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Compliance Superhero

Compliance Superhero: Annia Prado

Xavier Holland
April 17, 2024
Compliance Superhero: Julie Tucker

Welcome back to our Compliance Superhero Series! Every month, we highlight a compliance professional who we feel is doing excellent work and ask them about their background, their thoughts on the industry, and any hidden superpowers they have. I’ve reached out to Marvel about adding them to the next phase of the MCU, but in the meantime, you can get to know them here. This month, we’re highlighting Annia Prado, a Compliance Manager at Marqeta. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Welcome back to our Compliance Superhero Series! This month, we're highlighting Annia Prado, a Compliance Manager at Marqeta.

Welcome! Tell me a little bit about yourself and your role at Marqeta.
My name is Annia Prado, I’m a self-professed Compliance Nerd, mom of two rambunctious little boys who rule my world, and a Compliance Manager at Marqeta with a focus in UDAAP/UDAP and Marketing Compliance Advisory.

What was your path to the compliance space?
Like many compliance professionals, my compliance journey started from humble beginnings. I was a college student that was working as a teller at a pilot branch with late drive-through hours. I fell in love with being able to explain bank processes and procedures in simple terms that customers could understand.

The journey has taken me to many nooks and crannies of traditional banking, from teller to branch management and various operation/back-office roles until I finally landed in the compliance space via a compliance consulting role. Once I was fully immersed, I knew immediately that was where I wanted my career to be. Since then, I’ve worked in both the internal audit and compliance space as a compliance auditor and compliance officer and advisor roles.

What compels you about the work you do?
I find compliance to be very fascinating. As a customer, you don’t always understand why banks “do the things they do” and it wasn’t until I cracked open a TISA disclosure (I know – nerd alert!) during my teller days, and started highlighting sections to figure out what they meant, that I knew there were better ways to explain processes to people, but it required understanding regulations and being able to interpret.

Being able to isolate risk, understand mitigating controls (or sometimes lack thereof) and then being able to properly explain the requirements behind why something can or cannot happen, in a way that customer or a peer could understand has always been very fulfilling for me.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for a successful compliance program?
I would say, appreciate that not all audiences understand compliance and sometimes you must meet them where they are so that they can understand how compliance does impact them at the end of the day. Being able to properly explain regulatory requirements in simple terms is a soft skill necessary for any compliance team, but being able to know how to address various audience groups and adapt accordingly is also important to establish the type of compliance program necessary for the teams you support.

What tools–software or otherwise–are most important for your work?
Not exactly a “tool” but staying up to date with training and attending conferences, webinars. Being in the know and staying on top of industry hot topics, is very important. I work by the mantra that “knowledge is power”: the more you know and understand, the easier you’ll be able to isolate issues, understand how you can assist in providing recommendations and/or solutions and the more respect and trust you earn from the individuals you work with.

How does PerformLine fit into the work you do?
PerformLine and the team I work with at PerformLine have been exceptional in helping leverage work that would otherwise be painfully manual. Working with the team to build out rules to identify key compliance issues with website reviews has been so helpful! We work with many fintech programs and partner banks so being able to move quickly, remediate issues, and have more automated processes is crucial.

What do you see happening within the compliance space in the next 1-2 years?
BaaS and fintech partnerships are going to continue to evolve and regulatory scrutiny is going to grow. It has been very interesting and exciting to be in the fintech space and see the growth from the inside out. The regulatory landscape continues to change and adapt as technology advances and areas like Artificial Intelligence take off. It will be interesting to see how regulations catch up to the technology being used in today’s time.

What’s your secret superpower?
Ah, my superpower—I would have to say my ability to adapt quickly and move silently in my career. I’ve always worried about being too niched, but I feel like I’ve had a great blend of traditional banking and now fintech experience, while at the same time keeping my compliance knowledge well rounded and sharp in all areas. I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of great mentors in my career, so that has helped in making the right decisions and embracing the ability to pivot and adapt whenever needed.

Outside of work, my husband would say, my superpower is being a great mom! I’m very involved and really work hard at balancing work and my personal life. It is something I take great pride in—it’s hard work but very rewarding!

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