AsiaVerify is pleased to introduce Joanna Wands, aka Mirabel

News , People

Joanna Wands ProfileWelcome Jo to AsiaVerify

Joanna Wands has over 15 years of experience in RegTech, working with companies across EMEA and APAC to implement solutions that manage compliance risks and improve business processes. She is passionate about financial crime prevention and focuses on helping businesses better understand who they are working with the Asian markets.

We sat down with Jo and asked her some questions about her decision and journey to come on onboard AsiaVerify.

Tell us a little bit about your background – where you started off to where you are now in your career?

My career has involved working for providers of solutions across ‘GRC’ in many corners of the world. I’ve loved watching technologies evolve from simply meeting regulatory requirements to digitalising processes that free up time for strategic work. When I started at Complinet in London, compliance and AML were gaining executive focus, and then the GFC accelerated the need for solutions that helped firms to stay on top of the pressures that came with increased regulation. Thomson Reuters acquired Complinet and I relocated to Sydney, where I managed the Risk portfolio with banks across APAC. It was a fantastic experience travelling across the region, hearing first-hand how different jurisdictions viewed and managed their risks. When I joined RISQ Group, I went from a 50,000 to 20-person firm where I was responsible for delivering our go-to-market strategy in Australia, thankfully with the support of a tremendously talented team. I returned to the UK where I worked for SAI360 before returning to Thomson Reuters. I’ve always been fortunate to work with great people and have made life-long friends in every job. I love the variety of working with different organisations, hearing their stories, and trying to solve the problems that keep their people up at night. Data and new technologies can offer real business efficiency gains; there are so many exciting innovations that are creating great outcomes for firms.

What inspires you to work for a cause/company/business? – What did you find in AV in this case?

We’re operating in an interesting time geopolitically where minds have refocused on the wider role of AML, and the impact bad actors have on society. Financial crime professionals have a tough enough job and I feel if you can make the element that should be simple ‘simple’, more time is freed up to dedicate to complexity – which means less criminal money entering the financial system and more criminals being caught. AsiaVerify is an exciting opportunity to make the simple part ‘simple’ – conducting checks against live data in real-time and translating it takes away a lot of needlessly onerous work. I believe small actions contribute to big impacts.

What are you looking forward to bringing to AsiaVerify?

For the market, my aim is to identify and connect with businesses that will see efficiency gains and financial benefit from utilising AsiaVerify’s services. For the team, I’m hoping to bring many shared successes and have a lot of fun along the way.

Could you share with us one approach to work that has helped you in your career?

It’s important to see each role as a marathon rather than a sprint, so you have to keep your eye on the end goal and learn from short term setbacks rather than let them get you down. Knowing how to decompress is essential to staying effective and positive; you work best when you’re in a good place yourself. I find running or wine work wonders for me!

Could you share what you like to do outside of work?

I love a fitness challenge but with a young family, softplay is the new Tough Mudder! My husband and I have always loved travel and the outdoors so we’re making our family into a team of explorers.

If you were to describe yourself as a cartoon character, who would that be and why?

We’ve had a recent Encanto obsession in the house so I’d say I’m an aspiring Mirabel. She doesn’t have a particular gift but supports and brings out the best in all her gifted family members. I’ll be trying my best to channel her in my new role at AsiaVerify.

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