Projects and Experience

Intro to Projects and Experience

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Kathleen Gowin’s first-hand experience in the financial industry led to her expertise in KYC and AML. She led global projects for a major financial institution protecting its assets from the financial crisis of the 2008 financial collapse. Following acquisitions, she consolidated operational platforms to improve controls and reduce expenses. In the environment immediately following the financial collapse, she led her divisions to revenue growth in the face of increased regulatory pressures.

Projects and Experience

Developed innovative solution for address quality for wire transfers to meet AML controls. Regulators are signaling potential changes to wire transfer operations by requiring complete and valid addresses for both the sender and the receiver. Kathleen developed a new solution to meet evolving AML regulations for both wholesale payments and cross-border payments.   She designed use cases to measure effectiveness of address validation and presented the solution to senior members of the Federal Reserve Board Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Committee. (Pitney Bowes 2014)

Drove correspondent bank client selection strategy to “de-risk” the portfolio. Kathleen coordinated with Global Financial Crimes team to create a profile of an “acceptable” correspondent banking client using FATF risk-based approach. Developed a scoring process based on country, products used, credit risk rating, and other variables. She drove a multi-division project team which reviewed each of 2,400 correspondent bank relationships then exited 900+ which scored outside acceptable risk parameters. (Bank of America 2011)

Cash and Banknotes business in Mexico challenged by the DEA. The DEA asked Bank of America to consider exiting the cash and Banknotes business in Mexico because of suspected money laundering of drug proceeds. The Hacienda of Mexico panicked saying an exit by BAC would cause economic stress in Mexico. Then Fed Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, intervened to ask BAC to carefully consider its decision. The Federal Reserve of New York is the agency responsible for USD circulation outside the US. The tug-of-war between politics, law enforcement and regulators put BAC in the middle. Kathleen, the Global Wholesale Banknotes Executive, quickly pulled together a cross-divisional internal team from Legal, Compliance, Ops Risk and Regulatory Relations to review the DEA request. She instituted a unique, enhanced due diligence process for the six banks in Mexico using BAC Banknotes, created enhanced transaction reporting for Mexico-US transactions and tightened operational controls. She met with US and Mexican regulators to present new controls and gain their support. BAC made the decision to remain in Mexico, thereby averting a regional economic crisis. Because of the additional controls, within six months, her team expanded Cash and Banknotes to include a seventh bank in Mexico. (Bank of America 2010)

Drove global expansion for Cash and Banknotes -- 43% growth in 2011.   Two major competitors forced to exit the Banknotes business due to AML violations. Navigated Risk and Compliance governance committees to alleviate concerns related to AML operational controls. Developed relationships with Regulators in the US, Europe and Mexico to dialogue on AML regulations. Instituted Global Operating Committee to monitor AML risk and operational risk. (Bank of America 2010-2011)

Developed innovative solution for AML in wire transfers. Regulators are signaling coming changes to wire transfers by requiring complete and valid addresses for both the sender and the receiver. Developed a new solution to meet evolving AML regulations for wholesale payments and cross-border payments.   Designed use cases to measure effectiveness of address validation. Presented solution to the Federal Reserve Board Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Committee. (Pitney Bowes 2014)

Strategy to reduce from three Controlled Disbursement Platforms to one. When NationsBank and Bank of America merged, there were three CD platforms supporting commercial clients from small business to global 100. As Product Management Executive, Kathleen led the effort to evaluate each platform for feature/functionality, identified client impacts to transitioning to a single platform and managed the vendor selection process for the ultimate solution. Kathleen executed the strategy which led to the transition of clients to the target solution. Communications to clients was a critical component to the transition so each understood how functionality changed and how to prepare for the transition. (Bank of America 2001)

Mitigated counter-party risk issues in 2008 financial collapse, reset daylight overdraft and ACH limits, and eliminated $9 billion in risk exposure. Led cross-functional team to design and implement overdraft monitoring system requirements now standard in the Corporate and Commercial Bank. Achieved zero Treasury Management losses in the collapse while modifying client behaviors and tailoring strategies to align with new risk paradigm. (Bank of America 2008-2009)

 Drove global expansion for Banknotes product resulting in 43% growth in 2011.   Two major competitors recently exited the Banknotes business due to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) issues. Conceived a strategy to capture market share. Navigated Risk and Compliance governance committees to alleviate concerns related to operational controls and AML monitoring procedures. Expanded relationships with five Regulators to gain commitment for global expansion strategy. Introduced enhancements to detect anomalies in client buying patterns and added multiple language capabilities for the web-based delivery channel. Instituted Global Operating Committee to monitor market risk and operational risk. Banknotes are the physical currency consumers carry in their wallets. Bank of America distributes $100 billion in Banknotes in 120 currencies to banks in 74 countries from 13 vaults around the world. (Bank of America 2009-2011)

Drove global expansion for Banknotes product resulting in 43% growth in 2011.   Two major competitors recently exited the Banknotes business due to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) issues. Conceived a strategy to capture market share. Navigated Risk and Compliance governance committees to alleviate concerns related to operational controls and AML monitoring procedures. Expanded relationships with five Regulators to gain commitment for global expansion strategy. Introduced enhancements to detect anomalies in client buying patterns and added multiple language capabilities for the web-based delivery channel. Instituted Global Operating Committee to monitor market risk and operational risk. Banknotes are the physical currency consumers carry in their wallets. Bank of America distributes $100 billion in Banknotes in 120 currencies to banks in 74 countries from 13 vaults around the world. (Bank of America 2009-2011)

Developed pricing strategy for Merchant Services to simplify approach. As head of Product Management, Kathleen observed multiple pricing strategies and pricing events in the line of business. She drove an effort to simplify pricing events by categorizing each merchant according to SIC code, average ticket size and total transaction volume. Greatly reduced calls to the customer support line from merchants. (Bank of America 2002)

Developed tools to drive sales strategies in new and under-penetrated markets. Used data-mining techniques and industry research to identify 22 growth segments. Developed tools to define peer group product utilization to identify cross-sell target lists. Created product usage velocity reports to direct calling efforts. Aligned sales staff to growth segments. Partnered with Corporate Bankers to develop Alternative Asset Managers business development strategy. (Bank of America 2010)

Drove global expansion for Cash and Banknotes -- 43% growth in 2011.   Two major competitors forced to exit the Banknotes business due to AML violations. Navigated Risk and Compliance governance committees to alleviate concerns related to AML operational controls. Developed relationships with Regulators in the US, Europe and Mexico to dialogue on AML regulations. Instituted Global Operating Committee to monitor AML risk and operational risk. (Bank of America 2010-2011)

Redesigned sales analyst function resulting in 25% capacity gain and improved morale. Developed survey tool to measure variability in the current sales analyst function for 65 FTE. Improved morale by hosting focus groups of sales analysts to gain buy-in for the redesigned function. Developed a new set of competencies for the function with a companion on-line assessment tool to measure who is “ready now,” “ready with training,” and who “does not meet minimum requirements.”   Re-contracted with key partner groups to shift tasks from the sales analyst to other teams which resulted in a 25% improvement in capacity. Rewrote end-to-end business critical processes to drive efficiency for multiple partners groups.  (Bank of America 2011 Q2 - Q3)

 Developed innovative solution for AML in wire transfers. Regulators are signaling coming changes to wire transfers by requiring complete and valid addresses for both the sender and the receiver. Developed a new solution to meet evolving AML regulations for wholesale payments and cross-border payments.   Designed use cases to measure effectiveness of address validation. Presented solution to the Federal Reserve Board Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Committee. (Pitney Bowes 2014)

Cash and Banknotes business in Mexico challenged by the DEA. The DEA asked Bank of America to consider exiting the cash and Banknotes business in Mexico because of suspected money laundering of drug proceeds. The Hacienda of Mexico panicked saying an exit by BAC would cause economic stress in Mexico. Then Fed Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, intervened to ask BAC to carefully consider its decision. The Federal Reserve of New York is the agency responsible for USD circulation outside the US. The tug-of-war between politics, law enforcement and regulators put BAC in the middle. Kathleen, the Global Wholesale Banknotes Executive, quickly pulled together a cross-divisional internal team from Legal, Compliance, Ops Risk and Regulatory Relations to review the DEA request. She instituted a unique, enhanced due diligence process for the six banks in Mexico using BAC Banknotes, created enhanced transaction reporting for Mexico-US transactions and tightened operational controls. She met with US and Mexican regulators to present new controls and gain their support. BAC made the decision to remain in Mexico, thereby averting a regional economic crisis. Because of the additional controls, within six months, her team expanded Cash and Banknotes to include a seventh bank in Mexico. (Bank of America 2010)