Lindelwe Zwane, the Managing Executive: Compliance at Absa Corporate and Investment Banking says the role of compliance in the financial services sector has changed significantly over the years. Compliance has and continues to evolve to meet the ever increasing demands and complexity of financial regulation, she says.
“Compliance has to evolve from traditional methods of managing compliance towards integrated risk management using automation to leapfrog compliance from gatekeeper to game changer.
“To meet the demands of a rapidly changing financial services industry, the compliance function has to shift its focus by using data insights to inform decision making and creating value for the business,” she says.
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She says there has been an increase in the use of robotics process automation and predictive analytics for risk assessment, monitoring and testing, complaints management, surveillance and regulatory reporting. “This creates efficiency and saves costs in the long run,” Zwane says.
Zwane, who assumed her position in 2017 has a big task ahead of her.
“As the CIB Chief Compliance Officer, I am primarily responsible for overseeing the Compliance Programme for CIB globally to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and policies of the bank. I am also responsible for safeguarding the reputation of the bank and driving culture change within the organisation,” she explains.
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A qualified lawyer with 18 years post qualification experience, Zwane has worked in various roles in the industry including as a Legal Manager at Deloitte and as Senior Legal Counsel for Deutsche Bank in South Africa. She joined Absa in 2015.
She describes her rise in the corporate world as a journey of self-discovery and reinventing herself through learning. “This has helped me shift my mind-set and opened up new growth opportunities and challenges,” says Zwane, who leads a team of 30 professionals in her division.
She agrees that finding a perfect balance between work, personal and family life is always important, and this she achieves by being 100% present.
“Wendy Tan in her book Wholeness in a Disruptive World (2017) says balancing is not a 50:50 compromise. Its 100:100 over time. We need to be, think and act whole to do our best at work. This means that work life balance does not have to be a zero sum game,” Zwane says.
She handles pressure by staying focused on the goals to be accomplished and asking for help if she needs it.
Scanning the future, Zwane says in the next five to 10 years, she would like to be in a role where she can continually deepen and diversify her skills to become an enterprise leader. What is her advice to young, upcoming women professionals? “Lift as you rise. We need women to invest in women,” she says.
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