Liberia: CBL Governor - What Does the Job Involve?

11 November 2019

President George Weah has named Mr. Jolue Aloysius Tarlue to head the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), as the new Executive Governor replacing Mr. Nathaniel Patray.The surprise appointment which was made on Friday November 8, has received mixed reactions from Liberians both home and abroad, with some questioning his qualification to head the troubled bank, while others think that he does not have to be a financial expert to head the CBL.Prior to his appointment, Tarlue was the Chairman of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC).

If confirmed by the Liberian Senate, Mr. Tarlue would face a daunting task of trying to revive a cashless economy that is swimming in an increasing double digit inflation pool.

In fact, Tarlue will be responsible to keep an eye on the increasing rate of inflation, ensure that the current cashless situation does not run the country's entire banking system into the mud and making sure that local commercial banks do not go broke as confidence in the banking system continues to erode due to the lack of cash situation.

He is also face with the ongoing debate about the printing of a new currency, which some say could make an immediate or short term impact but with long term consequences.

So what skills does he require?

If confirmed by the Liberian Senate Tarlue will be in charge of the Central Bank of Liberia and has a very important responsibility because the CBL is at the core of Liberia's financial system.Meanwhile, let it be noted here that there were no advertisement for the position, therefore it is difficult for one to exactly pinpoint on what the government expects of the new CBL Executive Governor or the requisite qualification for the successful candidate.

However, in a statement issued, the Government said Tarlue is expected to lead a team of other governors in restructuring the Central Bank of Liberia to tackle Liberia's challenging economy. Tarlue has no background in economics, a key point many of his critics has flagged following the announcement of his nomination on Friday by President Weah and the publication of his Curriculum Vitae on the Executive Mansion's website.

But he has a laundry list of major financial institutions and banks he has worked with in the United States of America including J.P. Morgan Chase, BNY Mellon N.A., Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and HSBC Bank N.A. amongst many other executive level financial establishments.

According to his curriculum vitae, Mr. Tarlue holds MPA (specializing in Public Policy) from Kean University, New Jersey (USA) and BA in Political Science from the King University in Bristol, Tennessee (USA).

It is expected that with his background in quality control, something the Kroll report pointed to as lacking could help play a key role in the restructuring process at the CBL.

What does his credentials say of him?

Jolue Aloysius Tarlue, Jr., is a Kean University Masters in Public Administration, with 17 years of solid quality compliance experience, enforcing standards in a range of global financial institutions, mainly in the United States.

Tarlue worked for J.P. Morgan Chase, from March 2013 up to 2018 as Compliance Officer - Quality Control. There, he provided subject matter expertise on AML/KYC and Sanction requirements to front office, lines of business and operations, and possess in-depth knowledge of BSA/AML Regulations, PATRIOT ACT and OFAC; well versed in AML and Terrorist Financing emerging trends.

He utilized research/investigative databases and software applications to conduct enhanced due diligence, and conduct firm wide risk assessments of customers, products, geographies, and distribution channels and the effectiveness of compensating controls.

He drafted and/or updated AML compliance and written supervisory policies and procedures, and assisted in developing a comprehensive cross-business view of AML risk. He reviewed and approved exceptions, and kept abreast of regulatory developments and enforcement actions to assess potential impact to JPMC.

Tarlue identified and helped resolved compliance and control issues, performed targeted reviews to validate controls and ensured they were in place and appropriate. Tarlue possesses political, social and economic knowledge of countries that are major players in the global economy and has spent years analyzing client risk due to Major Sanctioned Countries.

He advised, reviewed and analyzed risk assessments on domestic and international Corporate Investment Banking of business and product lines and assessed money laundering/terrorist financing risks and recommended mitigants and controls.

At BNY Mellon NA, he provided sign-off approval/disapproval for the on-boarding of all new and retention of existing high-risk rated customers as Mellon's Quality Assurance Officer. Tarlue managed customer on-boarding, account closures, detecting and escalating suspicious activity and any other AML or OFAC risks of significant complexity. He worked at Mellon for 6 years, 2008 - 2013.

At Deutsche Bank NA, Tarlue was a Senior Risk Officer--client Adoption Management-Trust Securities Services for two years, 2007 - 2008 before moving on to BNY Mellon NA. He supported management in ensuring that the Lines of Business operations were in accordance with all legal and regulatory requirements and all DB standards relating to anti money laundering and sanctions, so as to protect and enhance the reputation of the Bank with its regulators and avoid significant financial loss or reputational damage.

Prior to working for Deutsche Bank NA, Tarlue worked for Merrill Lynch as the Bank's Compliance Analyst for a year. There he assisted in assessing and mitigating the risks associated with suspicious activity identification and reporting and Office of Foreign Assets Control Compliance to ensure compliance with Federal and State laws and regulations and to minimize penalties and reputational losses.

He applied internal policies and control procedures with a knowledge and understanding of guidance, laws and regulations.

Tarlue started off with HSBC Bank NA, serving Compliance Officer Role - Compliance Policy & Procedure Team. In this role, he conducted reviews on all new and existing clients, ensured that KYC profiles were in accordance with AML Regulations and HSBC policies and procedures; provided testing and feedback to senior management regarding training and system design, from a Quality Assurance perspective.

He conducted quality assurance reviews on New Business KYC profiles, across multiple business lines, ensuring AML Regulations and HSBC policies and procedures are maintained.

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