Risk-embracing culture driving successes, says outgoing AUSTRAC boss


Paul Jevtovic, the boss of Australia’s financial intelligence watchdog AUSTRAC, announced his resignation from the agency, and the public service, to take up a role with HSBC in Hong Kong last week.

In a message to staff he catalogued the world-leading achievements during his tenure and chalked them up to the employees who were willing to embrace uncertainty and step outside the usual mindset.

AUSTRAC has undergone a dramatic change, Jevtovic says, as it embraced new opportunities to fight against serious financial crime and terrorism, resulting in an organisation that is more agile,  innovative, flexible and influential:

“We established the Fintel Alliance — a world-first collaboration with the financial sector to detect, understand and disrupt financial crime and terrorism. I want to particularly acknowledge the support from key government and industry partners — without their support, this initiative would not have been possible.

“…always evolving, willing to take risks, to embrace change, step outside the traditional regulatory mindset to collaborate with industry, and to work together to drive outcomes.”

“With our international partners, particularly our close friends in Indonesia — Pusat Pelaporan dan Analisis Transaksi Keuangan (PPATK), we held the world’s first Counter-Terrorism Financing Summit in Sydney, bringing together government, industry, academia and community experts to examine and respond to the threat of terrorism.

“More recently, we achieved the highest ever civil penalty in Australia ordered by the Federal Court — a clear message that AUSTRAC is willing to enforce its powers when required.

“These successes are not just mine, but they are the successes of everyone who is, or ever has been part of the AUSTRAC family.

“These achievements speak to the culture of AUSTRAC. A culture that is always evolving, willing to take risks, to embrace change, step outside the traditional regulatory mindset to collaborate with industry, and to work together as One AUSTRAC to drive outcomes that protect the Australian community. I have truly been fortunate to lead an organisation of extraordinary people.”

Jevtovic’s move brings to an end a 35-year public sector career that spanned the Australian Federal Police, Australian Crime Commission and the Victorian Office of Police Integrity. He picked up an Australian Policing Medal for service to the development of international policing capabilities. Notably Jevtovic was responsible for conceiving and leading Australia’s largest national taskforce into global money laundering by serious and organised crime, the Australian Crime Commission-led National Task Force Eligo.

AUSTRAC deputy CEO of operations Peter Clark has been named as acting CEO, pending the formal appointment of a new CEO.

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