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Keynote Speakers | ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference

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Kenneth A. Blanco, Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

Mr. Blanco is the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a Bureau within the Department of Treasury, established to support law enforcement and global efforts against domestic and international financial crimes via the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information from the financial sector. FinCEN administers regulations to guard against money laundering and terrorism financing and enforces compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act, among other authorities delegated to the Director through the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001.

Mr. Blanco is the 8th person to hold the position of Director of FinCEN. Prior to his appointment as Director by the Secretary of the Treasury in December of 2017, Mr. Blanco served as the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice from January 2017 until November 2017, and as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General from April 2008 until January 2017.

James H. Freis, Jr., Last CEO of Wirecard and Former Director, FinCEN

James H. Freis, Jr. has pursued a career dedicated to promoting the integrity of the global financial markets.

Mr. Freis's career as an attorney began at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He served from 1999 to 2005 at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland, supporting the harmonization of international financial standards and the investment of central bank monetary reserves; returned to the United States to work at the Treasury Department; and also was in private practice at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advising global financial institutions. From 2007 to 2012, Mr. Freis was Director (CEO) of the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the lead U.S. Government official for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing requirements, and head of the country's financial intelligence unit (FIU). From 2014 through 2020 he was Managing Director, Chief Compliance Officer, and Group Anti-Money Laundering Officer for the Deutsche Börse Group in Frankfurt, Germany, responsible for overseeing regulatory requirements and engaging with financial supervisors for Group entities on a global basis for this provider of financial market infrastructures. 

Most recently, he was asked to join Wirecard in June 2020 to professionalize the company and oversee its global regulated businesses in a newly created management board role responsible for "Integrity, Legal & Compliance". Within his first day, he exposed internal fraud, was promoted to CEO, and then initiated a global restructuring. 

Christopher Wray, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Christopher Wray became the eighth Director of the FBI on August 2, 2017. Mr. Wray began his law enforcement career in 1997, serving in the Department of Justice as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. In that role, Mr. Wray prosecuted a wide variety of federal criminal cases, including public corruption, gun trafficking, drug offenses, and financial fraud. In 2001, Mr. Wray was named associate deputy attorney general, and then principal associate deputy attorney general, in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General in Washington, D.C. His duties there spanned the full Department of Justice (DOJ), including responsibility for sensitive investigations conducted by DOJ’s law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Wray was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2003 to be the assistant attorney general for DOJ’s Criminal Division, supervising major national and international criminal investigations and prosecutions. He also oversaw the Counterterrorism Section and the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, which were part of the Criminal Division throughout his tenure (DOJ later consolidated those sections into the National Security Division).

The Honorable Juan Zarate, Global Co-Managing Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, K2 Integrity

Juan Zarate is the chairman of the Center on Economic and Financial Power, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a senior fellow at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center. He was a visiting lecturer in law at the Harvard Law School for eight years and is a published author, including his books Treasury’s War (2013) and Forging Democracy (1994).

For clients, Mr. Zarate has successfully provided expert counsel and strategic guidance on complex internal and international financial investigations; managed multidisciplinary teams advising on global anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance remediation; and overseen financial-integrity-related reforms for public and private institutions. He has also led some of the largest asset recovery ventures in history, including the return of more than $3 billion in Iraqi assets.

Mr. Zarate has advised on the most challenging anti-money laundering and financial integrity enforcement issues facing the private sector, working with key financial intelligence units, regulators, finance ministries, prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies around the world.

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Get updates on the ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference as we develop this year's program. Contact Dorothy Friedlander if you have any questions.