Karen Schnell is a Senior Director in FTI Consulting’s Financial Services practice and is based in Washington, DC. She has more than 25 years of experience advising US and foreign clients on risk management, compliance, operations, and governance. Her skills and expertise range from high-level strategic planning to tactical, process workflow development and improvement. She is skilled in deep-dive reviews for transaction lookbacks associated with potential financial crimes, as well as analyzing and improving structural gaps such as governance weaknesses or information system vulnerabilities.
As a risk management specialist, Ms. Schnell has evaluated the internal controls of financial institutions, ranging in size from large, multinational banks to small, domestic credit unions, and she has developed programs to strengthen their controls and processes. She has conducted risk reviews of IT programs and developed recommendations to address identified weaknesses. For example, she conducted the risk analysis for a payments process that transmits $89 billion per day and identified weaknesses that could have resulted in overspending by $3 million per annum. For a client that wanted to introduce a new payments option, Ms. Schnell conducted a survey of global affiliates to assess their security awareness and identify security concerns and weaknesses associated with instituting the new product; she then made recommendations to ensure a smooth product rollout.
As a former federal bank examiner, Ms. Schnell has advised clients on a wide range of financial regulatory matters, including safety and soundness, Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML), and consumer protection compliance. She has conducted loan reviews and assessed Allowance for Loan and Lease Loss (ALLL) methodologies, evaluated the pillars of effective BSA/AML compliance programs, and developed and delivered training on consumer compliance, including Truth in Lending and Fair Credit Reporting. A former registered representative, Ms. Schnell has written policies, procedures, and broker/dealer compliance training programs for private and government clients around the
Ms. Schnell has worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and an
investment bank, as well as working as an independent consultant. She began her career as a bank examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
Ms. Schnell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from Skidmore College where she graduated with highest honors, and a Master of Public Policy degree from
the University of Chicago. She is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), Certified Financial Crimes Specialist (CFCS), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and a certified Six Sigma Black Belt in process improvement.