When seasoned recruitment professionals Mike Morris and Mohammed Malik set out to disrupt traditional recruitment in the financial services and forensic industry, past experience had taught them what not to do.
Morris spearheaded recruitment for KPMG UK’s Risk Consulting practice and had connections while Malik had expertise in getting recruitment businesses off the ground, having recruited globally for more than a decade.
Their combined knowledge of the market, the competition, and importantly its flaws, would prove to be the winning formula for future-proofing businesses around the world.
“The forensic and technology challenge,” 3Point1 Consulting Director Sophie Wilkins tells The CEO Magazine, “is one of the fastest-growing concerns for businesses across the globe.”
As the widespread advancement and deployment of technology increases, so too does the demand for risk and compliance solutions that puts companies like 3Point1 Consulting in the spotlight.
In fact, Wilkins predicts that planning for this will be an integral step for every business looking to thrive over the coming decades.
“From a forensic and technology standpoint, we anticipate the deployment of AI and Machine Learning across every function of our banks, consulting firms and leading industry organizations,” Wilkins adds. “The biggest challenge however won’t be our clients using AI, it will be the bad guys – the people using it to continue to launder money, commit fraud and fund terrorism.”
An in-demand career
According to Wilkins, financial crime costs the world economy a staggering US$2.4 trillion every year, which alongside the increased prevalence of tech and the “regulatory minefield” businesses are facing, boils down to bringing in skilled talent.
So how exactly does the team at 3Point1 Consulting fight financial crime?
“In short terms – people are always a business’s biggest challenge, and we solve that,” says Operations Director Annalise Mackenzie-Mol, who together with Wilkins, leads the Australian arm of the business.
Having a global team with risk, compliance and technology industry experience places the company in an ideal position for solving the complex needs of organizations of all sizes.
“We spend a lot of time listening to our customers and researching industry specific materials, so that we can build strategic insight into the problems our customers will face tomorrow.” – Annalise Mackenzie-Mol
“It’s simple – we know our market and we engage with our network,” says Mackenzie-Mol. “We don’t try to be all things to all people. We are also not afraid to ask the difficult questions and be as transparent as possible with regards to the process.”
The secret, she says, is not to lose track of where your contacts are in the world and to consistently deliver promising results time and time again.
In stark contrast to the tick-box recruitment strategies that give the industry a bad rap, Mackenzie-Mol adds that the company’s growing presence on a global scale is largely a reflection of having a team of relatable, down-to-earth experts.
“We spend a lot of time listening to our customers and researching industry specific materials, so that we can build strategic insight into the problems our customers will face tomorrow,” she says.
3Point1 Consulting started out headquartered in London, but has since established roots in Australia and more recently the Middle East, with a view to entering the United States and Asia-Pacific markets.
But while the challenges for clients across these geographical locations remain the same, the learning curve for the 3Point1 leadership team has been steep.
“Regardless of the years of experience we may have, everyday is still a school day,” admits Wilkins.
It’s a predicament that countless founders would attest to when navigating the ups and downs of building a business that leads rather than follows.
“Setting up in Australia was fun and a challenge, especially getting to grips with the fact that each state is a law unto themselves,” recalls Wilkins. “However, trying to launch in the Middle East, with all the cultural and procedural nuances that come with it has been incredibly hard work.”
“Regardless of the years of experience we may have, everyday is still a school day.” – Sophie Wilkins
This is compounded by a need to keep-up-to-date with generational expectations and bridging the usual gap between client and candidate preferences.
“Nearly every client, no matter their location, has or will soon, experience the same challenges – finding skilled, available, candidates within the budget accessible for the project or role,” says Mackenzie-Mol.
As for terms like the ‘Great Resignation’ that circulate through the media, Mackenzie-Mol and Wilkins both agree that overcoming this is not so much about focusing on scarcity as it is about knowing where to find the right talent.
“We don’t use this jargon,” says Wilkins. “These buzzwords have come from patterns seen across the market, but at the heart of it; the skills are there and so is the need for them, you just need to know how to find them.”
With this in mind, keeping the human element front-of-mind is essential in preventing and disrupting financial crime. And, the good news is these are jobs that won’t go out of vogue anytime soon.
“What we do know is that the human element will remain integral to ensuring the smooth process of this technology, assisting customers where technology fails and ensuring we can help organizations protect their customers,” says Mackenzie-Mol.