ACFE Member Profile
Dr. Susan Mangiero, CFE
Managing Director, Fiduciary Leadership, LLC
Continuing to learn and feed her curiosity are some of the most important things to Dr. Susan Mangiero, CFE. In addition to her extensive background in financial fraud and risk management, Dr. Mangiero is a published author and is currently working on a new book. She is the lead contributor to a blog about investment risk management and compliance. Her work has taken her to many places and exposed her to multiple industries, something that she feels has strengthened her abilities to identify red flags and explain problems that occurred.
Where were you born and raised?
I hail from New England, although I have visited and lived in many cities. When I was in graduate school, I spent time in France as an intern for a large bank. I later moved to Chicago to join the credit training program of another global bank. Upon completion, I was asked to move to the New York City area and have been here ever since.
How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
Early in my career, I recognized the value of transacting business in a fair and honest way. Mistreating people can be costly, especially in the financial sector. Information travels quickly. When someone behaves badly, their reputation is tarnished and people may decide to go elsewhere. As a young derivatives trader, I learned this lesson the hard way. Another trader refused to honor his verbal commitment on a multi-million dollar deal even though I had confirmed the details with him several times. That particular trading desk was not set up to record calls when this situation occurred. Eventually, my boss and his boss worked out a settlement but it was a real eye-opener for me. Once news got out, other traders phoned to tell me that he had done the same thing with them and that he was no longer an approved trading partner.
A few years later, I joined the litigation unit of a multinational consulting firm and worked on several securities fraud cases. When I finally had a chance to be part of an onsite team, I had an epiphany that fraud has a human face. As I was making my way to the break room late one night, I passed row after row of desks. Photos of family and friends caught my eye, and I felt sad knowing that some people who had nothing to do with the alleged fraud were going to be let go because the company could not afford to pay its legal bills and still retain a large staff. In my expert witness work, I’ve been asked to review victims’ statements and calculate economic damages. I have seen firsthand the sometimes ruinous impact on the fraudster’s family, friends and business partners. Other times, I’ve observed the human tragedy play out when innocent people are wrongly accused and there is a tremendous economic and emotional toll on them and their loved ones.
Have you had any unique experiences in conjunction with being a CFE?
I can’t say enough about the quality of the instructors who taught the program I attended last fall in New York. To a person, they were knowledgeable, enthusiastic and truly helpful. The storytelling and insights made sometimes dry material come alive. Each time I’ve called the ACFE to ask questions, I’ve received prompt replies. I am looking forward to contributing to the mission of the ACFE. It’s a great organization.
What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned since working in the anti-fraud field?
One major lesson I have learned is that an overly complicated business or investment structure merits further investigation. A forensic examiner needs to identify assets and their location and know who has a legitimate claim to those assets.
What steps led you to your current position?
After working on multiple trading desks in the areas of derivatives, fixed income and foreign exchange, I left to pursue my doctoral degree in finance and teach university courses. I received tenure and a promotion shortly thereafter only to leave full-time academics for a chance to work with another financial Ph.D. in the litigation unit of a global consulting firm. My knowledge of theory, combined with my industry work, continues to be a plus in being able to forensically analyze complex issues being litigated or scrutinized by regulators. My career path was never linear, something that I appreciate more now than ever. I’ve had a chance to experience different aspects of the financial world, as both a buyer and seller of services. The result is a broader and deeper understanding of capital-raising, risk management and the global investment industry.
What is your current role and what does it entail?
Most of my work in the last several years has been concentrated in the area of forensic economics for litigation or regulatory enforcement purposes. Other consulting projects are geared to preempting problems by reviewing internal controls and the governance infrastructure. Given the heightened focus on fiduciary norms, I anticipate an uptick in “kicking the tires” work. Numerous institutional investors and their asset managers and advisors are recognizing the need for an independent third party like me to review an existing protocol and make suggestions for improvement.
What activities or hobbies do you like to do outside of work?
I love to exercise. Whenever I can, I head to the gym or the yoga studio. Writing is a passion, as is reading, although there never seems to be enough time. About five years ago, my husband taught me how to play bridge and I’ve been hooked ever since. Scrabble is another fun pastime.
Do you have any advice for other professionals in the fraud field who may consider writing books?
Buy one of the many good books about how to write an impactful non-fiction book proposal. Know that publishers want details about why your book is unique, why you are the best person to write the book, the size of your social media platform and how readers can benefit from your expertise. Book writing is not for the faint of heart, but if you have a passion for educating, go for it!
What do you hope to personally pass on to the next generation of fraud fighters/risk managers?
Never stop being curious about the world around you. Take pride in being part of the investigative process that is a cornerstone of our legal system. Be happy to have a chance to make a difference.
For more information, contact Sarah Hofmann, Public Information Officer, at (512) 478-9000 ext. 324 or