Nikhil Aggarwal is Head of Financial Crime Compliance Analytics at Standard Chartered. He has 17 years of international experience, spanning Corporate/Institutional, and private and retail Banking across financial crime compliance, operations, credit risk and marketing analytics.
We sat down with him.
How did you get started in finance?
My interest in numbers led me to pursue a “quantitative journey” during my undergraduate years; I obtained degrees in finance and economics. My first job was at Johnson and Johnson, and crunching financial statements was instrumental in my developing an appreciation for business drivers. Graduate school and business school broadened my perspective, and I branched out into analytics. Moving from marketing analytics to credit risk analytics to operations analytics to now compliance analytics has allowed me to focus on different sections of the PNL. This has reaffirmed my belief in the interconnected role of finance.
What unique challenges have you faced within your industry/in your current role/current company?
Recent regulatory scrutiny and enforcement, and their direct impact to the bottom line have resulted in banks building and bolstering their compliance and, in particular, financial crime compliance analytics capabilities. As a data scientist, my responsibility is to mine the data to find unusual financial activity. The core challenge is to translate qualitative hypotheses into robust predictive models. You have to be able to proactively identify and mitigate risks while minimizing the 'noise' that comes out of your models.
To what extent have you seen the finance function further integrate with other areas of the business in recent years?
As different areas of the business build out comprehensive data and reporting routines, it’s evident that strategy decisions are backed up by robust data insights and analytics. The finance function serves as a lynchpin to connect other areas that often times focus on specific revenue and expense levers. We see more holistic and well-thought out budget and plan conversations as the finance function leads the way in the convergence of the top-down and bottoms-up perspectives.
What will you be discussing in your presentation?
I will start by presenting a summary of Financial Crime Compliance analytics and discuss key use cases range from crafting visual dashboards, conducting an enterprise-wide risk assessment to designing detection scenarios and alert risk scoring models.
I will then extend the approach and techniques presented to the Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) function by building out a three-stage roadmap encompassing data processes, robust MIS routines and deploying advanced analytics.
You can hear more from Nikhil at FP&A Innovation, taking place in San Diego this February 16–17.