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Press Release

Grant Thornton expands its Risk Consulting team and appoints Neil Jeans as Partner

Grant Thornton is pleased to welcome the team from Initialism into its Risk Consulting practise, bolstering its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) service offering for new and existing clients.

As a result of the intensified focus on AML/CTF activity from Australian regulators – particularly by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) – there has been an increase in the number of recent high profile regulatory actions and penalties for AML/CTF non-compliance, and Grant Thornton expects this trend to continue.

Initialism’s team of specialists provides industry leading expert knowledge, experience, and real-world perspectives on AML/CTF through their work with high profile clients across many industries, including financial institutions, gaming and pubs and clubs. By merging with Initialism, Grant Thornton strengthens its AML/CTF practise offering services across risk assessment, compliance programs, independent reviews and advisory solutions delivered by its senior and highly experienced consultants.

Neil Jeans has led Initialism for 10 years and joins Grant Thornton as Partner, Risk Consulting from 1 September 2022 in the Melbourne office. Neil has a unique background in financial crime risk management which spans almost 30 years. This includes working within Law Enforcement agencies investigating domestic and international fraud and money laundering, working as an AML/CTF regulator establishing regulatory regimes. Neil has also held senior AML/CTF leadership roles within Australian and global financial institutions.

“There is a limited amount of senior expertise in the market, which has been accentuated by aggressive levels of recruitment being undertaken by AUSTRAC and financial institutions over the last 12 months. Neil Jeans and Initialism are considered to be pre-eminent experts in the AML/CTF field, and we are delighted to have reached an agreement to merge Initialism with Grant Thornton’s existing financial crime capabilities; to have Neil on board with us as Partner; and for the team of specialists to join us,” said Michael Pittendrigh, National Managing Partner – Consulting at Grant Thornton.

Neil also has extensive experience of advising financial institutions in Australia and globally on AML/CTF matters, including responding to regulatory enquiries and enforcement activity.

“These are sometimes complex areas and organisations require expert support to assist them in navigating AML/CTF compliance” said Neil Jeans, Partner – Risk Consulting at Grant Thornton.

“By joining Grant Thornton, Initialism will have increased access to significant additional on-demand capacity, including Forensics and Data Analytics resources which are becoming increasingly used in AML/CTF advisory work. We will also be able to collaborate with Grant Thornton’s existing team of experienced AML/CTF practitioners to deliver insights and outcomes for clients. On a personal note, it’s pleasing to be able to further develop my working relationships with Grant Thornton’s Partner, Katherine Shamai and the wider Risk Consulting team. I’m really looking forward to sharing our knowledge and expertise to deliver on great client service and support them in understanding and achieving AML/CTF compliance,” continued Neil Jeans.

Grant Thornton’s Risk Consulting team advises C-Suite and Boards on matters relating to financial crime, compliance and good governance, supporting them to ensure their organisations have relevant frameworks in place and reduce the level of risk they are exposed to. They are also experienced in assisting factual forensic Investigations involving fraud and corruption allegations, and misappropriation of funds. Grant Thornton continues to invest and grow its Risk Consulting team with the recent promotions of Daniel Farthing and Jane Stanton to Partner from 1 July 2022.

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