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Jacqueline Maduneme

Jacqueline Maduneme

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I’m Jacqueline Maduneme, CEO and Founder of Compliance Core. Compliance Core is a risk management consulting and technology solutions firm to small and mid-sized financial firms. We enable rapid business outcomes by bringing the right solution to create transformative change. For additional information, please visit: My current focus is on client acquisition.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I became a member of Ellevate Network because I was looking for a community of professional women committed to supporting one another. My favorite Ellevate Network memory goes back to 2011, when Ellevate Network was still 85 Broads. I was about to publish my book. I needed a quote for the back cover of my book before we go to publication. I reached out to Janey Hanson, the then CEO & Founder of 85 Broads. She was incredibly supportive, but I honestly did not expect her to make time to read the book within my one-week timeframe given her busy schedule. But she read my book, gave me an incredible quote and her permission to use it on the back cover. I could not have been more grateful. But she truly embodied Ellevate Network’s mission.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

To be successful in my line of work, you need to be persistence, think creatively, think practically and conceptually, a problem-solver, credible, curious, collaborative, and empathetic.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

One of my most memorable career accomplishments was development an end-to-end solution for Volcker Rule compliance in my previous role. The deadline was looming, and the chief compliance officer has not been able to identify anyone willing to take ownership for developing and implementing a solution. With six months to the compliance date, she brought me on to help the bank implement this overly complex rule that impacted the entire bank. In reality, I needed 12 months to put in place an effective program, but I did not have that luxury. The clock had been ticking and nothing had been put in place, and now I had 6 months left to get it done. Leading a team of 50 teammates, I went to work. We performed an impact assessment of the entire bank, designed processes and controls, designed and implemented end-to-end technology system for manage ongoing enterprise-wide compliance, developed risk-based policies and procedures, developed enterprise-wide training program, presented our solution and compliance strategies to our primary regulator, and went live two weeks before the compliance date. It was a challenging but rewarding experience.

What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?

Shortly after implementing the Volcker Rule compliance program, the chief compliance officer promoted me to head a new department managing all enterprise-wide regulatory risk initiatives and programs. Her priority in my new role, in addition to my day to day responsibilities, was to develop a regulatory change management approach and framework, implement an end-to-end technology solution to manage all regulatory changes, develop an inventory of all federal and state laws, regulations and guidance applicable to the bank, develop regulatory change management policies and procedures, and implement a regulatory change management training program. It took six months to go live with phase 1 of the project. We demoed our solution to our primary regulator, and they were pleased with the direction we were taking our regulatory risk management activities.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

For better or worse, risk management in the 21st century is driven by regulatory compliance. So, as Head of Enterprise Compliance Programs in my previous role, I was involved in any initiative with a regulatory risk underpinning, whether it is compliance risk, credit risk, operational risk, business continuity, third party risk, etc. I love devising solutions and strategies to complex regulatory requirements, so this was a great role for me because I get involved in pretty much everything. What I don’t have time for, however, are endless meetings where laws, regulations, guidance and internal procedures are discussed ad nauseam, knowing that nothing will be done because no one really wants to do anything. Over time, this had a way of dissipating my enthusiasm. But I am passionate about what I do and I wanted to go back to focusing on that, so I started Compliance Core.

Compliance Core is the logical culmination of nearly 30 years of global tax, regulatory risk and control experience servicing clients in various sectors, most notably financial services. Most recently, I was a senior executive at SunTrust Bank in Atlanta serving as head of enterprise compliance programs, where I led a team that designed and implemented large-scale regulatory initiatives across the bank. Prior experience includes key positions at Citigroup, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft, and the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office. My accomplishments over the years range from strategic business improvements to multinational initiatives representing billions of dollars, including designing and implementing processes and systems to drive compliance, risk management, transparency and operational efficiency.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is applying my technical skills to solve clients most pressing regulatory risk management challenges, influencing the direction of their risk management activities, and helping their personnel develop their skills and understand how to apply risk management principles and practices proactively, transparently, and strategically.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

When I hear my clients tell me how I helped them resolve an issue they’ve been struggling with, it warms my heart. And that’s the legacy I want to leave through work – a legacy of executional excellence, professionalism, and trust.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

Starting Compliance Core is a good fit for me because it is at a good intersection between what I’m good at, what clients need, and what I enjoy doing.

What is your morning ritual?

My morning ritual is rather plain. I start my morning with a run and either hot yoga or strength training. And then I focus on what’s going on in the financial services industry – what the regulators are saying and new and proposed regulatory initiatives.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

I've always been a stickler for perfectionism, and while it's generally a good thing, it can be a handicap if it gets in the way of progress. The best career advice I’ve ever received was from one of my favorite books “Imagine: How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer – “The lesson of letting go is that we constrain our own creativity. We are so worried about playing the wrong note or saying the wrong thing that we end up with nothing at all, the silence of the scared imagination.”

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.