Business Eye CI talked to David to find out more about his move from the police force to the financial services industry and the similar compliance challenges the policing and financial industries face.
Q: It seems an unusual move for a career policeman to move across to the financial services industry. Why have you decided to change careers?
When I joined the police service in December 1987, the accepted period of service was 30 years. Whilst I could have remained in service and I was decorated for Long Service and Good Conduct in 2010, I felt the time was right for a fresh challenge.
My experience brings an extra layer of robust anti-money laundering (AML) expertise to Hawksford’s highly trained compliance team. Although my background brings a different perspective, the MLRO role appealed to me as I will be able to ensure that appropriate governance procedures are in place, and we can respond correctly should the need arise.
We have the opportunity to lead the way in governance and compliance best practice, and I am looking forward to helping the Hawksford team to deepen its AML capabilities.
Q:Tell us how your skill set is transferable to the financial services market.
JFCU’s main purpose is to combat economic crime, including fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing.
The knowledge and experience that I’ve built up at the JFCU are applicable to the role of the MLRO within a regulated firm, who needs to have a thorough understanding of financial crime risks, and of the regulatory obligations on both firms and individuals.
Strong team working, having an accurate map of the environment you’re operating in, possessing the ability to identify and manage threat and risk, and overseeing the exchange of sensitive data and intelligence are common to both.
Q: How will you apply your previous experience to the MLRO role at Hawksford?
In the JFCU I focused on training our people, and developing our internal processes and our partnership activity. We saw positive effects in both output and outcomes.
It is early days, but some of those approaches will translate to the MLRO role. Whilst an understanding of suspicious activity reports is of course important, I have been fortunate to be engaged with both local stakeholders and international partners and organisations who are key in the field of AML.
My experience within the wider AML environment enables me to bring in a wider perspective to the company. I believe that this knowledge will allow me to provide some context to the work that we are doing within the company.
Hawksford employees take their obligations towards AML very seriously. I look forward to helping my colleagues to become more alive to the signs of suspicious activity and ensure any suspicions are dealt with correctly and efficiently.
Part of my role will involve investigating internal reports of suspicious activity and then, if necessary, reporting any suspicious activity, which I have a great deal of experience in on the policing side. In-house, I will also be responsible for managing any post-report consideration relating to Hawksford’s procedures.
Q: Does the police force and commercial world face similar financial crime challenges?
It is widely recognised that money laundering and the financing of terrorism can damage national financial systems, threaten financial sectors, and even place a jurisdiction’s stability at risk.
The finance industry and associated legal practices contribute a considerable amount to Jersey’s bottom line. Whilst the JFCU is a law enforcement agency conducting criminal investigations it’s approach is very much one of partnership with the finance industry, with the broader strategic imperative being to protect the islands reputation.
Q: On an international stage, does Jersey have a good reputation when it comes to combatting financial crime?
Yes. Jersey is well regarded as having a robust approach towards combatting financial crime.
This reputation is vital when encouraging clients to consider Jersey for their financial matters, and asking intermediaries to refer their clients here.
In a company like Hawksford, employees are highly skilled in best practice with relevant sector qualifications. There is a genuine commitment towards training and ensuring employees are equipped with the regulatory and compliance knowledge necessary to fulfil their AML requirements.
Jersey’s rule of law and highly regarded legal system also plays a positive role in assuring the wider financial community that this is a leading jurisdiction of substance.
Starting his career with Surrey Police in 1987, David’s roles have encompassed criminal investigation appointments such as detective constable, sergeant, inspector and chief inspector. In 2005, as detective chief inspector, he took command of the CID for Surrey’s southwest division based at Guildford. The role involved leading a department of 240 detectives, uniform officers and police staff covering crime investigation, prisoner handling, and administration of justice.
Upon moving to Jersey in 2006, David began his career with The States of Jersey Police. From 2012, he was Head of the Police & Customs Joint Financial Crime Unit (JFCU). He had responsibility for Jersey’s financial intelligence unit and an operational team conducting criminal investigations regarding serious fraud, financial crime and money laundering. The team included a customs & immigration confiscation team responsible for carrying out financial investigations pursuant to local drug trafficking investigations.
David is a qualified senior investigating officer for crime investigation. He has completed training with the National Criminal Intelligence Service and National Terrorist Financial Investigation Unit. In 2015 he qualified as an International Evaluator with the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on AML and CFT measures.