5 Minutes With An Expert: Sam MacGeorge

An interview with Sam MacGeorge, CEO, Vigilance


Tell us a bit about your background, describe your current role and your responsibilities


Founder of two tech companies with 25 years experience solving business processing problems leveraging technology. CEO of Vigilance Ltd that has two best in class cloud solutions. One for protecting organisations from payment fraud and the other for Anti Money Laundry (AML) compliance. We see ourselves as digital crime fighters.


Note: We are rebranding our fraud protection product (VigilantPAY) and separating to a new website however this won’t be ready publication so better to avoid using old name for confusion.


What is the most rewarding part of your role?


Invitation and working with a great team to solve real customer problems.


What is your opinion on AML/CFT?


Aotearoa is not immune from organised crime, local or international so we need to protect NZ inc. While AML/CFT is seen as onerous from a compliance perspective the consequence of not having measures in place can impact any one of us.


What made you interested in AML and financial crime?


First hand experience drove me to protect others.


What is the most important thing you have learnt when it comes to AML?


AML/CFT is an ecosystem made up of many stakeholders that are interdependent and rely on each other to work effectively.


What are some of the biggest challenges in AML?


Identity theft, and maintaining effective compliance.


What would you consider the key thing people forget or do not understand when it comes to AML?


I’m not an auditor however often it’s the small things like not keeping an AML training register, or reviewing their compliance programme. If it isn’t documented then it didn’t happen, don’t wait until your audit to find you have a lot of retrospective work to do.


Do you think your sector adapted well to being under the AML/CFT Regime in New Zealand?


Quite well given the level of compliance needed.


How do you keep up to date with all things AML?


Same channels as reporting entities however we are in regular communications with a number key people in the industry. And we work closely with the DIA and FIU on projects.


What is the most rewarding part of working within your sector?


Making a real difference by improving and streamlining compliance processes.