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Excellence in compliance

Julia Lannerheim, Risk and compliance officer, Arvato B2C Finance, has been included on Legal 500’s prestigious list of Sweden’s 80 best in-house lawyers. Julia joined Arvato in spring 2017, and has a background at Nordic payment firm Bambora, the Swedish bank SEB, and at Vinge a top-tier law firm, based in Stockholm.

Working at Arvato

When I started at Arvato, it was the combination of an innovative business-building spirit, and the long-term perspective of Bertelsmann, that made me want to join. I also love literature, and being a part of – albeit indirectly – the world’s largest publishing house, is an added benefit. I enjoy being part of a larger corporate setting, not only because of the huge variety of products, industries and global presence, but also because we have a clear and sustainable company culture. They are here for the long haul and that is shown in both the investment strategy and the social responsibility.

As a lawyer, it is very nice to get clear direction and backup from the corporate center. For a compliance officer it is solid gold to hear from HQ that “non-compliance is NOT an option”. Of course it is a challenge to roll out the centralized directives to the local organizations, but with an open mind, many discussions with colleagues and lots of support from my bosses, Jan Altersten and Marco Jostes, it is what makes my job so fun.

Another attractive thing about working at Arvato was that, even though it is a huge, global company that has been around for almost 200 years, you have a feeling that you work for a start-up. This is a necessity, given the furious pace of change within the fin-tech industry and with Arvato’s focus to grow, enter new markets and develop new and existing products. And I am not only a part of this on a local level – I can leave my footprints and influence how we do this for the whole of Bertelsmann!

Thoughts on compliance

My take on compliance is pretty simple: have a clear strategy, that ensures compliance is enabling – not hindering – the business, be wise enough to change it when things change – and then make everyone in the company aware of it and help them in their job.

Working in compliance constantly challenges me to improve, move forward and never rest on my laurels. The law is not, as many might think, a constant – it changes all the time, whether it is local law or regulations from EU, and it is my job to interpret them to our business, market, industry, situation. I really enjoy talking, discussing and following up with my colleagues to get their view on my advice, although I’m afraid they sometimes avoid my calls since they might not share my passion for compliance – yet.

The Legal 500

The Legal 500 has for many years analyzed law firms all over the world, and listed the best. This year was the first time that they turned the attention to the in-house function and recognizing those corporate counsels who are driving the business forward.

“We have canvassed opinions from law firm partners and in-house counsel across Sweden, to identify corporate counsel that have been instrumental in changing or forming opinions within their company or industry; developing brilliant technical solutions to complex issues; creating innovative structures to ensure that the in-house function is driving the business forward; or providing a business working model that other corporate counsel should follow.”
(The GC Power list)

Another dream I have had since the day I knew I would be a lawyer, was to be on “The Legal 500”-list. When my name came up as one of the nominees for “The GC Power-list” I couldn’t believe it. Then, in September, when they launched the list for 2018 I was on The GC Powerlist: Sweden!

It is always nice to be recognized for what you do, but even more so when it is colleagues from other companies and law firms and that have mentioned my name to be nominated. I’m happy that my work is looked at as innovative, creative and out-of-the-box, and I am happy to work in an environment where I get full support.