Libby Moore ’07 Fights Financial Crime Using Skills Honed at Hutchison

Hutchison Now highlights graduates early in their careers who embody how a Hutchison education can lead anywhere you can imagine. We spoke with Libby Moore ’07, Assistant Vice President and Financial Crimes Specialist for Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina.
What is a typical day for a financial crimes specialist and what professional skills do you use most often?

My role as a financial crimes specialist consists of reviewing financial activity at our bank to identify potential financial risks. It’s important to note, while I review the financial activity of our clients, I am not in a client-facing role. Therefore, my job function is to challenge any activity I review that may be a potential risk to the bank while being completely objective since our team is not involved with clients in any capacity. Financial risk exists in many forms; however, my new team covers transactional risk mostly associated with potential insider trading, market manipulation, and low-priced securities. Skills most important to my job are analyzing data for patterns/red flags, timely resolution as some activity is tied to the ever-changing financial markets, and extreme attention to detail in my review documentation for further analysis by senior leaders, outside auditors or industry regulators, and law enforcement when warranted. 

Your decision to pursue a combined Language and World Business degree in college has served you well. When you were studying Spanish at Hutchison, did you imagine that one day you would use it for bilingual surveillance of cross-border conduct?

I have Hutchison to thank for introducing me to both French and Spanish in kindergarten, igniting my lifelong passion for Spanish that I anticipated using in my future. Although it was a requirement, I also truly loved learning Latin as well, as it revealed the roots of all romantic languages. In my former cross-border conduct role at UBS, I performed bilingual surveillance in both English and Spanish reviews as oversight for any potential misconduct occurring internationally, or cross-border, between our employees and international clients. After serving on Hutchison’s Honor Council and in a personnel role in my college sorority, I guess it was no surprise to find myself assessing risk and enforcing appropriate conduct within an international bank using my passion for Spanish!

Are there times when you are the only woman in a meeting or on a project? You seem to have navigated the world of international finance very well. How do you think Hutchison prepared you for professional success?
While the financial world is still male-dominated, I continue to be surprised with how many female colleagues and bosses I’ve had while also witnessing an ever-evolving push for female representation and inclusion in the banking world. Hutchison prepared me for professional success by providing a nurturing and competitive all-female learning environment with both high academic and moral expectations. At an institution where I was encouraged to pursue academics, arts, and athletics all at the same time, Hutchison ingrained confidence that I can do it all and my work ethic and merits alone determine my success. 

I believe what served me best in my professional career is the ability and courage to question. Hutchison fostered a culture where critical thinking was encouraged and speaking your individual thoughts and ideas was rewarded. This has served me my entire life, but it has undoubtedly impacted my career where I daily challenge processes and controls that relate to financial crimes risk. As a student-athlete growing up at Hutchison, I loved being a part of a team and part of something bigger than myself – most likely due to having a big family! As a senior in 2007, I was part of Hutchison’s championship lacrosse team – an achievement my teammates and I will never forget. Hutchison equipped us with incredible coaches, a success-driven program requiring discipline and hard work, and an incessant demand for constant communication on the field. These pillars in our sports programs exist in the outside world as well, defining the way I show up at work when reporting to my superiors, creating disciplined and detailed output, and constantly communicating with my team and others to protect the bank and our clients to the best of our ability.

Your work sounds intriguing, and even a little dangerous. What is the biggest misconception about what you do?

My work is definitely intriguing as I am presented with real-world situations that are potential concerns for our bank. The danger part may be the biggest misconception! I do have many friends who ask if what I do can be summed up as catching the bad guys on hit TV shows such as Billions, Ozark, Jack Ryan, etc. To an extent, my work is a piece of the overall process that at times may lead to discovering market manipulation, insider trading, or financial crimes related to money-laundering. In any financial compliance role where risk has been identified, there is always the possibility of working with law enforcement for mitigation and aiding in investigations and prosecutions. I would say roles on different compliance teams are all cogs in a much larger machine. The extensive amount of surveillance carried out by different teams responsible for protecting the bank is fascinating to me. When activities (transactions, deposits, investments, etc.) are viewed by multiple compliance teams each searching for a different type of risk, it allows several perspectives to align and provide greater layers of protection for the bank and our clients.

If your job entails looking for transactional and relationship patterns across multiple accounts, you must be an excellent critical thinker. Looking back on your Hutchison experience, do you remember teachers discussing the importance of critical thinking?

Absolutely! A career in finance may sound like a career only consisting of math, money, etc., when the truth is there are so many aspects to the financial world and everyone’s role in it. Since I’m required to analyze various types of information to assess risk, critical thinking is vital in comparing multiple data points in order to create a client’s full financial picture and make daily decisions in my role. While I have been challenged and shaped in different compliance roles, I credit my excellent teachers at Hutchison for the foundational academic challenges they presented, their demand for detail, and the overall high bar set to succeed in every aspect of life.

Libby Moore ’07 is Assistant Vice President and Financial Crimes Specialist at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina. She received her bachelor’s degree in Language and World Business, focused in Spanish, from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2011. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, she worked in International Financial Compliance at UBS in Nashville for seven years. She was also part of Hutchison’s 2007 state championship-winning lacrosse team!

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