Core Values and Relentless Risk Management

Key Fundamentals at Work at Western Union

Transforming a global money transfer business with a physical presence in more than 200 countries and territories into a digital leader in the industry requires leadership and management discipline. It requires fusing the old and the new to maintain an equilibrium with customers who live between a digital and physical world.

Western Union Global Money Transfer President, Odilon Almeida, oversees the company’s worldwide person-to-person money transfer business. Almeida leads the company’s omni-channel strategy, expanding choice for customers by giving them more ways to fund or receive money transfers, while elevating their experience.

In a new Reuters Plus video, Almeida outlines his core values and relentless risk management at play. “We have 166+ years of innovative heritage and we are proud of it, but staying the same is not an option, when technology is transforming every business to serve a more empowered and technologically savvy customer,” he said.

According to Odilon, change is not about being fast, it is about embracing it with consideration and applying the fundamentals of the core values of your leadership and management style.

His change mantra is guided by a relentless focus to assess and mitigate business risks. It is this discipline that can help set a business apart.

“My leadership style is based on three core values. The first one is integrity. Sometimes it is not the easy route, but it is the one that builds more value for the future. The second one is related to loyalty to the people that work with you, and it’s about putting the customers that you serve at the center. And the third one is about accountability. It’s about being 100 percent accountable, even if that does not depend 100 percent on you,” Almeida said.

Operating in more than 200 countries and territories gives Western Union the knowledge and agility to navigate multiple dynamics and embrace innovation. This flexibility has led Western Union to continue to provide fast and convenient digital options, using smartphones and self-service digital kiosks, using cash, card and mobile wallet to pay in or pay out funds across more than 200 countries and territories.

“Risk management is really about trying to understand possible risks. In my experience, you can manage the risks that you know, or at least you can implement strategies to help mitigate them. The big challenge is the risks that you don’t know,” said Almeida.

In his view, if a company is not prepared to identify and mitigate business risks, it can unravel decades of progress. Managing risk requires a process to capture changes through an early warning system. Anticipating those changes, then managing the risks and opportunities they bring, is what differentiates a business.

“At Western Union, we navigate more than 200 political environments, regulatory environments, and economic environments, so it’s critical we have a proactive approach. At the end of the day, managing risk is about the predictability of your business, which is critical for our shareholders,” Almeida said.

In his view, it is critical to continue to understand what customers want, upholding their trust, and delivering upon shareholder’s expectations.

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