PhD, LLB (Hons), BCom (Econ)

Dr Ronald F Pol brings applied outcomes science to AML, a surprisingly rare combination. Tested in the rigor of a PhD framed in policy effectiveness and outcomes science and the crucible of peer-reviewed journals, the first stage of Ron’s research identified when, how, where, and why the modern anti-money laundering experiment disconnected from its capacity to achieve intended objectives, updated and extended the United Nations’ “success rate” findings, conducted the first independent assessment of the global anti-money laundering “effectiveness” framework, and joined costs and public policy design principles into the equation.

The global anti-money laundering industry may be stuck in a rut - steadfastly refusing to contemplate effectiveness as it is normally understood in public policy and criminology (maintaining instead an idiosyncratic model that uses the words “effectiveness” and “outcomes” absent any connection with their science) - but the most recent research indicates that change no longer needs to be top-down.

Ron’s latest work helps enable transformational AML effectiveness impact.

The second stage focuses on practical new ways enabling banks, national law enforcement agencies, and countries, to act as leading catalysts - triggering a substantial, demonstrable reduction in crime, while slashing regulatory risks and compliance costs by an order of magnitude, risk free (ie retaining regulators’ approval and the “FATF tick” while securing dramatically better outcomes). It no longer needs to be a negative-sum game.

One country has already adjusted its organized crime strategy for outcomes. Another G20 nation is examining ways to pivot legislation for effectiveness, without endlessly repeating heavily touted “solutions” that continually sweat less than 1% impact on criminal finances. That visionary leaders need to do such things quietly speaks volumes about the dead hand of orthodoxy still favoring rhetoric, belief, and good intentions over objectively demonstrable outcomes, still only measuring what it does, not what it achieves, and (as the United Nations recently slammed FATFs AML model) causing immense harm to countries, businesses, taxpayers, and citizens. It no longer needs to be this way. Nor is followership the only option.

As visionary leaders engage with leadership for outcomes and demonstrate success, other businesses and countries will follow; not because they must, but because it works. FATF may choose to reclaim leadership, perhaps announcing “that’s what we meant”. That is fine. It should not be a contest between the orthodoxy “us” and constructive critics “them”. To break three decades of ingrained stasis, visionary leaders may need to be the catalyst, but, refocused on outcomes that matter, FATF can add tremendous value, as G7 nations intended.

Please, join the conversation to connect AML with effectiveness; for substantially better outcomes, demonstrably - for your business, your country, and the world.

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