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Product Strategy, Product Marketing, and Financial Crime Prevention Expertise

Professional Experience

Financial Crimes Professional

Ben Knieff is a seasoned executive specializing in fraud detection, identity verification and authentication, biometrics, blockchain technology, anti-money laundering/Bank Secrecy Act compliance, and investigations management. He brings extensive product management, product marketing and product strategy experience in Know Your Customer/due-diligence management, transaction monitoring, sanctions/OFAC compliance, account-origination fraud, online fraud, ATM fraud, and identity theft.

Mr. Knieff has worked with major financial services firms such as Aite Group, FIS and Actimize. He has consulted with financial institutions across the globe, helping to merge technology with business objectives to improve financial crime management programs’ efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability. He also founded an independent consulting firm focused on helping community banks and credit unions to better manage financial crime and compliance. Mr. Knieff has presented on fraud and AML at industry conferences the world over, and he is frequently quoted in mass-media and industry publications such as American Banker, Bank Info Security, The Times of London, Forbes, The New York Times, and Wall Street & Technology

Outside Look - Founder & Principal Consultant

April 2012 - Present

A specialty consulting firm focused on marketing, financial crime risk and strategy consulting for financial institutions and financial services providers around the world. With extensive experience in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC the firm brings global experience to local challenges.

  • Market Insight and Strategy - provide market insight and recommendations to grow business, evaluate partnership and M&A opportunities, and understand the real challenges and opportunities in fraud, security, and AML spaces.

  • Focused on helping financial institutions identify key gaps in financial crime prevention programs and find solutions to fill those gaps.

  • NICE Actimize - Focused on strategy development and product marketing execution in the fraud and cybercrime space to grow the business and lead in fraud management.

Upwardly Global - Mentor

January 2017 - Present

Assist highly qualified immigrant professionals in entering the US job market.

Immigrants want to rebuild their careers. Employers are looking for experienced global talent. Upwardly Global exists to bring them together. Today there are more than 1.8 million immigrants in the U.S. who are college-educated but are unemployed or significantly underemployed. In their home countries they were engineers, doctors, scientists, accountants, and nonprofit professionals. In the U.S. they become cashiers, nannies, and cab drivers, if employed at all. To solve this problem, Upwardly Global takes a two-pronged approach. On the employer side, we build partnerships with companies to provide diverse, motivated candidates with international experience. At the same time, we provide training and one-on-one coaching to immigrant professionals to help them navigate and succeed in the U.S. job search. To date, we have helped over 3000 new Americans reenter their professions!

Aite Group - Senior Analyst

August 2015 - February 2017

Conduct quantitative and qualitative research on various topics in financial services focused on blockchain technology, anti-money laundering, fraud and cybercrime prevention, and user authentication including biometrics

  • Reports focused on blockchain, biometrics, and global card fraud

  • Proposed new research product concept focused on an underserved market leading to new partnerships and revenue

  • Public face of the practice, engage in speaking opportunities with industry groups, vendor events, as well as mainstream and trade media

  • Research focus on: consumer card fraud, biometrics, blockchain/distributed ledgers, customer due diligence and ultimate beneficial ownership

Financial Crime Partners - Founder & Managing Partner

May 2013 - February 2015

  • Focused on serving community banks, credit unions and mid-sized financial institutions with risk management strategies for physical security, fraud prevention and investigations, and anti-money laundering consulting

  • Tie together risk assessments with technology, operational and personnel resources to improve efficiency, lower costs and demonstrate compliances

  • Performed fraud and AML risk assessment for top US credit union to identify gaps in staffing, technology and processes to better evaluate risk, report losses and satisfy regulator demands

  • Performed fraud risk assessment for major electronic payments firm entering a new geographic market, identifying major weaknesses in product design, risk controls and technology capabilities

NICE Actimize - Senior Director, Product Marketing

October 2010 - May 2013

  • Led global product strategy and messaging for line of fraud products including a focused repositioning from technical to business solutions, providing guidance to product management in market needs and investment prioritization, and interfacing with the sales team to ensure effective messaging and sales success

  • Contributed to development of the Association of Certified Financial Crimes Specialists (ACFCS) certification exam

  • Provided the “public face” of NICE Actimize to mass and trade media including over 60 published quotes, podcasts and TV appearances over 2+ years. See for details

  • Regular speaker at industry and vendor conferences globally, for example ABI Carte (Italy), Electronic Transactions Security (Poland), Commercial Payments International (USA), American Banker’s Association (USA) and Fundtech (USA, UK) and other industry events around the globe

  • Served as primary interface to industry analyst community providing insight to NICE Actimize product strategy and positioning to ensure clear understanding of NICE Actimize capabilities and secure leading positions in analyst reports from firms such as Aité Group, CEB Tower Group, Ovum, Chartis, Celent, IDC, and Gartner

  • Provided subject matter expertise in fraud and anti-money laundering to financial institution clients and prospects across the globe, supporting client relationships and sales efforts

  • Authored external white papers and position papers, as well as internal analysis, positioning and response papers, providing thought leadership to external audiences and guidance to internal audiences; developed in depth analysis of regulations and current events promoting clear understanding of issues and responses

  • Supported European operations with subject matter expertise, media relations and sales support during a 6 month Europe based assignment

  • Supported global sales force to win contracts in the US, South America, the UK, Western Europe, South Africa, China and Southeast Asia

  • Led inception of competitive intelligence portal, creating structure and content, enabling the organization to quickly identify key strengths, weaknesses and competitive positioning

  • Spearheaded company blogging strategy and content development to expand brand awareness, demonstrate thought leadership and promote the organization’s subject matter expertise

  • Participated in M&A due diligence teams to evaluate and provide recommendations on valuations, revenue streams, cost structures, potential post acquisition product strategy and overall strategic fit

PayPal - Senior Product Manager

May 2010 - October 2010

  • Developed 18 month product strategy for a global platform product focused on unlocking new revenue streams and market opportunities in a complex three-sided market

  • Oversaw product delivery and go-to-market execution for 2010 launch and global roll out plans including customer segmentation, marketing, PR, legal and compliance, fraud prevention, sales, professional services, partnership strategy, and global marketing and communication channels

  • Supported Business Development teams in the US, EU, APAC and Emerging Markets in evaluating and engaging partner organizations, revenue opportunities and strategic positioning

  • Integrated and evangelized product strategy across vertical and horizontal business units supporting 18 - 24 month corporate strategy

FIS - Director, Strategic Research and Development

November 2007 - May 2010

  • Developed financial crimes management strategy and roadmap, business case, SaaS and deployed pricing models, then executed by forming strategic alliance with industry leading partner, generating annual run rate revenues approaching $1 million and a qualified pipeline of over $8 million in annual run rate revenue in the first year

  • Continued to manage and expand relationship with industry leading partner in to AML and payments fraud market opportunities, partnership contract negotiation to sales support through operational delivery

  • Led small team to evaluate innovation strategies and new product opportunities by qualifying and quantifying decision criteria such as analyst research, market demand, competitive analysis, core competency validation, customer input and creating financial models to make decisions on capital investments and resource prioritization

  • Engaged financial institution customers at senior and executive management levels from community banks and credit unions to large national banks to vet strategic product plans and generate customer consensus to support investment in new products

  • Acted as internal “ambassador” between multiple lines of business spanning core processing, bill pay and ACH processing, commercial and consumer online banking, and technology hosting to ensure successful sales, technology integration and customer implementation efforts

  • Augmented the sales force as a subject matter expert to assist in closing contracts with qualified leads

  • Created internal and external sales materials such as sales “play books,” buyer personas, competitive comparisons, proposal and presentation templates, and RFP responses to further assist sales team in winning contracts

FIS (eFunds) - Product Manager

February 2003 - November 2007

  • Led creation of first consumer product, valued at $25 - $50 million in partnership with the US’s largest consumer credit information provider

  • Managed the P&L for 4 primary and 10 secondary products totaling over $13 million in annual revenue

  • Created product roadmaps, business cases and requirements based on competitive positioning, current and prospective customer needs and key market drivers, then led implementation through product development, marketing materials and sales training

  • Improved profit margins for multiple products by 10% and revenue by more than 5% in 6 months by increasing customer satisfaction through simple enhancements improving product performance and client employee productivity

  • Led in depth sales presentations combining multiple solutions to solve complex payments and risk management problems resulting in multiple sales with Fortune 500 firms

  • Led product marketing efforts including segmentation, campaign development and collateral creation

  • Coordinated with partner organizations in retail banking and a large alternative payments processor in optimizing the online origination process while maintaining regulatory compliance requirements

  • Provided on site training in India to over 30 software developers, QA staff, business analysts and project managers resulting in a 30% improvement in on time deliverables and 20% reduction in defects

  • Received Employee Excellence award for exemplary performance and customer satisfaction

  • Led an offshore development team to build financial services applications and custom systems integration modules on schedule and under budget

  • Ensured agreement between the client and the development teams on requirements and project schedules

  • Provided implementation consulting, on site training, train the trainer and product documentation to over 30 clients implementing proprietary software solution

Security Operations

1997 - 2003

Operations management roles in central station alarm monitoring, physical security/alarm system design and security operations.

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