ACAMS Ireland Chapter: A Look Ahead

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The ACAMS Ireland Chapter is celebrating its sixth anniversary! The chapter is excited to share its experience and that of the community in Ireland.

New players in the Irish market

Ireland’s financial sector is changing due to recent trends in digitising and democratising money, COVID-19 and an influx of firms impacted by Brexit. More than a dozen firms have received electronic money institution licenses in the last two years and many more are expected. Other types of licenses have also seen an influx of applications. On this issue, ACAMS Ireland Chapter board member Kaitlin Lemmo said: ‘The fintech ecosystem in Ireland is particularly impacted by post-Brexit growth; we see the regulator responding accordingly with expectations that firms maintain AFC [anti-financial crime] teams and controls locally and employ agile compliance.’

Another chapter board member, Alessia Bräutigam, also highlighted the importance of online commerce in the last year with several major payments companies operating in Ireland. ‘Online payments have given many additional opportunities to supplement their income and support their families’, she said. Michael Blackwell, one of the new chapter board members who joined last year, added that ‘the depth of Ireland’s local expertise means it is well placed to adapt to the changing AFC landscape and to drive further growth.’

What does this mean for the ACAMS Ireland Chapter?

These changes affect everyone. Financial technology is being adapted by incumbent institutions as well as startups, and most in the industry are partnering with firms in other sectors, including newly licensed firms. The chapter keeps this in mind when planning events. It is important to understand each other’s industries and how they are evolving, including how technology is being used and how Ireland’s technology-neutral regulation and guidelines are being interpreted. The benefit of in-person networking has been interrupted for now, but the chapter is proud to maintain a community. We are always happy to help you make a connection——just reach out to one of the chapter’s board of directors.

A new board

The ACAMS Ireland Chapter has always worked to maintain a board of directors that represents the many industries regulated in Ireland. Currently, the chapter has representation from the following sectors: gaming, funds, payments and electronic money, crypto assets, brokerage and securities, advisory and banking.

The depth of Ireland’s local expertise means it is well placed to adapt to the changing AFC landscape and to drive further growth

As Kevin Nolan, co-chair of the ACAMS Ireland Chapter, said: ‘The ACAMS Ireland Chapter is diverse in terms of our directors and the industries encompassed by our broader membership. We work toward providing our members with informative, timely and relevant events, with a focus on expert-led pragmatic support and guidance for AFC professionals in Ireland.’

Parity pledge

The ACAMS Ireland Chapter board has also maintained gender parity throughout its six years, including representation of women within the co-chairs. In 2020, the chapter was proud to have a 10:3 female-to-male ratio of speakers at its events. There is still work to be done, but the AFC industry typically sees higher representation of women relative to other sectors according to a report by the Central Bank of Ireland on pre-approved controlled function roles (those appointed in senior decision-making roles, including roles of executive director and head of compliance).1 The chapter expects AFC teams in Ireland to take a closer look at their own efforts around anti-bias, diversity and inclusion.

AFC is for everyone

The chapter’s membership and attendees have historically shown to be mid-senior to executive-level professionals. But the fight against financial crime is fought by teams, entrepreneurs as well as founders, researchers, recruiters, content producers, the media and many more. The chapter welcomes all attendees and has been especially delighted to see AFC professionals joining its virtual events across Ireland (not just Dublin!) and abroad. 

Kate Hotten, CAMS, senior advisor, FINTRAIL; co-chair, ACAMS Ireland Chapter, irelandchapter@acams.org

  1. “2020 Demographics of the Financial Sector Report. Demographic Analysis 2019: Applications for Pre-Approval Controlled Function (PCF) roles within Regulated Firms,” Central Bank of Ireland, March 2020, https://www.centralbank.ie/docs/default-source/regulation/how-we-regulate/diversity-and-inclusion/2019-demographics-of-the-financial-sector-report.pdf?sfvrsn=10

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