ACAMS Bahamas Chapter


Upcoming Bahamas Chapter learning events will be announced soon.

Our vision is to promote ACAMS as a platform for career development and professional networking for AML/CTF professionals by providing workshops and events of local and international interests that advance the professional knowledge and enhance skills while sharing experiences and expertise.

Our mission is to create a forum for continued education and supporting network opportunities with AML and Financial Crime industry experts from the private sector, supervisory/regulatory agencies, and law enforcement in order to exchange information and best practices for the fight against money laundering and financial crime.

Through networking, we expect to build strong relationships with other professionals who share the same commitment to protect their institutions, customers, communities, and promote the welfare of our financial system and our citizens.

Upcoming Bahamas Chapter learning events will be announced soon.

Charles Virgill
Charles has been a practitioner in the commercial banking industry for twenty-nine years with two leading Canadian financial institutions, the Royal Bank of Canada (5 years) and Scotiabank (Bahamas) Limited (24 years). For the last nine years he has been employed with the Central Bank of The Bahamas as a risk-based senior examiner of all supervised financial institutions, usually as Examiner-In-Charge (EIC) relative to the examination of complex banks and trust companies.

He is also the AML-CFT Practice Leader for the Central Bank and spearheaded the task of bring four of the country’s regulators together to write and publish two Guidance Notes for the country, namely Proliferation & Proliferation Financing, as well as Financial Crime Risk Management.

Charles has vast experience as a former internal auditor, fraud investigator, bank manager, bankcard services specialist and as a commercial and retail lender. He is very well versed in KYC/AML Compliance and is currently conducting a AML/CFT mutual evaluation of a member country as a financial assessor with the Caribbean Financial Action Task force.

He is a certified anti-money laundering specialist (CAMS) and is currently pursuing the Advanced Audit Designation with ACAMS. He is also a Certified International Risk Manager, having attained this designation through the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services (BIFS). He has also taken Society Trust and Estate Planning (STEP) courses. His internal audit training has come from the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and his bankcard services training from MasterCard University and seminars conducted by the former National Bankcard Corporation (NaBanco) now known as First Data Merchant Services.

Charles has also had law enforcement training, having been a member of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Reserves from 1987 to 1997, with eight of those years working as an undercover officer in Special Duty.

Sherrece Saunders
Sherrece L. Saunders is a Deputy Manager in the Bank Supervision Department of the Central Bank of The Bahamas (the “Central Bank”), with responsibility for the Analytics Unit, which focuses on AML/CFT Risk Surveillance and Data Analytics.  Sherrece joined the Central Bank in December 2012, as an Examiner V; and was responsible for one arm of the International Firms Supervisory Unit for four years.  Prior to joining the Central Bank, Sherrece served as the General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of Itau Bank & Trust (Bahamas) Ltd. (formerly BIE Bank & Trust Bahamas Ltd.).  She began her career at Price Waterhouse, having worked in both the Philadelphia and Nassau offices.

Academically, Sherrece earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business & Economics with a major in Accounting from Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  Later, she completed the Certified Public Accountants’ Examination within the State of Pennsylvania. Since that time, Sherrece has also completed the International Trust Management Diploma with the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP), a Bachelors of Law Degree from the University of London, London England, and the CAMS certification.

Tanya McCartney

Cherise Cox-Nottage

Cherise Cox-Nottage is presently the Head of the Legal, Compliance and Operational Risk Departments for UBS Trustees (Bahamas) Ltd., which is a role that entails similar responsibilities for the other UBS Regional Group Trust Company, namely, UBS Trustees (Cayman) Ltd. and the provision of services to the, UBS Cayman AG, branch.

Prior to joining the UBS group in 2004, Cherise was recruited from private practice with Messrs. Higgs & Johnson, in The Bahamas, to assume the position of Head of Legal, Risk & Compliance for a rival Swiss Bank. Before returning to The Bahamas in 1993, Cherise practiced in a commercial set in London for 2 years post qualification.

Cherise is a graduate of the University of Kent at Canterbury, (UKC), Canterbury, Kent, England and The London School of Economics Political Science (LSE), London University obtaining an undergraduate degree in law and an LLM (Master of Laws) degree, respectively.

Cherise is a Member of the Bars of England and Wales and The Bahamas, a TEP (Trust and Estate Practitioner) with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP); Certified CAMS, with the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists; She holds an International Diploma in Compliance (with distinction), Int. ip (Comp), and an International Diploma in Anti-money laundering (with distinction) Int.Dip (AML) from the ICA (International Compliance Association) in the U.K. and the University of Manchester U.K. In 2013 Cherise obtained the certification of CAMS-Audit Specialist and was elevated to the level of Fellow of the ICA. In 2016 Cherise completed a certification programme on Utilities Regulatory Oversight with PURC and in 2018 she was also P3 Level One Certified.

On 2 occasions, (2002 and 2012) Cherise was elected as President of BACO, (The Bahamas’ Association of Compliance Officers). Notably, under her leadership BACO spearheaded the formation of the CRCA (The Caribbean Regional Compliance Association), established the Northern Bahamas Compliance MLRO Annual conference, secured national weekly publication of compliance matters in the Nassau Guardian, established a scholarship a Founding President’s Award and instituted a High School speech competition. Cherise is the First Vice President of   CIArb, The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Bahamas Branch , a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors ( IIA) and a Director of the New Providence, Bahamas Chapter of FIDA, an international association of Women lawyers.

Cherise has published internationally in such publications as The Cayman Review”, and “ACAMS TODAYand is a contributor to BACO’s bi-annual publication on AML and Compliance matters for the jurisdiction and region. She previously contributed the section on Banking Law in The Bahamas in the Banking compendiumedited by Dennis Campbell.

Cherise’s article on "Arbitration law and Practice in The Bahamas" and changes regarding the same with respect to amendments to The Bahamas’ new Trustee Act, was accepted by the IBA’s (International Bar Association) publications committee and was published in the international legal publication “IBA Arbitration News". She participates as a featured speaker in national and international Conferences in the Caribbean region, the USA, Europe and in the Middle East.

In 2012 Cherise was awarded the “Minister’s Cup” by The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) for her contributions to the Financial Services Industry in The Bahamas.
Cherise has served on the Advisory Board for ACAMS for the Caribbean and Latam Region and also on several financial services committees and advisory boards of The Government of The Bahamas, including the Attorney General Chaired committee on Financial Products and the FATCA and CRS Advisory Committees.

Andrea Saunders

Andrea has over eighteen years of experience within both the Legal and Compliance fields. She currently serves as the In-house Legal Counsel, a member of the Executive Committee and the Internal Risk Committee of Itaú Bank & Trust Bahamas Ltd and Itaú Bank & Trust Cayman Ltd. She is also the Corporate Secretary of Itaú Bank & Trust Bahamas Ltd., Itaú Bahamas Directors Ltd. and Itaú Bahamas Nominees Ltd. She has served as the Head of Compliance, Legal Advisor and Money Laundering Reporting Officer for BSI Overseas (Bahamas) Ltd. (formerly Banca del Gottardo). Her responsibilities included oversight of the Documentation Department, the Head of the Compliance Committee, advising the bank and trust companies on legal and compliance related matters, acting as the Money Laundering Reporting Officer for both the bank and trust companies, conducting AML monitoring, liaising with regulators – Securities Commission of The Bahamas and the Central Bank of The Bahamas, preparing presentations for the Board of Directors and compliance assessment reports for Head Office based in Switzerland. She served as the Head of Compliance and Deputy Money Laundering Reporting Officer for UBS (Bahamas) Ltd and UBS Trustees (Bahamas) Ltd and the Head of Compliance and Chairperson for the AML/KYC Committee of UBS Trustees (Cayman) Ltd. During such time, she was responsible for all compliance related matters for all three entities. She also prepared presentations for the Board of Directors for the bank, reported to Head Office in Switzerland on a regular basis, acted as the Deputy Money Laundering Reporting Officer for UBS (Bahamas) Ltd and UBS Trustees (Bahamas) Ltd and liaised with the Securities Commission of The Bahamas in relation to regulatory matters for UBS (Bahamas) Ltd. She was also responsible for training over 150 persons on a regular basis on compliance best practices, group policies, local policies and regulatory standards. She is noted for advising on the compliance impact of various business initiatives and implementing a revised AML automated monitoring system. She also served as the Head of Legal, Risk and Compliance of Edmond de Rothschild (Bahamas) Ltd., the Money Laundering Reporting Officer and a member of the Executive Committee and Risk Committee. Her responsibilities included oversight of the Risk and Wealth Management Departments, the Head of the Compliance Committee, advising the bank and trust company on legal and compliance related matters, conducting AML monitoring, liaising with regulators – Securities Commission of The Bahamas and the Central Bank of The Bahamas, preparing presentations for the Board of Directors and compliance assessment reports for Head Office in Switzerland. Prior to serving in senior compliance and legal positions, she was employed as an Associate Attorney at one of the leading law firms in The Bahamas, Higgs & Johnson. She specialized in advising on Commercial Law, Company Law, Bank and Trust Law and Regulatory Compliance matters. She is the Founder of Risk & Compliance Consultancy Services Ltd, a consultancy company which specializes in advising financial institutions on compliance and risk management matters. She is CAMS certified, a CAMS (Audit) Inaugural Class graduate, a Fellow Member of the International Compliance Association (FICA) and the American Academy of Financial Management (AAFM), a Chartered Certified Risk Analyst (CRA) and a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Consultant (CAMC). She was an Executive Committee member of The Bahamas Association of Compliance Officer ("BACO") for over 8 years where she assisted with the development of Compliance on a national level. She recently served as the Executive Vice-President of BACO. She previously served as the Education Chairperson of BACO for many years. She has an Associate of Arts Degree in Law and Criminal Justice with Distinction from the University of The Bahamas (formerly The College of The Bahamas), a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada and an LLB from the University of Leeds, Leeds, England. She attended Nottingham Law School, Nottingham, England where she successfully passed the Bar Vocational Course. She has been called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honorable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, England. She has also been called to the Bar of The Bahamas as a Counsel and Attorneyat-Law by the Supreme Court of The Bahamas. She has obtained numerous Professional Compliance Certifications including International Diplomas in Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering with Merit from the International Compliance Association and a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist issued by the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists in 2006. She has served as the moderator and speaker of BACO seminars on various occasions. She has also served as a speaker on two occasions during the ACAMS 19th Annual International AML & Financial Crime Conference and the ACAMS 22nd Annual International AML & Financial Crime Conference in Miami, Florida. She has also produced a white paper entitled “Examining the impact global tax transparency initiatives will have on the laws, policies, procedures and processes within the Banking industry of The Bahamas and The Cayman Islands,” in 2014 as a part of her CAMS (Audit) Inaugural Class certification.

Spencer Smith

Spencer V. Smith has worked in the financial services industry for more than twenty (20) years. Her career began as a Financial Consultant and Sales Representative. She joined Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) Limited in January 2006 as a Senior Client Account Representative where she led the sales team in the Eastern District of New Providence. In December 2006, she was promoted to the position of Manager, Money Transfer Services (The Bahamas). In 2010, her responsibilities were increased to include Money Transfer Services in Cayman Islands and Turks & Caicos Islands. In this expanded role, Spencer was responsible for business development, operational risk management, ensuring compliance with regulatory and operational policies and training related to the money transfer business in these three (3) territories. In January 2014, Spencer was appointed as the Compliance Officer at Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) Limited. The appointment assumed the job title and responsibilities of Money Laundering Reporting Officer for the Bank. Her responsibilities include coordinating, implementing and administering the compliance program and procedures of Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) Limited and its subsidiaries domiciled in The Bahamas. This includes management of internal and control policies and procedures manuals, being knowledgeable of laws, regulations and trends in the financial services sector with a view to establishing enhanced internal controls and ensuring compliance to mitigate risks for the Bank, administering on-site examinations by regulatory examiners, assisting with the development and implementation of the Code of Conduct/Ethics training program, managing and administering the compliance program of the Bank, reporting on suspicious activity and reporting on the compliance program of the Bank.

Spencer holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a Master of Science Degree in Human Resource Management. She is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), a designation recognized by the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), the largest international membership organization dedicated to enhancing the knowledge and expertise of financial crime detection and prevention professionals. Spencer is also a member of Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers (BACO), a local organization whose mission is to enhance the role of compliance in The Bahamas and the integrity of and public trust in the Bahamian financial services industry. She has attended various workshops, seminars, training sessions and conferences covering topics related to Anti Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation of Weapons. Spencer is a motivational speaker, having made presentations at schools, churches, businesses and civic organizations covering topics related to leadership, change management, financial planning and personal development. She is a mentor for young people in a personal and professional capacity. In her professional life, she invests heavily in one-on-one mentorship and encourages reverse mentorship as a part of her professional development. Spencer is married to Milton Alban Smith, an IT Professional with over twenty (20) years computer systems experience. They are the proud parents of Jonah Timothy Smith.

Sharon Colebrook

Yolanda Rolle
Insurance Commission

Kandi Cash

Shavon Gardiner

 Yolanda Hilton

Denise Perez

Denise Perez
Co-Membership Director

Denise has been with ACAMS for eight years and has held various positions within the organization.  She was previously the account manager for all U.S. Government Accounts, managed all European accounts and is now the Head of Caribbean for ACAMS. 

Her various roles within ACAMS have given her a unique perspective into the interaction and balance between the public and private sectors relating to financial crime prevention.

Working with the Caribbean has been a highlight in Denise’s career as she has been able to work with some of the most committed and gracious people in the financial crime prevention industry.

Denise holds an Associate’s Degree in Legal Assisting and has been a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) since 2016.