Protiviti Contact

Protiviti Contact

Sara J. Cotton

Director

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Sara is a Director in Protiviti’s Risk and Compliance Practice. Sara has experience in providing project management and oversight in mergers and integration initiatives, compliance remediation, and internal audit services for financial services clients.

MAJOR PROJECTS

  • Managed a merger and integration services project with a $1.3 trillion diversified financial services company assisting in the integration of Bank trust product offerings to the external Brokerage channel. Activities included: 

    • Developed overall program governance structure which included: identified project workstreams and workstream owners, development of overall, detailed project plan, standard reporting structure by workstream, issue resolution process, and steering committee and Program Management Office (PMO) status reporting. 

    • Project Manager and workstream support for the Communication, Legal, Risk and Compliance, Marketing and Training workstreams. 

    • Key conduit and advocate between two very different lines of business which included: maintaining objectivity while working to establish key relationships between business lines, determining root causes and possible solutions to issues as they arose, presenting business cases and promoting change within the organization.

  • Engagement Manager on an internal audit review of the Card Services Line of Business (LOB)’s compliance remediation related to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) for a Top 5 Bank. The internal audit review included 10 resources and covered the LOB’s compliance remediation activities conducted over a period of three years. Responsibilities included: assessing the adequacy of the remediation approach against the approved SCRA Remediation Plan, determining whether the LOB appropriately and accurately identified their Servicemember population (including leveraging data from other LOBs) and ultimately determining whether the LOB identified their resulting Servicemember eligible for remediation population within the parameters set forth in the SCRA Remediation Plan and the SCRA Act. Status reporting including progress to date, budget to actual results and preliminary audit issues was provided to the Audit Executive Director on a weekly basis. As a result of the Consent Order, Internal Audit’s review workpapers were subject to the Bank’s internal quality assurance review process and Regulator review.

  • Project Manager for a transaction due diligence project with a Top 15 Global Bank assisting in the divestiture of a significant global product line. Provided transaction due diligence services from the sell-side including: determining finance requirements set forth in the sale and purchase agreement, defining workstreams and developing the overall project plan, developing and performing weekly status and monthly steering committee reports and coordinating and driving deal-close activities across various workstreams.

  • Participated in an internal audit review of the single family non-performing loan repurchase process for one of the largest participants in the secondary mortgage process. Responsibilities included: re-underwriting loan files to determine if appropriate judgment was made in retaining the loan, determining whether contract exceptions were applied appropriately within corporate credit policy to retained loans, determining whether seller/servicer documentation submitted in response to repurchase requests was sufficient to retain the loan and assessing the adequacy of management’s collection process once repurchase requests were made. 
     

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Project Management

  • Internal Audit

  • Mergers/Integration & Divestitures

  • Regulatory Risk

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE

  • Financial Services

EDUCATION

  • B.S. – Accounting and Management Information Systems, University of Southern Mississippi

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS & CERTIFICATIONS

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)

  • Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)