Member Spotlight

WHF is pleased to feature the WHF Member Spotlight. Each month we will feature a different WHF member.

Alma Angotti, Navigant, Managing Director, Co-Head of Global Investigations and Compliance

Morgantown, West Virginia

Fun Fact
I was a consultant to the “Wolf of Wall Street” with screen credit.

Employer and Position
Navigant, Managing Director, Co-Head of Global Investigations and Compliance.

Walk us through your journey in the financial services industry and how your career has evolved to your current position.
My career has been a series of impulsive moves that seemed to have worked out well. I started out in a big law firm doing anti-trust and white-collar crime litigation. In 1986, a friend called me from SEC, Division of Enforcement to tell me they were hiring. It sounded like so much fun, I was gone in two weeks. Shortly thereafter, the SEC brought a case against Dennis Levine, then Ivan Boesky and Mike Milliken, and it was the hot place to be. In 1998, I got a call from the Chief Counsel of an Office of the US Department of the Treasury that no one had heard of before, including me: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

They needed someone to create an enforcement program for the Bank Secrecy Act, a statute that I had never heard of. Because the job afforded me even more flexibility than I had at the SEC, I took it and we brought the first big anti-money laundering cases, such as Riggs Bank. Unfortunately, after September 11, 2001, the office because an important bureau as we drafted 66 proposed and final regulations to implement the USA PATRIOT Act amendments to the BSA. 

In 2004, a former SEC colleague called me because the NASD (to become FINRA) Enforcement Department needed someone to help her create an AML enforcement program for registered broker-dealers. Then in 2011, when my children were all in college, I came to Navigant joining several former colleagues from various parts of my career.

What do you love most about what you do?
I know this sounds totally corny, but I love that we help keep the global financial system safe from criminals and terrorists. And I also love working with the young consultants starting out in their careers. They are so eager to learn and they all remind me of my daughters and their friends.

I like to read, hike, travel, and cook.

How long have you been a member of WHF?
I think it is about 4 years now.

Please describe your involvement with WHF.
I have attended and lead some of the WHF panel discussions. I always feel like whether I attend or whether I lead one, I learn a lot.  

What have you gained from being a member?
Besides the substantive information, it is a great way to keep up with dynamic women leaders in our industry.

How do you make the best use of your day? (think techniques to enhance productivity, time management, time out, meditation/prayer, etc.)
I get up early and I try to exercise. I find the quiet time in the early morning is a good time to think and the demands of the day typically do not interfere.

Who or what inspires you?
My grandfather was my first inspiration. A brilliant and charismatic man who did not have a formal education, he judged everyone by his or her character, not by position, color, gender, or income. He was respected by his fellow coal miners, governors, and senators. And he was my biggest fan in encouraging me to go to law school, which for an Italian grandfather, was not expected. I spent a lot of time in the summer following him around his huge vegetable garden and just listening to his stories.

My father inspired me because he always knew what would make him happy and never felt the need to live up to another person’s definition of success. He was great at his job, one of the top 5 salesmen in his national company, and he used to threaten to quit if his company promoted him. He like having time with us, he was a partly stay at home Dad before it was a thing. He liked his job, he liked his schedule, and he liked the balance he had. 

My mother was an administrative assistant who really ran part of the WVU College of Agriculture. A real character, also brilliant, who in another time and place would have had the educational and career opportunities I have had and would have been running Google or some such thing.

My favorite civil war general was Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain because he was an unexpected choice to be the hero of Gettysburg.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
A partner and former federal prosecutor I worked for at the law firm told me that I would be a better lawyer if I spent time on both sides and he encouraged me to take the SEC Enforcement job. That was the best thing I ever did. I loved my time in public service and enjoyed the responsibility and the sense of mission you get with a job like that.

Who do you look up to the most and why?
The advantage of getting older is you have the benefit of so many people who have influenced your life, some of whom you cannot even tell exactly why.  Professors, colleagues, friends. I also look up to anyone who has the courage to do what is right when it is hard. The people who sacrifice for the greater good. Those people inspire me.


November 2018 - Michele Lieber, President, BluePoint DC

October 2018 - Dionne Joemah, Deputy General Counsel, District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development

September 2018 - Lindsey Johnson, President, U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI)

August 2018 - Bernadette Kogler, Co-founder & CEO, RiskSpan; Co-founder, SmartLink Lab

July 2018 - Lawrence Kaplan, Chair, Bank Regulatory Practice, Paul Hastings LLP

April 2018 - Dina Ellis Rochkind, Of Counsel, Paul Hastings LLP

March 2018 - Marti Tirinnanzi, President and CEO, Financial Standards, Inc.

February 2018 - Janis Smith, Board of Governors, National Housing Conference

November 2017 - Mary Pat Denney, Managing Director, Risk Initiative Vertical, The Oakleaf Group

September 2017 - Joanna Girardin Shapiro, Managing Director, Global Client Management, Bank of New York Mellon

July 2017 - Mary Martha Fortney, President, The Fortney Group

June 2017 - Kris Kully, Partner, Mayer Brown

May 2017 - Lee Ann Hoover, Financial Services Advisory and Compliance, Navigant Inc.

April 2017 - Faith Arnold Schwartz, Chairman, HLP, Principal, HFSS, LLC, Advisor to Accenture Credit Services

March 2017 - Debbie Matz, Board Member, Mutual of Omaha Bank; Advisory Board OpenDoor Trading LLP