GLOBAL: Universities offer anti-money laundering advice

The world is not over-full of specialist academics at universities and colleges teaching anti-money laundering or AML methods. But the important experts are out there if you look for them. Their low profile is partly because the subject is often subsumed into financial crime generally and partly because genuine AML skills can command a useful premium to banks and other major financial institutions better able to support lavish salaries and back-up systems.

The need for expert guidance in AML techniques is no longer confined to banks. In Europe, the third European Union money laundering directive has extended the range of professions caught by reporting and suspicious activity requirements.

As Professor Donato Masciandaro, professor of economics and chair in the economics of financial regulation at the Bocconi University in Milan, one of Europe's leading business and economics schools, points out: money laundering controls are evolving and making for a more risk-based approach.

"The new regulations ask professionals to base their operations on risk criteria. There are no public guidelines so the degree of responsibility is likely to increase," Masciandaro said. "This will make it more important than ever that compliance offers and others involved in AML activities are fully abreast of up-to-date thinking in this area."

Masciandaro is a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics, the International Monetary Fund, and the Nederlandsche Bank, as well as being economic advisor to the UN, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank. He is a prolific teacher and writer on a wide range of financial subjects and identifies his main research areas as the economics of financial regulation, central banking and the economics of illegal financial markets. He may be counted as one of the world's leading AML experts.

One of the UK's best-known academics where money laundering is concerned is Professor Michael Levi of Cardiff University in Wales. Levi agrees that AML is not widely subscribed to as a separate curriculum item in universities generally, though he indicated there was a kind of informal global network of expert AML academicians who frequently collaborated on papers and research.

A professor of criminology at Cardiff since 1991, Levi has conducted international research on the control of white-collar and organised crime, corruption and money laundering since 1972 and is a popular writer on these subjects. Recently elected an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, Levi has been awarded a three-year professorial fellowship by the UK Economic and Social Research Council to develop research on trans-national economic and organised crime and responses to it.

His works examine fraud, organised crime and terrorism, money laundering and white collar crime, and include a study on UK directors' responsibilities to review the impact of crime on business.

In London, the Cass Business School has an international reputation for study and research in the financial sector and claims to have the largest finance faculty and the largest actuarial science and statistics faculty in Europe.

Director of the school's centre for financial regulation and crime, and senior lecturer in financial regulation, is Chizu Nakajima. She specialises in financial services law and regulation, corporate governance and company law, economic crime and comparative law (Anglo-Japanese).

Nakajima has written widely on issues in these areas from an international comparative perspective and is editor of a number of leading international journals, including The Company Lawyer, Journal of Financial Crime and the Journal of Money Laundering Control. She is the director of the annual Cambridge international symposium on economic crime, a regular speaker at international conferences and advisor to various international and governmental agencies.

Another leading source of academic expertise in Britain is the Manchester Business School, the largest campus-based business and management school in the UK. It is closely associated with Cass, the International Compliance Association and the Institute of Money Laundering Prevention Officers. Their collective membership comprises representatives of more than 20 different sectors affected by the AML legislation, with a growing number from non-FSA regulated entities such as law firms, accountancy firms, gaming companies, money transfer bureaux, commercial finance companies, and firms of investigators.

The Henley Business School at the University of Reading is one of Europe's leading business schools and one of the few international schools to hold triple accredited status (AMBA, EQUIS, AACSB). The school has 7,000 students from more than 140 countries and runs the ICMA or International Capital Markets Association Centre to teach and research knowledge and skills demanded by the securities industry, offering eight master degrees including one for anti-money laundering professionals.

The ICMA is associated with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in the US and its director is Professor John Board who is also professor of finance and specialises in the application of finance theory to real-world problems and issues. Recently Board has studied market regulation and has served as consultant to the House of Commons and the Financial Services Authority among others.

Also UK-based is Professor Paul Barnes of the Nottingham Business School. Barnes is an expert in the areas of financial crime, fraud, white-collar crime, stock market abuse, insider dealing, insider trading and auditor independence. He is an academic member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and is author of their UK edition of the Fraud Examiners Manual.

He is also a member of the UK Fraud Advisory Panel and the National White Collar Crime Center in the US. An accredited expert witness, Barnes has participated in a number of high-profile criminal trials involving market abuse and insider dealing.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, Professor Dermot Walsh is chair in law at the University of Limerick and director of the Centre for Criminal Justice at that location. Walsh teaches criminal justice and procedure, human rights, the European legal system, European criminal law and procedure and is involved in research into policing and criminal justice, criminal procedure, and European criminal law. A barrister with a string of publications to his name, Walsh is a frequent commentator on policing, criminal justice and EU law.

Nikos Passas at Northeastern University in Boston, US, is an acknowledged international expert in trans-national crime and the informal transfer of money, the financing and social organisation of terror groups and financial crimes in international trade (especially with respect to gold, precious stones, tobacco, alcohol and timber).

Passas holds degrees from Edinburgh, Paris and Athens universities and specialises in the study of terrorism, white-collar crime, corruption, organised and international crime, and has spoken and written extensively on these subjects. His current work includes the regulation of immigrant remittances, financial crime in the trade of precious commodities and tobacco, illegal logging, terrorist finance and anti-money laundering practices, and a comparative study of national anti-corruption programmes.

Meanwhile, at the University of Maryland, Professor Peter Reuter is a professor in the school of public policy and the department of criminology with expertise in policy towards illicit drugs and organised crime. Reuter's early research on the organisation of illegal markets resulted in the publication of the prize-winning Disorganized Crime: The economics of the visible hand. He is director of the university's programme on the Economics of Crime and Justice Policy.

Also based in the US, though with an international reach, is the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) which has 7,000 members and a strong presence in Europe, established by its European Task Force under the leadership of Jos de Wit and Pat Hermse and based at the Universiteit Maastricht Business School where an AML master-class is conducted.

Executive Director of ACAMS is Gregory J. Calpakis who was previously a bank examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for 14 years. Calpakis has assisted a number of financial institutions in the US with BSA/AML programmes and has been involved in extensive AML training. ACAMS provides qualifications for AML professionals though these are said to be less exacting than the graduate diplomas offered by the ICA in the UK (

Another former US federal banking regulator-turned consultant is Ross S. Delston who specialises in the US Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering regulation compliance for domestic and foreign financial institutions. Delston recently founded GlobalAML.COM, a compliance consulting firm to advise financial institutions on BSA/AML issues such as policies and procedures, independent audit, trade finance and risk assessment.

A legal consultant to the International Monetary Fund legal department on AML/CFT and banking matters, Delston speaks and organises AML conferences and was recently named co-chair of the American Bar Association's International Anti-Money Laundering Committee.

In Canada, Professor Thomas Naylor, professor of economics at McGill University in Montreal, has researched international black markets, smuggling (particularly of arms, drugs, wildlife and art-works), money laundering, environmental crime, and, more recently, terrorist financing. Naylor is frequently enlisted by government agencies and by forensic accounting firms involved in investigating financial fraud. He is a prolific author and has published 10 books on financial crime and related subjects.

*This article is published here courtesy of the Money Laundering Bulletin, a specialist journal helping fight financial crime - see