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Veronika Havlova

A&O Consulting, Senior Consultant

I joined the A&O Consulting team in May 2020, having previously worked at a boutique regulatory consulting firm. I’m Czech by origin, but grew up and have lived in many countries around Europe. I studied in London and Berlin and became interested in the Compliance, Risk and Corporate Governance angle of business, having taken a number of practical seminars during my degree and then an in-house internship in a bank. I really liked the interplay of business consulting against the backdrop of public policy and practical implementation of regulation.

After university I secured an internship and then a permanent role in the regulatory consulting space. I enjoyed working with a range of clients within financial services, learning about their business model and strategy, while helping them solve challenges posed by the regulatory environment. I enjoyed the fast-paced environment and constantly evolving regulatory landscape. I also spent over a year in Scandinavia working on a client project, and secondment at a bank, supporting them with a range of activities in relation to their financial crime transformation programme. My time there gave me invaluable insights into practical challenges faced by banks on a day-to-day basis. The experience helped me understand what challenges external advisors needed to be able to address in their advice, to really bring value to the client.

I decided to join A&O Consulting because I not only really enjoyed the client delivery aspect of being a consultant, but also saw the opportunity to be able to contribute to the growth of a new consulting practice, develop its proposition and make a meaningful impact on all aspects of business development.

The team's integration within Allen & Overy was a significant USP and I really wanted to be able to experience it first-hand and be a part of a market-leading consulting offering, combining the recognised strengths of A&O's legal practice, with practical business solutions by the Consulting team to match.

My work at A&OC has certainly lived up to these expectations. In my time here I have worked with a range of clients, including banks, asset managers and corporates. The projects have been varied and have included post-acquisition and pre-IPO advice for corporates and strategic remediation and enforcement projects for financial services firms. My clients have been in the US, UK and EU, as well as the Middle East. I think this really showcases A&O's global footprint and the breadth of clients we work with.

Aside from working with clients, my favourite thing about my role at A&OC is the level of involvement in developing our strategy and business. Together with two Executive Directors I have had the opportunity to drive our Financial Crime practice's strategy. I have really enjoyed identifying areas that clients may be interested in and developing a commercial proposition in liaison with the legal practice. I have also been involved in expanding our Corporate Governance practice. It has been so rewarding to not only work on these areas on client mandates, but to be able to think about them more strategically for our clients, as well as for our business.

I would say the best thing about the A&OC team is its warmth, energy, the team's collectively diverse skill set and accessibility to seniors. It means you are really getting a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of strategy, client delivery, as well as learning from their insights. Outside of A&OC, the people I have worked with at A&O are friendly, collaborative and incredibly bright.

One piece of career advice I give to new joiners is to be curious and open to a range of opportunities, and to keep exploring the different areas of both the firm and client work. It not only broadens your horizons and helps you find what you enjoy, but experiencing a range of clients and areas of advice will give you a more comprehensive view, invaluable to many of our clients.

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