Senior Manager & Financial Crime Advisory at Deloitte Germany
Jennifer was born in a small wine-growing village in the Three Country Corner, a small area in south-west Germany bordering both Switzerland and France. When she was nine, her father’s work in pharmaceuticals took the family to Kobe, Japan. For almost five years, she lived as a typical expat and discovered the renowned Japanese culture.
Subsequently, the family moved to London, UK, for a year-long taster of the British lifestyle, before heading back to their picturesque village in south-west Germany. These experiences living abroad awakened Jennifer’s lifelong love of travel, adventure and new cultures.
As soon as she had completed high school in Germany, Jennifer went abroad again and spent her gap year before university travelling and working in Ecuador, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Middle East.
“After September 11, 2001, I was travelling in the Middle East and I noticed how little I knew about Arabic culture, so I set out to change that.” This led Jennifer to enroll in the intercultural German-Arabic Studies program at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, in 2003. From this point onward, she travelled to the Middle East whenever she could during her degree course and participated in several internships and language programs there.
After graduating in 2008, Jennifer moved to Sanaa, Yemen, and worked for the German Embassy as its Culture and Policy Assistant-Officer with a focus on European-Islamic cultural dialog. During this period, conflict erupted in Yemen, a civil war which continues today. The few organisations and companies remaining in the region started setting up risk management and corporate security offices in Yemen, and Jennifer also became interested in corporate security and compliance.
“Witnessing first-hand the breakdown of the rule of law in a country like Yemen and the dangerous consequences of bribery and corruption, I wanted to bring about change.” Eventually, this led to Jennifer beginning work with Deloitte’s Forensic practice in Frankfurt, Germany, in 2011.
For her first project, Jennifer applied her Arabic cultural and language knowledge to supporting a sanctions-related investigation into possible embargo breaches involving Iran and Syria at a major bank with international operations. After working on many other projects focusing on financial crime, Jennifer was seconded to Deloitte’s Forensic practice in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2014. Back in the Middle East, Jennifer supported several forensic investigations in various sectors and industries. Three years later, Jennifer returned to south Germany, where she has been part of Deloitte’s Forensic practice in Munich since 2017.
At present, Jennifer advises financial institutions in Germany in the area of financial crime, financial conduct and non-financial risk management. Her professional focus is on investigating, assessing and strengthening financial crime-related control processes and structures, preventative measures and regulatory requirements in the financial sector. Another focus of her work is on FinTechs and their emerging regulatory and financial crime risks. In line with her background in cultural studies and her experience in the Middle East, Jennifer focuses on culture as a major root cause of financial crime. “I believe that it’s really important for organisations to start asking themselves how their culture allows so many incidents of financial crime to occur and how they can change this.”
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Date of publication: December 2019