Ahead of the IDENTITY.i Virtual Summit we talked to our guest speaker, Thomas Mangine - the VP and Chief of Special Investigations at Bank of Montreal.
CGG: Could you tell us a little about the session you're presenting at IDENTITY.i?
TM: I will be talking about how Money-Laundering and Terrorist-Financing continue to evolve. With the global spread of CVD-19, these activities have adapted to the situation. It is important that we recognize that not every illicit actor (whether they are a fraudster, narcotrafficker, human trafficker or terrorist) will be affected the same way – the virus is impacting various nations and industries differently. With respect to the impact of the virus on their activities, Illicit actors will fall somewhere on a spectrum – from limited to significant impact, and they will adapt accordingly. In my webinar, we will discuss some trends we have seen emerging in moving illicit funds and the associated indicators of this activity, but also the principles that will be critical to identifying and preventing illegal activity going forward – both in the short-term and long-term.
CGG: What are some of the new threats that you've seen emerge as a result of the COVID-19 crisis?
TM: Crime follows Commerce. We knew that illicit actors would establish fraudulent charities and they have. Criminals also quickly adapted to defraud governments distributing assistance, merchants trying to find basic household items that were in high demand and ordinary citizens seeking Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – using email, text messages and cold calls to support their efforts. The one thing that surprised me the most was the volume and sophistication of cyberattacks against financial institutions.
CGG: What strategies is BMO implementing to help customers navigate/overcome these uncertain times?
TM: I think the most important thing that my Bank did was communicate – both with clients and employees. This allays people's fears which allows everyone to think clearly. Getting people involved in dialogue early is critical for effective collaboration – that is important for working with your clients to meet their needs as well as bringing cross-functional teams together to face current challenges.
CGG: Why would you recommend delegates attend IDENTITY.i and what are you most looking forward to at the Virtual Summit?
TM: This virus and its effects are not going to pass slowly or without consequence. The initial shock of the pandemic impacted all of our plans. I think the Virtual Summit is an important step towards helping us reengage with each other. Forums such as IDENTITY.i grant us a unique opportunity to share our ideas and perspectives as well as ask our questions – which is critical to preparing for current and future challenges. I am most looking forward to the questions of fellow attendees – I have my experiences and opinions but I am very interested in learning what others in the financial industry, particularly, those outside the US are experiencing and what actions they are taking to adapt to the new environment.
To learn more from Thomas Mangine and other experts at IDENTITY.i, register here to attend the Virtual Summit.
For more information about IDENTITY.i and to download the agenda: Click Here
Tom is Vice President, AML Governance and Chief of Special Investigations for Capital Markets at BMO. His responsibilities include conducting Targeted and Enhanced Due Diligence (TEDD) investigations into clients, counterparties and correspondents; coordinating efforts with the Bank’s CyberSecurity Operations Center; and advising members of Capital Markets regarding threats inherent in the geographies and industries in which they operate – particularly in the Cannabis and Nuclear industries. Tom conducted visits to potential clients in South America to conduct risk assessments as BMO entered the Cannabis market. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Defense’s Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), teaching classes on terrorist-financing, money-laundering and cybersecurity. In this role, he has supported multinational outreach programs by presenting classes on financial crime to law enforcement and military personnel across Eastern Europe as well as the Middle East.
Tom joined the Bank after more than twenty years with the US Army where he served on six continents – including deployments to the Balkans, Central Asia, Horn of Africa, Middle East and North Africa. Tom earned a BS in Political Science from the United States Military Academy as well as an MA in International Relations and Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School. He speaks Arabic, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Spanish.