Case Study

Head of Anti-Money Laundering, Major European Bank

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Brief

In recent years, this major European bank had been operating with inefficient controls within its financial crime function. This had led to a globally recognised anti-money laundering issue. Given the performance of the function and the lack of suitable leadership, we were tasked with sourcing a Head of AML for the bank. We needed someone who could:

  • Transform the function through re-engineering processes
  • Ensure that appropriate escalation channels were in place to run a function of 1000+ people

The bank had to meet growing regulatory pressures and so the need to fill the position was urgent. As a result, Marlin Hawk was tasked with delivering the candidate shortlist within four weeks.

The Approach

Before the search began, Marlin Hawk conducted a review of the organisational structure of the bank, specifically the function within which the AML resided. This enabled us to advise the business on which other institutions would have a similar structure and scale – and which businesses would likely have been through a similar transformation agenda in the past.

Through our research, we mapped out competing institutions, as well as secondary and tertiary target companies. This research enabled us to both educate the client around how they could re-shape the future going forward – as well as identifying the most suitable organisations where the ideal candidate could be found.

The Result

Given the urgency of the search, we agreed to meet with the business on a weekly basis to present our interim findings ahead of the shortlist. This allowed for a continuous steer from the business to shape our ongoing research and enabled us to arrange interviews as our research continued, to expedite the onward process.

We were proud to conduct the search within the agreed condensed timelines and successfully placed a candidate who had led their current organisation through a similar transformation, had experience of leading functions of a comparable scale and had experience of dealing with regional and domestic regulators.

The Impact

In the first three months after assuming the position, the candidate was able to work with the broader compliance, risk and operations functions to put together a change agenda for the AML function. Changes were also made to the bank’s internal processes, enabling the effective escalation of AML issues, coupled with a restructuring of the function to ensure greater efficiencies could be achieved.

The Stats

Candidates from 8 countries

231 candidates identified

39 companies mapped

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