16+ Years of Compliance With Nadine Ghosn Eid
What does your main role as the Head of Compliance at areeba entail? And what challenges have you faced – or still face – as the first woman in Lebanon to hold a senior position as a compliance executive in the cards industry, with more than 16 years of experience in the field?
As Head of Compliance, I am responsible for maintaining the company’s legal and ethical integrity, and advise the Board of Directors about Compliance matters. My main role is to make sure that the company and its employees comply with the international rules, the industry regulations, as well as the internal policies.
Being a leader is in itself a challenge for me: in addition to its responsibilities, leadership carries with it many challenges such as continuously motivating my team, leading them to higher levels, communicating the Vision, and setting the example. As a leader, I have to motivate myself as well, be enthusiastic about what I am doing, and maintain effectiveness all the time, while avoiding burnout.
What is the “cherry on top” that distinguishes areeba within the industry?
Its innovative approach of changing the way payments are made:
areeba is a financial technology company, a leading payment provider in Lebanon and the region that creates smarter, faster, and seamless means of payments for banks, financial institutions, merchants, governments, and individuals in order for them to take their businesses way further.
areeba is a Brand that all employees can be proud of!!
What horizons and leadership experiences has your current position – as the Head of Compliance at areeba – and field offered you, personally and professionally, that other positions and fields have not?
The structure of areeba, its culture as well as its path, have all offered me new horizons that are very different from what I was exposed to before: I feel valued and a core part of the whole team, I see great opportunities for me to grow and progress within the company, and most importantly, I am a part of an exceptional positive culture where hard work and contributions are very well appreciated.
In terms of leadership experience, my current position allowed me to look at the bigger picture, outline the steps I am taking to achieve my goals, get that reputation for knowing my stuff, and be on the leading edge of our industry. Our success as leaders is based on how we develop our skills, share our knowledge, empower others, and continue learning, and this is what my current position at areeba allowed me to develop.
What is the importance of raising awareness on Money Laundering and its negative impact on society?
Money laundering has potentially damaging economic, security, and social consequences. It provides drug dealers, terrorists, illegal arms dealers, corrupt public officials, and others, the opportunity to operate and broaden their criminal empires.
It is very important to raise awareness about money laundering in the Banking / Financial Sector to keep the international reputation of the banks corruption-free, and make sure that those banks are well informed and prepared, and really understand the way in which launderers think and act, in order to know how to fight them.
You have taken part in the ACAMS MENA Conference 2020, a global anti-money-laundering community that aims to end financial crime. Can you tell us more about this conference and your engagement thereof? What message did you aim to convey through this opportunity?
The ACAMS (Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists) 11th Annual AML & Anti-Financial Crime MENA Conference focused on the most important shifts in policy and regulation, examined Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Bribery & Corruption, and sanctions challenges affecting the region from a MENA practitioner perspective.
It was a great experience for me speaking in this conference, and participating in this very interactive and dynamic panel discussion about Anti-Money Laundering Hot Topics, whereby I presented my views about Payment Services Providers and the Impact of Regulatory Compliance on the Card Industry.
The message I aimed to convey through this opportunity is that Financial Institutions should continuously RAISE THE CULTURE OF COMPLIANCE. In addition, it would be wise to view compliance as something that helps our business rather than hinders it, especially as regulations continue to develop.
In all your years of operating in the Banking Sector, in what ways have you contributed to the growth and advancement of the field?
My work experience included innovation in many areas, whether in the field of Treasury and Private Banking or in the field of Compliance. This general passion for innovation contributed substantially in the growth of the various institutions I worked for, which are the rings that form this big chain called the Banking Sector.
How is the practice of ethical principles in Banking & Finance crucial to the development of any financial institution?
The role of ethics in Financial Management is to protect, balance, and preserve all stakeholders’ interests. Ethical Banking encourages Transparency, and establishes a set of principles and ideals to govern how Banks and Financial Institutions deal with their clients, their community, and the world in general.
Failure to apply these ethics can cost organizations time and money.
Can you tell us about the importance of compliance and data protection in any organization? Is it equally important to integrate them in our educational systems and include them in any educational entity’s curriculum?
Compliance is the adherence to laws, regulations, generally accepted practices, standards, and financial industry codes of conduct. It is important to ensure that businesses protect their information, have consistent continuity, and follow all governmental regulations. Enforcing compliance helps a company prevent and detect violations of rules, which protects it from fines and lawsuits.
As to Data Protection, it is the way companies safeguard and protect against any breach all the sensitive data that they deal with, in order to prevent this data from being misused by third parties for fraud, such as scams and identity theft. Safeguarding data from corruption and unauthorized access by internal or external people protects every company from financial losses, reputation damage, and loss of consumer trust.
It is important to note that Compliance and Data Protection are both growing fields of practice across multiple areas of Banking and Law. More and more, companies are now putting compliance risk and data protection among the most important corporate governance issues facing them. That is why, in my opinion, it is very important to integrate them in our educational systems and start teaching them as separate courses in universities, which is a project I am heavily working on for the moment with several universities in Lebanon and the Middle East.
Where do you see the world of Finance & Banking 10 years from now?
In 10 years from now, the world of Finance and Banking will be moving towards ongoing digital transformation, a dominance of FinTech companies, an increasing role of Artificial Intelligence and robotics, and a completely new and different concept of money.
As a woman in a male-dominated field, what are the difficulties you have faced to reach your goals?
As Gina Carey wrote: “A strong woman looks a challenge dead in the eye and gives it a wink”.
From the early days of my career, I was aware about the challenge of working in a male-dominated field, especially when I was heading the Treasury of a Lebanese Bank for 8 years, and was more than ready to take this challenge, and easily overcome it.
By working hard, believing in myself, being sharp, and knowing very well my field, I was able to handle conflicts, take on leadership roles, and let my voice be heard.
What roles do you wish women would take on more often in the banking sector?
Top Executive Positions such as a CEO of a Bank or a Financial Institution, or even a Governor of the Central Bank.
In your opinion, what can women bring to the table of Banking & Finance that men cannot?
We usually call Women the “Secret Weapon” of the financial world, due to their approach to risk, as they tend to take less risk than men do, a key to financial stability. Women also tend to achieve perfection a little bit more than men do; they have shown impeccable skills in multi-tasking and creating solutions for the whole financial institution that they are leading.
How has motherhood affected you on a professional level?
Motherhood is the most beautiful thing on Earth, but at the same time a turning point in a woman’s life. Balancing career with motherhood is not that easy, but it can be extremely satisfying if you can get the best of both worlds.
As Jill Churchill said: “There is no way to be the perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one”.
Motherhood has never been an impediment in my career, but rather a great push to build a successful career and to give the great example to my children
Yet, TIME remains a PRECIOUS COMMODITY when you are a working Mother: you have to stay organized, use calendars and lists, and plan ahead, while finding time for yourself and maintaining inner peace and balance within the hectic environment of work and home life.
How do you manage stress and avoid burnout?
I actually perform better under pressure, and enjoy working under challenging circumstances. Pressure is important in a work environment, because it pushes the person beyond his / her comfort zone.
Yet, working in a stressful environment is not always easy; that is why I have built some routines to help myself manage the day to day stress, such as creating a prioritization strategy, exercising continuously, eating healthy, sleeping a minimum of 6 hours a day, balancing work and personal life, spending time with family and friends, getting some private time for myself, focusing on the positives, and getting rid of the negative vibes around me.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned during your 25 years of work experience?
The biggest lesson I have learned throughout my career is that there is a very fine line between arrogance and self-confidence, and knowing the difference between the two can do miracles to one’s career.
One of the most remarkable quotes of Sun Tzu in his famous book, the Art of War, is: “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance”: this is an absolute reality about how arrogance can make someone lose even the smallest battle.
What is next for Nadine Eid?
Once you have achieved a goal, there is no need to stop! No matter where you are in your career or what goal you have just achieved, you can always strive for more, if that is what you want.
For me, the SKY is the limit…
To know more about Nadine, visit this link.