Annual awards 2023: Compliance and risk winners

Three of our top exam performers tell us about their journey and motivation
by Lauren Johnson, CISI copywriter 

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Become a member today On 29 March 2023, the Institute will hold its hybrid annual awards at Mansion House in London. The event, hosted by BBC news broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, will acknowledge and celebrate 104 award winners across 23 regions for their success in subjects ranging from the foundational through to the professional level. 

This year there are eight winners in the compliance and risk categories. Exams the CISI offers in this pathway cover financial crime, global financial compliance, risk in financial services, climate risk, regulation, and integrity.

We spoke to three winners to find out how they started, how they are managing in their current job roles and where they are headed.

Matt Hall MCSI
Senior compliance manager, Endless LLP

Winner: level 6 Diploma in Investment Compliance

Attaining this high-level diploma has been an eye-opener for Matt, who already had ten plus years’ experience in compliance when he began his study. He was able to broaden his technical knowledge in specialist areas, including high-risk products such as crypto. "The exam itself forces you to think outside the box and apply a more diverse and ethical understanding of regulatory compliance," he says. This has enabled him to interpret risk topics in a more dynamic way. For example, rather than simply reviewing regulations, he now considers the impact of risk on a business as a whole and therefore can interpret what may need to change.

Matt has always been interested in finance, but it was a presentation that he saw while studying for his law degree at university that compelled him to join the sector. It covered details about scholarships by the ‘Mountbatten Program’ for, according to its site, “ambitious recent graduates and young professionals looking to build a distinctive resume”. Matt heard about potential work placements and the companies he could work for as well as skills he would take away from it. As a result, he applied and secured a scholarship placement as a paralegal intern at UBS in New York. In this role he largely dealt with monitoring transactional documents for structured products. He hasn’t looked back since.

Matt’s current role includes managing the firm’s monitoring and training programme, and interpreting and applying new laws and regulation, which is a particularly busy area in the current market. He is also a CISI mentor.

Matt will continue his professional development by working through our Professional Refreshers, watching CISI TV, and attending events and webinars on all things compliance. 

Dalisha Patel
Compliance assistance vice president, Greenstone Equity Partners

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Winner: level 3 Global Financial Compliance

Dalisha relocated from London to Dubai in September 2021 to take on her current role, in which she is responsible for promoting alternative investment funds, specifically to institutional investors in the Gulf regions. She began studying for our qualification as her job demands a comprehensive understanding of the diverse regulatory landscape and the ability to keep well-informed of any changes or developments in the sector. “I was motivated to enhance my professional standing and stay competitive in the industry," she says.

Obtaining the Global Financial Compliance certificate meant that she could deepen her expertise in the subject and apply it on an international level. Furthermore, it brought her exposure to the local financial regulations in the UAE, and provided a comparative perspective on the UK, EU, and US.

Self-study is just a part of Dalisha’s professional growth. Intent on staying aware of the bigger picture, she networks with compliance colleagues who regularly exchange ideas, discuss current issues, and keep abreast of any upcoming regulatory changes. She also has a bachelor’s degree in economics and law from the University of Leicester.

Dalisha plans to remain at the forefront of the sector. Her long-term ambition is to continue to help companies make the right decisions with regards to ethics and compliance, specifically in business management and growth. She hopes to see colleagues at all levels, including stakeholders, realise the value that compliance measures bring in the smooth running of an organisation and to wider society. 

Shamwail Sohail
Chief compliance officer, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Pakistan

Winner: level 3 Combating Financial Crime

Shamwail’s progression into the financial services sector has been natural, he says. After completing his bachelor’s degree in commerce in 2008 at Hailey College of Commerce in Lahore, he joined the State Bank of Pakistan in 2010. He continued his studies while working at the bank, completing his master’s degree in finance at the Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology in 2014. He then went on to obtain roles in other banks in Pakistan.

To continue the momentum, Shamwail chose to take our qualifications after discovering they would provide “legitimate insight into UK regulations”. He began with the level 3 Introduction to Investment in 2021, then the level 3 Combating Financial Crime in 2022. Next, he plans to achieve our level 6 Diploma in Investment Compliance. Shamwail values his certificates, seeing them as a benchmark to follow and implement in his organisation.

Like Dalisha, Shamwail employs a universal view in his work: "I am always interested to learn about regulations and how they apply in other countries". He says that his study has helped him do this. It has also enabled him to form a more holistic picture of global standards in mature financial markets – knowledge which he applies locally in his job role.

His current role can at times be quite challenging, particularly when managing and communicating with regulators against various timelines. He also says that managing sanctions and anti-money laundering compliance risk is no small feat.

To better his professional standing outside of the CISI learning resources, Shamwail views webinars and attends conferences in addition to reading articles and research papers produced by international financial organisations. He hopes to work as a freelance consultant on regulation and financial crime compliance for local and international organisations in future.

Congratulations to all of our award winners for their extraordinary accomplishments.

Published: 24 Feb 2023
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