Risky Women Podcast | Complexity of the Compliance Landscape

Jenny Wong, a managing director at Protiviti, engages in a conversation with Debra Au, a managing director and head of legal, compliance and secretariat, Hong Kong and China, at DBS Bank Hong Kong.

Watch the video podcast as Jenny and Debra delve into the regulatory compliance challenges confronting financial institutions in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. They discuss the adoption of compliance measures in response to technology advancements, anticipate future challenges, and conclude by sharing Debra’s sources of inspiration and the best career advice she has received.

Jenny boasts a rich 18-year track record in management consulting, with expertise spanning Hong Kong, Japan, and the wider Asia-Pacific region. She is celebrated for her ability to craft robust, adaptable, and cost-effective business transformation models tailored specifically for clients within the insurance and financial services industries. Jenny excels at driving the identification, development, and implementation of change programmes aimed at propelling operational excellence, efficiency, and regulatory compliance. Her keen eye for scrutinising and optimising expenditure ensures that both short-term and long-term strategies align seamlessly with organisational objectives. Jenny also excels in nurturing relationships with key executives, offering invaluable strategic counsel, governance, and guidance on executing business priorities in the face of an ever-evolving corporate and regulatory landscape.

Debra, as part of the Hong Kong Management Committee, heads up the HK Legal Compliance & Compliance Secretariat teams and is the HKMA's 72B senior manager, HKEx compliance officer of DBS HK. Debra joined DBS Hong Kong in June 2022 after 18 years of serving as a compliance professionals with Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Newedge/Societe Generale and HSBC.

Debra began her career in the compliance department at Goldman Sachs, where she focused on compliance, anti-money laundering and financial crime following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. She then joined Societe Generale to continue her compliance career, and worked in various entities at Societe Generale, including the brokerage, capital markets and global banking businesses.

In 2015, Debra decided to further enrich her career development by switching her second-line-of-defense experience to join the business front. She joined the HSBC HK office of Global Banking and Markets (GBM) under the COO, focusing on supporting the ASP GBM business with her compliance professions on financial crime and deferred prosecutions agreement (DPA)–related matters.

In September 2017, Debra was appointed to the role of Hong Kong head of financial crime compliance (FCC) due to her long-standing experience in dealing with financial crime–related regulatory matters. In 2019, Debra successfully led the HK FCC team as well as the businesses in HK in passing the s166 Skilled Person review with an eminent result that helps the group in negotiating with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K. for further narrowing the scope of the mandatory regulatory review.

In July 2020, Debra was appointed to the role of chief compliance officer for Hong Kong and Macau, covering all compliance-related matters, including regulatory, financial crime, conduct, fraud, investigations and surveillance.

After nearly seven years of successful contributions to the HSBC, Debra decided to further enhance her career and take on a bigger role covering the legal and compliance secretary arenas as the head of legal, compliance and secretariat for HK, Macau and China since June 2022.

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