Financial Crime Compliance, Nathalie Schinzig

Nathalie Schinzig

The multicultural and Financial Crime Compliance Nathalie Schinzig, is an inspiration for those who already know her. She was born in the land of roses and rose oil, Bulgaria. Due to her parent’s professional life, Nathalie left Bulgaria when she was 10 years old. She lived in different countries and has triple citizenship – Swiss, French and Bulgarian.

When it comes to her daily job, Nathalie is qualified in Financial Crime Compliance and has many years of experience in the wealth management industry, private banking, and advisory services. 

Currently, she is the Head of Compliance of one of the biggest and oldest Trust and Corporate Service Provider (TCSP) in the Principality. 

Being a Compliance leader isn’t for the fainthearted. It’s a tough job with high risks that I never take lightly. Penalties for non-compliance often fall squarely on the shoulders of the Compliance leader and personal liability should be a concern. 

I have to say that being a Compliance leader takes nerves of steel and copious amounts of patience and persistence, not to mention high levels of functional organisation and self-motivation.

I love this job as there is absolutely no typical day, no routine! My role as head of Compliance is extremely diverse and, as the compliance burden increases and families become more global, the challenge of the position becomes ever greater.

Nathalie Schinzig
Nathalie Schinzig

What does compliance do in Monaco?

From an Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) perspective, the Compliance Officers (COs) in Monaco do the same as their colleagues in other jurisdictions as the requirements are the same for everyone. The job of CO depends on the industry and the level of the position. 

As a few example, a CO in a TCSP field  gives advice to colleagues regarding financial and AML/CFT regulations, the on-boarding of a new client, the screening of existing clients, assessing regulatory risks, reviewing client files, reviewing press articles, preparation and revision of procedure manuals, organising training sessions with client-facing staff on AML/CFT regulations, and the list goes on.

I would say that today, keeping abreast and keeping staff informed of the ever-evolving and changing environment is one of the most challenging aspects for each Compliance team.

It’s important to mention that we have the Monégasque Association of Compliance Officers, AMCO, with the purpose of bringing together all the Compliance Officers of the Principality. 

I am a member of the Association and can say that it is very active, and is a great space for meetings and collaboration, where the Monégasque COs can exchange best practices, discover new approaches, and actively contribute to the implementation of effective compliance measures.

Founded in 2000, today AMCO has more than 220 members who represent more than 12 different professional sectors (Banks, Wealth Management Companies, TCSP & Multi Family Office (MFO), Lawyers, Legal Advisers, Accountants, Real Estate Agents, Yacht Brokers, Sports Agents, Insurers, Casinos, Consultants, etc.). 

We have five different Committees split per sector, I am the Administrator of the TCSP & MFO Committee.

Can you describe a typical workday?

A day may consist of preparing and presenting compliance reports to the management; interacting with regulators (local and in other jurisdictions) on compliance issues; coordinating efforts related to audits, reviews, and examinations; developing policies and programs that encourage managers and employees to report suspected fraud and other crimes, without fear of retaliation; coordinating internal compliance reviews and monitoring activities, including periodic reviews; independently investigating and acting on matters related to compliance; preparing and filing Automatic Exchange of Information reports (CRS/FATCA); monitoring external review processes; providing guidance, advice, and Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism training to the staff.

Amongst those mentioned above, my responsibilities include staying abreast of the many changes in tax and international fiduciary structuring developments.

Every day brings a new challenge, which I am always ready to meet.

What do you think about the recent MONEYVAL report?

The latest Moneyval report encourages Monaco to intensify its efforts in the investigation and prosecution of money laundering, the confiscation and recovery of proceeds of crime, and strengthen its supervisory system, adding that the country has demonstrated a moderate level of effectiveness.

I agree with the conclusions of the Moneyval report on this point. 

This is the reason why the government passed various texts of legislation in December 2022 and this year allowing Monégasque legislation to comply with European standards in this area, in particular, the law on the fight against money laundering, the financing of terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the law on the preliminary investigation, on the seizure and confiscation of criminal assets or international cooperation in criminal matters. These texts will enter into force very soon.

Compliance professionals in all sectors are under huge pressure and we are doing our best to prevent the Principality of Monaco from being placed on a grey list.

Nathalie is a strong role model who has never been afraid of the challenges in life, especially when it is about raising positive awareness for deeper problems. 

Therefore, we wish all the success for her International Compliance Conference dedicated to the fight against Human Trafficking, Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing and their relation to the financial world event in 2024.

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