Podcast S4E2 | Collaboration Can Transform: Karyn Kenny

Podcast S4E2 | Collaboration Can Transform: Karyn Kenny

Podcast S4E2 | Collaboration Can Transform: Karyn Kenny 1400 788 Risky Women

Listen in on our chat with Karyn on a career ranging from the John Gotti trial in New York to tribal justice in Borneo, from AML in Bangladesh to Croatia.

Karyn Kenny serves as the attaché at the US Embassy Croatia for the US Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training for South East Europe regional justice sector initiative, overseeing the anti money laundering, asset forfeiture, anti corruption and transnational organized crime portfolios. Previously, she served as the attorney advisor for general counterterrorism programs and served as the resident legal advisor for two US embassies. Karyn is the recipient of the US Department of State’s meritorious Honor Award for creating the US Bangladesh bilateral banking sector dialogue. In 2020, she designed and taught the first webinar for the US federal prosecutors, analysts and investigators at the Department of Justice national Advocacy Center and launched the first public private FinTech Partnership Dialogue.

Show Notes

03:26 Career Journey
14:48 Collaboration in Regulatory Landscape
17:34 Public Private Collaboration
21:19 Cryptocurrency Regulation
23:50 FinTech Education
30:41 Rants & Revelations
33:31 Rapid Fire Round

I think if we look at the public and the private sector, and specifically when I speak about it, it’s from the perspective of prosecutorial and Department of Justice and others, we cannot see ourselves as two enemy camps.

When you share your knowledge, you share yourself, you share your time, Kimberley, that’s truly when you are wealthy and when you are successful.


Kimberley Cole 0:01
This is Risky Women Radio – a show to connect, celebrate and champion women in risk, regulation, and compliance. Sharing insight and perspectives from the most influential members of our global Risky women network on the latest developments, we need to think about, the challenges we should all talk more about and the innovation we are most excited about governance, risk, and compliance. Bringing together the hundreds of senior women professionals already connected with a new emerging group of leading women and men. I’m Kimberley Cole, your chief risky woman.

Kimberley Cole 0:39
Welcome to Risky Women Radio. Today’s risky woman is Karyn Kenny. Let me tell you a little bit about Karyn before we hear from her. Karyn has an incredibly impressive CV and we’ve got many interesting areas to discuss. Karyn Kenny serves as the attaché at the US Embassy Croatia for the US Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training, whoo that’s a bit of a mouthful. For South East Europe regional justice sector initiative, overseeing the anti money laundering, asset forfeiture, anti corruption and transnational organized crime portfolios. Previously, she served as the attorney advisor for general counterterrorism programs and served as the resident legal advisor for two US embassies. Karyn is the recipient of the US Department of State’s meritorious Honor Award for creating the US Bangladesh bilateral banking sector dialogue. In 2020, she designed and taught the first webinar for the US federal prosecutors, analysts and investigators at the Department of Justice national Advocacy Center and launched the first public private FinTech Partnership Dialogue. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Karyn was the attorney advisor for money laundering and asset recovery section international unit and from 2008 to 2009, was a senior justice sector consultant for the World Bank. In 2007, she was selected to serve as a US Supreme Court fellow and in 2006, was named a Fulbright Scholar teaching criminal and constitutional law courses in Lithuania. Prior to that, she held roles in the US and has also taught in Switzerland. She’s published multiple articles and lectured on FinTech, anti money laundering, counter terrorist financing, combating wildlife trafficking, transnational crime and constitutional law issues. So welcome, Karyn, we have got a lot to get through.

Karyn Kenny 2:47
First, may I commend you, Kimberley, for for all of those acronyms in the alphabet soup that sometimes dominates our government? Thank you so much.

Kimberley Cole 2:56
Yes, you must need a very big card to fit your title on.

Karyn Kenny 3:03
I just put on my card, Karyn Kenny, public servant. It’s an honor and a privilege to be with you today. Thank you.

Kimberley Cole 3:12
So there are so many highlights, even in that brief bio that I read out. So take us on your career journey. It’s it’s obviously been quite a ride. Give us some of the you know, more detailed highlights.

Karyn Kenny 3:26
Sure. Thank you, Kimberley. And and if I may, with your permission, if I could start as a true attorney and just give a disclaimer that I’m delighted and honored to be on your Risky Women today. But any of the thoughts or opinions I express are simply my own and do not reflect the official position of the US Department of Justice or our embassies. Thank you. So my journey, Kimberley, again, I’m a native New Yorker. And originally I thought I was going to be an English professor. I have a great love for teaching, and for interacting with the students. And following a fellowship that I received from NYU in New York, I was on my way. And then that pesky thing of having to get a job and support myself came into the picture. And I actually started as a paralegal, on the John Gotti prosecution in the United States. And there were a number of them, but this was the final prosecution, in which John Gotti was convicted in the Eastern District of New York, one of our federal courts in the United States. John Gotti will be known to some from a recent movie, but more importantly, he was a major organized crime figure within New York. So as a paralegal, I was able to work up close with the Assistant United States attorneys who were prosecuting him, and I found my place, I found my niche. I loved the courtroom. I loved the quest for justice, and said I was now going to be a lawyer. So I put myself to law school at night. I worked nine to five during the day and then I went a few blocks to law school and sat in law school for three and a half years. Graduated and got my dream job at the Manhattan DA Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which I will share a tidbit is actually modeled on law and order for those of you who may have been familiar with a TV show. And that was an amazing experience. I was a prosecutor dealing with all the crimes that occur in any major city, the robberies, the assaults, the attacks. And it’s very dark in many ways. But it’s also very light in many ways, because I found my true calling was, I loved justice. And I love seeking justice and justice is many things to different people. But I learned a great deal that is a phenomenal office at the time, and follow my experience trying cases and grand juries in Manhattan. I then became a federal prosecutor in Las Vegas, Nevada. Some of you may have heard of that. And they’re in I found my second niche and that really was very interested in financial crimes. And I began my career within the financial crime sector combating I should say financial crime sector. I began with just bank robberies bank robbery squad working with FBI agents. Sadly, there were many bank robberies occurring in Las Vegas for a number of reasons. And graduated over the course of a few years from learning, you know, learning my craft, which is critical to actually take on very complex financial fraud schemes. And following that, after about three or four years, I went back a little bit teaching, it was going to be my first career and I started teaching night school at University of Las Vegas, Nevada. I had a fantastic. Chair there, Joe Lieberman who is still there. And I began teaching classes on organized crime and Criminal Procedure, and was from there, I then was very honored to receive a Fulbright Fellowship, which is a flagship program at the State Department, and went to Lithuania, and was a fantastic experience, beyond compare, and also learned a lot about the diplomatic world. And the important part, all of our embassies across the globe play in promoting peace and stability and democracy. Thereafter, I was a Supreme Court fellow as you said, then the World Bank and then the World Bank, I was working in this region, with Croatia, Turkey and Serbia, as they were all in the process of gaining accession to the EU. And then after that, I came back to the mothership, as I like to call main justice, and had the honor of serving in money laundering, asset recovery, working mostly in Latin America at that point, working with asset sharing, which I will not go into. But it’s a very important tool, the Department of Justice and our State Department has to make whole victims of crime, specifically also money laundering crimes. And then I joined that, which I can talk a little bit about later. But that is a fantastic section within the Department of Justice. We work very closely with our State Department. And I served as a resident legal adviser, first in Bangladesh in Dhaka, and then in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And then now I’m now sitting in Zagreb, Croatia talking to you. And I’m taking a breath right now. And I don’t know what the next step will be. But that’s a little bit of my journey.

Kimberley Cole 8:02
That is amazing. That is amazing. And you’ve worked in so many kind of interesting places. So as we said, I think you’re definitely our first guests from Zagreb.

Karyn Kenny 8:15
Fantastic city and country, I urge everyone to come visit when when times are safe.

Kimberley Cole 8:21
And really interesting, all of the kind of areas that you get involved in. And especially some of those will be fascinating for risky women around financial crime, and fraud schemes, and all of those type of things. So tell us a bit about your role now and what you’re doing now.

Karyn Kenny 8:39
So now I’m starting with the Department of Justice’s OPDATs, a regional advisor for South East Europe. And my my role now two days into it, is to work with our counterparts, both US and regional, a number of regional countries work with their justice sector, their judges, their prosecutors, or law enforcement, and very importantly, the central banks. And FIU, and working as partners, to bridge the gaps that divide us to work towards the common good in combating money laundering, tax evasion, you know, a number of issues. And it’s creating relationships, Kimberley, which I’m very much a proponent of everything starts with relationships, and combating those bad actors that seek to infiltrate and subsequently destroy our financial sectors.

Kimberley Cole 9:32
Fascinating. And we’ll get a bit more into our topic for the day, which will be around building connections and how collaboration can really drive transformation. But sort of thinking more about your, you know, career, if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now. And you spoke about teaching as part of an option. What would have been your dream career?

Karyn Kenny 9:54
If I had a dream career I’m very lucky because I love what I do, and I love incorporating it. The diplomatic world with the Justice world, so very, very fortunate and blessed. But if I can have one talent, which I will readily admit I do not, it would be to be a poet, because I truly believe that poetry is a positive factor for change. And poetry speaks to us. And as I said, I was almost an English professor. And one of the things that made me think of this, Kimberley was recently with the recent inauguration of US President Joseph Biden, during the inauguration ceremonies, there was a fantastic young woman named Amanda Gorman, who is the first ever Youth Poet Laureate for the United States. And she brought to poetry, the entire vibrancy of the New World, if you will, and her recitation of the hill we climb gave me chills. It was amazing.

Kimberley Cole 10:50
Absolutely. Yeah, it was just amazing, wasn’t it?

Karyn Kenny 10:54
Wasn’t it? Yeah. And I looked at her and I wanted to cry. I wanted to laugh. I want to clap. I wish Jill Biden actually the president’s wife, the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, who had actually first had encountered Amanda and then asked her to recite at the inauguration. But I thought when I watched that, it’s Lord, if I had a dream career, wouldn’t that be amazing to go and use that? That energy and that creative talent to spread hope? So I will leave it at that.

Kimberley Cole 11:22
Fascinating. And then what do you think of the biggest risks that you’ve taken in your career? And then did they pay off?

Karyn Kenny 11:29
Yes, I think looking at the biggest risks, I think it’s what we all face, as women, and it’s stepping out of the boxes, the pre prepared boxes that people want to place us in. And whether those boxes are determined by the way you look, the way you speak, where you went to school, your accent, I have a New York City accent, I’m very proud of that, Kimberley. But people want to file you away, because it’s just human nature. And for me, it’s always been defining for myself, what do I want to be? How do I want to live my life. So when I look at that, it would definitely be the fact that I want to the biggest adventure I’ve had, I’d call it an adventure as well is stepping out of my comfort zone. And for me, I jumped out of my comfort zone, I went so far and did so many different things. And sometimes it has been a fantastic experience, for the most part. Absolutely. There’s also been bad experiences in there to Kimberley, because that that is the mixture of life, the good and the bad. But I would say that’s what it is, is stepping out of my comfort zone, putting myself into situations where I love not being the smartest person in the room. I love meeting other people, I like to listen. And you do that by seeking answers. So I guess I’m a seeker.

Kimberley Cole 12:48
That’s great. And that probably leads nicely into what I was going to ask you Next, which is, you know, what have been some of the most important lessons that you’ve learned along the way?

Karyn Kenny 12:59
I would have to say three and two are more humanitarian based Kimberley and then one is specifically with, you know, my my role as a prosecutor with the United States Department of Justice. So my prior experience, first what I’ve learned, whether it’s New York City, or Dhaka, Bangladesh, or Kompang, which is a village, in Malaysia, or Hong Kong, all the places I’ve been in the globe, that people are basically the same, they have the same sense of dignity, they have the same wants, they have the same needs, they have the same hopes. So although many things divide us Kimberley, whether it’s politics or religion, we have many divisive forces. But as a whole, what I’ve learned around the globe, is that everyone wants a better life for their children, than they’ve had, and everyone wants to feel secure in their home and their job in their government. So that to me was, it’s a kind of all inclusive view of people. And that’s something I’ve definitely learned that my journey along the way, I call these things pebbles. And as I walk along, I it’s equates almost, if you will, to a beach and as you walk along, there’s millions of pebbles, but once in a while you stop you look at one, you put it in your pocket, and you take it with you. So this people can be that what concepts. So that’s the first concept. The second one that I would say what I’ve learned is that it’s so important to connect with people specifically myself, I am a huge proponent of empowering women, empowering all people who seek a better life. And then finally, this is my justice, prosecutorial viewpoint. Kimberley people cheat, steal and lie the same all over the world and no one has a no one has a simple entry to that. We just do it in different ways. It’s our human nature. And that’s why with the Department of Justice and others, it’s our job to, to tackle that, investigate it, tackle it and prosecute it.

Kimberley Cole 14:48
Okay, now let’s move on because you’ve sort of led into this but this whole concept of building connections and talking about how collaboration can transform the way we do things. So, at the moment, what are the biggest trends that you’re seeing in the in the regulatory landscape and where you see collaboration could really improve outcomes in the sort of, especially in some of the areas you’re working in around financial crime?

Karyn Kenny 15:17
Absolutely. I think that the biggest trends are ones that we’re seeing every day. They’re not the newest, but they continue to be the kind of watershed moments in the financial landscape. And these are things that are familiar to all of your listeners, AI, the blockchain, what I find very, very interesting as well, FinTech, obviously, but also the implications of the open banking era. And then finally, the relationship that is still being created between, you know, instead of FinTech, it’s TechFin, the impact of these large technology companies that are becoming, which are, not becoming they are financial vehicles, and how do those two worlds, How do they meet? And when they meet? How do we then regulate it to make sure that it is a positive joining, if you will, of those two areas?

Kimberley Cole 16:10
Yeah, that’s really interesting how you join those together.

Karyn Kenny 16:14
And then in terms of collaboration, you know, I think it’s like everything else, you’re looking at balance, you’re looking at, again, the theme of our we’ve been speaking about in terms of collaboration, looking at regulatory authorities, and also law enforcement, and others, looking at using the tools that we have already, such as sandboxes, you know, innovation, innovation events, and making those incorporating those into the framework of what we do so that we’re not just using, for example, sandboxes, to see what the latest application that a developer wants to introduce. But we also need to use sandboxes to learn what’s happening out there. What are the emerging trends, what’s happening when the rubber hits the road, at exactly that right time. And as regulators, government authorities, we’re not on the fast lane, right? That’s the entrepreneurs, they’re moving fast, they’re breaking things, our role is to protect, and to take a look at whatever, let’s say the product, maybe they’re moving fast, we need to say, That’s fantastic. We want to promote innovation. But we also must take the time to understand it. And then to make sure that we protect the economy and the end users of that. So collaboration and really utilizing sandboxes and innovation labs in a very positive way for regulators to inform and educate themselves as well.

Kimberley Cole 17:34
Looking at those trends, and building connections and building bridges, you’ve done a fair amount of work around public private collaboration. So that sharing you mentioned as being important, how important is that? In your view?

Karyn Kenny 17:51
It was I think it’s critical, because I think if we look at the public and the private sector, and specifically when I speak about it, it’s from the perspective of prosecutorial and Department of Justice and others, we cannot see ourselves as two enemy camps. If we look at ourselves in that way, then we have already decided that what the narrative will be. So I think that if you can take a smaller group and sit down, listen to each other’s concerns, we learn more. And for myself, I find that the public private partnerships have been a excellent tool. I don’t make them huge. With 350 people in the room, there’s a place for that. But the way I approach it is getting the key people at the table. So for example, when I did the public private partnership, I developed one with the banks in Bangladesh. And at that point, I went literally with a fantastic young woman who works for Wells Fargo, Shahnaz Sultana is an excellent partner. She took me and we knocked on the doors of the CEOs of leading banks in Dhaka, Bangladesh. And we said, we would like you to sit at the table with some of our regulators. And we want a discussion, we’re not interested in finding out about cases without using this as a lead in to find just tell us, what are you seeing, and we’ll tell you why, when all these regulatory mandates come out why it’s happening. It’s not to make your life harder. We don’t sit up at night and think how we can really make more and more issues for you. It’s really due to the fact that we have trying to understand each other so that we can work towards a more productive, efficient, transparent financial sector.

Kimberley Cole 19:26
That’s, that’s fantastic. You’ve obviously worked on several of these kinds of projects throughout your career, are there are others that you would also sort of call out that have created that kind of impact.

Karyn Kenny 19:39
Yeah, I will. And if I may, for a moment, take off my financial hat and put on more my diplomatic Department of Justice hat. When I was in Malaysia, I had the good fortune of working with a former Chief Justice there, Richard Malanjum, who was a Malaysian but also a member of the Kadazan tribe, which is one of the indigenous tribes in Borneo, and he was the first ever Chief Justice in Malaysia to come from an indigenous tribe. And through him, he taught me and his judges, he taught me the lesson of the access to justice, how important that is. And it’s almost the same as the access to financial sector. If you don’t have access to the financial sector, you don’t have access to justice, then you are cut out and you begin, you know, already 10 feet, you know, below the starting line. And one of the things I did with the Malaysian judiciary and the chief justice was we went into very remote villages in Borneo, where you either had to walk in Kimberley, you had to row yourself in by boat or be dropped by a helicopter. And we went into these very rural communities, and the Malaysian judges, brought these courts to them. So they would set up courts in whatever, it was a school house there, and then the people would come in with various issues. And they would hold court without, you know, some of these places had no electricity, you know, very rural. But again, people had the same kind of problems you and I would have in a metropolitan setting. And to me, I slept in a tent on a mountainside. And I thought it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. So that’s the the two hats.

Kimberley Cole 21:11
Fabulous, fabulous, and where the challenges still remain, and that we really need to sort of see more knowledge exchange?

Karyn Kenny 21:19
I think that one of the things I was just reading about this morning, reading an article from the US, US authorities, was that there needs to be clear rules as to cryptocurrency and that urgently needs to happen, because we have major companies that are embracing these assets. And if we don’t have those rules, then we get ahead of ourselves. And if we get ahead of ourselves, then that we’re going to run into two problems and issues. I think that is a main issue, one of the challenges, and which is happens when you have a new landscape, there’s always going to be a catch up phase to it. And then also one of the challenges, I think it’s from a legal point of view, as well is the jurisdictional. So who is going to have jurisdiction and when I say that, I speak in terms of the courts, the court, a functioning efficient, transparent court administrative system is incredibly important to a solid financial economy in any country. In terms of jurisdiction. Right now, in the United States, there is a question being decided by our federal courts as to who has jurisdiction over Neo banks. So that is, banks and I’m your audience is well aware of Neo banks, those banks that do not have a physical presence, and it’s purely digital. And the issue right now is who controls the bank charters? Who’s going to charter these Neo banks? Who’s going to control them? And in the US the issue is, will it be the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which is our Federal Bank regulator? Or will it be by our states, we have all of our states? So there’s it was an issue that began with the New York State Department of Financial Services, the Lacewell case, and it has progressed in a number of years since, and it’s still being played out. But I think that’s one of the challenges, we have to find out who has control Kimberley, who is going to be the regulatory oversight. And what does that mean? And I think that is a key challenge. We’re just playing out right now. And it’s very interesting.

Kimberley Cole 23:18
Yeah. And look, you’ve been doing a lot of work around helping educate on FinTech and regtech on all the developments. And I know you’ve got a an article that you co authored with two other DOJ women that’s titled Introduction to FinTech Ecosystem. I think it’s due to be published in March. So we look forward to sharing that with our audience as well. So tell us a bit more about, you know, that article, what you’ve been doing in the education around FinTech and regtech, and how you’ve done some of those initiatives.

Karyn Kenny 23:50
Sure. And actually, the article hopefully will be published within the next three months or so. And we published within the US Department of Justice’s Journal of federal law and practice, which is available to the public. And it’s an introduction to FinTech, as you said, and I had the fantastic experience working with two fellow women from Department of Justice, Jill Rose, who’s the Deputy Chief of DOJ OPDAT. And then Kelly Andrews, who’s no longer with the department, but just an amazing experience. And I’ve also taught the first webinar class at our national Advocacy Center on the introduction to FinTech. So the reason I did that, honestly, Kimberley was that when I was based in Bang, in Malaysia, I should say, in Asia, which is really a driving force with the FinTech sector across the globe. I was learning so much, and I who I like to keep up with what’s happening in developments, I didn’t know a lot about this sector. And I thought to myself, well, if I don’t know a lot about it, maybe others, you know, maybe my colleagues, maybe they do, but if they don’t, then I want to fill in that gap. Because as the Department of Justice as a prosecutor, you know, just as a anyone who is working in the enforcement regulatory landscape, if you do not understand a sector, then that is a, it’s a danger, because ignorance means you miss things. And then that can turn into a lot of problems. So I wanted to educate myself so that when we’re looking at these type of cases, that’re coming in, we understand Kimberley, what we’re looking at, we understand the problems that could arise from it. So I thought, you know what, I’m going to step back and do an introduction, I’m going to share what I have learned on the basics of going through the fintechs. How, what’s the culture of the fintechs? How does that differ from the traditional financial structure? What’s the difference between a front and back office? You know, what are the words that we hear all the time? We don’t know what it means. What’s a unicorn? Before I did this, I thought a unicorn was a sticker on a little girl’s bed. And now I’m learning Well, it’s a lot more complex than that. So I want to share that with my colleagues and the others. So that’s why I’ve done it.

Kimberley Cole 25:58
Excellent. Well, we look forward to seeing the article and reading and I still think there’s, you know, plenty of room for education in that space. And in thinking about the future, which we always like to do a bit of a look forward. What do you think is going to make the biggest impact?

Karyn Kenny 26:15
I think the biggest impact within the financial sector, from my perspective is right now. And using an American iconography, it’s a bit of the Wild West, okay, there’s a lot of players in town and different things that are happening. And it’s interesting and dynamic. But we’re looking to see what’s going to happen when the dust settles, when it settles, where does it settle? And where are we headed? I don’t read tea leaves. So I don’t know what’s going to happen right now. I just know we’re in the midst of it. And that’s going to be the biggest impact is that future is happening now, Kimberley, and it’s going to continue to happen. And then I would say the other issue with perspective of looking at it from prosecutorial point of view, is the choke point is going to be the exchanges. And with this, I’m talking about cryptocurrencies and the digital currencies. Let’s talk about the exchanges and how can they be regulated? And then how do we then factor into that formula, decentralized exchanges? How do we look at that? And how do we strike a balance between privacy due process but also enforcing the laws, so that we protect our economy and protect our consumers? So I think those are going to be the challenges, continue to to be the challenges.

Kimberley Cole 27:27
And I do think we could almost have a couple of other sessions to really dig into those issues. Big topics, then back to sort of transformation, what transformation, do you sort of see that you would envision for the future in terms of how things are done? What’s going to happen given all of these challenges?

Karyn Kenny 27:51
In terms of transformation, I would have to say that we are always in a stage of transformation that is just who we are as human beings. But right now, I think the transformation is going to outplay based COVID, as well, Kimberley, it’s really changing our world. And in many sad ways, you know, the loss of life, and all of those negative implications, but also the way we work Kimberley, the way we communicate. And I think that is going to continue to play out in the future. And it’s, I think, that if we look at the way we lived our life, and worked in the financial sector, and otherwise, before March of, you know, 2020, and today, and five years from now, we might not even recognize it. You might say Oh, yeah, those were the old days. I remember that. I remember going into meetings and sitting down. And I think also a transformative tool will be things such as the opt out program, where we adopt a program run by the Department of Justice, but it’s funded by the State Department, working within US embassies abroad. And specifically now at the US Embassy in Croatia. It’s been a fantastic experience, that outreach between our diplomatic law enforcement and private sector community, I think that’s going to grow as well, because people are always seeking connections Kimberley, and and we’re always seeking answers. And I think we need to come together as much as COVID and other things have pushed us apart. I think that this is going to push us back together. So.

Kimberley Cole 29:14
Fingers crossed for connecting back together. And and then just sort of finish on a sort of slightly different tangent, but what have you learned recently that really blew you away?

Karyn Kenny 29:26
Kimberley, I have to tell you that you know, every day I open the newspaper online and I’m just blown away. One of the things I actually was really blown away by was the latest tweet by an Elon Musk, which had the picture of you know, Elan Musk, you know, holding I think it was Gene Simmons holding Snoop Dogg is holding the Dogecoin meme, and it’s all replicating or take a riff on the Lion King. And I just saw that and I said, This is fantastic, stand aside from what’s happening with Dogecoin and all of those issues. But if you told me there was going to be a tweet with Elon Musk, Snoop Dogg and Gene Simmons of KISS, that blew me away. But music unites as does money.

Kimberley Cole 30:12
Very true. Well, that Yeah, but certainly a change in tack on that one. So now we go into rants and revelations.

Kimberley Cole 30:24
Connecting, celebrating and championing women in risk regulation and compliance, Risky Women Radio takes an intimate look at the rants and revelations of the top women shaping the debate and the industry.

Kimberley Cole 30:41
This is one of my favorite section of the podcast. So what’s a revelation for you? What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to share with the audience?

Karyn Kenny 30:53
Thank you, Kimberley, it wasn’t given to me personally, I wish it was. But it’s a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, who was a diplomat and activist, had many roles. One of them was also being married to a United States President, but fantastic woman, interesting woman. And the one thing she said that I heard when I was very young, and has always stayed with me. She said, Do one thing every day that scares you. Do one thing. And she was not talking about something that would put your life in danger. She was talking about doing one thing that scares you, because when you confront that fear, then it doesn’t have a hold on you anymore. And for me, when I was in high school, I was very concerned about public speaking. It made me very nervous to get in front of the classroom. And I remember my mother told me, she said, you know, Eleanor Roosevelt. Do one thing that scares you. I got out there. And I did it. It wasn’t a work of art. Kimberley, it was a little messy. But I did it. And then you know, 20 years later, I’m speaking to 700 people in the audience at Thomson Reuters giving the keynote address.

Kimberley Cole 31:56
I went to that, and you were fantastic.

Karyn Kenny 31:59
You’re a good woman. And I got to meet you. So it was fantastic all around.

Kimberley Cole 32:06
Excellent. And then what’s your rant? We always this side, we seem to have lots of ideas of you know, if you had your magic wand, you’re going to pick one thing you were going to change what’s that going to be?

Karyn Kenny 32:18
If I had a magic wand and speaking from the financial sector perspective, it would be to break down the silos. What frustrates me and vexes me if I may, is people who view power connections or knowledge as a limited supply and don’t want to share it with others because they think it decreases that, that vexes me it’s it’s, it’s when you share your knowledge, you share yourself, you share your time, Kimberley, that’s truly when you are wealthy and when you are successful. So let’s wave that wand. Let’s then get rid of all the people who see knowledge and sharing contacts, etc. as a limited, valuable tool that has to be protected. Let’s wave our wand to get rid of them.

Kimberley Cole 33:03
Fabulous. I love it. So and it brings us right back to our connections and transformation as well. So excellent.

Kimberley Cole 33:13
Risky Women is a vibrant network at the center of a global community in a rapidly growing, evolving and influential industry. Given the continued pace of change, our rapid fire round revisits the most pressing topics to share ideas and offer listeners new perspectives.

Kimberley Cole 33:31
Alright, we’re into the rapid fire round.

Karyn Kenny 33:35
Uh oh!

Kimberley Cole 33:36
Exactly. It’s like pop quiz for you.

Karyn Kenny 33:39
Alright, I’m ready!

Kimberley Cole 33:41
Alright, one word to describe the world of governance risk and compliance?

Karyn Kenny 33:47

Kimberley Cole 33:48
Oh I like it. One word, what is the biggest risk for our industry?

Karyn Kenny 33:54

Kimberley Cole 33:55
Nice. And the most important focus for the future.

Karyn Kenny 34:01
The most important focus is going to continue to be maintaining adopting and maintaining a global perspective. We need to really think about financial markets across the globe, not just in our own backyard. And also innovation, we have to continue to adopt our regulatory controls as well, that is occurring with innovation. And we have to continue to be resilient. You know, that’s kind of the buzzword probably for the last year is resiliency, which can have many forms mental health, physical health, but also within the employment sector, its resiliency, and as we many women know, as well, you have to have many times transform and reinvent yourself. And we do that and that comes from a deep well of resiliency, which is built within each of us. And if we don’t have it, we can definitely then learn how to have to gain it.

Kimberley Cole 34:54
Are you optimistic, pessimistic or neutral in your outlook for the year ahead?

Karyn Kenny 34:59
Kimberley, there’s always choices and I choose hope. I am optimistic. And as my wonderful grandmother would say, she said, It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, you have to light a candle. Right now, it’s a lot of darkness, we will see it through. So I am optimistic for both the markets because we’re in such a transformative time right now that the dust will settle. And we will have really new dynamic tools to help with financial inclusion and other issues. And then also just for our world and our people that we will be able to overcome the virus.

Kimberley Cole 35:35
And then what word represents success for you?

Karyn Kenny 35:39
Okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna ask you, if I can fudge it a little bit, and I’m gonna put a hyphen in between three words, if that’s acceptable. But that’s a lawyer, right?

Kimberley Cole 35:47
You go for it. Create your own rules!

Karyn Kenny 35:52
So I would say and I’ll put in the hyphen, service hyphen to hyphen others service-to-others. That’s my success. If you have skills and talents, then I think serving others with sharing that with the world. And with those around you. That to me is success.

Kimberley Cole 36:09
Well, that’s a good one, then. So what’s your top skill needed for the future?

Karyn Kenny 36:13
Adaptability, you have to adapt to quick changes and human beings like stability. We like stability in our financial markets, we like stability, but we have to adapt. And if we do not adapt, we will be left behind.

Kimberley Cole 36:28
And then we just like to end on a couple of risky women recommendations. So we’d like you to share a book to read, something worth watching, and your favorite podcasts.

Karyn Kenny 36:43
All right, well, the favorite book to read and I am a voracious reader. I love it. But what I’ve read most recently, which profoundly impacted me and touched me, which is truly the the hallmark of an excellent book was Promise Me Dad, by Joe Biden, our President Joseph Biden. And it was an incredibly insightful, touching, candid view of how he, President Biden and his family struggled with handling not only the pressures and challenges that came with being a vice president, but also at the same time confronting the cancer of his son Beau, who very tragically ultimately passed away. And what’s interesting, Kimberley, at the end of that book, he explains why he chose not to run in the prior presidential election, because he didn’t think it was the right time. And it’s just very interesting to read that now following his appointment as the President United States, so Promise Me Dad, fantastic book. In terms of TV, I’m going to do throwback, it’s like Throwback Thursday, right? Let’s throwback, let me give a parental warning. This is a gritty TV show. It’s not for those of the faint of heart or the minors. But if you really want to watch a TV show that is really going to show you what happened on the street and how you really do a financial investigation. I highly recommend The Wire, it began as an HBO program. And it started with looking at a fictionalized version, which was very close to reality of investigating a drug operation drug kingpin operation. And then ultimately, it turns into a fantastic portrayal of a money laundering investigation. And there’s this fantastic character, Lester Freeman, who says, in this kind of iconic clip, he says, if you want to, you know, get the drugs, you follow the drug dealers, but if you want to follow the money, you don’t know where it’s gonna go. I’m paraphrasing, but this is a little bit more vivid vocabulary in that quote, because it is gritty. But that is a fantastic way to understand at a very base level. I shouldn’t say base level, but a very realistic level of how you turn one investigation into a very effective money laundering investigation and truly get the kingpins and not those on the lower levels. So The Wire is a great watch.

Kimberley Cole 39:08
Interesting. And then your favorite podcast!

Karyn Kenny 39:11
My lord miss Kimberley! It is definitely Risky Women. I’m very serious. Kimberley, thank you. You are truly a mentor. When I first met you at Thomson Reuters. You sought me out, you sat down you shared with me your knowledge. you embrace women within the financial sector and you do it simply because it is who you are you you have no other expectations other than opening up this world to more women who are seeking a foot place in the financial sector. So and the fact that you’re even doing this podcast and you started this podcast, Kimberley that is also my kudos to you. And I shan’t clap because I know that will interfere with the audio but it will claps to you. So definitely Risky Women.

Kimberley Cole 39:53
Well, thanks…

Karyn Kenny 39:54
And I enjoy spending time with you.

Kimberley Cole 39:54
Exactly. Well, that’s part of the delight of Risky Women Radio I get speak to amazing women. So it’s all part of the connecting, celebrating championing. And I just hear so many interesting stories. And as you say, I learned so much along the way as well. So I’m so glad that we could connect. And we thought we were going to be speaking from Hong Kong to Malaysia. But no, we’re Hong Kong to Croatia. So, you know, it doesn’t matter where we are, we can connect across the globe. And it’s been an absolute pleasure to do this session of Risky Women Radio. So thank you.

Karyn Kenny 40:32
Thank you, Kimberley. It’s fantastic spending time with you. I appreciate it. And all my best to you, your family and your listeners. Thank you so much.

Kimberley Cole 40:40
Thank you for listening to this exciting episode of Risky Women Radio to connect, champion and celebrate women in risk, regulation, and compliance. I’m Kimberley Cole, based in Hong Kong. For more information on the Risky Women global network, head to our website, in the Episode Notes and please be part of the ongoing conversation by subscribing to this podcast, connecting with us @RiskyWomen on Twitter or even reaching out to me directly by email.

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