Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board Juan Zarate delivered the opening keynote address about the current state of the financial crime industry, and Co-Founder and CEO Gary Shiffman discussed the future of the industry in a closing speakers panel
ARLINGTON, Va. – This week, Consilient Co-Founder and CEO Gary M. Shiffman, Ph.D., and The Honorable Juan Zarate, Consilient co-founder and chairman of the board, both spoke at the American Banker Association and American Bar Association (ABA/ABA) Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference. The annual conference is the only national event that gathers industry experts to focus primarily on financial crime issues facing financial institutions. Due to health and safety concerns, this year’s conference was held virtually on December 8-10, 2020.
The 2020 ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference specifically addressed new fraud and cybercrime threats, reforms to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) efforts, as well as the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Four keynote speakers and many other banking and legal industry experts were invited to speak about how financial institutions are responding to this year’s challenges and the solutions that will ensure that BSA/AML programs are ahead of the curve.
Zarate, also global co-managing partner and chief strategy officer at K2 Integrity, opened the conference as the first keynote speaker, providing the audience with an overview of the Bank Secrecy Act 50 years after its adoption, arguing that we have entered a new period of the AML/CFT regime where the system will need to be fundamentally redesigned by the need for greater efficiency, effectiveness, and security. Zarate drew from his experience as an industry leader and as former deputy assistant to former President George W. Bush, deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism, and the first-ever assistant secretary of the treasury for terrorist financing and financial crimes to explain the evolution of the AML/CFT system and the opportunities and challenges being driven by the adoption of new technologies.
“We are at a moment in the evolution of the Bank Secrecy Act where there’s a fundamental recognition that the system does not work as designed and there is a collective quest for greater effectiveness and efficiency. That quest is being driven by a willingness to innovate as well as cutting-edge technologies that are opening the imagination to what a new design for the system could look like. We are opening the door to a 21st-century solution for fighting financial crime and protecting the integrity of the financial system,” said Zarate.
Other keynote speakers included, Kenneth A. Blanco, director of Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), James H. Freis Jr., former CEO of Wirecard and former director of FinCEN, and Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Shiffman, who is also the founder and CEO of Giant Oak and the creator of GOST®, closed the second day of the conference by speaking on a panel of financial crime futurists about the future of BSA/AML and fraud technology. Panelists gave listeners an overview of the most innovative technology for fighting financial crime and how to build business plans around technology adoption. Shiffman unveiled a new video explaining federated learning, the technology Consilient is developing in collaboration with Intel.
“Professionals fighting financial crime want to collaborate, have a meaningful impact for good, all while respecting human dignity and individual rights to privacy. Until now, however, the technology has not enabled these goals, so we work in silos, we do not measure effectiveness, and we investigate people based on massively high false positive rates. Those days are over. Now is the time for business planning to implement meaningful machine learning systems to combat financial crime,” said Shiffman.
Other panel speakers included Jo Ann Barefoot, CEO of the Barefoot Innovation Group LLC, and Jim Richards, founder and principal of RegTech Consulting LLC. The panel was moderated by Ryan Rasske, senior vice president of risk and compliance markets at American Bankers Association.
Zarate’s and Shiffman’s participation in this conference came shortly after Consilient’s launch on October 29, 2020. Consilient is dedicated to establishing the next generation AML/CFT system through the application of revolutionary technologies. Consilient’s ambition is to solve the fundamental challenges of the lack of efficiency and effectiveness in preventing financial crime while protecting privacy and securing data. In partnership with Intel, Consilient recently published a white paper on financial crime entitled, “Federated Learning through Revolutionary Technology,” which can be downloaded here.
Founded in 2020 through a partnership between K2 Integrity and Giant Oak, Consilient brings together next-generation technology and best-in-class anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) knowledge. Consilient is proud to be collaborating with Intel to bring this model to the market. This combination powers a more secure, dynamic and effective solution for financial institutions.