Last week saw ICA’s 6th Annual Conference in London.
As I’m sure you’re aware, at ICT we work very closely with ICA, and the growth of both organisations means the ICA conference probably the biggest single annual event in both our calendars.
Why? Because it’s a great chance for a get-together. That might sound like I’m talking about a good excuse for a jolly but this year’s conference was the biggest so far, with the most expansive schedule. There were also a number of other events taking place either side of the conference…
The day before the conference was a special ‘one-off’ workshop in support of the ICA Specialist Certificate in Trade Based Money Laundering. The attendance was great – a mixture of those who were already in the field and those who realise that this is an issue that they need to know more about. After lunch we had a superb session from P. Mukundan (Muku) who is the Director of ICC, International Maritime Bureau, who ran through some real-life (sanitised!) case studies and typologies.
Then it was onto the ICA Members’ Assembly – where ICA Members (naturally) can hear about and discuss the latest ICA developments. From my point of view (as an ICA Fellow and a representative of ICT) it is great to see familiar faces and have a catch-up where possible.
The conference proper. The speaker line-up was strong and the organisation super-slick (congrats to Jo Lewis & the ICA team). Lily Harwood (Head of Marketing) & I were sat at the back, listening and working on updating the social media side of things. There was something for everyone who attended, as compliance, AML & FCP were all brought into focus. The discussion about the future of the risk-based approach on the panel session was particularly interesting and lively. And again, the breaks/lunch provided an opportunity to catch up with friends/other professionals you maybe only get to see face to face on these sort of occasions.
Then we were off to the evening do - the flagship event of the ICA year – the ICA Award Ceremony. It’s a great night, in a beautifully historic venue (Middle Temple Hall) where the achievements of Diploma delegates are celebrated, along with ICA Members who have qualified for Fellowship status. For the first time, this year saw some children attend too (which I thought made it all the nicer).
Hopefully, that whistle-stop summary of events gave you a flavour of what it’s like from the ‘insider’ perspective. It’s hectic for us, that’s for sure. But it’s also a great opportunity to catch up with other like-minded professionals and see what is happening in their world. ICA and ICT are all about maintaining relationships and sharing best practice – something these couple of days go a long way to achieving.
And there is the odd drink thrown in too….
If you can make it next year, I’d really recommend it. Hopefully we’ll see you there!