Nat Stagg LLB, Operations Manager
When asked to write an article about my journey at Trust, Integrity and Compliance (TIC Co.), I must admit I was initially lost as to how to condense my diverse range of experiences into a cohesive and digestible piece. As one of the first members of the team, starting at the roll out of Phase 2, I had the opportunity to evolve and grow in tandem with both TIC Co. and the AML industry in New Zealand. I met Dr. Alice Tregunna in my role as a graduate teaching assistant in the Criminology department at the University of Auckland. After meeting with our founder Adam Hunt, I was inspired by his desire to do the right thing, seeing AML done well, as a way to have a positive impact in New Zealand.
Like many of those in the newly captured Designated Non- Financial Businesses and Professions, I first had to grapple with a suite of new acronyms. While every industry has its acronyms, AML seems to have a particular love of a three letter abbreviation. Initially employed as an AML Analyst, I quickly became fluent in AML, CDD and EDD, comfortable in conversing with our clients about the expectations of the DIA, FMA and FIU, along with what was the difference between a SAR and a STR anyway?
Growing with the Business
From here, many of my milestones mirrored those at the TIC Co. as well as developments in AML in New Zealand more broadly. October 2018 introduced me to a new type of client, accountants. The next real milestone was the preparation for the capture of Real Estate in January 2019. Our small team was swiftly expanding to support the high transaction volume expected to come with our new real estate clients. We partnered with Ray White to set up what was to be New Zealand’s largest Designated Business Groups (DBG). The DBG would outsource everything related to AML to us, providing a cost effective full service compliance solution. I was promoted to the role of analyst team lead, training our growing team to support our diverse, ever growing client base.
As TIC Co. grew I began to take on an ever more client facing role, delivering training series, consultancy pieces and providing one-on-one support to our clients. The development and deployment of our systems and AMLOnline Portal in mid 2019, streamlined our processes,
increased analyst efficiency and capacity, allowing us to onboard more clients. It also introduced me to partnering with IT professionals to develop tech forward compliance solutions for our clients as well as for internal use. Initially involved in a support role, I was eventually promoted to Operations Manager in late 2019.
The Challenge of COVID
Our big next challenge, like all companies around the world, was the COVID-19 lockdowns. Taking a risk averse approach, we moved our entire team to work from home prior to the level 4 announcement. Our team was able to continue supporting our clients remotely, introducing new products such as biometrics to facilitate client compliance in our new reality, largely uninterrupted. Perhaps even more important to me, was ensuring our team felt valued and supported as they adjusted to their lockdown lives. We held daily team meetings to retain a sense of connectivity and tried to inject a sense of fun when we could. With each new lockdown the transition to work from home became ever more seamless.
Following COVID, TIC Co. has gone from strength-to-strength, taking on large remediation projects and forming new strategic partnerships with like-minded companies. It has been an exciting experience being part of the TIC Co.’s journey to date and I look forward to seeing how it continues to develop and evolve in the years to come.
Read more from experts in the AML/CFT industry with '5 minutes with an expert: Rosalind Lazar' who shares her views on AML in New Zealand and her journey to becoming CAMS Regional AML Director APAC ACAMS.