Alumni Spotlight: Alex Keeler Investigates Money Laundering/Fraud Cases For Deutche Bank
By Kelsey Milton
TAMPA (February 8, 2018) -- Tucked into his office at Deutsche Bank in Jacksonville, Alex Keeler investigates intricate cases of suspicious financial activity. As an anti-money laundering analyst, he is part of a team that unravels complex schemes to conceal ill-gotten currency through auditing and monitoring activities.
Less than a year ago, Keeler was sitting in a classroom at the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business.
The 2017 graduate at the time, didn't know much about money laundering. And, he didn't know that the college offers an MBA certificate in compliance, risk and anti-money laundering. But, he did know that he wanted to choose a program that appealed to his drive to make real changes in the world. He credited both the courses and faculty of the certificate program with directing him toward professional and personal advancement.
"The curriculum prepares you for more than one job and for significantly more than the 'tasks at hand,'" said Keeler. "However, it was the extended conversations with my professors that pushed my knowledge to the next level."
Keeler's concentration prepared him for a career fighting financial crime, yet he could not have predicted how quickly he would be utilizing his education in this field. During his final semester, Keeler's advisers and mentors worked with him to edit his résumé and cover letters, which garnered plenty of interviews with potential employers. When Deutsche Bank contacted the MBA program seeking talented financial investigators, the employment process really started speeding up for Keeler.
"All my hard work in the program led directly to a phone call with Deutsche Bank," Keeler said about his job search. "I was invited for interviews in April and May and my first day was June 12. It has been a whirlwind ever since."
Specializing in compliance, risk and anti-money laundering, it turned out, led to a clear path for Keeler in a field with opportunities for growth.
Professor Kerry Myers, who teaches forensic accounting as well as risk management and legal compliance courses in the program, is optimistic about the potential for growth in Keeler's field.
"The sky's the limit," Myers said. "This program's success lies in the fact that the Muma College of Business is one of only a few business schools in the nation that supplies this specialty. And the demand for this type of expertise is higher than ever."
Major players in the finance world such as Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, SunTrust, Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. and Deutsche Bank extended their anti-money laundering operations to Tampa and to other major cities in Central Florida. This influx led to an increased need for qualified personnel and the college stepped up to fill those needs.
After instructing two classes in which Keeler was a student, Myers remembers Keeler as an enthusiastic, diligent young man who consistently went the extra mile. Myers recalls the time he assigned a presentation about high-profile fraud conviction cases. Keeler went beyond the typical PowerPoint and created voiceovers to accompany each of his slides, enriching the learning opportunity for his classmates.
"Alex was one of the youngest students I taught," said Myers. "But he was very mature and his work was always on time and well done."
It comes as no surprise that Keeler is doing well in his role at Deutsche Bank, as he remains confident in the education he received at the Muma College of Business.
"The MBA program, prepares you well for the business world," Keeler said. "It provides you with the foundation to launch a career in any field you desire."