Get to Know Us | Mervi Barth, Compliance Officer, Helsinki
28 April 2020
Please tell us a bit about your career path?
After graduating from the law school, I worked at legal departments of a few large Finnish companies before joining Hannes Snellman’s M&A team as an associate lawyer. I then wanted to gain international experience and to expand my business knowledge and decided to do an MBA in the Netherlands. Through my school, I got to know a corporate services firm in Amsterdam and accepted a role there as an acquisitions manager. I spent nearly seven years working with corporate reorganisations and company acquisitions, travelling in various countries. For the past years, I have been client facing, and I was also responsible for the legal administration of Dutch entities of large international groups and for a team of lawyers and assistants. My daily work included, to a large extent, compliance analysis, risk assessments, and ensuring compliance with AML and KYC regulations. But then one day I noticed that Hannes was looking for a compliance officer and decided to apply – and here I am!
What is included in the workday of a compliance officer?
This is a new position at Hannes, and there are two distinct areas that I work on in parallel: 1) the day-to-day compliance work with the practice groups, internal advice and sparring on risk assessments, and monitoring legislation and market practices and 2) the development and harmonising of the firm’s policies and practises.
What are the most challenging aspects of your current position?
The law does not always provide straightforward answers to practical challenges, which is known to every lawyer. Having a legal background is a great benefit in solving these challenges. On the other hand, understanding how a law firm operates gives me a head start in the development side of the job as well.
The fact that the role is new is exciting, as it gives me the opportunity to put my stamp on it. On the other hand, there are many directions that I could take and interesting matters to get involved in at the firm, so I need to focus and to first get the basics right.
You have worked abroad for several years. What are the key takeaways from that time that you would like to share?
Keep an open mind. Every job, encounter, and experience is a learning opportunity.
Take chances. At the end of the day, the biggest regret is the thing you did not do.
As you are also a Hannes alumni, how does it feel to be back at the office?
I am delighted to be back at Hannes. A lot has changed, but for the better, and I can still sense the familiarity. I am proud to work with a group of extremely talented colleagues. It is great to be able to use the experience I have gained abroad now in Finland and at Hannes.
Want to know more about working at Hannes Snellman? Please pay a visit to our Careers section.