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Hana Lešenarová, Investigating the integrity of big business

by Larissa Petryca, on 27 September 2022 10:41:53 CEST

We are delighted to welcome Hana Lešenarová as our first guest speaker for the School of Business Master Speaker Series on October 10.

A former Prague-based journalist, Hana has devoted her professional career to researching and investigating oligarchs and large businesses and assessing their exposure to financial crime and reputational risk. She worked in private intelligence consultancy Control Risks in London for 10 years and in 2016 joined a specialized internal intelligence team in Deutsche Bank in Berlin.

Investigating Financial Crime

As a young journalist, Hana was trained by the young Americans who arrived in Prague in the early 1990s and started the first English-language newspapers, Prognosis and later Prague Business Journal. The country’s privatization was just unraveling, and state assets were being portioned off to those with the right insider access and funding while the regulators looked away (or were not even installed). This is when the region’s first oligarchs were being born. Hana began shedding light on their often controversial and sometimes criminal activities in real time, relying on the experience of her American mentors. From 2002, she continued her interest, heading up the economics editorial department at Mladá Fronta Dnes daily (then owned by German publishing company).

Her fascination with the topic of insiders who use and often abuse privileged positions has never stopped, even after leaving journalism. Instead, it has continued to be her primary focus as a consultant and in her job at Deutsche Bank. Her current role is to try establishing whether the bank’s clients or prospects are engaged in financial crime, what are the probability that they may end up in prison or fined and what is the significance and magnitude of their reputational risk.

“Even though I had a number of different jobs and career changes in my 30-year professional career, they have all evolved around this very topic. My talk will take you on my journey and demonstrate through concrete cases that this is not only a fascinating subject but one which is gaining in relevance and importance.”
Hana Lešenarová

Money, Politics & War

Understanding the integrity of big business, whether corporations or individuals, where their wealth comes from and how it is connected to politics has always been relevant when doing business, particularly in emerging markets. The ongoing war in Ukraine has put this topic firmly on top of many governments’ agendas as the war is not only led by Russian President Putin, but also by the enablers of his government, those oligarchs and businessmen with close proximity to the Kremlin. Consequently, many governments are now setting up the so-called anti-kleptocracy task forces targeting Russian politically linked businesses.

An in-depth intelligence analysis into the integrity of counterparties in business has also been given a major boost recently with the ESG (or Environmental, Social and Governance) standards, another factor which has made integrity assessment an essential part of doing business.

Master Speaker Series

Hana’s lecture will be a not-to-be missed opportunity to learn first-hand about this fascinating and serious area of finance. It is intended to give insight into the history and subsequent effects that challenge a businesses integrity which in turn has a roll on effect into politics, security and economic stability globally.

This Master Speaker Series Lecture will take place at 6.30pm in rooms 001-002 at the Blanicka entrance of PCU’s Polska Campus. Please ensure early arrival to secure a seat.

The lecture will also be broadcast as a webinar. If you would like to watch online please visit our events page here for the webinar link and join us at the advertised time of 18.30 CET.

Topics:School of Business

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