Pawel is a Partner leading Deloitte Financial Crime Operate services and the Delivery Center for Deloitte Central Europe. Read how he leverages deep experience working with and for leading financial services organizations—working shoulder-to-shoulder with them to help beat financial crime.
Briefly, explain what you do at Deloitte.
My primary focus is leading Deloitte’s Financial Crime Operate Services within Deloitte Central Europe. I lead teams who deliver ongoing solutions to large financial institutions that help protect their customers and transactions from risks, while also ensuring they comply with industry regulations. I also lead our local Operate Delivery Center, which supports clients across Europe to provide high quality operational support on large-scale Operate projects.
How would you explain what you do to someone in one sentence who knows nothing about Operate services?
With typical consulting services, Deloitte firms often advise the client on what should be done and how to execute. However, through Operate services, we work with them to define the process, implement it, and deliver it continuously based on their goals and requirements. My teams help organizations’ streamline and scale their operations to fight anti-money laundering (AML) threats, alongside transaction monitoring, new customer onboarding and ongoing due diligence processes. We do this through embedding leading-edge technology, processes and data insights.
Tell us about an Operate services project you're most proud of working on in your career.
One project I lead involves an international bank who we help assess and verify whether their new customers are eligible to be accepted for their financial products and mitigate financial crime exposure. We demonstrated that Deloitte is competent and efficient and are now managing the same process on an ongoing basis. I’ve worked with and have gotten to know this client for many years, and this project is a step further in building my and Deloitte’s relationship with them. It is also Deloitte’s first Operate project with the client, and it’s exciting to demonstrate the strength of our end-to-end capabilities.
What does a typical day of work look like for you?
We start the day by focusing on client challenges and assessing them through various perspectives. What are the performance measures? Are there availability or capacity considerations? That first step is keeping the engine running. The next step is to check in with our clients and align on project milestones and aspirations. We may also work with clients to help them prepare for upcoming meetings with their regulators. There are often new challenges that clients bring to the table that need to be scoped and included in our daily work. This opens the doors for trust, which is crucial in Operate projects where we are so embedded within the client.
How did you end up in Operate services?
I spent the first seven years of my career in consulting, where I was responsible for risk and regulatory services for banks. Later I joined the banking sector in Poland, experiencing an in-house perspective for 10 years. While there, I was responsible for building the bank’s Delivery Center, which was a huge learning opportunity. With this experience I joined Deloitte, where I created our Financial Crime Operate services team and led the development of Deloitte Central Europe’s own Delivery Center.
What excites you most about your role? Why do you do what you do?
I enjoy the feeling of truly making an impact in helping our clients—providing the technology, processes, and capabilities they require. We are an extended part of their team, managing and running entire processes. I also have the pleasure of working with a highly innovative and professional team.
What's the most challenging part of your job?
Finding the right balance between our capacity and the clients’ needs, which are constantly evolving. But we have a dedicated team that can scale up or down based on demand. Often clients have day-to-day challenges to be solved alongside additional requirements and most importantly, helping meet regulatory expectations. Balancing this can be challenging at times but rewarding.
What's a common misconception about working in Operate services?
One is that Operate roles can be easy because tasks are already defined. This is wrong, as each project is different based on the clients’ unique problems and objectives. Another is that all we do is just run operations. In fact, we typically work with the client right from the start, to first define the challenges, what procedures we should introduce, how we can move to the realization phase, and then manage this on an ongoing basis.
What advice would you give your younger self about working in Operate services?
Young people are often ambitious and looking for the best and quickest career path to success. What I have learned is that it’s important to take your time and the opportunity to learn from others at the very beginning, because there are small nuggets of information that could define how you approach clients and build your capabilities as you move forward in your career.
What do you like to do outside of work? And why is it so special to you?
My answer is one thing—cycling. Through this I have met so many interesting people. My friends and I get to visit a lot of new places in and around Central Europe. During the summer we enjoy the beautiful weather and seek out new and undiscovered places. This gives me energy to pick up new challenges both personally and professionally.
Note: The services and experiences described herein are intended to demonstrate Deloitte's experience and capabilities in these areas, however, due to independence restrictions that apply to audit clients (including affiliates), Deloitte is unable to provide certain services based on individual facts and circumstances. Therefore, the experiences and descriptions would not apply to services to audit clients.