ACA Expands Team to Meet Client Demand

September 5, 2019

In an almost unprecedented period of organic expansion, ACA Compliance Group has significantly added to its European and Asian team this year to better service a rapidly growing number of clients and meet an increasing demand for technical and practical expertise across its GRC services and RegTech range.

So far in 2019, ACA has added 28 new team members in London, Malta, Belfast and Hong Kong – with seven in our Compliance division alone – and several more set to join this year.

Here we highlight just a few of our 2019 hires…             

Roxana Nadershahi -Principal Consultant, Compliance Division. Roxana joined ACA this summer from compliance consultancy, Optima Partners, where she held an Associate Director role. There, she led engagements with alternative asset management, private equity, and venture capital firms. Roxana works with clients to scope and implement regulatory change, for instance in UCITS, AIFMD, MIFID II, and EMIR, as well as more macro considerations such as Brexit contingency planning. Before Optima, Roxana worked in the financial services business area of Oliver Wyman, and prior to that at M&G Investments and Kinetic Partners.

Roxana has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Developmental Biology from the University of Edinburgh and a Master of Science degree in Neuroscience from University College London.

Ubong Umotong - Senior Principal Consultant, Compliance Division. Ubong Umotong, CFA is a Senior Principal Consultant with ACA in London with over 12 years experience in UK regulatory compliance.  Prior to joining ACA, Ubong was a Compliance Manager at HSBC Private Bank for 5 years, where he played leading roles in the firm’s implementation of the Market Abuse Regulation, AIFMD and MiFID II. In respect of MiFID II, Ubong led the Transaction Reporting, Costs and Charges, Best Execution, Trade Reporting and Inducement work streams. He also managed the firm’s response in respect of two FCA thematic reviews on Best Execution and Structured products.

Before HSBC, Ubong was a Compliance Officer with the global alternative asset manager, Brevan Howard, where his primary function was to provide compliance advice to the front office in respect of credit derivatives, interest rates, currencies, commodities, bonds, equities and repos. He also  managed the implementation of EMIR, was responsible for the daily monitoring of UCITS funds and oversaw the trading counterparty approval process.

Prior to Brevan Howard, Ubong spent 4 years at equity and fixed income asset manager, Kames Capital, where he was responsible for the firm’s compliance monitoring programme and the assessment of the operational, market, credit and business risks of the firm’s Investment Management, Securities Management, Corporate Management departments and Outsourced Service Providers.

Ubong is a Chartered Financial Analyst, holds the CISI Diploma in Regulation and Compliance and earned his Bachelor of Sciences degree (with honors) in Mathematics from the University of Warwick.

Mike Downie - European Operating Officer. Mike joined ACA earlier this year to help oversee and manage the expanding European operations of the business. Mike graduated with a degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University and after spending a few years as a design engineer in industry working on high speed printing machinery retrained as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse. On qualifying, he joined Schroder Investment Management in 1992 working in their fund accounting and administration department. After 13 years with Schroders and having become a director in Operations for the global asset management business overseeing the back-office functions for more than 1,100 portfolios with a combined AUM of £115bn, he left to establish Blueprint Capital Management LLP, a nascent regulatory incubator. As CEO of Blueprint he helped launch some 15 investment firms, collectively with more than $1.5 billion under advice or management at launch. From there Mike joined two of his Schroders alumni as a partner of Hutchinson Lilley Investments where, alongside continuing to offer regulatory umbrella services, he has been engaged as a CF30 and latterly CF10/11 to the investment management business, overseeing operations for their multi-asset UCITS vehicles and AIF. Since 2011 Mike has been seconded through Hutchinson Lilley to ACA Compliance (Europe) on a part-time basis, bringing his broad experience to bear in various parts of the business, in both operational and client facing roles.

Ian Gavens - Team Leader - Financial & Regulatory Reporting Division. Ian qualified in accounting practice in 2001 at Raffingers, an award winning top 100 practice, before moving to audit. In 2007 he made the switch to the financial services industry, working as an Associate Director for Unicredit Bank AG, performing the financial control and compliance function for the bank’s Retail Mortgage Based Securitisation division. He gained invaluable experience handling all accounting for a retail mortgage portfolio of 16,000 borrowers with gross assets of £1.6B. The role exposed him to complex structured finance transaction work, managing several loan notes issues, investor reporting and securitisations, whilst supporting the bank’s complex internal risk weighted asset reporting, Basel II regulatory reporting requirements as well as its FCA obligations. Ian’s focus at ACA is process enhancement in financial and regulatory reporting.

Carl Day - Director, European Client Development. Carl joined ACA from Toshiba TEC, where he was a board member and National Sales Director. This was preceded by over two decades working in business development and technical sales. Carl holds the position of board member of the International Journal of Sales Transformation. Carl has joined ACA to specifically help clients fully appreciate the range of governance, risk and compliance services and technology we offer, and specifically show how a collaborative approach to accessing those solutions can simplify our clients’ GRC control functions and reduce overall costs.

Carl holds a Master of Science degree with Distinction in Leading Sales Transformation.

Patrick Ramond - Principal Consultant, Compliance Division. Patrick joined ACA with over 15 years of financial services experience, most of them relating to Compliance. Prior to joining ACA, he worked at various financial institutions, as either an employee or a contractor. These include, AllianceBernstein, Entrust, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Phoenix Asset Management Partners, UBS and Wells Fargo. Patrick developed a wide-ranging experience in both day-to-day activities (regulatory reporting, surveillance monitoring, financial promotions, Approved Persons management, thematic reviews, advisory services, training) and project activities. He is fluent in French, English and Spanish and worked on both UK and overseas assignments. He joined to support ACA clients on short to long-term assignments, to assist them during times of need, such as personnel transitions or extended absences. This ACA solution provides seamless temporary cover without the HR on-boarding process, training requirements, and employee-related benefit costs.

Patrick is a Certified Charted Accountant (ACCA) and obtained a Masters in Foreign Languages and Business at the University of Toulouse (France).

John Tayler - Manager, Financial Analysis and Planning Division. John joined ACA’s finance team this year to head up our internal analysis and financial planning function. John specialises in the professional services and technology sectors. At ACA, his work focuses on analysing and reporting on our own business performance, as well as advising senior management on potential efficiencies and financial improvements as we plan for continued expansion of the team, products and services.  John formerly held a similar role at the AIM-listed firm, Idox Software for four years and prior to that, held senior finance roles at ActiveViam, Concentra Consulting and ION.

John was CIMA qualified in 2002, preceded by achieving a BA (Hons) in Economics from Heriot-Watt university in Edinburgh.

Prerna Beygo - Compliance Monitoring Executive, Mirabella Division. Prerna joined Mirabella this summer with over 13 years’ experience in the financial services industry, having commenced her career in investment banking in front office (M&A) and middle office (product control) roles.  At Mirabella Prerna is responsible for the ongoing compliance monitoring of a number of firms, including appointed representatives and delegated portfolio management clients. Prior to joining Mirabella, Prerna worked at Deloitte within ‘Risk and Regulation’ and subsequently moved to an in-house compliance role supporting Deloitte’s corporate finance practitioners. Prerna has also previously worked at the UK’s Financial Services Authority (‘FSA’, the predecessor of the Financial Conduct Authority ‘FCA’) within ‘Supervision’ and ‘Risk Management’ divisions where she managed a portfolio of wholesale firms from a risk and compliance perspective.

Prerna holds an Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree and has a ‘Bachelor of Commerce & Economics’ degree from the University of Mumbai, India.

Ron Weekes, ACA Partner and European CEO commented: “At ACA, we pride ourselves on our ability to bring together the best people, technology, and services to deliver a comprehensive solution for the issues our clients face. To do so, we continually add exceptional talent and experience to both our client-facing and operational support teams. Our bench of expertise is second to none – that is what our clients expect.”

Weekes added “our clients rightly assume we’ll help mitigate risk and improve efficiency – but when appointing ACA, they also expect something else: the reassurance that comes from knowing they’ve hired the foremost market-leader; something they can leverage with their underlying clients, investors and regulators."

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About ACA Compliance Group

ACA is a leading provider of governance, risk, and compliance advisory services and technology solutions. We partner with our clients to help them mitigate the regulatory, operational, and reputational risks associated with their business functions. Our clients include leading investment advisers, private fund managers, commodity trading advisors, investment companies, broker-dealers, and domestic and international banks. ACA is based in New York City and has offices in London, Hong Kong, Malta, and other US cities.

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