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Former Director of FINCEN James H. Freis Jr. joins Starling Risk Governance Advisory Board

3rd Dec, 2020

Washington, DC – Starling, a globally recognized RegTech pioneer, has announced the appointment of James H. Freis, Jr. to its Risk & Governance Advisory Board.

Jim was the longest serving Director (2007-12) of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the lead U.S. Government official for AML/CFT requirements. He served concurrently as head of the U.S. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

In these roles, Jim distinguished himself through his stewardship of anti-money laundering regulations, their expansion across new industry sectors, and by spearheading data-driven approaches to combatting fraud uncovered during the Global Financial Crisis.

In June 2020, within a day of joining the Management Board of German FinTech darling, Wirecard, Jim exposed and reported on a massive fraud that later led to the collapse of the once high-flying global digital payments provider. Brought in to shepherd Wirecard as it moved into increasingly regulated business areas, once the fraud scandal became better understood, the Board appointed Jim CEO and he initiated a global restructuring effort.

From 2014-20, Jim was Managing Director, Chief Compliance Officer, and Group Anti-Money Laundering Officer for the Deutsche Börse Group in Frankfurt, where he oversaw global regulatory requirements for Europe’s leading provider of systemically significant financial market infrastructures. In the first decade of his career, Jim worked with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Bank for International Settlements in Basel.

“To promote the integrity of financial institutions and markets, three things are critical: appropriate governance structures, the right people, and a readiness to leverage insights made available through evolving technologies,” Freis said. “Starling is spearheading new capabilities that allow firms to evaluate how these components interact to produce specific performance outcomes. This permits for proactive risk identification and mitigation – and in real-time,” he added. “The adoption of such capabilities will allow firms to differentiate themselves in a way that will appeal to customers, employees and investors worldwide, as they place increasing value on the sustainability of business models,” Freis argued.

“It is hard to overstate how valuable Jim’s perspective is to Starling, and to our customers, as we work to satisfy heightened concern for non-financial risk management capabilities – which have been made all the more critical by work-from-home protocols during the Covid-pandemic,” said Starling CEO Stephen Scott. “Very few possess Jim’s depth of global experience in policy and practice, and fewer still have such a demonstrated enthusiasm for what new technologies like ours make possible,” Scott added. “It will be both a pleasure and a privilege to work with Jim alongside.”