Guest Blog - Women in Risk & Compliance: Vivian Valbuena, AMP

To celebrate International Women's Day on March 8th, this week we will be bringing you a series of guest blogs from leading senior females in Risk and Compliance. They will be discussing their success, career-defining moments and what advice they would give to another female looking to pursue a similar career. This is what Vivian Valbuena, Chief Risk Officer at AMP had to say.

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Profile: With over 20 years in global financial services, Vivian has dedicated more than 15 years in the international risk arena toward enhancing customer solutions and experiences. She specialises in strategically managing a fast-moving regulatory environment across multiple jurisdictions, analysing the impact and implementing the relevant actions. She partners with business unit heads to maintain a rigorous culture of compliance while remaining committed to find sustainable solutions that improve the customer experience and support the business initiatives.
 
She has strategically realigned risk project teams to match business demands, ensuring a more focused and customer-relevant risk support function. This has included areas such as client acquisition, new product review, third-party distribution channels, conflicts of interests, reputational risk and mis-selling amongst others. She actively participates in technology risk initiatives aimed at fair and friendly customer experiences and building public trust that span across multiple businesses, platforms, products and jurisdictions. She has a deep understanding of governance and assurance, regulatory reform drivers, customer advocacy and implementation processes.
 
Vivian lived in New York City before moving here with her husband in 2006. Subsequently, she fell in love with Australia and was granted Australian citizenship.

What are the key habits that you feel make you successful?

  • Take a few moments to consider what is the most appropriate solution and most efficient means of achieving it, rather than automatically jumping into action
  • Every morning re-assess daily and weekly needs and prioritise accordingly.
  • Keep abreast of domestic and international current affairs and regulatory trends
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate - with your team, with all of your stakeholders.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have received in your career and how did it help you?

Someone whom I respect once told me early on in my career that the large majority of women do not apply for a role unless they meet 100% of the job requirements, while most men will apply if they only meet 70% of the requirements. He went on to tell me that companies appreciate people who grow in their roles as it boosts talent retention and identifies staff who are comfortable in stretching themselves. I've never been afraid to at least try since then. 

What is the most challenging situation you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?

A while ago, I accepted a role with a well-known firm that paid well. What I had failed to take into account was that I had grown and changed since I had last undertaken a similar role. The day-to-day tasks were quite insular in nature. After an internal debate, I left after a year for a role that required significant stakeholder engagement and was immediately re-incentivised and happier. 

How do you approach making a difficult decision? 

I make lists! Pros/cons, potential scenarios, alternative solutions, impacts on team and stakeholders. 

What do you believe will be the most in-demand skills over the next 10 years within Risk and Compliance and why?

While circumstances, products and technologies change, the skills needed to build team capability, provide clear accountabilities, and understand and deliver positive customer experiences will always be in demand.

Join in on the conversation on Twitter for this years' International Women's Day using the hashtag #BalanceforBetter

Maria Konstantinou's picture
Business Manager | Risk Management & Compliance
mkonstantinou@morganmckinley.com.au