Tony Prior, CFE, is the president of the Sydney Chapter and Director, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services, at Ernst & Young. The former Australian Federal Police agent has worked as a CFE throughout Asia and Europe, enjoys running and outdoor activities and spending time with his wife and three children.
Why did you decide to enter the anti-fraud field?
I was an Australian Federal Police (AFP) agent for about 12 years. After complementing this with some tertiary education, I decided to pursue a career in the private sector. In the late 1990s the anti-fraud profession was just opening up in Australia and I was fortunate to be there in the very early stages.
What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
From a personal perspective, my wife and three children are the biggest achievement for me. From a professional perspective, I have been part of several teams that have achieved great things. No one thing stands out but I have received commendations during my time in the AFP, served overseas with the United Nations, implemented anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing and significant fraud risk measures during my time at AMP Limited, and more recently at Ernst & Young helped clients implement new financial crime operating models.
What are your favorite activities and hobbies outside of work?
Since I left the Federal Police and joined the private sector the level of fitness required is significantly lower, so I try to do things outside of work to keep myself active. I run a lot and finished a Sydney half marathon. I also completed a Tough Mudder team event. For the uninitiated, it is a 20 km obstacle course designed to test physical strength and mental grit, with an emphasis placed on teamwork over finisher rankings. I also like to travel. My wife Liz and I went on a South Africa safari which had amazing wildlife, scenery and food! We travel regularly to Fiji for holidays – being only a few hours away it is an easy flight (for kids and therefore the adults!).
I am also part of a program at a major secondary school called “Panel of Men” that provides the school boys with an opportunity to listen to men who had real life experiences, men who had at times fallen but had dusted off, got back up and kept moving forward. The idea is to help the boys become more resilient through inspiring them with our stories. It is quite an honor for me as the other panel members have great success stories in sporting, business and personal achievement.
How has the CFE benefited your career?
As I was an early mover into the private sector, the ACFE created an opportunity for me to network with colleagues in the burgeoning industry and help us collectively bring a level of professionalism to the field. In early 2000, I was part of a team that was seconded to Indonesia to conduct an anti-corruption project for the Asian Development Bank. The project required all the consultants to have the CFE credential. During this project I was fortunate to travel throughout Asia and Europe and was able to meet a number of CFEs around the world.
What are the benefits of serving as a chapter leader?
It is wonderful opportunity to reach out to new people to join the chapter, or simply respond to those who are considering it and talking to them: everyone has story to tell!
What goals would you like to help the chapter accomplish?
Four of the goals I would like the Chapter to achieve in the next 12 months are:
- Extend the Corporate Alliance Partnership to other organizations in Sydney
- Increase the number of networking opportunities for our chapter members
- Engage with the law enforcement community
- Mentor new people entering into the profession
Do you have any advice for other chapter leaders?
Seek out and accept any assistance from others, even if it is to help out for one single event. The more people volunteer, the easier it is to operate the chapter.
What is your personal motto? Does it have any special meaning?
Always, in all ways: It’s about continuously and variously improving yourself, striving to become a better person in all facets of life — not just professionally as an employee, leader or coach, but outside as a father, husband, friend or mate.