Podcast S3E6 | Behavioural Science Driving Conduct and Compliance: Kate Miller

Podcast S3E6 | Behavioural Science Driving Conduct and Compliance: Kate Miller

Podcast S3E6 | Behavioural Science Driving Conduct and Compliance: Kate Miller 1400 788 Risky Women

Kelly-Ann McHugh interviews Kate Miller, leader of Standard Chartered Bank’s Conduct & Behavioral Analysis team.  She discusses how they are using behavioral science to build a bridge between what we think is happening and what’s actually happening on the ground and then influence behaviors towards better outcomes.

Show Notes

02:37 Career Journey to Compliance
16:44 Conduct & Behavioral Analysis Team
22:31 Examples of Applying Science to an Event
33:57 Top 3 Impacts of Data & Science on Compliance
37:17 Rants & Revelations
40:36 Rapid Fire Round

Our framework is there to help stakeholders name and understand the behaviors within their areas, because sometimes they might not even be able to do that.

It’s really important for compliance to step out from behind that more comfortable place of policy and procedure.

Episode Sponsor

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TRANSCRIPT

Kimberley Cole 0:01
This is Risky Women Radio – a show to connect, celebrate and champion women in risk, regulation, and compliance. Sharing insight and perspectives from the most influential members of our global Risky women network on the latest developments, we need to think about, the challenges we should all talk more about and the innovation we are most excited about governance, risk, and compliance. Bringing together the hundreds of senior women professionals already connected with a new emerging group of leading women and men. I’m Kimberley Cole, your chief risky woman.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 0:38
Good morning and good afternoon and welcome to Risky Women Radio. My name is Kelly -Ann McHugh, and today I’m pleased to have Kate Miller here with us to talk about behavioral science. Kate Miller has worked in healthcare and technology and financial services sectors across 17 years of her career, Kate joined SCB in 2017, to lead a team in compliance which is now focused on conduct and behavioral analysis across all business lines. Prior to joining SCB Kate was the head of op risk for the Asia business of ICBC Standard Bank. She worked for Standard Bank in London for several years before joining in Singapore. Kate has worked across a variety of supporting areas within financial services, which we’ll hear about shortly. Kate is passionate about human centered design, and has used the facilitation techniques of this during her day to day work to help in the diagnosis and understanding of behavioral problems. Kate is also in the midst of an executive Master’s in behavioral science at the London School of Economics. She holds a Master of Science in international business and finance from the University of London, and a Bachelor of Science from Curtin University in Western Australia. Kate is an Aussie, has lived and worked in London and Singapore, traveling extensively before the world or change this year. Outside of work and education, Kate is kept extra busy with twin four year old boys and various activities they get up to. Kate is also very passionate about reducing our impact on the environment, and is keen to use behavioral science to help people make changes in their everyday lives. Kate, it’s great to have you here today.

Kate Miller 2:18
Oh, thanks so much for inviting me. I’m really looking forward to everything.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 2:22
Yeah it will be great and look, your career journey sounds absolutely fascinating and great to see, you know, a woman in science and has ended up in compliance. So tell us how did you arrive in your current role within compliance?

Kate Miller 2:37
Yeah, it has been a bit of a long journey. And I guess, you know, a number of different steps along the way, as you alluded to, in the intro, I started my career in HR. In my undergrad degree, I focused on industrial relations and organizational psychology. And I really was really passionate about trying to make a positive impact from within an organization in an HR function. And in HR, over the course of about six years, I worked in healthcare, technology and then moved into banking. And at this time, I also moved to London. And from that perspective, I’d seen a lot of what happens when people join a firm and then when they leave. And they’re leaving either through their own choice through redundancy, or in some cases when they’ve made a serious mistake or misjudgment. And I guess I was really interested to think about kind of what happened in between and, and really get a lot closer to the business. So there was an opportunity in 2008 to move into a COO role and risk that was really broad role, it gave me exposure to all of the different risk types that happened in the organization at the time. So like credit market, liquidity, operational, and even compliance. My main responsibilities in that role were things like budget management, project management, reg coordination, and actually managing the graduate program. So quite sort of varied. And I joined that role in July 2008. And then in September 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed, which really sort of catapulted the role that I was doing into a quite a critical support function. I had a huge amount of exposure to the bank senior management, it was a really amazing learning environment, seeing kind of how decisions were being made during the crisis, day by day, even hour by hour sometimes, so a really interesting learning space. And then over the next sort of period of time around 2011 to 2017. I oscillated between second line and first line, risk focused roles predominantly sort of operational risk and first line risk management. So I did a second line op risk role in London, and then moved to Singapore and did an Asia regional business management role. And then I moved into the head of operational risk for the Asia region. Each of these opportunities, taught me new skills and really broadened my perspective around non financial risk. And I think they’re all fairly strategic. And I really benefited from working really closely with senior management in the region to sort of help me focus and sharpen my skills over that period. And then in 2017, I got approached about this role in compliance in SCB. And when I joined, the team was really quite a bit different in terms of its focus, so much of more traditional I suppose conduct team, it was really focused on investigations, identifying and escalating conduct issues or events, a lot of kind of post event, analysis and sort of interrogation, I guess, of information. And, and I guess, after spending quite a bit of time in this sort of reactive response, sort of mode, which you do, I guess, within compliance, and also in operational risk, and then also seeing it from HR perspectives and COO, I think I was really interested to think about, you know, bringing a new approach. And so towards the end of last year, we had the opportunity to pivot the team’s focus, to be a lot more proactive. And now we help the bank to think about behavioral risks and opportunities, not always just about risks, but also about trying to identify behaviors that are kind of positive and doing the right thing within the organization, and how do we sort of like, elevate and create more of that opportunity? The emphasis of our work is really to deliver the best customer outcomes and workplace culture. And like every project that we do, we bring it back to that as our kind of mission statement.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 6:52
That’s fascinating. And I’m really excited to hear more about what you’re doing, from science perspective a little bit later, the value you’re providing to Standard Chartered, in that space on achieving customer outcomes in such a critical time in the world right now. And in regulation. You know, very fascinating career exposed to lots of different teams and roles. What have been some of your highlights to-date, your favorite moments in your work career?

Kate Miller 7:21
Yeah, so I my first role as a graduate within an HR function in a hospital. So, you know, sort of an interesting foray into professional work. But it was such an amazing first role because it was graduate, I was exposed to a number of different parts of the operations of the hospital and, and I was literally thrown in the deep end, you know, in a number of different areas by the senior management. So it just gave me loads of exposure over a relatively short period of time, and really supportive working environment. Definitely taking on the COO role joining risk in in 2008. Within SB PLC London, as I mentioned before, like when the crisis hit, really sort of the role required me to try things I’d never attempted before and really build my knowledge quickly. on things like, you know, looking at things on a day by day basis, the head of op risk, for sure, within ICBC Standard for Asia was the role really had loads of accountability for the Asia regional offices, it was, yeah, it really required me to kind of step outside of my comfort zone again. And I think I mentioned I had really fantastic management over that period. So I really felt like I was, my skill developed, yeah. And I was kind of coached and, and sort of, it was just a good learning period. And then right now, I feel so grateful to be in the position that I mean, you know, it’s certainly not easy to kind of, in this case, within compliance, be asking people to think very differently about problems, to challenge a way of working the way that their personal belief structures even just like the ultimate sort of paradigm that they’re used to working in. But when we kind of see the light bulbs go off within this role that we do now, it’s extremely rewarding. And I just find every day is kind of like uncharted waters. And I really just really enjoy being in that space at the moment.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 9:28
Yeah, that’s absolutely fascinating. Towards the end there, you know, being able to take every day being different. And we chatted previous session around some of the work that you’ve been doing in creating those positive outcomes, which really is just the goal of every bank and financial services with the amount of bad media that banks get so I’m really interested in how you’ve got here. What are some of the the best parts of your your current role?

Kate Miller 9:59
Well literally Every day is different. So I really relish that variety, I suppose having done more structured risk and governance type roles where there’s sort of fairly repetitive kind of monthly cycle of activity or annual cycle, the variety and the opportunity that we get to work with our stakeholders, across the bank on all manner of behavioral areas of focus, whether they be risks or opportunities is really just so interesting and so fascinating. And it’s just, you know, every day is very different. And then it’s extremely humbling when, you know, we’re able to get to work with stakeholders, and help them to think about problems in a really different way, help them to diagnose the behavioral area that they want to focus on. Either we can help them do that with observational data or, or through different inquiry methods. And then we work with them on designing interventions, or we can help them make the next set of decisions with this new knowledge that they have in front of them. So yeah, it’s, it’s quite a rewarding space to work in, I think.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 11:08
Super interesting as well. I mean, it’s risk management week, from what I’ve seen is a massive week long conference going on at the moment focusing on risk management. And I think you’ve hit the nail on the head right there in your last statement, going away from the monthly cycle, or the annual cycle of just reporting on risk management, and actually helping businesses make the right decisions with the information that they have around the risks that could be in their process to make the right decisions. I mean, that’s what risk management should be about, right?

Kate Miller 11:41
Yeah, definitely.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 11:42
So speaking of risk, what do you think has been the biggest risk in your career today?

Kate Miller 11:47
So yeah, I guess in some respects, what we’re doing now is a little bit risky, in that it is very new, it’s uncharted waters, it’s, it’s hard for people to step away from the cycles that you just mentioned, feels comfortable, people have kind of worked that way for, you know, an extended period of time. So I do feel in many respects, a lot of the time I’m putting myself out there personally, and I think the team does as well, you know, because we’re quite passionate about the subject and the approach, and being sort of systematic in our thinking and kind of helping people to look at data and observations and, and kind of use these in different ways. So it is risky, but kind of ultimately, what’s the worst that can happen? So I guess, what I do think is that any risk you take, ultimately, there’s some sort of payoff for trying something new and trying something different. So even if you don’t achieve the original objective that you set out to quite often, I’ve observed, like, perhaps maybe if I put myself up for a different role, or if I’ve tried to do a new piece of work with a new part of the organization, and for whatever reason, it’s just, you know, not the right time, or you know, not the right, you know, not the right combination of factors at that given time. You, You still build the network, you still, you know, learn a lot of things about yourself, it’s an opportunity to develop and kind of grow yourself, and also the rest of our team. So I guess I think that risks are kind of there to be taken. And we should sort of push ourselves to, to try new things.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 13:36
I definitely agree. Having traveled around the world and taking risks on different companies and different roles. I completely agree. How else do we grow? And really, it’s an experiment on ourselves the science of improving ourselves. Would you recommend a career in compliance after moving in compliance? And why?

Kate Miller 13:55
Yeah, I sort of always had this impression of what I thought compliance was before I joined the function. So yeah, you know, bound by my own bias and sort of mental model of what the function delivers. Look, I think that compliance has such a unique position within any business model. But like, let’s be really honest, it is terribly branded as a function. People’s general perception of the area is that it’s there to put brakes on ideas and innovation. It’s there kind of wielding the regulatory stick. And I guess, you know, perhaps, people sort of believe that it’s, it’s just about kind of standing behind sort of policy and procedure and not really necessarily rolling your sleeves up and kind of getting involved. However, I think there’s a tremendous opportunity within compliance. And I think, certainly, over this sort of, you know, we’re kind of seeing this, I guess, the sort of compliance 3.0 approach, you know, whether it’s using kind of data or kind of different ways to think about the application of compliance. And I think if you can do it well, whereby you sort of draw from a broad variety of data. And then you can combine this with these really useful qualitative inputs that only come from being a trusted confidant of the business and kind of being there, when the chips are down. If you can kind of find a way to sort of bring this all together, you’re really in an excellent position within any organization to have this complete view of things. And I think that you can really work with the business and your stakeholders to try new methods of solving problems and, and helping them to think about risk in a number of different ways. So, so yeah, I think there’s tremendous opportunity. And I’ve changed my opinion of compliance over the course of the time that I’ve been there.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 15:51
I’m glad to see you’ve had a turnaround and opinion, compliance. But I think that you’re probably very lucky in the roles that you’ve been in. And, as you say, the compliance application that you’re in, I certainly speak to compliance organizations of various different firms, and they’re all a different level of maturity in terms of the way they see compliance. So there’s some that are probably where you thought compliance was at the beginning, probably compliance, 1.0, or 0.5, versus the 3.0 that you’re working in. So we’ll move on now to our expert opinion piece, which really is around today, the impact and importance of data and science for the conduct. So you’ve talked a little bit about your role at Standard Chartered around behavioral science, what is your team doing? And how do you operate?

Kate Miller 16:44
Yeah, so we are called Conduct and Behavioral Analysis, which sort of as I was talking about branding and compliance, I always feel a little bit apprehensive about our name. But, you know, I feel like it sort of comes with a bit of a negative connotation, but we are really trying within compliance to have a positive impact with our work and not just study people’s behavior, you know, from behind the glass. But anyway, so we’re a small multidisciplinary team. And we draw on behavioral and data science, and we sit within compliance as advisory function. So we describe our approach internally as working towards applied behavioral science. So we recognize that we are literally just scratching the surface of this way of thinking and working and, you know, really want to kind of acknowledge that we have a long way to go in being sort of true applied behavioral science function, but we’re certainly making some headway. We’ve got a variety of data science and analytics capabilities within the team. And we use this as a foundation to support the organization with a behavioral view, which relates to both risks and opportunities, as I think I mentioned earlier. And our output is anything from data and insights through to behavioral experiments. So we’re actually doing like, originally, we were doing predominantly all data and insights. And now we’re actually doing kind of, I would say, almost like a 50/50 split of experimentation or supporting the organization to run experiments, and then yeah also doing the data science components. As a little team, I describe us as a puzzle. And I sort of, you know, we actively recruited for different puzzle pieces, at the end of last year, and earlier this year, we really wanted to have diversity of thought, as much as we could, we’re only a small team, but we wanted to try and maximize that kind of thinking capability. And if I was going to describe my puzzle piece, I guess I bring some SME inputs on the behavioral science side. And then really drawing a lot from my broad background of work experience. I do a lot of hypothesis generation. So I guess I’ve kind of seen a lot of things happen over my time. And, and so that really helps with hypotheses generation for both the data exploration, but then also the actual experimentation process. I developed our framework our methodology, the tools that we use to kind of support diagnosis and, and kind of help run experiments. I tend to do the business development for our team. So I’ve, I sort of generate a lot of the pipeline for our of our work through my network within the organization. But most importantly, I’m here to support the team and help them in their personal development and their kind of building out their career within the bank. I see that as you know, really, fundamentally one of my core deliverables is to make sure that the team feels and understands their worth, and can have the opportunity to kind of, you know, develop and push themselves in a number of different directions.

Kimberley Cole 20:12
This episode is brought to you in partnership with MyComplianceOffice with clients in over 80 countries and employees around the world. MyComplianceOffice is committed to delivering affordable easy to use compliance technology. Thank you MyComplianceOffice for your support of Risky Women Radio.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 20:34
And so in terms of the different types of puzzle pieces, what are some of the other examples of that diversity of thought that you mentioned? What kind of backgrounds do you need to make up the full puzzle?

Kate Miller 20:46
Within our team, we have a psychologist who is also a data scientist. So his undergrad was in psychology. And then he has done a huge amount of work since university in the field of data science, and is about to go and do some more study in that field. We have a mathematician, so we have someone that has a mathematics background and was actually working within our model validation part of the organization and came across to our team. And then we also have skills in forensic accounting, investigations, I guess, you’re sort of more stereotypical, accounting, like very methodical structured, being able to kind of go through a lot of different data and also information and kind of identify the issues throughout that. And then, from my perspective, probably quite a sort of generalist like broad set of experience across across different organizations and operating models, different academic interests and backgrounds. But yeah, also kind of focused on the practical application over a period of time.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 22:04
It’s fantastic to hear these stories of where science itself is now, inside the bank, as opposed to being used, for example, if there was just an investigation, you know, the output at the end, as opposed to trying to understand the input and processes, it’s really cool. So in terms of the projects, you’re using all of this team for, what are some of the thematic areas, you’re applying the science to an event?

Kate Miller 22:31
Yeah, I mentioned that we with the work is focused on identifying problematic behaviors. And then also leveraging effective behaviors to deliver positive and really the best customer outcomes that we can manage, and, and to improve workplace culture. So we have four thematic areas that we focus our work around, and that is workplace culture and decision making, risk awareness and management, customer centricity, and then sustainability. So, you know, I guess, sustainability of business practices, all the way through to, you know, the more traditional understanding of what sustainability is. So I guess we’re sort of trying to encapsulate those factors, because I think increasingly, that they’re not these sort of mutually exclusive areas, you really need to think about how everything works holistically. And then how that kind of translates into output… I mentioned, we do quite a lot of data analysis and insights, we can also help with behavioral detection, and, you know, work with different parts of the organization to think about, like how they might predict some behaviors. We haven’t done a lot on prediction at this stage, but it’s certainly something that we work towards over time. Data exploration and behavioral redesign. And then quasi experiments and intervention. So that’s, for example, that’s when we measure something that we’re interested in, so a behavior that we’re interested in, and then we run an intervention, and then we measure it afterwards, to see what effect has taken place. And then behavioral experiments and interventions. And I guess the difference being with those versus quasi is that we’re identifying a treatment or a series of treatments, and then we randomize that across the participant group. So in a traditional kind of randomized control trial approach, it means that you can really have empirical evidence that the treatment that you’ve applied has had an effect on changing behavior. So it’s considered the gold standard within this field. And yeah, interestingly, I guess I perhaps, you know, from my studies, I guess my impression originally was that potentially randomized control trials would be very hard to deliver within organizations. But actually, we’ve had a lot of interest and quite a lot of uptake and support for pursuing these types of experiments with the organization. And I think because we’re internal versus consultancy, we know how to get the data quickly, you know, to prepare for the experiment, we can, you know, do a lot of that preparation, which is usually the biggest part of the process, we can, because we can kind of run a lot of that in house and we know sort of ways to streamline, we are getting a number of these under way across different parts of the organization, which is it’s really exciting. Yeah, and I guess our framework is there to sort of help stakeholders name and understand the behaviors within their areas, because sometimes they might not even be able to do that. So they sort of know that there’s a problem, but they can’t actually like, put their finger on it. So methodology is really around, being able to name it, and then to really understand what’s driving it, whether it’s contextual environment, whether it’s bias, whether it’s judgments, whether it’s just the way that we’ve structured the organization, the way that we’re giving people information. And then ultimately, they can decide, you know, they sort of have that information, and they can make better decisions. Or they can decide, you know, yeah, let’s run an experiment and kind of see what happens as a result of that.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 26:27
Yeah, I imagine that’s quite fascinating working with such a large organization that is incredibly diverse. Do you have any examples, I guess, that you can share, you know, agnostic, with regards to using data and science to solve a problem?

Kate Miller 26:43
Yes, I can. Um, so an example of using data and then applying some science, we’re working with a part of the business that has a fairly sophisticated and unique client engagement tool. So we use data and behavioral science, to help them uncover categories of behaviors that their relationship managers undertake within the tool. So we’re moving away from what people think they know about how people use the tool, and how what the customer experience is like to what is actually happening. I mean, this project is still in flight. But my longer term aspiration, I guess, coming at this from a second line perspective, is to help them think about how can we kind of redesign the tool from a user perspective, such that you can design risk management, awareness, and thinking into the tool to sort of help people navigate through the tool in a way that is risk conscious, and ultimately focused on delivering the best customer outcomes. So really sort of helping them think about the sustainability of their business model and kind of integrating that risk management into the first line activities. And then perhaps another example that comes to mind, which we’re working on at the moment where we don’t necessarily have the data. So we create the data, and then we do the science. So for example, we’re working with one of our governance arms of the bank, which has experienced a lot of issues around the uptake of their review findings. Basically, people like not getting things done on time and not to a certain appropriate standard. And indicative, I guess, people not really placing like a high degree of importance on the findings or not being able to prioritize closing the points out.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 28:37
Issue fatigue!

Kate Miller 28:39
Exactly. Exactly. So, I mean, that works, obviously a lot more qualitative in nature. And we’re really looking to understand like, what’s driving the behaviors, what’s behind the lack of activity. And then the intention for this project would be to run several experiments aimed at influencing behaviors towards better outcomes, we might use choice architecture or nudging or you know, other kind of behavioral change interventions to see what works best. And really how we can sort of help this governance area become more effective. And it’s kind of interesting. We’ve just recently talked about this within the science community that exists that I set up with a colleague within the bank. And there are other governance areas that are part of this community who also really interested because it’s obviously such a theme across the organization. And yeah, because people are fatigued. And we have so many requirements, you know, sitting on people’s shoulders, and then on top of that, you kind of layer COVID and a huge amount of uncertainty and market volatility and a lot of change. And yeah, so it’s quite interesting how, you know, we sort of start something and then it gets a bit of momentum and it is quite relevant to a lot of other areas within the organization.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 29:54
You know, you’ll have to keep me in the loop as to how that goes as an ex internal auditor myself, I completely understand the challenges of governance and trying to get issues addressed on time. If you’re not on top of it, people forget. So I’ll be interested in how the nudging goes. So look in terms of the science and the experiments you’re doing, you know, how do you see this changing compliance over time?

Kate Miller 30:19
So I definitely think that surprise, surprise that compliance should be more data driven. And I really think kind of leveraging that unique position that the function has at the heart of the firm. I also think that compliance has a real responsibility to be a connector. So I think it’s really important to bring like all the relevant stakeholders to the table and into the conversation. So one thing that I’m really passionate about, and we try to do with all of our experiments is, you know, who needs to kind of help in this diagnosis process. And as we’re designing the experiment, like he’s perspective would be really important. So it might be someone from HR, it might be someone from audit, it probably needs to be a couple of people from different parts of the business, depending on what sort of problem we’re looking at. And so I do think it’s really important for compliance, to kind of step out from behind that more comfortable place of kind of policy and procedure. And where we’ve previously been quite sort of reactive, and take the opportunity to sort of lead and stand with the business and stand with different parts of the organization and kind of move this stuff forward. I really think it’s really got such a broad view of what’s going on within the organization, very sort of first hand knowledge of what’s going on in the organization. And I think that it can really harness this and leverage it in the future.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 31:48
Yup, absolutely. And you’re right, you do need to bring everyone to the table to really understand the challenges. I guess the same goes for risk management. What do you see as some of your biggest challenges and opportunities ahead? In this role?

Kate Miller 32:03
Okay. Yeah, I think for our team, trying to land, an applied behavioral science capability, for example, our team being able to identify and undertake key experiments for the bank, and to do it with a suitable level of rigor, and methods. And then being able to do this from a second line perspective. It’s challenging, it’s, you know, it’s not an easy feat. But I think if we’re able to pull it off, if we can, you know, have a number of I mean, even this year, we’ve had a number of great projects with really great outcomes. And I think that that momentum is, is really sort of building within the firm. And I do think that if we can help the organization to be kind of more systematic in its approach to problem solving, it can have a real positive impact on the way that we support our clients and kind of build our workplace culture. So it’s a fantastic opportunity. So it’s, you know, it is it is a challenge, but has this kind of great potential, you know, for the team, and certainly also, all of the people that we work with, I think it’s just a great opportunity to kind of think about these behavioral problems in new ways.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 33:18
Yes, absolutely. And I think you know, you a going to talk earlier, and I kind of skipped over the question from time and perspective, you know, around regulators, you know, wanting to see financial institutions, perhaps do more in this space, I think the opportunity is you’re going to identify control weaknesses, with people, perhaps, you know, faster than a regulator might actually find an issue before it becomes an issue. And I think that’s a fantastic opportunity for any bank. If you were going to summarize in a few key points, what the impact of data and science could be on the function, what would be the top three points?

Kate Miller 33:57
So from a data perspective, I think that compliance has a wealth of useful data at its fingertips, but the function really has to get better at aggregating that data. And then finding methods as I mentioned before, how do we integrate the qualitative inputs? So those great conversations that we have with stakeholders, the discussions from governance meetings, observation, so that it’s like not all sitting in senior management head, so that we can, you know, extract it onto a page or just ways to kind of incorporate that into our thinking and decision making. And then I think from a science perspective, compliance has traditionally relied very heavily on this sort of expert opinion approach, which is naturally going to be biased, right? It’s going to be biased to the expert in question. It will draw on that expert’s, heuristics and the rules of thumb, their psychological profile, their personal experiences, the context in which they learnt their trade and also the context that they making those decisions. So I think bringing a scientific approach and a curiosity to the work means that we can really leverage that internal expertise, but actually have like hard data and evidence to back it up. And then the only other thing that I think is really important is that within compliance and within risk, you know, certainly throughout my whole career, every day, we see this chasm between what the regulator expects, and what happens in practice, how we set up our policies and procedures and how they’re actually administered, how we design our products and services, and how they get sold to clients, and then how we structure our companies and organizations, and then what the line managers do. So I think behavioral science can really build a bridge between what we think is happening and what’s actually happening on the ground. And it can really help us to start to close the gaps across the organization. I mean, there’s just so many opportunities, you sort of think about where you could apply this, and it’s kind of literally, everywhere across the organization. They’re, you know, working examples of how you can apply this lens. And I think, as I mentioned, also, being in this kind of heart of the organization, it’s really important to bring people into the conversation and create that sort of cross discipline approach to problem solving and ideation. And, yeah, just better risk management.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 36:29
Well, it sounds like you’re going to be busy for a very long time. Lots of opportunity and challenges to help address and you know, as a person who reads the regulatory news, essentially every day, yeah, wealth of opportunity to try and find these weaknesses and address them. So good on you.

Kate Miller 36:47
Thank you.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 36:48
As you’ve said, it sounds like it’s a really fun role, to be honest, because it is changing every day. And you’re really seeing these experiments, results and outcomes, I think, fantastic.

Kimberley Cole 37:01
Connecting, celebrating and championing women in risk regulation and compliance, Risky Women Radio takes an intimate look at the rants and revelations of the top women shaping the debate and the industry.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 37:17
Let’s move on now to our vents and revelations. This is where we get to the fun part part three and part four of our of our podcast, what is the top piece of advice you have been given or like a lightbulb moment, something that shaped the choices you’ve made in your career.

Kate Miller 37:34
I will rely on recency bias, and I will talk about, I think a light bulb for me was taking the course at the LSE. It’s really just reignited passion for this area. But I think just sort of helped me set on a new path. And a journey towards applying behavioral science, which I’m really passionate about. The course is brilliant. The faculty provides such a broad set of perspectives, they cram so much into a short period of time, it was just a brilliant learning experience. And yeah, I think it just really helped me to reconnect with areas of academic interest from from sort of different stages in my career. But then also just think about all of these, like practical experiences that we have day to day, and how I can come and apply this sort of new lens and leverage all of that practical experience and try to sort of help solve problems in different ways.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 38:29
And great revelation indeed. And I know that there’s some great study being done in general within the UK or England, in this behavioral science space. So you know, that’s fantastic. What would be your rant? What is the one thing that you’d really want to change, just one thing? Because there’s probably a few!

Kate Miller 38:49
I know, okay, well, I really wish that human beings were a lot kinder to the planet and the ecosystems that we all live in. So I think if we could, I think we’ve, we’ve done so many amazing things on Earth, but we’re really heavy handed in the way in which we go about that. And I would just love if humanity were able to agree collectively that we could live in a greater harmony with the planet. I think, you know, with COVID, we’ve obviously all had an opportunity to sort of take a step back and think about the way that we live our lives and sort of maybe some, you know, more systemic changes that we want to make, to, you know, the way we live our lives going forward. But yeah, I guess the fundamental concern for me around impact on the environment is, you know, the politicization and polarization that’s associated with environmental issues. I just think it’s, it’s so damaging and time wasting. And I just wish we could all agree that we need to do more.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 39:52
I know I think a lot of us feel that way. And I’m sure you know if if it’s not on your list in the rapid fire, right? And of what to watch, certainly the recent David Attenborough film highlights that his life story. Gosh, it just makes you go, what can I do more in my day to day life? Right? Literally just looking at yesterday about all the river pollution and the work that the big ocean cleanups trying to do here in Asia. How can I contribute more? You know, I don’t have the big philanthropic donation, but I know that we could invest in better companies that are doing better things, right. So that’s maybe what I would focus on. Part four, the rapid fire round!

Kimberley Cole 40:36
Risky Women is a vibrant network at the center of a global community in a rapidly growing, evolving and influential industry. Given the continued pace of change, our rapid fire round revisits the most pressing topics to share ideas and offer listeners new perspectives.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 40:54
You ready?

Kate Miller 40:56
Yes.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 40:57
Okay, one word. One word to describe the world of governance risk and compliance.

Kate Miller 41:05
Opportunity.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 41:07
I like it. One word to cure the cost of compliance.

Kate Miller 41:12
Experimentation.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 41:14
Completely on point without discussion today. In one word, what is the biggest risk in the year ahead?

Kate Miller 41:24
Can I use 2.5 words? Geopolitical uncertainty.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 41:30
Yeah, I think I mean, we don’t need to say more. Describe in one word, what you believe is the impact of compliance.

Kate Miller 41:39
Enabler.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 41:41
Excellent. I mean, we all absolutely want that to be the goal of compliance, I think. And do you think you are optimistic, pessimistic or neutral in your outlook?

Kate Miller 41:53
I think I’m optimistic.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 41:55
Yeah, I’m still waiting for somebody to say pessimistic you’re all so positive. I love it. Love it. Okay, so this is where we get to the fun part as well. You know, it’s been COVID and everyone is just at home. Can you recommend a book to read? Yeah, book to read.

Kate Miller 42:16
Okay. I yes. All I’ve been reading is nonfiction really for the last 18 months. So I really loved Seeing What Others Don’t by Gary Klein. It looks at the way in which we kind of come about insights as a human race and what can interfere with this process. So yeah, it’s really interesting.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 42:37
Okay. Yeah, and I personally am in the fiction category at the moment work has been so busy. I’m, I like to escape. I’ll put that one on the list. And what about to watch?

Kate Miller 42:53
Oh, I love RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 42:56
What’s that about?

Kelly-Ann McHugh 42:57
Well, it’s a competition for drag queens run by RuPaul on Netflix now It used to be you know, you still have to download it. It’s an American based company but then they they have different franchises in different parts of the world. I love it. I think that’s definitely my favorite in terms of just been able to switch off and enjoy.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 43:22
Excellent. That definitely replaces the the nonfiction and and what about podcast?

Kate Miller 43:28
Well Risky Women of course. I actually do this into quite a few podcasts. Like when I’m exercising, you know, just driving around or something like that. So Risky Women. I really like Human Risk by Christian Hunt. And then behavioral economics for good B.E.GOOD by the BVA Nudge Unit. Yeah, those are probably my my top three.

Kelly-Ann McHugh 43:52
Fantastic. Well, thank you very much. Thank you for listening to Risky Women and being a guest today. I certainly hope that all of our guests have really enjoyed hearing about experimentation and science within financial services and within compliance in particular. Thank you very much for your time, Kate.

Kate Miller 44:11
Oh, thank you so much for having me lovely to speak to you.

Kimberley Cole 44:15
Thank you for listening to this exciting episode of Risky Women Radio to connect, champion and celebrate women in risk, regulation, and compliance. I’m Kimberley Cole, based in Hong Kong. For more information on the Risky Women global network, head to our website, in the Episode Notes and please be part of the ongoing conversation by subscribing to this podcast, connecting with us @RiskyWomen on Twitter or even reaching out to me directly by email.

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