Global compliance under the spotlight

Global Compliance Solution’s fifth annual conference takes place on the 15 and 16 of this month at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort and once again will prove to be a must-attend for any professional working in the compliance arena. Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull gets a preview of what will be discussed and reports.

Growing in size and stature over the years, Cayman’s Global Compliance Solutions Conference always presents a wide variety of topical issues relating to compliance for attendees. This year’s two-day event is set to cover a broad expanse of the topic, with local and international speakers sharing their expertise with attendees.
Conference organiser Karen O’Brien confirms: “Our conference will address the financial service industry, which currently faces the latest risks associated with legal and regulatory compliance; and which is exposed to the threat of money laundering, terrorist financing, data theft and network infiltration.  This conference offers an impressive programme uniquely designed to deal with these issues.  This year’s theme, entitled ‘Strengthening Vigilance during Turbulent Times’ will focus upon regulatory compliance, risk management and anti-money laundering.”  

How to stay on fire
After an opening address by Leader of Government Business, McKeeva Bush, the conference is set to ignite with a presentation by professional motivational speaker Charlie Adams, who says: ‘In trying times, don’t stop trying!’  Adams’ presentation revolves around the need to ‘stay on fire’, which, he says, is the biggest challenge of 21st century life – especially this year. The organisations that are able to stoke that “inner fire” to be as positive, team-oriented and determined as possible will be the most successful, he says. 
O’Brien confirms: “Charlie Adams will draw on his breathtaking experiences as one of the most adventurous and positive broadcasters in the fast paced world of television news and sports, Adams kindles the flames of the “yes we CAN” attitude within us all.”
Marcos Victorica, from Consultcom S.A. in Buenos Aires, Argentina will then take a look at informal economies, and in particular, the phenomenon and the risk of failing to distinguish informality and crime.
John Marquis, director of Sales and Due Diligence Specialist with World-Check will discuss enhanced due diligence and analyses what this actually means, in particular as the Cayman Islands Money Laundering Regulations mandates that enhanced due diligence be conducted in certain circumstances.  This session will address when and why it should be applied, what type of information needs to be acquired and what should be expected from an enhanced due diligence report.
Champion of Cayman’s cause and Chairman of the Cayman Islands Financial Services Association, Anthony Travers has been invited to give a presentation entitled: In defence of offshore financial centres: how the USA and the OFCs can co-exist, a topic on which he has discussed at length in recent months here in Cayman and with the international media.

Understanding crime
Richard Horowitz, with New York attorneys Richard Horowitz & Associates (and a former captain of the Israel Defence Forces and now a recognised expert in the areas of corporate intelligence, fraud, and international investigations), will then give an in depth presentation, which he outlines thus: “While the extent to which regulation verses de-regulation, for example, was a contributing factor to the current global economic crisis is essential to its understanding, the crisis itself focused the world’s attention on macroeconomics. 
“For many years prior to the global crisis it had been argued by some that money laundering and other financial crimes will reach the level whereby it could affect the global economy.  Factoring post-September 11th terrorism finance strengthens this argument.
“Whatever the argument’s merits, it is fair to say that money laundering and related financial crimes are perpetrated against individuals and institutions, not governments and international organisations.  This, plus the focus on the macroeconomics of the global crisis drew attention from the many financial crimes, the understanding of which is crucial to financial and many non-financial institutions as well.
Money laundering designed to evade taxes or that which is designed to launder ill-gotten gains are different forms of crime, though both are covered by the same US statute.    Along with money laundering, prime bank schemes, Ponzi schemes, fraudulent bearer bonds and other financial instruments, terrorism financing, the misuse of offshore tax havens, or the simple “money manager” who disappears after receiving his client’s investment, are matters that bankers, traders, and lawyers should be familiar with.
In addition to an analysis of the Cayman Islands in US courts, we will discuss the global anti-money laundering regime and the mentality of fraudsters and the types of scams they perpetrate.”

Getting under the skin of a criminal
Analysing the psychology of the financial criminal to find out what makes them tick, Alden Cass, from New York-based Competitive Streak Consulting Inc will then try and discover how criminals such as Madoff can sleep at night while perpetrating their crimes against innocent investors.
Cass says he is well-versed on the subject: “I had previously been interviewed by CNN on Madoff and have penned a column for Registered Rep magazine on the topic. I will talk about the importance of not continuing to lay blame on the regulators such as the SEC and FINRA and to find a healthier way, a more ‘bullish’ way of making this a learning experience that makes the system better in the future.”
Cass says he will be discussing elements that he has observed in the behaviours and schemes of alleged Ponzi scheme artists such as Madoff and Stanford.
He confirms: “Once we have discussed these profile composites, I can analyse the importance of understanding our flaws as human beings: We become complacent in good times and in bad and uncertain times we look to charismatic leaders for direction and guidance. All of this makes for a recipe for disaster when it comes to making appropriate financial decisions.”
Cass also says that there will be a segment aimed at showing how such smart individuals could be fooled by this type of criminal.
“It goes way deeper than just greed,” he says.
Cass will end his presentation with a session on ‘Bullish Thinking’, which comes from his new book: Bullish Thinking: How to Survive and Thrive on Wall Street.
He says: “This will be both a psycho-educational and audience interactive segment aimed at training the participants in mind control or Bullish Thinking as I call it. Mastering this skill allows individuals in finance to manage uncertainty better and remain emotionally disciplined during droughts or negative market outcomes.”
The remainder of the two-day event is crammed full of further fascinating topics, including a look at the true story of a New York City commodities trader and his journey from high rise office building to low rise prison cell, presented by Florida-based Craig Giles, O’Brien confirms: “Our spotlight speaker will be Mr. Craig Giles, a former New York City commodity trader for Citigroup who found himself serving a serving his one year and one day prison sentence in a federal prison in after pleading guilty in US District Court in Manhattan to one count of conspiracy to falsify bank records and commit wire fraud.”  

A varied programme
The threat of emerging technologies used by criminals will be addressed by Bonin Bough and Hossam Abd E-Rahman who will give an insight into the digital world of Facebook, Twitter, and mobile payments. Rohan Barnett, Executive Director of the Jamaica Financial Services Commission will address the issues surrounding unregulated investment schemes and a Caribbean panel discussion will focus on regulatory issues in BVI, Antigua and the Cayman Islands.
All in all, Global Compliance Solutions is a conference designed to educate and no doubt entertain along the way any professional in the financial services industry.


From left, Sue Shelley, Former Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts, Karen O’Brien and Ted Bravakis at last year’s Global Compliance Solutions conference