From concrete braiding to picking transactions

Ben Kachlon - CDD Analyst

Ben Kachlon was a self-employed concrete braider for 16 years. As an entrepreneur, he knows the playing field of making revenue and avoiding risk. "Now that I'm on the other side of the table, I notice how important it is to know the boundaries of that playing field. As a CDD analyst, I am constantly talking to SMEs to enable a healthy financial system."

“Some entrepreneurs make mistakes because of their naiveté. They are not consciously engaging in impermissible behaviour, but do not know the rules well enough. Anyone can register with the Chamber of Commerce without any knowledge of laws and regulations. That bothers me.” Ben Kachlon speaks as an experienced entrepreneur. “I love entrepreneurship, but after all these years I was no longer taking pleasure in the craft of concrete braiding. I had to change course.” Now he is a CDD analyst at Rabobank. “Inside, I’m still an individual entrepreneur.”

Ben Kachlon, CDD Analyst, having a conversation

Transactional analysis and entrepreneurial interviews

He already knew the bank from his entrepreneurship. During his search for a new challenge, a family member suggested to check with Rabobank’s KYC and Sanctions department. Ben got excited. “From the concrete braiding business, I had experience with construction specifications: I knew how to approach them very analytically to win the best contracts. I wanted to use that mindset in another field as well.” Ben sent an open application for Junior CDD analyst. “Look, I have little experience with what the bank does,” I said during my job interview. “But I do know something of the world and I speak the language of the entrepreneur. I know how to get something done with entrepreneurs.” In combination with his analytical mindset, that experience made Ben suitable for CDD.

Ben draws on his experience as an entrepreneur on a daily basis. “I handle open files, and review transaction analyses. That is where the contact with our customers is of great importance. I think that’s really very important. A complete customer view helps put a signal in context. You get tunnel vision when you only look at a signal. By talking to the customer, you get an idea of the bigger picture.”

Interested in working in Customer Due Diligence?

Ben Kachlon, CDD Analyst, standing in front of whiteboard

Sharing knowledge with entrepreneurs

“I want to help our customers, the entrepreneurs, by sharing my knowledge. By making the risks visible and open for discussion in a conversation. I always find it challenging to spar with an entrepreneur about the playing field between making money and avoiding risk. Entrepreneurship always involves risks, but you don’t have to consciously seek them out. If I can clearly convey what can happen from sanctions laws or the WED, Economic Offenses Act, then business owners are able to make better decisions for their business themselves.”

“Sometimes you come across extraordinary files. For example, a case where someone has a very well-run business, with an annual dividend payment of millions, but where dubious money flows across the accounts. Money flows that do not fit the business, are not transparent and can foster corruption. Those are the cases where there might be real issues.” Being keen on that is a key driver for Ben. “For the bank, by removing the future risks, and for the customer, by making it clear that they are doing something that is not allowed by law. Bringing that awareness to entrepreneurs: that’s why I do this.”

I work at the bank and still remain an entrepreneur on the inside.
Ben Kachlon

Always in development

Ben has since advanced to senior CDD analyst. “I took the opportunity to develop further in the field and in my own competencies. In conversation with my team lead, I mapped out my path.  I now coach new junior analysts in their growth. I also have ancillary duties, suggesting improvements to policy and litigation documents.”

Meanwhile, Rabobank has its own KYC Campus where new analysts learn the tricks of the trade in a few months. “During that training, you learn the basics, from legislation to internal systems. On campus you will receive a broad education and in your daily work you will then specialise in certain topics, such as transaction risks or sanctions legislation. I guide my colleagues on that career path. How deep should they investigate, what questions do I ask the customer, what is a sufficient answer. Because a lot of the information you get is not unambiguous. You must always be able to find your way through that. This requires analytical insight as well as your common sense. Thinking logically.”

In control

Ben regularly works from his home in Zetten. “I have my own office here with multiple monitors. And I can exercise in my backyard during my lunch break. At Rabobank, you are the conductor of your work-life balance. You work independently and are responsible for your career path. Rabobank’s training budget certainly helps with that. I want to grow even further in a consultant role internationally. I can take courses for that internally. I want to further disseminate my knowledge on sanctions, CDD and legislation to customers.”

“Thanks to my profession, I get an inside look at so many different businesses. I see how business is evolving and what is going on. I think that’s very important. As I said, I will always remain an entrepreneur after all.”

CDD is a part of the KYC expertise