Marc Kilcher

Heather Schmidli

Stéphane Tourette

Marc Kilcher KPMG
Heather Schmidli University of St. Gallen
Stéphane Tourette Banque J. Safra Sarasin
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International Sanctions (i.e. US sanctions, European sanctions) / and the Swiss sanctions regimes have significantly impacted the business activities of financial intermediaries (banks and other financial intermediaries). The recent changes of the world order with the emergence of war in Europe and in the Middle East (i.e. Ukrainian War, Gaza War, etc.) including increasing polarization between the West and other parts of the world have a strong impact on managing such risks. The overall framework for managing the risks of non-adherence to sanctions is very complex and requires special attention throughout the overall organization. Recently FINMA has increased its oversight to a number of banks with significant business and relationships involving Russia.

Violating sanctions can lead to severe penalties, including fines, asset freezing, criminal charges, regulatory fines. Therefore, financial institutions should conduct a Sanctions Risk Assessment to help identify and mitigate sanctions exposure in order to reduce potential risk of non-compliance and ultimately regulatory and legal consequences.

This event will explore the most important key elements of sanctions risk management through the eyes and views of experts in this field. The event is for risk and compliance professionals in the financial sector who are keen to have a better understanding of the risks and impact of violating sanctions.

Key Topics Include:

At this event we will discuss and share insights from practicians and advisors the following topics:

  1. The challenges for Swiss financial institutions to manage sanctions risks in line with the Swiss sanctions as well as with the foreign sanctions regimes (U.S. and European sanctions) related to the sanctions against Russia.
  2. How financial institutions manage ongoing and rapid changes of sanctions regimes.
  3. FINMA’s pro-active oversight and its impact on the Swiss financial place.
  4. Whether financial institutions have to implement an overall framework to manage such risks (i.e. risk appetite, risk strategy, ongoing education – training, policies and procedures, processes and controls, client onboarding, transaction monitoring, client reviews, etc.
  5. What are the major issues to be able to properly manage such risks.
  6. How private banks manage sanctions risks related to their client’s business and commercial transactions which are passed through private and offshore companies.


  • Marc Kilcher, Partner KPMG
    Expert in Risk, Regulation, and Compliance, currently serving as a Partner at KPMG in the Geneva Area. With an academic background boasting a Licentiate in Economics from Geneva University and an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, Marc brings a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Before his tenure at KPMG which began in 2015, Marc enriched his professional journey with 12 years in the banking sector. During this period, he served in prominent Swiss and international banks, honing his skills as an internal auditor. His deep understanding of compliance and audit processes is a testament to his years of hands-on experience and academic pursuits.
  • Heather Schmidli, Guest Lecturer CAS Compliance in financial Services – Sanctions Module at the University of St. Gallen.
    Heather has more than 20 years’ experience in Sanctions and Terrorism Financing topics with an overall deep expertise in sanctions regimes as well as the related policies and procedures across all banking business activities. Heather graduated in law from the University of Zurich and holds an LLM in International Banking Law from Boston University and was admitted to the New York Bar. During her career as a sanctions compliance officer in the financial industry, Heather worked at Winterthur Insurance, UBS Switzerland in various roles including Head Sanctions Switzerland but also as Global Co-Head of Sanctions, at ZKB LGT Group. She is now retired but provides consulting in sanctions matters and is a lecturer at the University of St. Gallen. She was also member of the expert working groups for sanctions at the Swiss Banking Association as well as the Association of Foreign Banks in Switzerland.
  • Stéphane Tourette, Group Compliance Head Banque J. Safra Sarasin
    Stéphane Tourette is a Swiss citizen born in 1968. He obtained his law degree at the University of Geneva in 1991 and graduated in 1997 from Boston University School of Law (LLM in Banking and Financial Law). After passing the Geneva bar in 1993, Stéphane Tourette worked for several Swiss Banks, always in the legal and compliance department, before joining J. Safra Sarasin in 2015 as Group Head of Compliance.

Introduction by Jean-Pierre Colombara, Board Member Swiss Risk Association and chair of Romandie.


17:45 Doors open – Name Tag Collection
18:00 Introduction (Jean-Pierre Colombara)
18:05 Challenges of Sanctions Risks (Heather Schmidli)
18:30 Management of sanctions risks in Banking (Marc Kilcher)
18:55 Round table discussions among professionals (moderated by Marc Kilcher with all panelists)
19:40 Q&A (All)
20:00 Networking Drinks (All)
21:00 End

Chapter Event

This Chapter Event is available to members and free. We will be presenting one or more speakers to share their knowledge, updates and best practices on a specific risk topic. Within the small groups of risk professionals you can exchange thoughts and test ideas. This event is hosted by chapter Credit Risk.

  • Sanctions complexity requires a strong Risk Management framework
     11. September 2024
     18:00 - 21:00


FER (Fédération des Entreprises Romandes), 98, rue de Saint-Jean, 1201 Genève, Switzerland

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