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GRC Professional : GRC Spring 2012
40 GRC Professional • Spring 2012 END NOTE My career » Did you set out to have a career in compliance? I studied science/law with a double major and honours in psychology. While working at a listed asset manager in 1991 ASC (now ASIC) wanted to know who the compliance officer was. As I was general counsel it was decided it was me and most of my industry colleagues. I was active in the fledgling Australian compliance industry and on the steering committee that formed the ACPA, later ACI - being president in 2000 and 2001 and a Life member from 2003. » Describe your role at ING? I develop the strategy and business plan for the management of compliance risk, get board approval and budget, work with internal and external stakeholders, and lead the functional line of approximately 700 compliance professionals in our offices across 40 countries. I also deal with escalated issues, and if needed, veto actions or requests. » Why did you move from Australia to the Netherlands? I joined ING in Australia in 2003 as general counsel and chief risk officer. In 2006 I was invited to apply for the group chief compliance officer role at head office and was the successful candidate. In 2007 I moved with my husband and three children to Amsterdam. » What lessons have you learned from the GFC? The biggest lesson was about "trust" -- from customers, shareholders, regulators and others - easily lost but hard to regain. Regaining or sustaining trust features in visions, missions and/or the communications across all sectors. In some cases it translates into integrity and ethics messages and programs to change or sustain culture. I believe having the right culture is vital to drive desired behaviours but without systems and tools to support the management of risk, sustainable outcomes are pipe dreams. » What is the most challenging part of your job? Finding a way to get all of the essential jobs done when laws and regulations are constantly increasing. Managing the cost to income ratio requires approaching my job differently to get better results for less cost. » What part of the job do you enjoy most? Developing business focused strategies to implement new requirements, solving problems, improving processes, building relationships, and leading my team excites me. As does visiting our businesses and taking best practices back to head office to share globally. Most of all, I like to see staff develop, succeed in their work and personal goals and have fun along the way. » What are the most important skills and traits someone considering a career in compliance needs to succeed? You need passion, persistence, personal integrity and courage to raise difficult questions and unpopular topics -- and have a sense of humour. ••• HEATHER LOEWENTHAL Heather Loewenthal, Chief Compliance Officer of ING Group, based in the head office in the Netherlands, has a global mission. I believe the right culture is vital to drive desired behaviours but without systems and tools to support the management of risk sustainable outcomes are pipe dreams.
GRC Winter 2012
GRC Summer 2013