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FinTech Female Fridays:Meet Crypto Compliance Risk Manager at Anchorage Digital, Valentina Poghosyan

Updated: Mar 23

Working in crypto compliance, Valentina Poghosyan and her team are helping FinTech evolve forward. Crypto brings massive efficiencies and benefits to finance, but it has to be delivered in a compliant way. The industry is growing so rapidly, and compliance must adapt along with it. Valentina is passionate about her team's mission: "After engineering, compliance may be the second most exciting space in crypto. The work we’re doing is especially important for institutions who need to meet their regulatory and fiduciary requirements when using crypto. We help them do that through the controls and monitoring we’ve built."


Valentina joined Anchorage Digital, an institutional crypto platform with best-in-class custody at the beginning of this year. At Anchorage, Valentina is heading the Compliance Testing and Monitoring program, so she spends her time building a framework that will assist the business in identifying and mitigating compliance risks. Her goal is to enhance Anchorage Digital's current program with even more robust compliance risk testing and monitoring and her team works closely across all parts of the business and lines of defense to thoughtfully enact these goals. Understanding the business and the product is key to building the right Testing and Monitoring program.


"Anchorage welcomes you as are: you don’t need to mold yourself to fit into an already-existing company culture. It is a fast-paced and growing company, full of innovation." Valentina loves that she learns something every single hour of work. There aren’t many jobs like that.


Prior to Anchorage, Valentina has worked in multilingual environments on two continents, and is raising three children in a dual-career family along the way — it’s a lot of work but it’s fun! She graduated from Université Panthéon Assas with a Masters in European Business Law and then joined General Electric Capital, also in Paris. She spent 11 years with GE Capital in Paris, London, and Chicago, learning from the best about everything in the consumer business, leasing, and lending. After GE Capital, She joined Fitch Ratings as Senior Director and Head of the Testing and Monitoring program. Valentina took a career break in 2019, and after the break, she was thrilled when Meta’s Novi reached out with an opportunity to join them and build out the wallet’s Testing and Monitoring program.


Valentina stays self-motivated and doesn't get distracted easily when she takes on projects. This benefits from her seven years in competitive swimming. "When you swim a race and you are close to the finish, you should never turn back. Don’t worry about who is catching up. Don't get distracted when you are working towards a goal. " Valentina also appreciates being surrounded by supportive people all her life, so that she can try, err, learn, and build, and always asks for tougher projects when she feels ready.


More on Valentina


Where you currently live: I live in Greenwich, CT. I love its proximity to the coast, New York City, and the Vermont mountains.

Family at home: I live with my husband and our three children.

View of Mount Ararat taken from Valentina's home in Yerevan

Hometown: I grew up in Yerevan, Armenia, a small country that’s rich in culture, in the Middle East. Growing up in Armenia gives you unique language skills, and most Armenians speak at least 3 languages. I speak five fluently: Armenian, Russian, French, English, and Spanish.

Favorite hobby: I love reading and playing tennis.

Favorite part of your day: 8:30 am, with coffee in hand, and 7:00 pm, surrounded by my husband and children.

Favorite show to binge: I love watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime. The humorous dialogue and fun, lighthearted plots make it a delight to watch.


Daily Diary


Monday


6:00 am: I know I have to get up, but I don’t want to. My son woke up in the middle of the night and crawled into our bed, but I didn't mind. He is my third, and I know how fast they grow.


8:00 am: My husband and I drop our children off at school. We love the 30-minute drive when we get to talk to the kids about the school day ahead and plans for the evening.


11:00 am: Building out a new program framework that will take me a few more weeks to finalize. Today, I need to think through the skeleton of the framework.


12:00 pm: Our babysitter brings our youngest home. He peeps into the dining room, where I work, hugs me while I am on a call, and looks for sweets next to my coffee cup. His search is successful. He disappears back into the kitchen. My colleagues have only seen his brown curls bobbing in the background.


12:30 pm: After finishing my call, I walk to my son’s room and we play trains for 10 minutes. I have a quick snack and go back to my “office.”


4:00 pm: I have been back-to-back in meetings since 1:00 pm, so I ask the attendees of my next meeting if they don’t mind doing this call without video. They all agree. Sometimes, it’s nice to talk without looking at the screen.


5:00 pm: Working on a job spec. My team is growing, which is very exciting.


6:00 pm: On a team call that goes until 7:00 pm.


7:00pm: My favorite time of the day: dinner, bath, and story time. The older kids are far beyond needing me to read to them, but they join me when I read Julia Donaldson’s books to our youngest.


8:30 pm: Hopping on a call with one of my colleagues on the West Coast to cover our agenda and just catch up. Online work has made our relationships transactional these days, so I feel the need to spend intentional time getting to know my colleagues.


10:00 pm: Catching up on the news. During the day I mostly skim headlines. Evening is the time when I will binge read The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.



Thursday


7:00 am: It’s a mad rush to make breakfast. Grab the waterbottles and backpacks. We are late today. I throw hats, mittens, and jackets in the car. Can’t wait for warmer weather and sunshine!



8:00 am: On a call with some friends in Paris and Yerevan. I am on the board of an educational foundation, Relq, that delivers free education in technology to vulnerable populations in Armenia. It is a topic near and dear to my heart. Today, we are discussing how to enroll a new cohort and additional students to meet high demand.


8:30 am: My husband and I are back at home after dropping off our kids. Before we disperse to our respective offices, we have a cup of coffee together. It’s a truly special moment for both of us to talk in peace, without devices.


9:00 am: One-on-one calls all morning to catch up on a number of projects and ensure that my team is in sync.


1:00 pm: Interviewing a candidate for another team.


2:00 pm: Interviewing another candidate for another team. Anchorage is growing quickly!


3:00 pm: Looking through LinkedIn at profiles of candidates who could be a good fit for the role I’m hiring for.


4:00 pm: Working through scoping documents with my team to get set for upcoming engagements.


5:00 pm: Still looking through scoping documents.


6:00 pm: Just finished a call about a framework for Issue Management. Time to switch off.


8:00 pm: Dinner date with my husband!

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