Fighting FinCrime with Vic Maculaitis, Founder & Managing Partner of i3strategies

Steve interviews Vic Maculaitis of i3strategies
Transcript

No transcript...

In this episode, I speak with Vic Maculaitis of i3strategies.

Vic shares his career history as a 3x founder, 3x BSA/AML officer, and how his company i3strategies®️ is advising the world's largest financial institutions, investors, and corporations on how to fight financial crime.

Vic and I also discuss what's next for compliance, fraud, aml, and the convergence known as FRAML.

RESOURCES:

Connecting with Vic Maculaitis

Vic’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vicmac03/

i3strategies website: https://i3strategies.us/

Companies & Resources Discussed

US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats it faces. This requires the work of more than 260,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector.

Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requires financial institutions to assist U.S. government agencies in detecting and preventing money laundering.

Know Your Customer (KYC) standards are designed to protect financial institutions against fraud, corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing.

Intelligent Automation, according to software company Automation Everywhere, is a combination of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies which together empower rapid end-to-end business process automation and accelerate digital transformation.

The Perspective Podcast with Vic Maculaitis is a podcast series spanning investments, M&A activity, and innovation specific to the FinCrime ecosystem.

1956, 1957, and 1960 are US federal statutes that govern money laundering and money transmission:

  • 1956 refers to 18 U.S.C. 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments

  • 1957 refers to 18 U.S.C. 1957 - Engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity

  • 1960 refers to 18 U.S.C. 1960 - Prohibition of unlicensed money transmitting businesses

FRAML, according to ACAMS, the compliance acronym that refers to merging fraud prevention and anti-money laundering (AML) units, has become a popular concept for financial institutions. The combination of these functions tends to bolster risk management and increase operating efficiencies.

FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Steve Craig: Welcome to the PEAK IDV EXECUTIVE SERIES video podcast, where I speak with executives, leaders, founders, and change makers in the digital identity space. I'm your host, Steve Craig, Founder and Chief Enablement Officer at PEAK IDV. For our audience, this is a video first series, so if you're enjoying the audio version, please check out the video recording on executiveseries.peakidv.com, where you can watch the full recorded episode, read the transcript, and access any of the resources or links from today's conversation. In this week's episode, I'm speaking with Vic Maculaitis, Founder and Managing Partner at i3strategies. i3strategies is a market research and strategy consultancy that focuses on financial crime and compliance.

Vic is a three times founder, three times BSA AML officer, and an expert in financial risk and compliance. He founded I3strategies in 2015 and his firm has been retained by- and advised-some of the world's largest financial institutions, investors, and corporations. Vic's 20 plus career has been dedicated to stopping fraud, stopping money laundering, and stopping cybercrime.

Welcome, Vic. Thank you for being on the podcast. 

Vic Maculaitis: Hey, Steve. Thanks for having me. 

Steve: Absolutely, Vic. Let's get started. Can you share more about i3strategies, maybe the services that you offer?

Vic:  Yeah. Well, thanks for the intro. And yeah, a little bit about i3strategies. We're essentially a market research and strategy consultant. And we serve sort of three client constituents, one being private equity, venture capital investors, the other being product companies, some professional services firms, and financial institutions all under the umbrella of those that are kind of making up the financial crime risk and compliance ecosystem.

So some of our engagements involve very deep market research, deal due diligence on mergers and acquisitions, or investments that are taking place in the space. And a lot of the strategy work we do is with FIs that are redesigning and transforming their overall money laundering, financial crime, fraud types of programs within their institution.

Steve: That's great background. And in researching your background for this episode, I see going way back that your early education was in criminal justice. You were at the University of Akron, what inspired your interest in- in-the criminal justice field? What's the backstory? 

Vic: Oh man. Well, we could go really way back into my youth actually. I will, I won’t bore you through the whole, epilogue, but yeah, so early on, super keen interest in the FBI, oddly enough, at a very early age too, in sort of counterterrorism fascinated with that sort of threat and the types of agencies that, that countered that. So I think I was always on a path to do some sort of government service, military, or law enforcement. And yeah, so naturally back in those early days, which is kind of dating me, criminal justice, political science were two natural fields of academic study and that's what I set out to do at the University of Akron that I was fortunate enough to play baseball in college. So that was my direct path into college was a baseball scholarship. And yeah, the academic program that I was put on was what they call a two plus two, which is two years criminal justice, and then rounding out your four years with a political science. Those are two of my undergraduate degrees. 

Steve: When you were an elementary student, did they say like, what do you want to be when you grow up? “Yeah. The FBI, I want to be a cop.”

Vic:  Yeah, I mean, honestly, I think starting at age 10, whatever grade that associates with off the top of my head, I can't think, but I can remember those books where you put like your- your-picture, what you want to be when you grow up, who your new friends were in class this year, so on and so forth. And yeah, it was pretty consistent, like FBI. 

Steve: That's great. That's great. Well, after school, after you graduated, I see one of your first jobs was with the US Department of Homeland Security. You're listed as an intelligence operations specialist. This is around 2002. It's like right around the founding of this organization in this post 9/11 world. Can you share more about how you got there? 

Vic: Yeah. so in undergrad, I- I-did a couple internships with two different law enforcement agencies, one at the state level, one at the federal level. And that kind of prepared me to really jump right in, to federal service as I was graduating, like literally from undergrad and obviously in the very short period of time, post 9/11 with various agencies and specifically the Department of Homeland Security being formulated. It was the thing that really springboarded my career, jumping in at literally 22 years old into that type of role. So yeah, that was, there was no gap in between, you know, at that time. A lot of classmates, teammates, it was the whole, well, go home for the summer, have a good time, you know, kind of look for what the career is in front of me. And for me it was, I literally went into training, I was on the job right out of graduating undergrad and it was clearly a pretty intense environment in those post 9/11 days. 

Steve: Yeah. I remember that period of time as war started off and we're really trying to figure out how to protect the country from, not having another terrorist attack like that. So thank you very much for your service. You spent several years in public sector and then at some point you went over into banking. How was that transition? 

Vic: Yeah. It's funny on a couple other podcasts, that's one of the natural questions of transitioning and it's certainly harder for career military guys, career law enforcement folks that are making the transition into civilian life. Right? But for me it, it parts of my experience at DHS, I was exposed to some different task forces. Those task forces related to what the private sector does in the form of producing financial intelligence, suspicious activity reporting. And the community that I happened to be in was also, in the Northeast Ohio area. making a transition into the private sector at the same place. So when I went to my first private sector job, it was literally with a lot of folks that I was familiar with from government. And I think shortly thereafter to, my boss from DHS actually came over as well to the bank. So during those first, like 18 months of transitioning into private sector life, it still felt like you were with the same folks because everybody knew each other and whatnot. So it was a lot more seamless, but I always say like, you didn't really understand the transition until sort of my next step in my career journey, which was that of taking a BSA officer role at age 28 in Chicago and really understanding the larger business that you're part of and how corporate life really works in the sense of the difference between public sector, private sector, so, a little background there.  

Steve: Well, it's like like baseball. You just had a different team, you know, some of your- your-same positions in government just carried right over [Vic: Exactly] and you had similar teammates. So that's, that's very cool.

So when you, so you're working in banking you eventually move into a BSA AML leadership role. Can you talk about the responsibilities of BSA AML compliance officer? Like what what do they do on a daily basis? 

Vic: Yeah, a whole host of things that you know, in that first experience, perhaps I was not fully matured enough to understand the broader scope of the role and responsibility. But certainly through learning, through maturing, especially from a leadership standpoint, further understood how the job is really way beyond simply managing risk or complying from a regulatory standpoint. It's running a business function and running that business function entails obviously leadership because you are leading people and teams, but also from a financial standpoint, from a P&L perspective, from a budgeting perspective. It's understanding that that component, there's tons of strategy involved with the way in which you organize your teams, your groups, your structure overall, and how that yields the most value and benefit for the enterprise in which you're operating. And what I mean by that is essentially, how are you providing all of your constituents to include shareholders of that publicly traded firm that you're working for the most amount of value? So it's a- it's a-big, big level of responsibility. And I think a lot of folks sort of perceive the role of a BSA compliance officer, or a head of financial crime to not entail some of those things and really just to focus narrowly on the regulatory compliance aspects of things. Which is really missing the big picture.

Steve: It's, it's such a unique role with tremendous responsibility. One of the facets of the role is you could be personally held liable for mistakes, maybe even criminally liable and go to prison. How do you think the high stakes of a job like this impact decision making and then your own personal health and sanity in that role.

Vic: Yeah, I mean it absolutely takes a toll and I think that's, you know, a great point on decisioning, it sort of becomes a blocker to speed and decision making it becomes a blocker to even adequate levels of decision making as it relates to supporting those things that I mentioned previously in terms of shareholder value and whatnot . I think a lot of risk and compliance officer mindsets are to avoid that personal liability and risk by sort of sticking with the status quo, not allowing for change and progress to take place. And really, for lack of better terms, buckling in instances where there is audit and regulatory pressures, again, in fear of that personal liability.

My best advice for folks that are going into these roles are, or are perhaps negotiating new opportunities. There's absolutely an employment contract agreement aspect to these types of roles where those types of things from an insurance standpoint should be contemplated. So just wanted to throw that in there as a tidbit for those that are interested in pursuing these types of roles.

Steve: It's a great tip. It's a great tip. There are very few roles in industries where the stakes can be that high or at least, you know, you can go to jail and there's failure and you can lose your job and most industries for doing the right thing. Did that influence your decision to become an entrepreneur? Because I also noticed, and I called out three times founder starting companies has also been in your career. Okay. What influenced that? 

Vic: Yeah, it's funny. I- I-would say I'm absolutely a late bloomer as it relates to an entrepreneurial mindset and interest. But then if I kind of look back towards my career. From a W2 employment standpoint, I guess that entrepreneurial spirit and mindset was always there in the form of taking on more initiative, wanting to put my own sort of stamp on things. But really it got to a point for me to make the hard decision of separating from industry employment and going off on my own and building businesses. I- I-think I had reached a level where I knew that in the pinnacle of the position from an industry perspective that I could do everything that I had set out to do, but there was the cap on that. You're still operating in large, you know, publicly traded companies and whatnot. I wanted to build, build, build, right?

So I, some, I guess the- the-switch kind of, went on in that sense. From a builder standpoint, and that's what really drove the- the-founder sort of passion, and- and-the building part. So it happened later, but again, in, in looking back and analyzing, I guess the spirit was always there, but I think at the- the-turning point, it was, I had gained the confidence I had things structurally in place around my personal life and whatnot, which I suppose folks looking in would say, well, that sounds crazy because I was just starting a family, a big family making different moves. So what kind of person decides to leave, you know, a lucrative career under the guise of, you know, W2 employment to go out on their own? But risk taking, I guess is the answer to that. 

Steve: Risk taking. Well, that mindset shift from being a BSA AML compliance officer, where your goal is to minimize risks, to prevent risks, you now move into an entrepreneurial role where it's all about risk. It's all about risk taking yet you're serving that ecosystem, so that's great. 

If we could shift a little bit, maybe into your background and catch up to where we are today in the world, we’re post pandemic, the world continues to rapidly globalize. Everything's digitalized, and this podcast is about digital identity. What would you say the state of financial crime is right now? What are you seeing? 

Vic: Yeah, right. Right now it's all about, scale and pace, which here's what I mean by those sort of terms. Scale, it's global pace. It's at a speed in which the digital channels, the digital age, the access to different types of tools by fraudsters, by financial criminals, by other types of threat actors or bad actors in general have access to and are really speeding up the game ahead of those that are trying to counter or thwart the various types of risks and threats that they pose.

So that's the state of play right now, and I think anybody that is tracking on the world of various types of threat factors and whatnot, and coupling that with our advancements in technology, bringing it forward to a conversation around AI and the things that we're seeing from, whether it's deep fake and I know the space that- that-you're an expert in and identity plays such a crucial role in that component. But it's all, it's identity, it's cyber, it's the conventional, traditional aspects of fraudsters just trying to commit fraud. It's the money laundering component. There's sanctions evasion from a global geopolitical positioning standpoint. So it's all that stuff coming together and really presenting one of the most heightened threat periods. And I'm saying that from someone that's coming from the post 9/11 era. So state of play is- is- is-pretty, pretty intense right now. 

Steve: Well, we're recording this episode at the beginning of 2024. And when I put on the news, I see a lot of talk about a lot of different topics, but one is around borders and border protection and physical security. Think about the digital world. The digital borders are open, right? Someone could be in another country and send a text message to any US citizen here. The threat of fraud attacks is global. I was looking at your website for i3strategies and you talk about the interconnectivity of fraud, money laundering, cybercrime, sanctions, corruption, bribery. There's certainly identity topics here -  data breaches. How do all these interoperate? Can you describe how it moves around with the ecosystem? 

Vic: Yeah, I mean, I think the best way to describe some of the interconnectivity is a lot of these predicate offenses to money laundering. So the illicit activity, that bad actors are carrying through are typically, the preamble in some sense to some type of fraud. Number one, there's a cyber component based off of the digital channel or platform that they're accessing. We can even bring in the corruption component, the sanctions and evasion component to sort of, and think about some of these are more so nation state actors and other highly sophisticated organizations. But they're piggybacking off of the individual actors for- for-lack of better terms. What I typically refer to as TTP is the, the tactics, the techniques, and procedures that are carried out to- to-orchestrate these types of illicit acts and whatnot.

So moral of the story is the fraudsters, the bad guys, all these threat actors, are seeing those sort of scenes, playing off of them. And if we as industry, as governments, as those that are countering and thwarting these types of threats, not seeing that interconnectivity, we leave tons of exposure, big gaps. And that's sort of a consistent talk track that I try to put out there in the form of educating folks on seeing not just that narrow threat vector, i.e, fraud. It has an interconnectivity to identity, to the KYC component, to the cyber crime component, so on and so forth. So that's what we talk about a lot. And, that's the big picture piece that, that we have to solve for. . 

Steve: Yeah all of these components are connected starting with, you know, knowing your customer, KYC, but then once they're onboard in the financial institution, they then transact and you can't just stop your diligence there, money's moving you need to be doing transactional monitoring and report suspicious activity. There's a whole process and there's a balance between privacy and security too, because we as citizens don't want the government snooping on every single one of our transactions. I was looking at your client roster and it's really impressive. You've got the who's who of the biggest banks in the world, tons of budgets and people, but they're reaching out. Where are they struggling? How are you helping them? 

Vic: On multiple sort of dimensions of the problem, right? I think that a lot of our clients, a lot of institutions that I've been at historically, still struggle with seeing that big picture that we're talking about. And there's a strategy element at play. There's also things related to historical people, structures, historical processes, many of which being manual. Historical or legacy systems from a technology standpoint. So the main problems that we often try to solve centers around one word, and that one word is- is-integration playing off of a strategic way to approach building these programs, building the operations. So at the end of the day, there's a lot of, you know, marketing buzzwords. There are a lot of other types of narratives that surround the space from a regulatory compliance standpoint, from a risk management standpoint. But as firms are trying to better organize, better strategize, better execute effectiveness is the actual word that's at play.

And that's a part of the big pain point that we try to solve for is how do we make these programs and operations more efficient, more effective, but getting into the weeds, you know, you look at things like data, data governance, privacy, as you mentioned, there are certain, I guess, regulatory rails that and from a- from a-guideline standpoint, from boxing you in that kind of impede some of these things. So there's broken regulatory structures and hurdles that we have to overcome and amongst a series of other things that we could get into in terms of being in the weeds. 

Steve: That's fascinating. And looking at your background a little bit more, I see you also have experience looking at Ponzi schemes, different bank scandals. Sometimes there's inside jobs, people willing to just give their money, getting victimized through- through-a scam. How do you see organizations and anything like big financial institutions trying to prevent, what's their process, what's your strategy for- for-that? 

Vic: Yeah, great question. I won't belabor integration and the organizational structure piece. I'll shift gears to knowledge, awareness, training. Those are things that are vital tools, first and foremost, to have a workforce that is capable to prevent, detect, identify, whatever it may be. Some of these large scale financial crime events and other illicit financial flows. From growing out of proportion as, as they have done historically and are currently doing. So that's key, that's first, first and foremost is the, the knowledge and training piece of the puzzle. 

Steve: I'm a big believer in knowledge and education. So the more you know the better you can serve your clients and keep up to date with changes in the market. Given this podcast focuses on digital identity, you're a financial crime expert, what's your perspective on some of the identity related attack vectors, synthetic identity perhaps as- as-one to touch on. 

Vic: Yeah. Big problems. A lot of these orchestrated rings over the past, arguably decade, have grown increasingly more sophisticated as well as scaling out where they hit you quick. So what I would say about identity, though, as a fundamental level of importance to an overall financial crime risk management program, is you need to not only identify who you're doing business with from a customer onboarding standpoint, but identity just from an access to platform. I think even in the traditional finance sense, we have to think of the products and services landscape from a platform perspective. There's that trust and identity piece of it that is super important for not only protecting those that are on the platform, but also the institution as a whole. So identity is really the first step in, in an effective strategy and- and-program. 

Steve: Some people may call it the cornerstone and that could be the cornerstone of your financial institutional relationship, cornerstone, the marketplace, travel. Like who we are as individuals is really important to how we transact online. 

You also do a lot of market research and reporting on provider ecosystem, solution vendors, et cetera. How do you see the landscape changing? You mentioned AI earlier, what do you think is ahead from 2023 to 2024? 

Vic: Well, in 2023, we definitely saw some deal activity slow down or take shape in a different form than perhaps the boom years. But ultimately I think, yes, everybody is focused on AI from the sense of expanding upon foundational machine learning capabilities, that we've had for years now. But refining those models to do more efficient and effective things.

There's an automation aspect that a lot of solution providers are focused on, which I think that I'm the biggest proponent for, where we can get some of that low hanging fruit in the form of intelligent automation. I think we're still a ways away from AI solutions being beneficial enough to eliminate the people component of all of these programs and operations. But yeah, there, from a market landscape standpoint, there's absolutely a focus on AI intelligent automation. I think that we start to look at things in these verticals, so to speak of identity or KYC or transaction monitoring or list screening, sanction screening, when we are building that narrowly, I think sometimes it's out of necessity, but I think we overbuilt that narrowly over the past few years where there's going to be some market correction in the form of acquisitions or early stage companies that aren't making it out. The big winners are going to be focused on the multiple facets of the market need and problem. And I think it starts with identity. It ends with effective platform level case management, reporting out, further analytics, so on and so forth. So that's- that's-kind of my market recap.  

Steve: Great. Do you foresee consolidation this year, of different startups and companies may be merging M&A - acquisition?

Vic: Yeah, I thought we would see a lot more of it last year. I don't have the report right in front of me, but there were, a number of deals, but more so on the services side than on the software side, which my early ‘23 predictions were that we would see more on the software side than we did. So I'm kind of sticking with that outlook for ‘24 based off of what I mentioned, some of these narrow, narrowly focused solutions providers, are probably going to be a better fit in a roll-up or an acquisition or strategic acquisition, than- than-surviving on to a series A or series B round and, and getting the type of, you know, market traction and adoption that they were originally seeking.  

Steve: Fascinating. Yeah, I agree. I think we're going to see more of that. It's always hard to know the timing of it. It's like we know it's coming, but will it be next quarter or next year? 

Well, in prepping for this also, I see you've got some new interesting podcast properties. You've got a couple new series where you talk about the latest developments and you also have a guest series coming up. Can you talk through these properties and share more about them? 

Vic: Well I, I'm not as far as along as you obviously. But I'm trying, and as I mentioned when I launched, you know, better late than never to the podcast party. But it was a particular focus for ‘24 to bring more audio through that sort of channel of podcasting. And yeah, the focus is a couple different solo cast series. One being everything related to strategy for combating financial crime, and that's going to play off of all of the various experiences and perspectives that I've gathered over the years and building programs and operations and whatnot. And then the other piece of it is the business side. So providing market updates again in the solo cast series, 5 minutes or less. So it's hitting on some of the investments and acquisition activity taking place. And then we've just completed a couple of recordings of the guest series, which is the longer interview format. And we're bringing in folks that are executive level, GTM product people, we're bringing in founders, we're bringing in industry practitioners, and we're covering a whole bunch of different types of themes and topics related to that.

The name of the podcast is The Perspective Podcast with Vic Maculaitis. And again, a lot of my firm's marketing and sort of outward facing content is specific to that word perspective. Again, sharpened by a lot of decades of experience and doing a host of things, not just for a particular, from a practitioner standpoint, but also from an entrepreneurial business operator standpoint. So we're excited about that. I'm excited about that. These are fun. I've also opened myself up a bit more than I have over the past few years to being on podcasts where I see a good deal of value as far as the platform, such as yours, and having cool conversations with cool guys like you. 

Steve: Thank you. And thank you for highlighting my journey. I feel like I'm just getting started. I look some, at some of the content out there. There are hundreds of episodes and thousands upon thousands… so it's all, it's all good. Just keep going at it. It's hard, hard for me to ask questions about your podcast, because I listened to all of the episodes. I like the style. I like the sound of the music's really good. It's like the true crime genre meets our industry. So you have my subscription, I'm one of those that you see. I love shows like - [Vic: I appreciate that] you bet - I love shows like Breaking Bad, Ozark, Narcos, you know, the TV where you see that, we see it on TV, but is that how criminals are really laundering money? You know, like buying resorts and it's just that easy or what's your perspective? 

Vic: You know, I don't subscribe too much, to some of the most popular, like money laundering types, I guess I'm more into real documentaries and whatnot, but I'll tell you, like, if the question is, how does it work in the real world? Which if you ask even folks that have spent a long time, quote unquote, in the real world, a lot, don't really know, cause they're getting that singular or narrow view of what's happening at their financial institution. Perhaps they don't have the other frame of references, but at the end of the day, I mean, how is money being laundered? How is illicit cash flowing through the US and global financial system? Well, for one, you know, at scale, it's professional money laundering organizations. These are the most sophisticated folks on the planet in terms of leveraging the various types of gatekeepers, whether it be establishing entities and masking their true beneficial ownership, which is a big piece of the narrative that we're talking about here in the US. Has beneficial ownership reporting just- just-launched and whatnot, but also lawyers, accountants and all of those, sort of professional enablers play a mix in this, but I always like to say to you. So that's a sophisticated way of masking or obfuscating the paper trail, so to speak. But when we're talking about drug trafficking organizations, when we're talking about other types of transnational criminal organizations that derive their- their-money from illicit activities, at the end of the day, it's- it's-hard, hard cash. And I mean, there are truckloads of cash that move around various parts of, whether it's regionally or country specific that they get moved around and ultimately introduced into the financial system. And then it gets a little tricky as it relates to the different types of vehicles and whatnot to further obfuscate the paper trail.

But. I mean, that's what's going on at scale from a real money laundering standpoint. I think we often get a little confused with some of the single incidents where you see 1956, 1957, 1960, these are federal statutes for money laundering, those charges, being brought against perpetrators here in the US. Those are very narrow case-by-case versus the money laundering problem as it exists today, arguably to even the fraud problem as it exists today. How that type of, those large sums of money get vacuumed out of the system based off of the type of frauds that take place. So that's, what's really going on. So I guess if again, I'm not, I didn't, I haven't watched a lot of these, but if there's large amounts of money in hard currency form moving around and you have lawyers and accountants and whatnot involved, then it's an accurate portrayal. That's how it happens. 

Steve: It certainly is storage lockers full of stacked pallets of cash and duffel bags and in describing the the real world side of it I guess the one thing I- I-don't really like about watching the show now is you end up rooting for the bad guy in a way, because they're the main character of the show. But in reality, these are the evils of the world. You know, the drug trafficking, human trafficking, [Vic: Yeah] it's funding terrorism. It's doing really bad things. And so we certainly need to stop that. 

Well- well-Vic, we're- we're-coming up on time and we talked a little bit about what's going to happen in 2024. When we play ahead the next few years and sink through the rest of the 2020s, and we look at the intersection of RegTech compliance. There's a field that's fraud and anti-money laundering, They call FRAML. Where do you see this evolving in the next, let's say, five years? 

Vic: In the, in the next five years, I think we'll still see an element of status quo amongst a lot of parts that make up the ecosystem. I think in other parts, you will see real progress or progression moving forward, adopting various types of advanced technologies, organizing more strategically. And I think it's just going to be, unfortunately, a very slow play beyond that over the decades ahead of us as it relates to a completely modernized ecosystem where we're pulling all the necessary levers in order to most effectively combat this big problem of financial crime and all its underlying issues from drug to human trafficking and the list goes on. Right? So, that might sound dismal, but at the end of the day, I think we should take some level of optimism around steps being taken. It's just, again, it's a pace issue for our industry and a lot of that ties back to the fact that we have government and governments involved, which obviously move at a super slow pace.. 

Steve: Yeah, fraud and financial criminals move at the pace of innovation. Governments move at the pace of governments, some faster than others. That's- that's-a great perspective. 

Well if you've seen any of these episodes, Vic, in executive series, I like to go a little bit beyond the LinkedIn profile or the website of the person.

I was doing research on you and I followed some of your posts on LinkedIn. You talked about moving your family out of its comfort zone. You were based in Arizona, you're now in Utah. Can you share more about the move and what you like to do in Utah? 

Vic: Yeah, maybe just tying it back to, that mindset shift. So risk taking, trying to, I don't know if you mentioned this, but again, big family. So young family trying to teach them resilience trying to encourage risk taking, trying to provide, more unconventional experiences. Yeah, it's been great. Big fan of Arizona. We still own a home there. But Utah has been a, a really good change for us. Lots of outdoor recreational activity, a little climate change. I think we were talking about before, and just, we've always been city dwellers, I guess, bring tying it back to living in big cities that was also part of the experience for our children, but now is the right timing to give them a little slower pace. And give them, a different experience on you know, from a more rural perspective than the inner city living.

Steve: And I think it said family of seven, right? You have a large young family.  

Vic: Yep, yep. Five kids, two to eight is our age range. So four girls and a boy.  

Steve: It's almost a full baseball team, Vic. You have everyone's positions figured out. So you go…

Vic: We have stopped, the family- the family-is complete. I'll note that. So we're, we're going to come up a few short, but we do get those types of activities in place. We have, the numbers are in our favor for- for-sports, for other types of activities. It does present challenges, we're a big traveling family, but again, that part of the resilience factor. So we take them across country. We- we- we-have some foreign travel plans. So it's exciting stuff to operate this type of a household. 

Steve: Amazing. Amazing. Well, as we wrap up for today, for those that are watching or listening to this, what type of conversations would you like to have? Like, how should they reach out to you about what topics? 

Vic: Yeah, so, I mean, on LinkedIn specifically, or if I'm at any type of event, I am a completely open networker in terms of I just love interacting with people in the sense of having, good intellectual conversations also with a mix of just generally getting to know people. Where they're from, where they're from, what perspectives they- they-might have on a host of issues. But naturally, you know, my- my-background, my- my-business and all focuses on this financial crime space. Love having big picture conversations around the strategy components. Love the business aspect of things as well.

So any and all are welcome to reach out. Even I hold on Thursdays, sort of open hours, in a block of time where a lot of times I'll get folks that are in their year one as a young analyst and are just looking for a little career perspective and advice. And I'm happy to give back and share any advice and guidance that I can to those folks.

Steve: That's great. And now you just, refresh my memory. That's how we met. I reached out via your office hours and just randomly booked time with you to chat. So it does work, yeah. 

Vic: Absolutely, absolutely. I, I've, I think I've done, it's well over a hundred since I put that into place last year and, no regrets on that. I've met some great people to include yourself and great things come from it. And I just hope that some of the folks that I have been able to give some guidance to and whatnot that it's worked for them; it's had some sort of impact. 

Steve: Right on, right on. Well, I'll put the link to your LinkedIn profile, to the scheduler, to your website. So if you're wanting to know more about financial crime, you need support from Vic and his team, that's how you get it. 

Thank you so much, Vic, for taking the time to speak with me. I really enjoyed this podcast episode. I look forward to your series. So I'm going to listen to every single one of those. So thanks for putting those out. 

Vic: Hey, thanks brother. Thanks for having me, Steve. Have a great day.

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