I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it – well, not for much longer. As you read this, I am making my way to Brussels – to attend a conference at the European Commission! Those of you who know me well will be aware of how I have longed to move closer to the heart of AML – to learn more, of course, but mainly so that I can perhaps make a minute, miniscule, microscopic contribution to the shaping of AML requirements. I would dearly love to be able to do my bit to help MLROs by explaining at the design stage what is it like to live with these pronouncements; after two decades of “like it or lump it”, I’m hoping to move fractionally closer to the moulding of the lumps. I’m under no illusions that I am going to set the AML world on fire at this conference, but I do have a couple of questions that – should the opportunity arise – I would like to ask.
So just how did I wangle my way into such elite AML company? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. An invitation from the organisers arrived by email, and I can only assume that – through diligent response to all consultations and generally sticking my oar in whenever possible – I have somehow made it on to an emailing list. The invitation said “Let us know if you’re interested” and readers, I nearly bit their hand off. My Eurostar ticket was booked before you could say “beneficial ownership”. And for me there is an added incentive – as if being at an AML conference and surrounded by chocolate were not enough for any woman. I was born in Brussels, just around the corner from the conference venue, and I haven’t seen the place since I was two. There can’t be many business trips that encompass financial crime and maternity hospitals, but this is just such a one. I’ll tell you all about it next week.