Fuelling ambition through perseverance: Tarek’s climb in Risk and Compliance

People · 18 September 2023Alex Carril

Each stop along Tarek Mahassen’s risk and compliance (R&C) journey has been an incredible, fast-paced fintech ride.

From the roots of customer service, every step has made them even more passionate about R&C. Tarek's story reveals tenacity — from seeking asylum in Sweden, to becoming an operational risk manager and REACH guild member at Revolut. Theirs is a journey of perseverance, capable of inspiring anyone looking to take their career to the next level.

Tell us about your journey and how you became involved in R&C

Before my Revolut adventure, I’d been on quite the financial rollercoaster. My voyage first set sail as a Customer Support agent, hopping aboard fintech giants like Klarna and Trade Republic.

It was April 2022, when I stepped onto Revolut’s rocket ship as a Business Control officer. Fast-forward nine exciting months, and I found myself at a crossroads with several fantastic opportunities within the company. One team in particular had me buzzing with excitement — Operational Risk Team, which is part of the 2nd Line of Defence (2LoD). Why? Because it was like finding the missing puzzle piece in my career.

How would you describe your role and its impact on the overall business?

Picture my role at Revolut as being part of the dynamic 2LoD operational risk team, where teamwork is the name of the game.

  • First off, we’re the guardians of adherence to the Operational Risk Management policy and procedure. Think of us as the watchful eyes making sure the ship stays on course and navigates the risks we face as a business
  • If there’s a hint of policy non-compliance, or a looming risk exposure, we’re the ones who raise the alarm — we’re on it like Sherlock Holmes on a mystery!
  • Quality Assurance Control? That’s our jam! We’re the ones giving a thorough once-over to control testing. It’s like being the judges on a high-stakes cooking show, making sure everything is perfectly cooked (or controlled, in our case)
  • And finally, I proudly wear the cape as the owner of the Incident Management Policy and Procedure at Revolut. While I may not be the one doing the clean-up, I play a crucial role in challenging the 1LoD. I conduct in-depth analysis of incidents, and continuously enhance the framework to meet regulatory standards and strive for excellence in the market.

But I’m not in this alone. Teamwork makes the dream work! These tasks are a collective effort with an amazing team by my side. The Incident Management framework, however, is my personal project (and favourite). It helps define the processes and procedures that’ll enable us to identify and respond to a range of incidents.

Together, we’re driving Revolut towards a safer, more compliant, and exciting future.

What would you say of our company culture and how you’ve adapted since you started? Is there a Revolut value that resonates most with you?

For me, it’s “Get It Done” and here’s why: I don’t just embrace it; I live it. I’m actively engaged in every aspect, whether it’s tackling exciting projects or handling the less glamorous tasks. I don’t shy away from my responsibilities — I wholeheartedly own them.

It’s thrilling to see how we’ve become even more focused on quality while maintaining our rocket-fuelled expansion. Revolut’s culture of “Getting It Done” perfectly aligns with my own values and work ethic. It’s not just a phrase; it’s a way of life here. And I’m proud to be part of a team where action and results are at the forefront of everything we do.

Outside work, what do you enjoy doing in your free time, and how do you achieve a work-life balance?

In my free time, I savour the beautiful lifestyle that living in southern Spain offers, thanks to Revolut’s flexible remote working policy.

Evenings are all about quality time with my partner and our not-so-little doggo, while enjoying the sea view. We often find ourselves engrossed in discussions about how we can harness the power of AI models like ChatGPT (though, I must admit, we’re far from being experts in the field). Another shared passion is cooking together, experimenting with new recipes and flavours, since we both come from different backgrounds (Syria & Greece).

During my cherished “me time” I have a couple of go-to activities. I'm an avid gamer, so you might find me immersed in virtual worlds, tackling challenging quests. On the more intellectual side, I’ve been wrestling with René Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy for the past 4 years. It’s a journey of self-discovery and philosophical exploration that keeps me engaged, even if I still feel like I’m navigating uncharted waters.

While Revolut is a rocket ship where the possibilities seem endless, I've found that work-life balance isn't about working more hours. It’s about making the most of each hour. Thanks to the flexibility and trust of Revolut’s remote work policy, I’ve learned to strike that delicate balance between professional growth and personal fulfilment.

Any advice to other R&C professionals who are looking to join the rocket ship?

My advice to fellow R&C professionals: join the Revolut rocket ship! Embrace change, leverage ‌flexible work policies, and be part of innovation while maintaining your work-life balance.

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