrimination against women was even illegal. So I’ve seen a lot of change over the decades. My career really has been marked, usually not intentionally, but looking back on it by finding situations where there was a big thing to do either start something up new or transform something. And that process has involved taking a lot of risks, in addition to ending me up in the field of risk professionals. So I love the name of the show Risky Women. You know, over that course of time, it’s been so striking to me, if you had told me early in my career that we would have ended up with something like the Me Too movement, revealing that institutional tolerance for continuing bias against women, I wouldn’t have believed it long ago. So we have a long way to go. But we have so many awesome women in our realm today.
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Lucy
Absolutely. We haven’t come that far, even though there’s more and more of us to champion that cause for change.
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Jo Ann
I’ll mention one other thing too, that you didn’t touch on in my bio, which is I have started several businesses as an entrepreneur, including co founding a tech startup Hummingbird a few years ago. So I thought there’s another piece of my risk taking approach to life.
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Lucy
That’s amazing, and an obvious critical part of the whole innovation story. So thank you for sharing that. In terms of your career so far, what do you feel is the biggest risk that you’ve taken?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
I love the questions that you asked me to think about because they’re very thought provoking. As I said a minute ago, I think that my career has been defined by risk taking.  I come from a family of entrepreneurs and people who were the first to do something both women and men in my family.  I’ve also for some reason done a lot of difficult things, sometimes by choice and sometimes being forced into it, but in a lot of different realms.  I’ve had polio and cancer, I’ve run a marathon, I’ve searched for wolves in the Artic, I’ve volunteered to work in India in leprosy communities – I’ve done a lot of different kind of things. I think that the single biggest risk that I took in my career is that I stepped away from my career at one point to work on writing a novel and I was sort of in many ways at the height of my career success, I was very well known in my field, I really knew how to do what I was doing, but a number of events sort of converged to make me think it was a good time to try to do something really different. I also had children that I was wanting to spend more time with at that stage of their lives, and lives. I kept consulting, but I left KPMG and began working on being a novelist. And it’s funny, you know, it didn’t pay off in the sense that I ended up being a best-selling writer, but it really paid off in terms of the benefit to me when I actually came back into my career later. And I attribute that greatly to the left brain, right brain challenge. We do so much work in the financial world and the regulatory world that’s basically left brain analytical. And if you really put yourself into a situation where you’re going to use your right brain, creative side, think differently about things. I felt like when I stepped away, I was at one point and when I came back a few years later, I was at a much higher point than I would have been, in terms of my ability to do my work, just because I had taken that sort of detour that most people probably wouldn’t take. One advice I have all the time is “break the silos” don’t stay inside a narrow pathway, but go try different things.
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Lucy
That’s great advice Jo Ann. And it’s often the case that if you find the boldness to follow what you believe in it, it doesn’t feel like a risk, even though other people see it as a huge risk that you’re taking, personally. Really diverse career you’ve had there. In terms of your time as a regulator, how did that influence your other career choices? What pushed you into all of those really different diverse backgrounds?
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Jo Ann
Yeah, so I was the first woman Deputy Comptroller of the Currency. And I also was the first Deputy Comptroller to lead the Consumer Protection and Community function at the OCC. It was new when I was there. The OCC is an amazing organization. I did a podcast for my podcast show with Joseph Otting, when he was the Comptroller of the Currency, and we talked about the stamp that it puts on people. He said, people call it having the tattoo, you know once you’ve met at the OCC, it never leaves your mind really and your heart that much. Again, I went there at a point when both the consumer protection issues were new as an OCC mandate. And again, I was the first woman, I was remembering a story of the first time that I tried to brief, what was at the time, the 14 Regional Heads of the OCC, all of whom, of course, were men. What I was doing with my, with my consumer protection group, I remember just telling them about the game plan and having them looking at me like, What are you talking about little girl, you know, it was just totally new to them. And I went back to my office, and two minutes later, one of them was knocking on my office door, came in and sat down and said that was the greatest thing I’ve ever heard. How can I help?, you know, and I think that’s how change occurs. But my experience at the OCC has shaped my entire life, my son became a Bank Examiner, I’m a great, great admirer of the regulators.
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Lucy
That’s really inspiring too. Who inspires you? Who do you take inspiration from either generally or women that are very, you know, in embroiled in the risk and compliance industry?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
I’m so inspired by the women in my life, we have a small team at my organization. There are five of us and four of us are women and like my female colleagues, really inspire me as of course does my male colleague and I was thinking about names, I decided not to try to name too many names because I would leave off the awesome women that I work with. There’s so many amazing women in this space. I am going to mention three, one is I’m very inspired by my daughter, who has an amazing career and a husband and two little boys, very young children. And I look at couples who’ve gone through the pandemic with little children, and I just admire them so much. I love millennials. Really, I just think they’re such a great generation. My daughter just puts it all together and has the greatest part. She helps everyone she can. So that’s one. I’m going to mention someone that I’m just getting to know and I’m really inspired by. I’ve just recorded a podcast with the Kenya Central Bank Deputy Governor, Sheila M’Mbijiewe, and I really hope everyone will listen to this podcast because she does talk about women. She was the first woman in Kenya to do many, many things, including what she’s doing now. She has such heartfelt advice for women on taking risks. I really suggest people listen to that podcast when it comes out. And the other one that I’m going to mention that I admire enormously, is the Chairman of the FDIC, Jelena McWilliams. I don’t how well people know her but she is the most bold, visionary leader around. She came into the role at the FIDC, which is a great organization like the OCC, although younger, and she is setting out really to create technology change. Since we’re talking transformation here, she’s setting out to change how we supervise banks, and also how banks, especially community banks, can thrive in the age of digital technology. I really encourage everybody to watch her. She could be a case study in management classes leadership classes, she’s visionary, she’s funny, she’s the type of leader that makes people want to follow her. Which I really admire.
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Lucy
Thanks Jo Ann. It sounds as if you’ve got a natural affinity towards trailblazers which is close to my heart. I like a disruptive environment in a positive way.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
This episode is brought to you by Protiviti. Protiviti is a global consulting firm with deep expertise in transformation, risk management and compliance. Partner with Protiviti and face the future with confidence.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Before we dive into our main topic today, can you tell us a bit more about the Alliance for Innovative Regulation, AIR as you call it, and how you are helping to digitize the financial services industry?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
It’s the Alliance for Innovative Regulation and we call it AIR.  Your audience knows this but we still but as humans we tend to underestimate it, technology is transforming everything in our lives, and financial services, financial risk management, and financial regulation are all undergoing complete transformation due to the move from analog to the digital age. These sectors have always used technology, they’ve always been innovative, but what’s happening now is different. It’s like going from film to the iPhone.  It’s not just evolutionary change, it’s completely different technology.  What we do at AIR is we focus on trying to help the financial regulatory and the compliance and risk management sector keep up with technology change. Both to use technology in the financial services industry and for the regulators to oversee that well, and also for themselves.  These technologies are changing at an exponential rate. COVID has given us a harsh lesson in what that means.  Exponentially changing technologies have that traditional hockey stick shape where they look very gradually changing for a long time and then change suddenly accelerates and spikes upward. I worry that financial risk management and regulation, and financial companies for that matter, will find themselves under that curve as that vertical shift starts. If you haven’t kept up, you may never catch up. We try to help people understand the technologies, figure out how to adopt them in terms of cultures, and human beings, and skills sets. We wrote a paper last year called the “RegTech Manifesto” trying to layout this vision. One thing I’ll mention about AIR, is that we were very excited 2 months ago to be honored in the Fast Company magazine World Changing Idea Awards. When you think about the complexity, and you know, frankly arcane nature of financial regulation, we thought it was pretty great, that Fast Company could see that this is a world changing idea. If we can get this right, we can have a financial system that will be more fair, more accessible, more affordable, more efficient, more stable, more green. I mean, you name it, the technologies that are coming can just do massive good if we got them right. And conversely if we got them wrong, they could do a lot of harm. So that’s what we worked on at AIR. We do white papers, we do a lot of convenings we run tech sprints with and for regulators on how to do rapid innovation where you bring the tech people to the table to help problem solve and build prototype solutions.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Thanks, Jo Ann. When we think about innovation, innovation can mean so many different things. And you’ve just covered the huge spectrum of the different things that AIR gets involved in. What do you think innovation really means for financial services? You know, particularly given the different states of maturity and a lot of the organizations? What do you see as the top priorities when it comes to innovating financial services? Where can people really focus their energy?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
There are some areas that are ahead of others globally, at AIR, we do work on a global scale. One of them has been AML. So there have been there’s a tremendous amount of work underway in the US and globally on how to use better technology and innovation for finding financial crime. The UN estimates we catch less than 1% of several trillion dollars worth of annual financial crime. And the only way we’re going to get traction against that is with better technology. So that’s one area, we also see a lot of work going on in credit accessibility, the use of new kinds of data and artificial intelligence to fine tune the risk evaluation of borrowers, applicants who may be screened out under traditional tools, because those tools are using very limited data. Today, there’s an opportunity to do so much more. I’m involved with FinRegLab, Melissa Koide’s group, you should have her on the show as well. I’m on that board and chair that board originally coming up with new ways to underwrite credit. So that’s another area that’s kind of out in front, but everything is going to be changed, all of the information in the system is going to become digital. And once it is, we’ll be able to use tools like AI, whether you’re a risk manager, or a regulator, you’ll be able to use tools like those to really get the information out of data in real time and full sets of data, and massively improve how we do risk management and the efficiency of the process.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
And you mentioned fair lending. Fair lending and credit risk is obviously a huge topic today, particularly with some of the products that you see the top tier banks starting to launch into the market in recognition that there needs to be alternatives to the more traditional ratings. What do you think are the first steps that organizations need to take to create that fair and inclusive lending using tech innovation?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
I think the first steps there are the same as the first steps for all of these innovation and transformation efforts. The secret to it, we work with so many organizations that are sort of paralyzed by the size of this challenge. You know, this is a very complicated, every company in the space is complicated. And then if you look at the whole sector, unbelievably complex, and people look at it and go, I don’t even know where to start. The answer to that is it really doesn’t matter. You just need to start, we like to say think big, but start small, pick a concrete starting point, do a project. We’re big advocates of starting with steps that are going to enable you to do experimentation. You can’t have innovation unless you can try things out and see what works. And we’re not used to doing that easily in our sector because we’re risk averse and we don’t put things out until they’re completely buttoned up, and so on. So we need safe spaces, regulatory labs, sandboxes for the industry, FinTech and regtech, innovation teams that can look at new kinds of technologies. And again, get hands on with them and try them out on a small scale. So in the area of new kinds of credit, innovation, that’s a great place to start, look at the new technologies that are becoming available. Find a way to test them, see how they perform in your environment, and then keep your regulators informed as you’re going about it.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Your point is spot on the secret to successful innovation is to learn how to fail fast and there’s a serious consequences to that in the financial services. So there is a risk adversity to that. But what do you think the consequences for organizations if they don’t innovate, and don’t transform?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
Yeah, I mean, I hate to be alarmist but I really think that successful digital technology adoption is The ticket to the future, it’s the most important issue facing every organization. I worry, I’ve worked through my career extensively with community banks. And I worry about that sector, because they have a tech disadvantage against both big banks and fintechs. And they know it. And I think we’re going to see that the ones that really are successful in undergoing a digitization of their bank are going to be the ones that will succeed. Don’t forget that we have a demographic transformation, paralleling and converging with the technology transformation. And as the leadership of organizations becomes less baby boomers and more Gen X being in the middle, but then more millennials, everyone and the customers too, everyone is going to be expecting great digital services. And if you don’t have them, I think you’ll struggle to compete. I want to say as simple as that it’s not simple. It’s very difficult. But I think that’s the reality of it. There could be niche strategies that are very high touch. But you’re not going to do be successful in mainstream financial services, unless you’re really great at Digital – both to please the customer and to manage your costs and to comply, to keep your compliance working right.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Absolutely. And I think we are seeing more and more regulators put digital and innovation to the top of their agendas. What other priorities are you seeing the regulators focus on in addition to that kind of digital transformation agenda?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
Yeah, you know, if you look at the regulators across the world as sort of learning laboratories, which many of them are, they’re doing lots of interesting things. One thing we’re seeing is much more adoption of artificial intelligence tools by regulators themselves. The SEC and FINRA, for example, and securities regulators in other countries are using AI to analyze both reported data but also big data, and try to spot risk trends in markets, signs of potential market misconduct, aberrations and behavior that may be indicators of insider trading, etc. Not to prove anything, but to target the the human experts to look more closely at something instead of having just this vast array of data. Something people don’t realize enough about regulators, and it’s true for risk managers too, is that we mostly have blind spots in trying to look at the system that we’re supposed to be managing the risk in. We have data and information and access. But it’s really limited. Regulators are looking at quarterly call reports for example. So the data is stale. And what’s in the call report, you know, it’s it’s rolled up data, it’s averages, you don’t get into the granular information that’s below it, you don’t get access to it in real time. This has always been true. And it’s becoming more and more true as the change in the system is accelerating. COVID really brought this home all the regulator’s accelerated their technology efforts during COVID, because they realized they didn’t have a good look into really what was going on in the system. So we’re seeing a lot of that type of effort. There’s a lot of interesting work going on in digital regulatory reporting DRR, we did a project at AIR with the state of New York on this and the New York DFS. The UK regulators have done work on this, Singapore ones have as well. The FDIC has an initiative on the call report that has a version of this. And basically, it’s let’s get the information that the regulator and risk manager need into digital form and enable it not to be sort of transferred into an old fashioned report, but make it accessible digitally with the appropriate controls. And again, let’s use AI type tools, machine learning tools to look for patterns in it. The UK has done cost estimates on this and found that a system of digital reporting in the UK would save the industry billions of pounds per year just in generating reports and give better data to the regulators as well. Another even more far reaching set of initiatives coming from the regulators that people should be watching for is first machine readable regulations, we already are seeing a lot of this coming out. Many regulators are developing taxonomies of their rules that will enable a machine to be able to understand what the regulation recovers and requires and how it’s changing. And then even more ambitious is a move toward, in some areas, using machine executable regulation, where potentially the regulator would issue a regulatory change in the form of computer code that the digitally ready industry would be able to plug in and produce instant compliance. This has been tested in the UK, the G20 did a tech sprint on it last year in which I was a judge. These tools are coming, they’re not going to be used for everything. But they will be in our daily lives as risk managers in the next few years in some form.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
That’s really interesting. And a nice segue way into the art of the possible. What does truly smart regulation look like? You’ve touched on components of the kind of the immediate near term to get digital reporting, you know, real time insights into data. I love the concepts and machine executable regulations. Where do you think utopia lies for this?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
So the utopia is going to be one in which first of all the machines are doing all the routine work. It’s unbelievable how much time a compliance person or a bank examiner today spends just gathering the information and getting it into the form that you can work with it in. Our information in this field is all locked up in vertical tech stacks, right? It’s in a database here and the report over there and so on, getting easy access to it is very difficult. So we’re going to get to the point where the machines are pulling all the information together, they’re also scanning for the big patterns of problems. Money Laundering is a particularly ripe area for this where we won’t catch the global laundering until we can anonymize and protect information really, truly protect its confidentiality, which technology can do, and then enable it to be analyzed on big scales to find the huge patterns and things like human trafficking and so on. And then smart regulation is going to be that the smart human beings who so deeply understand these risks, will be able to use all of that improved data, and improved set of tools to find and catch the patterns. One of the big changes we’re going to see and it takes people time to get their head into this is as this system matures., and we do talk about this in our RegTech Manifesto paper, as this system matures the industry, the risk manager in a bank is going to catch a problem as soon as it crops up, they will see it and we won’t have these long accumulating terrible compliance scenarios where something has been building and building and building and going undetected at a bank for years, and when it becomes a regulatory issue. It’s a huge, huge reputation damage, expense, you know, from top to bottom. You’ll be able to see the new FDIC Head of Innovation, Sultan Meghji, is talking about the examiner getting up in the morning, you know, getting a cup of coffee and pulling up a screen and seeing where was risk spiking overnight in the portfolio that she or he is looking at? And what might it mean, and how can you dig down into the data? Or how can you figure out more broadly if more people are affected? I’ll say one other thing on this, where we’re headed, and it’s going to take time. Is that much of the reason the system has traveled today sharing information and getting it accessible, is that it’s locked up in closed technology systems. Vendors or protected communities using different data that can’t easily interact with others. We’re still going to have vendors and we’re still going to have lots of company specific information. We’re going to take those vertical technology stacks and basically turn them 90 degrees into horizontal platforms where it’s going to be possible to plug in new tools and unplug old ones easily and have the data and the systems interoperate. And we’re well along in beginning that journey with more API’s wth more opportunities to plug things in, but we’ll never be able to keep up with the change underway in the system or even in regulation, unless we can quickly implement new technology. And to do that, we’re going to have to have modular tools that don’t require millions of dollars and two years of system overhaul to implement, it’s going to be like getting a iOS update on your iPhone, with changes being available to be continuously brought out to patch problems to upgrade to the next level.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
And as some people might be very overwhelmed listening to this podcast, Jo Ann, you know, particularly those organizations that we know are running their regulatory inventories on a spreadsheet today. This feels like a gargantuan task to get to that type of environment. What are you seeing those leading companies do to actually start to get onto this journey and transform the way that they’re operating and adopt and embrace innovation successfully?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
Well, the first thing I’ll say on that is, if we do this, right, and we may not because it’s a big challenge, this will be a leveling force for the industry. And the small companies that are still working on a spreadsheet should find that they’re going to have great tools available to them, the industry is going to create them and the regulators are going to encourage them in the coming years. And it’s going to be possible not to be carrying a big heavy disproportionate compliance or operating cost burden. If say you are a small bank, if you’re a small FinTech, you’re going to be regulated digitally. And you’re going to find that your regulator can see what you’re doing more easily than they can today. But that will be a process in which problems are getting caught early. And it’ll work better. In terms of what the leading companies are doing, you know, it sounds sort of trite to say it, but it’s really true, they are realizing that their business is technology. I’m among many who predicted the word FinTech is going to go away, because fin is going to be tech mainstream, just you won’t need the hyphen anymore. And the same for reg tech, regulation is going to be technology, better technology tools. So the companies that are in the lead are hiring data people, data scientists, and I realized that everybody worries about being able to compete to hire Google engineers, and so on. And the big companies are doing that. The small companies are going to find that Google engineers are going to design the tools that they’re going to need, and they’ll be able to buy them affordably. They also, the big companies, the leading companies are also doing what we talked about before, they all have experimentation programs, I went to one of the top four banks and looked at their innovation lab. And it was really fun, they had a drone that they can send out to look for insurance questions. And they had a 3d printer. Some of that is maybe for show and playfulness. But they’re really pushing themselves out into that lab environment to say, not disconnected from the needs of the company, I mean, they’re the good ones are listening to what do we need to solve for, but then they’re putting people on to solving those problems and not putting a box around them. These companies are all adopting agile workflow, for example, which is not how we traditionally have worked in these spaces where you put a big, you know, multi disciplinary team on a problem and get the problem solved together. You know, knee to knee, elbow to elbow, we tend to have in finance the water flow, you know, the sequence that makes it take a long time to change things. And they’re adopting Human Centered Design. We have one US regulatory agency, and I I’m not gonna say which because they’re not public yet, that hired a designer to redesign their one entire unit, a small unit, from top to bottom, from their workspace to the information they’re getting and how they get it and how they use that, and the tools that they have in their hands. So the leading companies are thinking that way. Their way, way, way outside the box.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Fascinating. Thank you for sharing what you’re seeing Jo Ann. I’m gonna move us into part three of our podcast, Rants and Revelations.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Connecting, celebrating and championing women in risk regulation and compliance, Risky Women Radio takes an intimate look at the rants and revelations of the top women shaping the debate and the industry.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
So revelation – what was your lightbulb moment, something that shaped the choices that you’ve made during your career?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
My biggest lightbulb moment of my career didn’t happen early. It happened later. And that was I did spend two years at Harvard. I had become immersed in financial technology as an exciting field years before that, it was looking at FinTech. Actually, when I was at Harvard, we didn’t even have the word reg tech yet. That was 2015 to 17, I think. I had spent my whole career decades trying to solve the problems of financial consumer protection, and inclusion and financial health, through regulation and compliance. I started my career, as I say where I worked for the US Senate, at a time when it seemed like regulation was going to solve lots of things. And you know, if you raise your head up out of it, and look at where we are, certainly we’ve accomplished a lot with regulation. But we’re nowhere near having a financial system that everyone thrives in, then a lot of people still can’t even get into it. Globally, and even here in the US. And they they’re in a lot of people are harmed by it. Because they don’t make the right choices. They don’t understand products, and so on. So I had a lightbulb moment while I was at Harvard, where I had taken another big career leap and just went to Harvard, moved to Boston to do two years of this work. And it dawned on me one day, that technology could solve more of the problems that financial consumers have, then regulation can, at this stage. We still need regulation, don’t get me wrong, I’m a regulatory person. But most of what’s left so we could solve it with technology. We don’t have enough time in this podcast to really talk about that. But I realized that that was too. So that was my lightbulb moment. Immediately followed by we’re probably going to regulate this wrong. Not anyone’s fault. Again, I’m a former regulator. I’m, you know, I love regulation, love regulatory people. But these institutions are just not designed to deal with change that’s happening this fast. And that is as mold breaking as this. Look at how we’re thinking about cryptocurrency today. And central bank digital currencies. CBDC. I mean, these are profound changes, and our regulatory apparatus, the laws that regulatory protocols are far behind it. So I decided that if we didn’t regulate it right, a lot of harm would be done. And a lot of good would be never realized. To put it in kind of a cheeky way I sort of appointed myself to try to solve that problem. And that’s what we’re doing. And we’re one of many, many people all over the world, our AIR team is, but I think we have to get the regulation, right. If we want a better financial system.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Totally agree with that. And it probably leads nicely into your rant. What is your rant? And what is it that you really want to change?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
So I love this question. If I was the ruler of the world and had a power that rulers don’t have to change people’s hearts, I would wish that our world would have a lot less anger and hatred in it right now. But in thinking about the work that we do, I think my biggest rant is just that I would like everyone to speed up, speed up, speed up, speed up! We have to go faster, and we still can’t get it wrong. I understand we can’t get it wrong as risk managers, but we have to speed up. I think the other thing I’d say to an audience of women that maybe is more on the professional and personal side of ranting is that I really advise people to avoid working in and living in environments that are infused with toxic anger. And I think we see more of that today than we used to, but it’s often there in workplaces and in relationships. And something that I’ve learned in my life is that it makes sense to fill our lives with positive stress, you know, have the stress of working hard or, you know, taking care of family, whatever you’re doing that is important than fulfilling, but environments that have angry people in charge or disrupting an environment. I’ve just been amazed at how much I see in the world of people who are it’s stealing their energy to just cope with being in those environments and my advice, sometimes, if it’s a relationship you can’t walk away with, you have to work on it. But in a lot of situations, my advice is leave, get out of those environments and go to a place where people are working constructively or relationships that are that are not angry.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
That sounds like good, good advice, Jo Ann. I agree with you. There’s a lot of a lot of anger around in today’s environment. And that leads us into our rapid fire round.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Risky Women is a vibrant network at the center of a global community in a rapidly growing, evolving and influential industry. Given the continued pace of change, our rapid fire round revisits the most pressing topics to share ideas and offer listeners new perspectives.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
So in one word, what do you see as the top priority for the year ahead?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
It won’t suprise you that my one word is tech, tech tech tech!
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
I wanted to be a writer. And I definitely do a lot of writing and my work.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Whom do you most admire?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
I admire so many people. But I probably would say my parents. My father was an entrepreneur and an inventor, very significant inventor in his field. My mother was an amazing woman who, in many ways was before her time, but taught me things that helped me every day. They’ve both passed away now, but they definitely are with me.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
What podcast or book would you recommend to any up and coming risk, compliance or transformation leader?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
So I cannot resist recommending my podcast show Barefoot Innovation. We talk about all these issues. We have amazing guests on it. Just amazing guests. And for a book, the most significant book that I have read recently, and I find I use it nearly every day, as The Future Is Faster Than You Think, by Peter Diamandis, and Steven Kotler. And it really is, it’s a short read or a short lesson pretty short. And really, really wakes you up to how the convergence of technologies is suddenly making things possible that were not possible before. We have exponential technologies connecting and suddenly bursting through with amazing new kinds of changes in our sector. And in every sector.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
What advice would you give to women pursuing careers in financial services and innovation?
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
The first thing I touched on earlier, which is stay out of the silos be a silo buster, don’t get in a narrow track. It’s because it’s also the case that the tech world because of the speed of innovation is driving fast change that you really have to have a collaborative environment. You need to be drawing from other places to be sure that what you’re doing is on track. So I really recommend again, that left brain or that right brain creative side, you know, if you’re a lawyer, work in technology and the arts or, you know, just mix it together. My other biggest piece of advice kind of goes back to what we talked about at the beginning, which is I was once asked what was the best advice I ever got. And I ended up saying, it wasn’t really a piece of advice. It’s song lyric from Ford Atlantic, and it’s “never fear.” I really believe that we should try to be fearless. We’re not going to be fearless about everything. But I think women today should approach their lives and their work not in fear of who’s going to disapprove. Might you fail? If you fail, so what. Look at the world around us. It’s full of Steve Jobs failed at Apple and got fired, and then came back and built what he built, both before and after he was fired. So women just I had several young women recently asked me for advice on how to be taken seriously. And especially in an environment where there’s a bunch of people there and you’re not sure what to do. And I found myself, I actually wrote a little, a little paper for them which I might try publishing someplace kind of on how to command a room, you know, how do you just not be afraid to speak up. And if anybody in the audience is interested and wants to connect with me on LinkedIn, I’d be happy to share that. But I think it goes back to courage and confidence. And I think this is true for women and their careers, especially. But it’s really true for all of us in everything we’re doing. I think we live in times that call for courage. And I think courage rewards us. Again, maybe sometimes we’ll be harmed when we take a risk. But usually, we’re going to end up vastly better off because we’ll be better off but we also will have had an impact that is making everything better. That’s kind of my creed that I try to live by and encourage others to embrace.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
That’s really good advice Jo Ann. It reminds me of something my mother said to me when I was just starting out and still does today, you know, you can achieve whatever you want to achieve. You just need to believe.
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
Exactly.
Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy
Really, really good advice. Jo Ann I wanted to thank you very much for joining us at our podcast today. We could talk for hours, you’ve got such an amazing and diverse background and set of experiences. And I’m sure this podcast will be really enjoyed by all of those Risky Women out there that are going to tune in. So thank you very much, Jo Ann.
Jo Ann Barefoot 50x50
Jo Ann
Thank you for having me, Lucy. It’s been a real pleasure and privilege.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Thank you for listening to this exciting episode of Risky Women Radio, to connect, champion and celebrate women in risk, regulation and compliance. I’m Kimberley Cole, based in Hong Kong. For more information on the Risky Women global network, head to our website, and the episode notes and please be part of the ongoing conversation by subscribing to this podcast, connecting with us @RiskyWomen on Twitter, or even reaching out to me directly by email.


Episode 5 - Career Transformation: Amii Barnard-Bahn + Diana Wu-David

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Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
This is Risky Women Radio – a show to connect, celebrate and champion women in risk, regulation, and compliance. Sharing insight and perspectives from the most influential members of our global Risky women network on the latest developments, we need to think about, the challenges we should all talk more about and the innovation we are most excited about governance, risk, and compliance. Bringing together the hundreds of senior women professionals already connected with a new emerging group of leading women and men. I’m Kimberley Cole, your chief risky woman.
Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Welcome to Risky Women Radio. Today’s risky women are Diana David and Amii Barnard-Bahn. And we are thrilled to have them with us and join to bring new perspectives as we continue to look at transformation for this series. This series is supported by Protiviti. So during this episode, we’re going to look at transformation and reinvention. We’ll talk about the risks and most importantly, the opportunities for all of us in transformation. In an age of acceleration, risk and disruption is increasing in the system, at government, at company level and for individuals and that we would say requires more agency or risk management of one’s career. Amii and Diana are uniquely positioned as board behavior analysts and top coach in risk compliance respectively. And they’ve researched and delved deep into the ways that individuals can navigate change and uncertainty with their books and programs on Future Proof and the Promotability Index. So we’re in for a treat with some great insights on what we can all do. From the author of Future Proof Reinventing Work. We have Diana David who is a futurist and former Financial Times executive. Diana is now an author, speaker, advisor and educator. She’s an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School’s EMBA global Asia program and runs her own Future Proof courses. Diana is passionate about encouraging and empowering individuals, businesses and boards within Asia and beyond to master the capacities that they need for inspiring futures that matter. Welcome, Diana.
Diana Wu David
Diana

Thank you, Kimberley.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Amii is a former Fortune Global 50 executive. Amii previously shaped company culture strategic initiatives across multiple roles in the C suite, including as Chief Compliance Officer at companies such as McKesson, and Allianz. Amii is now an executive coach, strategic advisor, keynote speaker and author who specializes in accelerating the success of compliance and legal executives, a lifelong diversity advocate, Amii testified for the successful passage of California and Washington State first laws in the US requiring corporate boards to include women. So I’m super excited to have you both join Risky Women Radio today.

Amii Barnard
Amii

Thank you, Kimberley, happy to be here. Thank you.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

So let’s kick off with your career journeys, because I’ve given a very brief bio, but I would love to hear in your words, your journey today and how you’ve got to where you are. So should we start with Amii.

Amii Barnard
Amii

Happy to. I started as a lawyer working in a law firm, but also doing some public interest work. I was had a fellowship with ACLU when I was at Georgetown, working on disability rights and helped lobby through the Americans With Disabilities Act, which at the time was pretty watershed legislation. And that was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had in my life. But then I realized I needed to pay off all those fabulous student loans. And so I went to work for a law firm. And it got me out to California where I had wanted to be I had grown up in the northeast my whole life and thought something different would be a good change at that time. And worked at a firm for about three years and realized I hated it. It was excellent training and practice. I second chaired a jury trial my second year out I did plaintiff and defense work, which is quite unusual. And I got to hone employment law best practices and see mistakes on both sides, both from an employer and an employee standpoint. And I never could have known how I would use that later. But it turns out it was extremely valuable experience. And then I did something which for me was crazy. And I quit my job with no plan. And I’d never done anything like that before I was a Type A I always had a plan. And that also was one of the riskiest, but smartest things I’ve ever done because now it doesn’t scare me anymore. And I did it at a time when I didn’t have a mortgage and I didn’t have kids and later it can be harder right to do that. And I also learned to separate who I was from my identity in my job. I had underestimated how much ego was tied up in being an attorney. And it was a humbling experience to go through that and then become an HR person, which like it or not, it was not as well respected. And all I had to do is, when someone asks you, when you were out with people kind of learned there, the reaction was quite different. And that was that was really interesting to experience. And then, over time, found my way into HR, loved it, and worked my way up into various companies, Allianz, and then McKesson, and then into compliance ethics and back into the law, which I thought I’d left forever. So that was another lesson that you kind of, you know that things aren’t linear, and you, you may think you’re leaving something. And you may realize, oh, there’s that skill from seven years ago. That’s actually interesting, again, to me now, because I have this new purpose. And so it’s been a wonderfully integrative experience, Kimberley and a real journey. And now as a coach, in my major executive roles, I always had an executive coach. And so I went back to school and got my certification, and then have tried to integrate all my work with one on one clients, and then my systemic work with teams. And then larger systems like changing the law, and testifying for women on boards and some other diversity and pay equity decisions. So it’s been wonderful to have the law degree for that, and the HR experience as well.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

There’s so many things that I’d love to dig in there as we go through, especially the status of jobs. That’s really interesting. Your identity and your job that’s really interesting. And obviously, that was one of the things I was going to ask was what was the biggest risk you’ve taken. So that’s interesting, quitting with no plan. But Diana, let’s hear about your career journey, which is also fascinating.

Diana Wu David
Diana

Well, it’s interesting to sort of follow on from Amii, who I know, as a colleague and friend, and see some of the parallels because I started out focused on, you know, international relations, I worked for Dr. Henry Kissinger, in New York, right out of college, in his consulting practice, and then went to business school, at Columbia Business School in New York, and then went into management consulting, so it was sort of a similar, you know, do all the right things, go to a good school, get the job that everybody wants. And likewise, consulting, I went into management consulting after business school for two years. And I was the youngest person, I think, almost the youngest person in my business school to graduate. And so part of it was a sort of business finishing school, I didn’t feel like I knew much. And it gave me so many great windows on how decisions were made at the strategic end, and yet I wasn’t very happy there. And so my first risky move was to quit my job and move to Asia. And I had applied for a prestigious Henry Luce foundation fellowship. And so it was not, you know, it was a nice segue way, I had an identity to go to, oh, I’m going to Asia. But even my consulting partner said, should I, you know, console you or congratulate you that you’re that you’re going off to Asia, and I thought that was a that was a number of people said that? And I said, How could you even think that I’m going on an adventure, and that was in 1999. And so that’s become the last 20 years of my life since I’m still here in Hong Kong. And since that time, I was hired into management consulting as the gal who knew something about the internet, when none of the partners did, you know, in 99, and I had new Second Life. And I worked for Time Warner in my summer MBA internship, and has spent the last 20 years really on all sides of the disruptor disrupted continuum, moving to Asia, to work for internet world, which was a super high growth venture. And then here, going from that to startups and venture capital, and ultimately working for the Financial Times, which was 125 plus year old startup, which was trying to disrupt itself in many ways. So my career has been in many different sides of the equation, largely around tech media and Telecom. And 2016. I decided to leave my corporate job and that was the second risky move. And that I think, is it’s not about the identity per se of being an attorney. For me. I was a regional director at a business, a large corporate, but it was a brand so it’s that sense of Oh, everybody knows where you work, everybody’s heard of that. And then you go to your own company or whatever it is that you do. And that was so difficult. I still work for the Financial Times, I started up their non executive directors program, their board director programs, as one of many of my corporate entrepreneur initiatives. And I still am had a faculty there. So I still am in that orbit. And that was a helpful segue to a certain extent. But that experience led me to write Future Proof: Reinventing Work in the Age of Acceleration. And to actually help in my Future Proof course, my signature course, people who are going through those transitions, because what I found in my research was really that that is one of the hardest things to do, that kind of companies are declining, lifespans are declining, and our lifespans are increasing, you’re gonna go through that, you’re either going to initiate it because you want something new, or it’s going to happen to you by somebody else’s initiative. And being able to navigate change is incredibly powerful as an individual. So I work with individuals, but then I also work and produce courses and work with companies to help them figure out what their future of work is, and to help their people inside as they figure out how to resource them well, to be more resilient.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Yeah, and I would definitely want to dig into all of those areas a bit more. And I think it’s interesting. I mean, both of you took some of those risks, like quitting your job leaving well known companies, well known roles. So what are the kind of key things you think that those changes taught you, and that planned versus maybe more opportunistic opportunities that other people should think about when they’re thinking about their career journeys.

Amii Barnard
Amii

For me, it’s just that it’s not a linear process. And it can be really fun to be self authoring. And sometimes, the only way to do that is just to take a big leap. Because there’s a lot of science around, although well intentioned, if you stay in the same group, they’re actually going to be changed resistors for you, and that you have to actually leave your circle if you truly want to make a big leap. And so, I would say that that’s the opportunity.

Diana Wu David
Diana

Totally agree, Amii about the circle, because what I’ve found is, a lot of executives in my community are trying to go from often incredible success to something that is more significant for them. And while some of them are, you know, burn the boats, I’m leaving, and I’m going to do the thing I always wanted to do, a lot of them are in the experimental phase where they want to try out ideas with a group that’s not already invested in their current success. And so when they say, I think I might want to scale down my executive role and start to look for boards, there are a lot of people in your life who are going to say, you know, what, why would you do that you have something good here, why give it up. And so my feeling is that, that what I learned is that that community, having a community of people who can challenge you, and really be there as you do a transition is super important. And it’s a make or break thing, because people don’t like change, it’s hard enough to do it yourself. But if you’re surrounded by people invested in the past, it’ll be that much harder.

Amii Barnard
Amii

And most of our existing circle are invested in who we currently are. It’s, I don’t think it’s talked about much, it’s below the surface, but they’re very invested in this in the status quo. And that means us not changing. I think, particularly family are unfortunately, the worst violators, but for the best of intentions, they’re afraid for us, they’re comfortable with the way things are. And so I think that’s where you need to look outside your circle, I personally find that really exciting. It can be disappointing at times, too, because sometimes the people you really need to see yeah for it just can’t, they just can’t be that person for you. And so you have to then be aware enough to realize, okay, that’s just where they are is nothing personal. And it doesn’t mean this isn’t a good decision. So I need to find that support outside.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

So let’s look at the transformation opportunity. Now. I mean, you’ve both done a lot of research, maybe Can you sort of start with what’s the state of play that you’re saying? You speak to lots of executives through your coaching, and lots of different businesses and one of those trends that you’re saying in careers in work just in our lives, I guess more generally from that perspective,

Diana Wu David
Diana

Well, I spend most of my time talking about the future of work trends and vision. And just yesterday was doing something for post-COVID boards and board directors. And I think that you know, across the board, really, it’s that people are tired. And that we were talking about CEO succession planning, and how board directors now have accelerated that. Because through this period, a lot of top management have been really operating on all cylinders, and really just having to just bring their A game every single day, day after day. And so what I see is people are quite tired, and also that people are thinking about the things that they always wanted to do, but didn’t allow themselves to do because it seemed impossible, you know, we were all in our routines were like, get on the airplane fly to this place. And now with the routines disrupted, there is more opportunity to think differently. But also, with the high toll that COVID has taken, people have re-centered on what’s important to them outside of work, and inside of work, and really begin to reassess how they want to spend their time. And so those are the big things I’ve seen.

Amii Barnard
Amii

And just to add on to what Diana has said, I’ve seen three areas social, environmental, and cultural in terms of the focus. And I recently did a piece for Harvard Business Review around those topics for social people who’ve had so much time to think about purpose and to think about whether they’re really doing what they want to be doing. And that’s so critical for Gen Z, they really have an expectation, and I have two teenage daughters. And it’s remarkable to see the change, as opposed to my Gen X expectations of what a job and a career could do for me, environmentally, we have, you know, a labor shortage and a number of areas and jobs that people just don’t want to go back to restaurants being prominently featured lately for their poor working conditions, and how they’ve struggled and worked so hard through the pandemic on off open closed health care workers, of course, as well, the frontline. But then we have the positives of the ability to hire remote talent. And so for companies that have wanted diversity, or that have been at a disadvantage from a labor standpoint, in terms of labor market, and I went into this a lot when I was a Chief Human Resource Officer, living in areas that were not diverse, that’s been an incredible benefit if companies have taken advantage of and then culturally, we’ve lived through me to Black Lives Matter, childcare issues, work from home, which previously was not available, which can be a huge benefit to women. But then there’s also been the issues of childcare school closures, and the eldercare, and childcare responsibilities still falling primarily to women. And a lot of women just opting out based on exhaustion. And I worry a lot when I’ve talked recently about proximity bias. I was asked earlier this week, if women do get the permission to work from home permanently, is that going to damage their chances of promote ability given proximity bias? So that is something very much on my mind right now.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Yeah, that’s very interesting, actually an interesting trends that I think everyone can relate to. So when we’re thinking sort of about transformation, how would you define it? And what’s some of the ways that you’ve looked at transformation, reinvention, transition, all of those kinds of things and what you’re seeing in people’s careers?

Amii Barnard
Amii

I feel like people really need to take an attitude of radical self reliance right now with regard to careers. And companies need to recognize that the contracts been broken for a long time, in terms of what can be expected in the relationship. And as one of my mentors put it, the most we should really ask is that when you’re here, and you’re working for us, you’re giving us the best you can. And then that’s not for any particularly defined period. And as long as you’re getting what you need, and we’re getting what we need. That’s the way the relationship is. And so the challenge of that I think, for individuals, is that it definitely puts the onus on the individual to stay relevant to be constantly learning and have a learner mindset. Because I worry a bit about the degree to which people may be expendable in the future. And I’m not just talking about AI but of course there are jobs, I can’t remember the study but there was something so that for kindergarteners a very high percentage of jobs haven’t even been invented yet. And the other statistic that I think about a lot is that hard skills and technical knowledge, now only have a lifespan of about four to six years, which for risk professionals and lawyers and technical experts that have in the past relied on their credentials, and their current knowledge of issues and regulatory, that has, I think, special meaning for us in terms of the other skills that we need to develop around soft skills and leadership and a lot of what Diana and I both support our clients with.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

So I love that radical self reliance and constant learning. Very, very important.

Diana Wu David
Diana

Yeah, I think that people are really nervous about that. Because there’s an idea of being in perpetual beta, you’re never quite finished. And so sometimes people look at that and say, that sounds exhausting. Why would I go there? You know, and I think that one of the things that was transformative for me leaving my full time corporate role and going into initially a sabbatical, and then a portfolio career was this shock that you could do that. And then in a way that was really, Amii talked about self authoring, the technology, and the remote work, all things that have been accelerated by COVID really are possible. So being able to travel around the world be anywhere, do online courses, be able to be on a podcast, have weekly meetings, and even more asynchronous communications with my FT team, all those things. Were so easy in 2016, when I stopped going to work every day. And I think that that makes me feel really positive. And one of the things that I want to do is make it easier for people to do that. That’s a big part of my work, but also to paint the vision of a future of work. That is exciting, that allows you to not do the same thing every day to actually connect to people and follow your interests and your passions. And I see it as this mosaic and Amii’s career to a certain extent, and mine as well. It started out maybe with some different pieces. And the picture that it looked like went in the very beginning, maybe was different than it looks now. But all of those pieces from all of your career in your life, ultimately, make a bigger picture. And they’re all starting to come back into this larger picture of who you become. So if you think about it, from that perspective, to me, it’s exciting. Whereas I think where we are right now is this fear based, we’re gonna be fired, we’re expendable, we have to learn there’s like 10,000 things to learn, and where do we start, and the people that I’ve seen that, embrace it, and I did 100 interviews with people who seem to be having a lot more fun, and growing and excited. And that was the constant theme is that they were constantly learning, they were always putting the pieces back together in a new way, a different kaleidoscope. And it was really exciting for them. So that’s that that’s the promise of transformation.

Amii Barnard
Amii

And there’s a physical element to that I find exciting, as well, I know, Diana, I studied probably as well as around neurology, when we are learning something new, our brain center literally lights up, we literally create new neural pathways. And it’s a way of staying alive, quite literally, when we’re doing rote tasks, the brains that are is flat, or it goes dark. Now, look, if we did new tasks all the time, we would run ourselves into the ground. And so I’m not suggesting that, you know, you could do that 100% of the time. But if you’re doing you know, 50, 60, 70%, you’re growing learning, it’s literally life affirming, to learn new stuff, and to get yourself out of your challenge zone. And you learn faster and more rapidly, the bigger the change, and the shift is.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

So lots of opportunity in transformation risks as well, if you’re not thinking that way. And I love that concept of this sort of mosaic and that vision is fantastic. Diana, tell us more about you’ve written an entire book on Future Proof. So tell us a bit more about how individuals should be thinking about making them, you know, future proof. And what does success look like?

Diana Wu David
Diana

Well, I would say that I just spoke to somebody in our Future Proof community interviewing her and I was asking her what the difference was between before and after. And she said, I’m in the driver’s seat. And I thought that was a really good metaphor for what you’re trying to do. So radical self reliance, is also a good metaphor. Because truly that is the shift in the workplace that is taken place where if we don’t have a job for life, if there isn’t a track, if we’re living longer, then all of a sudden we’re in charge of our own professional narrative. And we’re in charge of our own reinvention. We don’t have mommy and daddy corporation to tell us what the career ladder is, and what the progression is, and what rating on the performance review you have to get in order to go and so to plug Amii’s Promotability Index, when I saw that, and when she wrote that book, I thought, Oh my God, this is it. Because this is something that allows you to have conversations about a ladder that no longer exists, and how we can go up and to a certain extent, future proof is a bit like that to where it talks to you about, okay, don’t burn the boats. If it you know, a lot of people aren’t ready to just go out there. And if they are, they’re probably not in need of reading my book. But it’s the people who want to but don’t know where to start. And so I go through the idea of experiment, reinvent, collaborate and focus, because those, when I wrote the book, were the big future of work skills that I identified. And I still think that they’re more important than ever. So building up a muscle of experimentation, you don’t have to quit your job. So a lot of people who can find small bets and ways to go outside of their comfort zone, start to build that muscle. So for example, I remember when in 2016, I decided to do a children’s book. And I always wanted to write a book, I never really wanted to write a children’s book. But it was an opportunity that came my way. And I thought it was in my TED talk, I talked about the death of my friend and all the things we never did, because we were too busy doing the things we should do. And her death really woke me up to the fact that I needed to do these things. So the experimentation was just to do a children’s book, it was based in Hong Kong, and it was a small thing. And it was a great experiment. And it just taught me a lot. And it allowed me to go outside my comfort zone and become an author. And that was many years ago, longer than 2016. That was I think, 10 years ago, and now it’s sold 20,000 copies. And when I have been introduced to the head of Hong Kong, the chief executive, it’s not my financial times work. It’s not, you know, my work in the community. They’re like, She’s the author of Hong Kong ABCs. So you never know where those things are gonna pop up again. But that’s just a small example of how do you think about something you might want to do? And how do you take a small bet on it. And then reinvention is about the idea of really thinking about adjacencies not being locked into, I’m an attorney, or I’m a business executive and media, and how you can start to shift really going from a career mindset to a value proposition mindset. And then collaborative courses, all of us being able to form teams to do new projects, because I feel that’s the vision of the future of work in the future, both inside companies, as well as outside companies. And if I was really smart, I would have started like, slack with that vision. But instead, I just read books. And then focus because self management has become a huge issue, you know, being able to prioritize, being able to figure out what we want to focus on and carving out the time and the work to do that. So all of these things were in 2019 groundbreaking and then COVID came and and now everybody is really in the thick of it, it accelerated the change that I saw by 10 years.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Amazing. And Amii, Diana already mentioned, the Promotability Index. So tell us more about your study and your work on that and how we prevent ourselves becoming expendable. They’re too heavy, too.

Amii Barnard
Amii

We talked a little bit about radical self reliance, and why that’s so important right now. And I think one of the healthiest things you can do for your career is to focus on what you can control, especially right now, there’s a lot that we could really go down a deep dark hole and never come out in terms of things that are out of our control. That’s not helpful. So let’s not do that. And achieving an exceptional career really does require some advanced planning and investing in yourself and self management, as Diana just mentioned. So the leadership tool that I started with was an assessment of 82 questions for free. I just made it available to anyone and it is an assessment that anyone really can take along any point in their career, any interest Free anywhere all the way up to the C suite and beyond to use it. And then now the guidebook to discover how you stack up against these five elements that I know are used behind closed doors in the room where it happens in terms of promotions, and who gets to continue, who gets supported, who doesn’t. And the five elements of the pie are really what key decision makers use when deciding who to invest in and who to promote. So that’s why I did it. And it’s been fun and based on my years as a global 50, executive, and being in those rooms, the elements are self awareness, external awareness, strategic thinking, executive presence, and thought leadership.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Well, we’ll all have to read, and you specifically focus on compliance and legal professionals. And so what’s unique that, you know, our risky women should be thinking about?

Amii Barnard
Amii

Yeah, it’s a passion of mine, particularly to help governance and what I would call gatekeeping. Professionals for many reasons, both because I’ve had the roles I know how challenging they are, and how usually under resourced, and often unappreciated, they are, and yet, usually last thanked first blamed when something nasty happens. And so I instinctively pay special attention to them. And I’m including HR as well, which is equally vulnerable in many ways. And I can say that having been both a CCO and a CHR and a general counsel. And I feel that those three functions all work together to build the infrastructure, and the rewards and recognition system for companies that really underlie the corporate culture, which is so critical. And we know that companies that have healthy workplace cultures produce better business results, and are happier places to work. So to your question around, you know, what are things that I see that might be helpful to risk professionals in general, I mentioned two things, because these are things that I work with my clients quite frequently on. One issue that I see a times with risk professionals, as quite natural. When you think about it, we’ve talked about it a bit, but is they over index on their credentials at the expense of their relationships. And they don’t realize that at a certain point in your career, and I wrote in a recent HBR article on this, that the ability to do their job and their skills, and their credentials are the table stakes. And if they’re already good at their job, now it completely flips. And it’s absolutely all about your relationships, and how you manage yourself, and how you influence your stakeholders, and how you share your thought leadership and all the other areas that are in the motability index. So knowledge workers, doctors, it people, lawyers, risk professionals, I would say ten to two have a higher risk based on my coaching practice of under indexing, as opposed to people who already know that relationships are critical, such as sales, marketing, that’s how their breads been buttered for quite some time. So they’re actually an advantage in that sense. The second area that I see for risk professionals, is sometimes a lack of appreciation on how we use our governance power. And I sometimes get a surprise reaction from risk professionals because they say power? We’re constantly fighting for resources and getting someone to listen to something that we’re concerned about in terms of our board reporting. But we do have governance power, we have a dotted line to the board, depending on what country and what regs you’re in. And I wrote an article for Fast Company around how to deliver bad news without shooting the messenger. And there’s a lot of neuroscience around being tagged in a negative light, when you are the person delivering bad news. And like it or not, all of us in gatekeeping roles, again, legal, HR, compliance, audit, are often in a position where we have to say something that other people don’t really want to hear whether it’s slowing down a project or doing an extra audit, or a health check or a safety check. And so it’s important to know how to navigate that gracefully, and to understand the neuroscience behind it, because truly, it’s nothing personal. It’s just unfortunately, how we’re built as human beings. We just felt like bad news delivers. And so I coach with my clients around how to leverage that and not have political backlash, but be able to do their jobs effectively, and help their companies do the right thing. So they’re sustainable.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Excellent. So I think I mean, both of you have obviously written a whole lot of different articles that I recommend everyone goes onto your websites and reads, and has a look at if we were going to capture all of these kind of messages and all of the things that you think are areas that we should be thinking about and you are going to look at a particular leader that you know, you admire who you think really embodies some of these, and that shows some of the things that we could learn from who who would you pick and maybe start with Diana?

Diana Wu David
Diana

I was really thinking about that question because a lot of the leaders that I was thinking about to begin with were really people in the trenches, they are not necessarily, you know, the Hubert Joly, who’s going on about purpose and is sort of like using their platforms for good. A lot of the leaders that I admire are the people in my MBA class who are really, who’ve gone through the interpersonal dynamics course, and are really in the trenches trying to get better at communicating with other people and, and doing the work of being authentic and vulnerable and humble, and connecting with people. So I think that I would like first to say that there are a lot of people that I admire, that are in that sort of bucket. But the one leader that I have served under that I always admired and wish I could have another leader that was as inspiring was Marjorie Scardino, who is the CEO of Pearson. And the reason that I joined Financial Times, which was owned by Pearson at the time was partly because of her. And I just was so impressed that she created a sense of belonging, and what was a 40,000 person organization. And she was so inspiring. And I still remember our purpose, and our values were Be brave, decent and imaginative. And those three words have transcended my work at that company, to become something that I use as my own metric. And so she was always able to set that sense of culture and a huge organization, but was also really challenging and warm. So when we, you know, she came out to Asia, and we had a dinner with her with this top management in Asia. She was warm, but also incredibly challenging for all the people in the room, you know, really some spicy conversations, which I appreciated. So that would be the leader that I put on a pedestal, in addition to all the leaders that I know that are really working so hard to make things better for their people.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

I love that. That’s fantastic. And what about you, I me,

Amii Barnard
Amii

Mine would be justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I had the privilege of meeting her when I was at Georgetown, she came and visited my woman in the law class with the late great Justice Brennan. At the time, she was a circuit court judge the frankly, all the attention was on Justice Brennan, who had done so much for women’s rights in the 70s. I admire her for so many reasons, like Diana alluded to, she was humble, funny, strong. And then I think I appreciate how she appreciated that enduring change happens. One step at a time, she was very thoughtful, and strategic about how she led change in the law, and not getting too far ahead. Because I believe she was aware that that can create a backlash that’s then not sustainable. And she had kind of what’s known as a brick upon brick strategy that ultimately convinced the justices how the legal system which was based on fixed gender stereotypes, at the time was harmful to everyone. And then a couple other things that are really important. Number one, she realized that male allies were absolutely critical for women’s success. A lot of people are familiar with the story that after graduating law school, at the top of her class at Harvard, she couldn’t find a job until a favorite Columbia law professor put her name forward for the highly prized annual clerkship. And the judge refused. So the professor came back and said, if you don’t take her, I will never submit another student to you again. And that’s how she got her first job. She also had a very equal partnership with her husband, who was a beloved professor at Georgetown. And I also knew Marty Ginsburg, and he did all the cooking, and they had kids and they managed to both have these incredible careers. And then a couple other things, I’d say she loved the arts. I’m a big opera lover. So that was just another thing that I appreciate so much, and then related. She appreciated that democracy is about seeking to understand and one of her most vehement opponents from a jurisprudential standpoint on the court, Antonin Justice Antonin Scalia, who rarely agreed with her on and opinion was one of her best friends. And they often had friendly debates and went to the opera together. And I just love that image and I hope to see more of that.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Yeah. Certainly, she was RBG was major, inspiring for so many. Now you’ve both done a hell of a lot of work on diversity on boards. And I know, Amii, you have done some legal work. But can you both tell us a bit more about what you’ve done? The impact that you think diversity on boards should bring? And I guess, how are we going?

Diana Wu David
Diana

So let me start with the reason that the Financial Times that I decided to started here in Asia was because of Women on Boards, actually, Angela Mackay and I were at a women on boards session. And then the Hong Kong Exchange started consultation on diversity on boards and their governance code. And, you know, we just looked at each other, and they were changing things to mandate either a third of all directors be independent, which was a big change, opening up, no turn is good for board diversity. So that opened things up. And they were also putting into the governance code, more about diversity specifically, and there was debate over women on boards, other aspects. And yesterday, I was on a webinar with a bunch of folks in Japan about boards. And so that was an interesting conversation. So I have this sort of global view of it. And the last 10 years would say that, we started the board director program, both for women and men. And we decided to opt on being neutral. And from my perspective, I felt like, it was always an opportunity to get women. So sort of my unspoken desire, which of course, I would never say when I was a corporate executive there was to try to get at least 30% women in our course, to be prepared for the board. And also because they would be in with people, men who were already on board, some some of them and so I just felt like that was a good dynamic. And then fast forward 10 years, we didn’t have quotas, we had pretty soft legislation on diversity. And we’ve gone from something like in Hong Kong, what 9% to like, maybe 13, with maybe three of the women in Hong Kong being on most of those boards, which is a it was a pretty like, you could see the S curve, you know, in many countries following that. But because I do futures work with boards, one of the biggest drivers now that I see in diversity is really that boards have gone from moving from stability to ensure sustainability, to agility to prepare for the unexpected. And the single best way to do that is diversity is to have inputs, in terms of board composition, that can give you a more rounded view, more rounded skill sets and perspective of what the possibilities are, what the plausible scenarios and futures are. So that’s my feeling in terms of what can drive diversity going forward, how it happens on the ground, we’re still far away from that. And Amii has been working on this systemic level to really move that forward in the US.

Amii Barnard
Amii

We were at about 18% of the Russell 3000. And we hit our goal early, we were 2020. I mean 20% of women on boards by the year 2020. And we actually beat it by a few percentage points, which was nice early in 2019, we had over 20. These are of course only publicly traded boards. And the toughest boards to get diversity on are actually private boards. And so the law does not apply to them. But our hope is that it’ll be an influencer, that customers will also speak up and investors will start questioning. There are some great stories we had more time around boards such as Chanel, which didn’t originally have a woman on it, which is a little hard to think about. When you think about the end customer base Skechers didn’t have a woman on sport for a while either neither did Estee Lauder for a long time. And these are all product companies that pretty much exclusively sell to women. So you have to wonder about innovation and who can really understand the end customer. Again, those are extreme examples, but it’s getting better. To Diana’s point. I agree that the conversation in the boardroom, I think is also around just the health of turnover, which isn’t a gender issue. It’s It’s truly an just having fresh ideas on the board. I think it’s nice to have a balance of historical foundation as well as some new people but I think you know, the board’s role is to support the CEOs vision, it’s ultimately to hire and fire the CEO, right so they need to that’s their ultimate job. in one sentence, and so they ideally support the CEOs vision. And they know when to put the brakes on and ask questions and demand the data to fulfill their fiduciary duties. And then they also know though when to allow the CEO wings, I think for risk, it’s thinking of what are the right risks to take because all of businesses are risk. And so I think the more that women, women prepare them, we’re doing a great job. There’s so many wonderful programs out there now for board development. It’s an exciting time. And I think that there have been some interesting studies, I’m reading them all and taking them in around the degree to which perhaps, women are better at seeing a multiplicity of risks and and analyzing that and seeing that, and the data around profitability. I don’t think it’s completely conclusive yet. But there have been some initial studies, which will be over time as we have better data with more women on boards, we can actually start to measure that Europe in many countries is way ahead of us with 40% 30%, Germany, other countries where it’s been a quota for quite some time. So it’s still baby steps. But it’s it’s exciting to be a part of it.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

I mean, everything you’ve said, the business case is clear. So let’s hope that we keep moving in the right direction. So now on to my favorite section, rants and revelations,

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Connecting, celebrating and championing women in risk regulation and compliance rescue women radio takes an intimate look at the rants and revelations of the top women shaping the debate and of the industry.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Risky Women is a vibrant network at the center of a global community in a rapidly growing, evolving and influential industry. Given the continued pace of change, our rapid fire round revisits the most pressing topics to share ideas and offer listeners new perspectives.
Amii Barnard
Amii

Okay, I would say that I and I, it’s, it’s all embedded throughout the Promotability Index. And that’s the biggest mind blower I’d say for the 20 to 30. Something crowd that I sometimes talk to at Stanford and UC Berkeley Haas where I guest lecture, is the idea that all of the colleagues that are sitting in your room right now that virtual room, or in your company that you are competing with, and you might have lunch with them, but you know, you’re still competing for whatever promotion might come up, that it’s really important to keep in mind that in your 40s and 50s, they’re going to be your boss, they’re going to report to you, they might leave and go to a company that is your number one dream company and you wish maybe that you’d been a little nicer. So you could pick up the phone and have some emotional credit in the bank, to ask for a favor to have them walk your resume over to HR, I’d say Kimberley it’s that perspective. I wish, if I could tell my younger self now, I would have said, You know what, like, you don’t have enough perspective to see that, that this is just where you are right now. And that even though it feels like all these people are competitors, right now they’re going to your relationship is going to morph and change. And the world is a very small place. And so always try to rise above and to be proud of how you act and control what you can control and manage yourself. Well.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Excellent. And Diana?

Diana Wu David
Diana

I would say changing tack because I grew up really with the people element, you know, when you talked about sales and marketing knew that there were relationships were important. And I’ve run sales teams and really P&L. So that has been something that I’ve always thought about, I don’t know how or why. But even in my 20s, I knew that that was true. I did an internship in college, and I’m still in touch with my boss then. So that was a, it came from my mother, quite frankly. So that I think is an important thing. And it served me well. So I would say yes, that’s absolutely important. But shifting into the aha moment for me was really, and I think it’s of our time, was knowing that you really shouldn’t settle for the life you’ve been given. Work hard for the one you want. Oh, and that was my aha moment. You know that I wasn’t going to be given a path that I had to do the deep work deciding what my path would be, and taking a risk to make that happen. And it has been so fulfilling.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Oh, I love that. Very inspiring. So on the other side of it, what’s your rant? But this can be positive too. Like if you were the ruler of the world for the day, what’s that one thing that you’re going to change?

Amii Barnard
Amii

One thing that’s irking me a bit lately is all the talk of authenticity. And this probably isn’t going to be popular. So I’ll mentioned it. I think a lot of it’s BS. I think that a culture fit is a thing and I worry at times about the messaging that the next gen, which is my, my kids who are 19, and 16 are getting from Instagram and from all over the place saying, Just be yourself. Number one, that’s selfish, I would say, frankly. And number two, it’s not effective. You do compromise, you compromise to learn you compromise to learn skills, you need to be humble, realizing that you aren’t actually, you know, knowing everything at age 50, even, I’m not trying to pick on just the younger gen, but I see a lot, it just seems to be a buzzword. And I don’t think it’s realistic. There has to be company fit. And there’s always compromise you, especially as a leader, anyone who has managed a team or has been in the C suite, I think would tell you the tremendous sacrifice that you make, potentially with some portion of your individuality. In order to set a good example, you can’t just do everything you want all the time, or say that random thing that pops into your head. And so again, it probably depends on how we define authenticity. But if you take a really literal interpretation of I’m just gonna let it all hang out, and I am who I am. To me, that’s lazy, and that’s not leadership. So that’s my rant.

Diana Wu David
Diana

Well, I feel like my rants gonna be about your rant now. Because I’m heading into a five day MBA elective that’s on interpersonal dynamics. And authenticity is like one of the segments that we talk about. And I would say that, I hear you. And it’s actually great to hear that reflected. And I agree that that authenticity is defined by just be yourself can be a poor message to send to people, because we don’t live in isolation from other people. And as leader, but just as human beings, I think that the goal, the higher goal of authenticity, is going from a place where we hit everything, where we really didn’t bring our whole selves to work very separate. You know, it’s not that long ago, and it’s in my lifetime that I would be in a room where I didn’t mention that I had children because it would be a weakness. So authenticity.

Amii Barnard
Amii

Same yeah, I didn’t have photos of my I knew there was one company I worked for where my photos were out and it’s one of the things I looked for when I interviewed another one where photos gone. Right. So I I totally understand that. And that that’s not, that’s not great for anyone. And so I do welcome how that’s happened. And I think you’re right about how the pandemic has definitely laid bare the opportunity. And certainly for people of color, there’s been a lot of wonderful work on the incredible stress of covering. And there was a great article that I just read recently about women of color are finding it incredibly less stressful to work from home permanently now, because they’re not suffering as many microaggressions everything from people touching their hair, to all kinds of things that a lot of us never probably even think about our experience in the workplace. And so, so that’s fascinating.

Diana Wu David
Diana

So there is a cultural shift, I believe, and I hope and I will work hard to create, that allows people more room for people to be themselves if that you know, just themselves maybe not their authentic labelled self. Because there is a risk that we can manufacture an authentic self that looks really good with just the right you know, moment of vulnerability. But I do think that people coming together to have exceptional relationships in the workplace does involve a degree of a being present, of being yourself of bringing beyond the, you know, something beyond the boss and something that is his you your character and your energy and all those things. So, I guess my rant would be that, that people just throw out the idea of authenticity without you know, giving it a chance.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Well, I like that we got layer on layer of the rat. So that’s fantastic.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Risky Women is a vibrant network at the center of a global community in a rapidly growing, evolving and influential industry. Given the continued pace of change, our rapid fire round revisits the most pressing topics to share ideas and offer listeners new perspectives.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Okay, rapid fire round. We’ve got three quick questions. One word each. And I’ll just go, Amii, Diana. So in one word, what do you see is the top priority for the year ahead?

Amii Barnard
Amii

Security

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley
Diana
Diana Wu David
Diana

Investing in interpersonal dynamics

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

That’s not one word, but okay.

Diana Wu David
Diana

One word, connection.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Two, what is the biggest risk for the future?

Amii Barnard
Amii

I would say environmental disasters.

Diana Wu David
Diana

Lacking future thinking.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

And the best quality for successful leaders in risk and transformation roles, but could be just general.

Amii Barnard
Amii

So one is knowing your purpose, and the second having the ability to influence to make it happen.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

And Diana?

Diana Wu David
Diana

Influence

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Influence, okay. And I’d like to end on a book that you would recommend for all of our Risky Women, obviously, both as authors. But you know, what, what are you reading? Or what do you think everyone should read? So, Diana, what’s your recommendation?

Diana Wu David
Diana

From a friend of both of ours, Amii and mine, Ron Carucci, wrote, To Be Honest: Lead with the Power of Truth, Justice and Purpose. And I feel like people who are in risk compliance governance, that have to deal with these ideas of ethics and having hard conversations would really benefit from this book.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Fantastic.

Amii Barnard
Amii

It’s an excellent book, based on lots and lots of research around the four qualities organizations need to have in order to promote an honest and ethical culture. So I want to Diana’s one, I’ll add another one, totally different although I completely endorse Ron’s book, I have it sitting right there and talked to him yesterday about it. Mine for change leaders would be Immunity to Change by Kegan and Lahey. And I could actually save people some time because I actually like their Harvard Business Review article better and it’s shorter. So I would go to it’s called The Real Reason People Won’t Change. They ultimately wrote a book about it, which is great if you like it, but if you just want to get the punch. I love it because it incorporates something that I use in my own work around understanding, influence. And when you’re just feel like you’re beating your head against the wall with a stakeholder, understanding what someone’s they coined the phrase competing commitment, and that often what the reason people won’t change or move to where your position is, is this competing commitment, how to unearth that. And that gets to a lot of what Diana talked about, which is so valuable, which is around empathy, communication, connection. And that’s where you get to influence I mean, all of those things come together to underlie ultimately having influence.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Fantastic, great reading. Thank you both for joining us. And I would just like to say to our listeners that it doesn’t need to end here. For 10 lucky listeners, you can get digital copies of both Amii’s book the Promotability Index Guide Book, which Forbes is calling a SWOT analysis for your career, or Diana’s book, Future Proof: Reinventing Work in the Age of Acceleration, which will help you take advantage of disruption as we have heard today. So it’s been fabulous talking to you. I’m sure we could go on for another hour. But that’s a wrap for Risky Women Radio.

Diana Wu David
Diana

Thanks so much, Kimberley, and great conversation.

Amii Barnard
Amii

Thank you.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Thank you for listening to this exciting episode of Risky Women Radio, to connect, champion and celebrate women in risk, regulation and compliance. I’m Kimberley Cole, based in Hong Kong. For more information on the Risky Women global network, head to our website, and the episode notes and please be part of the ongoing conversation by subscribing to this podcast, connecting with us @RiskyWomen on Twitter, or even reaching out to me directly by email.


Episode 6 - Workplace Transformation: Sophie Krynauw

risky-women-Full-Logo-Colour

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Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

This is Risky Women Radio – a show to connect, celebrate and champion women in risk, regulation, and compliance. Sharing insight and perspectives from the most influential members of our global Risky women network on the latest developments, we need to think about, the challenges we should all talk more about and the innovation we are most excited about governance, risk, and compliance. Bringing together the hundreds of senior women professionals already connected with a new emerging group of leading women and men. I’m Kimberley Cole, your chief risky woman.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

Welcome back to our Transformation series on Risky Women Radio where we will be talking about change innovation, and taking a look ahead at the views from some amazing Risky Women on what’s next in the world of governance risk and compliance. I’m Lucy Pearman Global Head of Risk Transformation at Protiviti. And I have the pleasure to introduce today’s risky woman Sophie Krynauw. Sophie is a Director of Transformation at Zurich Insurance company. She is responsible for designing the future audit strategy for group audit focusing on the interplay between customer outcomes and science based methods whilst balancing the need to digitize and transform the skills of the function. Sophie as passionate about building a growth mindset and generating change from within to an innovative, passionate, collaborative, global team. Safe he is accountable to lead the competency networks which connects skills and training to the risks over which we seek to provide assurance. She join Zurich at the start of the pandemic and fully embrace the value of digital collaborative work environment to bring to the future of work as a mother of one and one more on the way she sees the pandemic as an opportunity to challenge assumptions and change the way we work for a more sustainable, inclusive future. Before Zurich, Sophie spent 12 years working at KPMG where she was COO for dynamic risk assessment, focusing on evolving the risk assessment methodology through the connectivity of risk. Prior to this role, she focused on providing assurance, both internal and external services to the insurance sector, in the UK and in Australia. Welcome Sophie.

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

Thank you.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

I know I gave a brief bio but in your own words, Sophie, can you tell us your story?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

I’m happy to. Thank you very much for having me. So when I joined KPMG, all those years ago, it was literally days before Lehman Brothers collapsed. And I think that was quite important for my career, because everything off the back of it has been dramatic change that nothing has been stable, or the same as we came through one of the biggest financial crisis the world has seen. So I came out of university and like many peers was very unsure about what to do. So I thought, I’ll just join the world of audit, as it’s a safe place to start, and didn’t realize I’ll stay for 12 years in that sort of risk assurance space. At the time before Lehman’s crash, I desperately wanted to go into the cool world of banking, but ended up in insurance sector and actually was one of the best gifts that was given to me because it really opened up the world of how to think differently around risk, and how to think about providing assurance and safety nets for the world off the back of it. So I really thought that the industry have much more purpose than simply over the banking industry, maybe alluded to at the time. And so that that, for me was a great start to a career. The rest of the story really based around taking a wholeheartedly committed approach to saying yes to any opportunity that came about and probably said, yes to too many things at each time. But I was really fortunate to start my career in a company that was so varied, or do everything from learning the trade of external audit through to debt listings and large tenders, lots of international exposure, and also working with a young cohort of people. I think all of that came off the back of living in a world of change and lots of different things going on that needed assurance to bind them and responding to risk environment. KPMG also not only provided me a fabulous career, but lifelong friends, a husband, who gave me the option to go overseas is here, South Africa, Australia. That’s how I end up living in Australia for a couple of years, which is where my biggest leap in my career was undertaken. When I moved to Australia, I was given the opportunity to be a leader of the insurance audit function. And that’s really where I have my first opportunity to really connect people change management strategy as well as to the risk topic and how you can bring those sort of chained ideas of leadership together to really drive great outcomes not only from a business perspective But also from a risk outcome perspective. I also got to work with an amazing partner called Dr Andries Terblanche during that time, who really opened my eyes up to the world of data and tech led thinking out of the box thinking academia, and that really want to take on the role of the COO for dynamic risk assessment, I really started to build some of the future leadership skills and change skills that I do today, in my current role, because we really started with a blank piece of paper and said, if you wanted to do the world risk management differently, what would you do and what would you really change and that was sort of a problem that we wanted to solve, as we built out the dynamic risk assessment product. And really, the last three years I had I at KPMG was a total whirlwind of building a piece of technology and building a business that started off in Australia in one country, at the point that I moved on from KPMG, we were in 23 countries, and really helping companies think differently about the world of risk and how it can play out. I think, for me, leaving KPMG on a high, we actually put a paper up to the World Economic Forum in Davos back in 2020, now. 2020 is a bit of a blur I’m sure for everybody. And that really, to me was a really great way to move on from our company and move on to where I joined Zurich, at the beginning of March in 2020. So a really varied career, just saying yes to exciting things that sort of came about, and really finding my passion in all of them, which is around change and growth and transformation, and particularly in the risk space.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

That’s a really interesting background, you’ve got there, Sophie. You mentioned, you joined Zurich at the start of the pandemic. What was it like transitioning into a new role during the beginning of COVID?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

Professionally, I think it was an amazing time to start a new job, especially someone who has been bought in to transform a function that, in theory, the internal audit world can be quite traditional. But everybody was in this amazing mindset of, well, we have to survive, we have to do something different. Because if we can’t, then we won’t be able to do our job and play the role that we play in the risk environment. So professionally, it was a great time because I think we made some large steps forward, that might have taken me two or three years professionally to try and do if you have to manufacture environment to embrace digital in a different way, or embrace technology or cross border working in a completely different way. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything harder, trying to start any job during a pandemic. And I had a two year old at home at the time, as well. And my husband’s in operational risk for the best of banks. So he was very distracted during sort of day to day management. But all of that stuff, I think comes back down to really knowing what your personal resilience is about, and digging deep. And I reflected at the end of last year and thinking that was exceptionally hard. But it’s one of those moments when you really test what you are about and come off the back of it thinking I’m much clearer on who I am as a person and what I could deliver on the back of it. I think in the long run professionally, I have a big impact.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

Yeah, I think you raise a good point that the pandemic was certainly a good trigger point for change, which which can take years and years. And also a focus away from just a digital transformation and moving much more towards people and culture transformation, as we kind of all embrace new ways of thinking new ways of working. So Sophie keen to understand who inspires you? Are there any risky women in general that you feel very inspired by?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

I actually was really struggle with these kind of questions, because it really depends on the moment and what you’re trying to do. And I’m actually going to give a shout out to my sister in law, who’s inspired me recently. So last week, she stood at the New York Stock Exchange with her leadership team. And they rang the opening bell for trading as a company listed. And you could not have predicted this ending for her because seven years ago, she decided fitness was her passion. And she started to work as a receptionist at a gym in London. And she really committed on her career that she wanted to be part of and genuinely a part of. And worked especially hard and a took a lot of personal risk. moving countries, taking roles that was stretching for her doing lots of different things, but was really motivated by personal passion. And then I think, to me, it was very inspiring, because it played out that if you really put your mind to it and dream big. Anybody can you stand in front of the crowd, at the stock exchange, as you list your company. So not necessarily in the risk base, but I think that can be applied to the sort of the lessons learned and applied to anybody in that space.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

Taking a risk.

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

Yeah, taking a risk. I’m sure there’s days when she was like, What have I done? Why am I doing this? But now it’s all paid off.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

Yeah, I think that’s a fantastic story.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

This episode is brought to you by Protiviti. Protiviti is a global consulting firm with deep expertise in transformation, risk management and compliance. Partner with Protiviti and face the future with confidence.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

We’re going to move into our expert opinion, which this month is on the future of workforce, and how to embed sustain a new organizational structure during a pandemic. So something very relevant to what you’re trying to do at Zurich. So before we dive into our main section, can you tell us a bit more about the work that you’re doing at Zurich and how you’re embracing the change of the digital environment?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

Yeah, definitely. As my introduction sort of set out, I’m responsible for defining the future of audit what we’re called within Zurich. And the reason we’ve done that and my role exists is because they recognized the importance that the world that we live in is fundamentally changing, it’s the pace of change is growing faster. So for risk professionals and internal audit lens in my world, to remain completely relevant, we need to think differently about how we want the future to look and how to vision that. So I spent a lot of last year, stepping back and standing in the potential of the future of what could assurance look like in a digital environment where the first line is completely digitalized, when we’re not looking at what our traditional control environment and the control environment is digital. So we’ve built a sort of a change strategy around four pillars, one focusing on outcomes rather than process because actually, following a process lens doesn’t always mitigate the risks, we’re looking at. Introduction of scientific methods to basically saying, what we want to do has to be done with a bit more scientific rigor to it than before of just picking a sample of three, for example, we also need to be able to digitalize our own value chain to make sure we’re effective and efficient. And the most important one for me, as well as making sure we build a sustainable culture, and people will develop off the back of it. Because digital transformation is not just about implementing the tech, but bringing the people who could make the judgments make the decisions off the back of it. So the two main areas that I’ve really been focusing on is what we call competency networks. But essentially, Zurich Insurance, internal audit function is across 19 countries. And we’re fairly small because of the scale of our first line. But we realized that we had all the skills that we needed to mitigate the risks, but they weren’t always at the pace that we needed them. So we’ve spent a lot of time building these global collaborative teams based around skills matching the risks, and growth opportunities, rather than just be saying, well, this audit is to be done in the UK, therefore, these are the people we’ve got to pick from, let’s deliver it in that environment. So that’s a big change in working. And the second one is around harboring change from within. So rather than the main, typically more traditional top down, or this is what needs to be changed, because we are the leadership team and saying, well, you’re the team on the ground doing this every day, how do we create an environment and mechanism for you to feed it back. We can then act quickly on the ideas that return very quickly, and make the environment comparatively better on a continual basis, rather than relying on those big bang changes. So a lot of the energy, both of those activities to be successful has been around mindset change. And the lesson learned from the pandemic and why so when I came on board, was actually everybody was really committed to implementing a digital mindset change and shift. So that’s what really I’ve been trying to harbor, that energy to keep flowing into continual change, and making sure people don’t see the effort around 2020 is a one off effort. But just something that’s incredibly essential to keep doing for the next, well forever, really, because the environment is going to continue to change.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

Yeah, you raised some good points. And it’s really, I think, a good trigger point for turning the word agile into a mindset and innovation into a mindset rather than a method and having that continuous change. So in your mind, Sophie, and in a truly transformed state, in utopia, what does the future workforce look like?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

I got a text to a girlfriend the other day that was basically say, How am I going to balance it all? Or how am I going to like get my young kids from school? How am I going to keep growing the career or build? How am I going to do X Y Zed? And I think we can really transform the world of work, and how people want to engage the workplace. We’ve created environment and these questions aren’t raised everyday in everyday life. And we’ve kind of been brave enough to address some of the structural challenges that currently exist through digital and through the way that we think about what delivering to work really means. My utopian I suppose that I tried to describe it to an environment, that slightly already exists. Think about the one with Uber. And you sort of continue meeting supply and demand through a piece of technology. Wouldn’t. in a world of work, be amazing where you’re very aware the skills you have as an individual and companies can say, well, we’re looking for this skill for this amount of time. And you might continue work for that organization continually. But you have much more of a marketplace for what you can commit to at that point in time, and what what you want to get out of it, as well. So these ideas of fixed lifetime contracts that we have right now, might still exist, but you would exchange value in a very different way. And I think addressing those structural changes will enable this future digital world really to come alive. So it’ll take time, it’s slow, but it will really change the value proposition that work really means and how you deliver success off the back of it.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

Yeah, I would agree with that. I’m a great believer in the same way that from a technology perspective, particularly with the digital agenda, and organizations have created an ecosystem of alliances, I do think employees will go in that direction. So you’ve got subject matter expertise you can provide to an ecosystem of employers, you don’t just have to sit on one desk, you know, in one organization day in and day out. In terms of your industry, I guess, what are you seeing leading organizations do to successfully adapt to the new kind of way of thinking the new post pandemic environment and the structures that their are putting in place around it?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

I think the best stuff I’m seeing is around large organizations really just committing to that the fact that feature looks different. And they have to do something that’s really going to challenge some of the assumptions that we have. One of the things that really loured me to Zurich as a great organization was workforce sustainability is one of our core mandates within how we want to run our organization. And so you see that incredibly important in insurance industry that the risk is wholeheartedly changing, that we need to think differently about how to solve that problem, which is setting up new ways of working and those structures and challenging, what we do is really important. And I don’t think it’s going to be this massive silver bullet, Lucy, I actually think the structures already exist, but it’s about picking and choosing between which ones work well for your organization, and to being comfortable blending them. The network organization you see in the tech industry works really well, that traditional governance structures work really well. But it’s knowing when to say this is a more hierarchical outcome we need to employ or there’s some more network outcome need to apply. But I don’t think it has to be as binary as being on either end of the spectrum, it can be a bit of both.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

Yeah, I think that’s a good point. And if we look at it in a slightly different way, as an employee, how do you make sure you maintain your currency in this kind of fast paced, changing environment we’re all starting to work in?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

It may be sort of a really obvious thing to say. But having a curious mind and wanting to build your own skills, is critically important. The mega trends of skills are going to change over the next 10 years, it’s going to be around digital, big data savvy, basic tech enablers like Power BI, they’re just going to be part of the day to day, there’s not going to be an environment where well, I choose not to use it, you have to be able to demonstrate these skills. So I think for employees to really flourish in that environment, about picking a way to integrate learning into your everyday activities. So it’s not this big, scary thing that you’ve got to suddenly change become the best at data science, for example, but say, well, today, every day for rest of my career, I’ll try something new every day just to see how it plays out. Otherwise, the task is going to be too big for anybody. I see graduates coming through and I think, wow, I left University less than sort of 15 years ago. But the way they think about the world, the way that they solve problems, the skills they have they’re different to what I have and then I’m sure the same plays out for people 15 years more senior to myself. And so everybody in the workforce has to think differently about how they remain relevant. But I think just apply a curious mind and really just wanting to slowly change is really important. And I’m taking it in a compounding way.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

Very good. So we’re going to move into your rants and revelations Sophie.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Connecting, celebrating and championing women in risk regulation and compliance, Risky Women Radio takes an intimate look at the rants and revelations of the top women shaping the debate and the industry.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

From a revelation perspective, what was your lightbulb moment? What was the thing that shaped some of the career choices that you’ve made?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

When I was doing at KPMG I used to sort of look at the world partnership and think it was this magical place of these people were magical skills. And they were just a different breed of people to me. And I kind of put them on this massive pedestal. But I had a sort of a lightbulb moment when I just realized they were people who committed very hard to a career path and continue to learn and grow, and had actually just been doing it longer. Removing that sort of mental hierarchy that is in place, it’s been a real eye opener for me. And actually, that was sort of my biggest career revelation, and especially when I took on the Zurich role, being one of the younger members of the leadership team, and just recognizing that I was chosen for this role because I had a very different skill set and past. And actually the combination of bringing them together is the secret sauce, not one person being this savior of the world, or who’s going to be this amazing leader, it’s about knowing the role that you can play, and how the combination of different journeys leads to the great outcome.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

Yeah, that resonates with me, personally. It’s all about the team, the collaboration that many, many minds make great things.

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

Exactly.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

And what’s your rant? If you could change anything? What would it be?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

Sheryl Sandberg, but one of my biggest brands is actually the book Lean In, I feel that women especially, and not just in the risk industry, but women professionals who want to have a professional career, have a sort of unimaginable, toxic pressure to be incredibly productive at every aspect of their lives. From you know, career progression, raising children, managing a home, all those sort of things. And I actually think if we could change one thing, that was better for everybody was to put less pressure on women to be everything to everybody and just say, it’s okay that today, I’m good at this. And tomorrow, I’ve dropped the ball on that. But collectively, we’re all heading in a positive direction. And just being a bit kinder to ourselves. If I could change anything from for women in the workplace, that would be it.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

Very good. So now for rapid fire round.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Risky Women is a vibrant network at the center of a global community in a rapidly growing, evolving and influential industry. Given the continued pace of change, our rapid fire round revisits the most pressing topics to share ideas and offer listeners new perspectives.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

In one word, what do you see as the top priority for the year ahead.

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

Reflection.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

And what did you want to be when you grew up?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

I wanted to be an astronaut. And I feel the dream is closer now that Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos are up there!

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

And how would you describe you in one word?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

Future focused. If you hyphenate it.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

Yes. And Whom do you most admire?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

I would say anybody who fully knows their own mind. I would love to have that full confidence of being liberated from, that mental ease you have from being truly connected to who you are as a person. And when reflecting on what I wanted to say in this I realized that an unhealthy amount of time, reliving outcomes and questioning if I’d done it differently, and I think if you just really knew who you were, that would be a lot easier.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

And what podcasts or books would you recommend to any upcoming risk and compliance or transformation leader?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

Okay, are you reading Noise by Daniel Kahneman. And I would recommend anything on behavioral economics. I’m saying how people are interacting with the the more traditional economic environment around you will set you up in a good stead for what’s going to come and how to think differently about managing and working in a transformed environment.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

And what advice would you give to women pursuing careers in financial services and in transformation?

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

Transformation is everywhere. And I don’t think you need to have the word transformation in your job title, to really have a large impact on influencing and changing the world that you living in. So I really would just say, make the most of the opportunity that you see in your day job, say yes, challenge assumptions. And really just think differently about the world and not be afraid to speak out if you think it could be done better or differently.

Lucy-Pearman-50x50
Lucy

All very good advice. Thank you for that, Sophie. So that brings this episode of Risky Women Radio to an end. But I’m very excited to continue our transformation series journey. Thank you so much, Sophie, for joining us today and for your thoughts and valuable insights.

Sophie Krynauw
Sophie

My pleasure. It’s been great.

Kimberley-Cole-50x50
Kimberley

Thank you for listening to this exciting episode of Risky Women Radio, to connect, champion and celebrate women in risk, regulation and compliance. I’m Kimberley Cole, based in Hong Kong. For more information on the Risky Women global network, head to our website, and the episode notes and please be part of the ongoing conversation by subscribing to this podcast, connecting with us @RiskyWomen on Twitter, or even reaching out to me directly by email.


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