ACFE Member Profile
Peter Warrack, CFE
Director of Risk Intelligence, BMO Financial Group
As Director of Risk Intelligence for BMO Financial Group, Peter Warrack, CFE, has assisted with his fair share of investigations and challenges. Having worked in the U.K. and Canada, Warrack has formed and headed anti-money laundering financial intelligence units in multiple companies. When asked about the unique challenges with risk management in relation to fraud Warrack says, “Rather than unique challenges, I would say unique opportunities. Detecting money laundering identifies fraud and vice versa, leveraging both is a win-win situation.”
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in London, U.K. I left home at 17 years old to join the British Army.
How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
After leaving the army, I joined the police in Northern Ireland. After a short time in uniform I became a detective and quickly found myself dealing with everything from terrorist atrocities and homicide to fraud and money laundering. I ended up in the Fraud Squad working with major and complex cases and realized I had a knack for solving such crimes and putting the perpetrators before the courts.
Why did you decide to pursue the CFE credential?
Truthfully, I had been putting it off for years – I felt I didn’t need a qualification when I had demonstrated experience investigating fraud in the real world. However, more recently when I spoke with other ACFE members, I realized I could learn a lot from the ACFE community. They encouraged me to obtain the certification, and I’m glad I did.
What steps led you to your current position?
I was a senior police officer in the Fraud Squad in Northern Ireland, where I was at the forefront of intelligence-led investigations. I was invited to speak at a major fraud conference in the U.S. Whilst there, I was approached by the Royal Bank of Canada; they wished to be more proactive in the fraud field. They made me an offer and I came to Canada in 2002, where I formed and headed RBC’s intelligence capability until 2010. It was hugely successful in preventing major losses. RBC asked me to transition their AML Financial Intelligence Unit in 2010 to more of a risk-based approach. It was a natural move since fraud is money laundering in progress. In 2013, the Bank of Montreal (BMO Financial Group) was interested in doing the same, so I headed the AML FIU until April of 2015 when I moved to my current role as Director of Risk Intelligence.
What is your current role and what does it entail?
As the Director of Risk Intelligence, I head major AML /TF investigations and post STR (SAR) analytics with a view to tune monitoring scenarios and contribute to modeling to identify the bad people earlier. I am also accountable for ensuring the AML FIU has the right people with the right training and skill sets.
What is a memorable case or project that you have worked on; one that made you feel especially proud? (Feel free to alter details to protect confidential information.)
A large trust fraud in Northern Ireland was hugely complex and ended up as the longest running non-terrorist trial in the history of the courts there (eight months). The trial ended in a successful conviction. I spent every day in court, mostly being cross-examined. Also, I am proud of a couple of huge terrorist cases I worked on in Northern Ireland.
What activities or hobbies do you like to do outside of work?
Publishing on critical thinking, money laundering and intelligence-led analytics, and biking.
For more information, contact Sarah Hofmann, Public Information Officer, at (512) 478-9000 ext. 324 or