Meet Vincenzo Pitrelli our Financial Crime Manager
Hi Vincenzo👋, great to chat with you today! Could you please introduce yourself in a sentence?
Hello everyone, I’m Vincenzo but my peers call me Papa Porcellino. Why? Because I’ve built the “Porcellini SAR investigation team” or “the King” which is a nickname given to me by the Financial Crime (FC) Director (check the photo if you don’t believe me 😀). I’m a Financial Crime Manager here at Tide and joined the team in July 2019. It has been a long journey but it’s been the best choice I’ve ever made in my career as it has given me the chance to build the whole FC team from scratch.
Papa Porcellino, what a great nickname! Tell us about what you were doing before Tide.
Before I joined Tide, I spent almost 7 years working in the money transfer and credit insurance sectors, where I oversaw the Anti-money laundering (AML) and compliance functions.
How did you cross paths with Tide?
One day, while I was reading the news and articles on LinkedIn, it came to my attention that Tide was looking for an FC team leader to join their newly-established FC team in Bulgaria. Once I understood the main requirements for the role and considered how exciting and ambitious the job description seemed to me, I did not hesitate for a single moment to make that dream my own. So I said to myself: why should I not send my application? After a few days I was contacted by Tide’s People Team and once the hiring process officially ended, I received the chance to join this wonderful organisation and be part of the FC team.
How would you explain your role to someone who isn’t familiar with your area?💡
Many companies that fail to ensure strong AML compliance might face penalties from local regulators. My role as the Financial Crime Manager is to develop and oversee the financial crime and fraud prevention framework, designed to ensure Tide is compliant and protected from the potential risks and losses from financial crime.
My team conducts in-depth financial crime investigations from the moment a member opens an account with us to, if it takes place, its closure. We take the appropriate action if any red flags are detected when an investigation is finalised.
To explain this simply, when there is a suspected case of money laundering or fraud as well as terrorism financing, my team is required to submit a suspicious activity report (SAR). A SAR is a critical resource for law enforcement in combatting terrorist financing, money laundering and any other financial crimes. It’s imperative that Tide understands how to craft compelling SAR narratives that offer optimal assistance to law enforcement agencies in Anti-Financial Crime investigations. I, along with my team members are fully committed to detecting and preventing these risks while meeting our regulatory compliance obligations more effectively.
What’s your favourite part of your role?
Working as a Financial Crime Manager is a huge responsibility and it’s definitely not an easy role. You must step into the perpetrators
shoes and start thinking the same way a criminal actor does. This is actually the main reason why Im still working in this business area, I find it very exciting to have a small, but important role in the war against crime, fraud, corruption and terrorism financing.
I strongly believe that the most important skill for a financial crime specialist is being able to focus on the details. We review large amounts of data and need to be sure we don’t miss anything relevant or that could slightly change the perspective of how we look at things. I also think it’s important to have strong problem-solving skills since many situations we encounter may not have an exact solution.
Finally, I believe it’s essential to have critical thinking skills so that we can effectively communicate with others and solve problems. My team at Tide plays a crucial role in tackling financial crime at all levels as we are required to catch any criminal activity which may be linked to the use of our corporate products and services, and at the same time we must make sure we are 100% compliant with the reporting obligations of the National Crime Agency.
What’s the most interesting challenge you’ve come across since you joined Tide?
Improving how Tide tackles the alerts that are generated from its transaction monitoring system is definitely one of the biggest challenges I came across in the last three years. In my opinion machine learning technology is the potential solution to reduce false positive ratio of alerts, and improve the way internal investigations are being conducted by the Tide FC team.
What made you want to join Tide?
Undoubtedly, the answer is the people. “People work for people – they do not work for businesses” is the mantra I`ve always followed in my professional career. It’s crucial for me to feel trusted and enabled by my line manager to make the right decision. This is what makes me feel empowered and motivated so that I can give the best of myself and keep mentoring my team.
How do you stay ahead in your field?
There are a range of professional qualifications that you can undertake that will help you to get into the AML compliance field. The benchmark Compliance qualification that is highly desired by employers is often the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) course. This was definitely one of the best choices I have made in my professional path so far, as it helped me a lot to get more knowledge and a more comprehensive understanding on how to prevent FC risks at all levels.
Additionally, I’ve recently completed another CAMS course particularly designated for fintech companies. To work in AML compliance you should definitely be passionate about conducting in-depth investigations and keeping up-to-date on industry trends. This is why I like to read multiple AML-related articles when I get the chance as well as try to attend online webinars to enhance my knowledge in the AML sphere.
Last question before you go! When you’re not at Tide, what’s your favourite thing to do? What’s your hidden talent that the team doesn’t know about? 😃
I love to travel, discovering new places, new traditions and new cultures. I speak three languages and have visited more than 30 different countries, pretty cool, isn’t it? Me and my wife like nothing more than to wander through small streets and supposedly get lost. This is how we usually discover the nicest spots.
Also, football is my passion and I am literally addicted to the game. Every two weeks I go to the stadium to support my hometown team which is Cosenza Calcio, screaming like crazy – “we will never be beyond that stage”. It’s my way of paying homage to one of my favourite books – Fever Pitch.