Director & Counsel

You Lead the Way. We've Got Your Back.
With the right backing, people and businesses have the power to progress in incredible ways. When you join Team Amex, you become part of a global and diverse community of colleagues with an unwavering commitment to back our customers, communities and each other. Here, you'll learn and grow as we help you create a career journey that's unique and meaningful to you with benefits, programs, and flexibility that support you personally and professionally.
At American Express, you'll be recognized for your contributions, leadership, and impact-every colleague has the opportunity to share in the company's success. Together, we'll win as a team, striving to uphold our company values and powerful backing promise to provide the world's best customer experience every day. And we'll do it with the utmost integrity, and in an environment where everyone is seen, heard and feels like they belong.
Join Team Amex and let's lead the way together.
his role is a full-time position of lead lawyer for Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) and financial sanctions issues relevant to American Express' global operations, with particular focus on the UK and EU.
We are looking for an experienced practitioner, who will ideally already be a seasoned adviser in this area of law or otherwise be specialised in financial services regulation and have the aptitude to come up to speed quickly.
We are looking for someone who is qualified in an EU jurisdiction and is based either in London, Frankfurt or Madrid. We would also consider a UK qualified candidate with considerable EU experience of AML/ CTF and financial sanctions issues. You will need to be able to attend an American Express office within the country where you are employed. Some occasional business travel could be necessary.
How will you make an impact in this role?
* The role involves leading the legal advice on AML and CTF issues, including financial sanctions and anti-corruption legislation, applicable to all lines of business within American Express. Key business areas relevant to this role include card issuing, merchant acquiring, 3-party card schemes and outsourcing.
* You will need to work closely with other GCO lawyers, business personnel, Compliance, Operational Risk, Government Affairs, external bodies and regulators.
* The role will involve interpreting new and existing regulation and guidance, applying the requirements to new products or market entries, working with other stakeholders to determine compliance strategies and internal policies, helping to manage responses to potential breaches, responding to consultations and supporting lobbying efforts, advising on interactions with regulators including the successful management of regulatory exams or requests, and regulatory horizon scanning.
* Matters may frequently be multi-jurisdictional and sometimes multi-regional in nature, requiring a strong grasp of the principles underpinning the legal framework and commercial pragmatism to find a compliant yet business-friendly solution.
* You will need to be confident speaking up in meetings and giving briefings to senior stakeholders and able to communicate clearly in writing.
* You will need to be comfortable navigating the organisation to understand and advise on our processes. This could involve working closely with our Compliance and Operational Excellence teams to critically assess and identify potential areas for enhancement of our AML program.
* You'll need to demonstrate sound judgment and a good understanding of the regulators' likely perspectives, notably where the law may be grey and interpretations unclear.
* From time to time you will also need to instruct outside counsel (i.e. external law firms) and manage associated budgets.
* You will report directly to the lead financial services regulatory lawyer leading the International AML Centre of Excellence (CofE), whilst working closely with the individual country lawyers and regional head.
* You will take a lead role in helping to develop the International AML CofE at American Express, formed of lawyers and Compliance specialists throughout the organisation committed to internal sharing of knowledge and expertise on AML, CTF and financial sanctions requirements. This may involve giving internal training or helping to define and share best practices in these areas of law.
Minimum Qualifications:
* Lawyer
* Significant years of relevant work experience (PQE)
* Preference for someone qualified to practice law in an EU jurisdiction (preferably Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, or Germany) and able to speak the relevant language. We would also consider a UK qualified candidate with considerable EU experience of AML/CTF and financial sanctions issues. You will need to be based either in London, Frankfurt or Madrid.
* Significant experience in a law firm and/or in-house corporate legal environment, ideally with a considerable body of relevant AML experience.
* Experience advising on AML, CTF and financial crime regulation. Familiarity with payments regulation landscape would be an advantage.
* Fluent in English.
* Intellectually strong with sound judgment.
* Solid communication and influencing skills, comfortable speaking up.
* Able to work fairly autonomously and collaborate effectively.
We back our colleagues and their loved ones with benefits and programs that support their holistic well-being. That means we prioritize their physical, financial, and mental health through each stage of life. Benefits include:
* Competitive base salaries
* Bonus incentives
* Support for financial-well-being and retirement
* Comprehensive medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and disability benefits (depending on location)
* Flexible working model with hybrid, onsite or virtual arrangements depending on role and business need
* Generous paid parental leave policies (depending on your location)
* Free access to global on-site wellness centers staffed with nurses and doctors (depending on location)
* Free and confidential counseling support through our Healthy Minds program
* Career development and training opportunities
Offer of employment with American Express is conditioned upon the successful completion of a background verification check, subject to applicable laws and regulations.
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