The much-publicized Panama Papers findings released alleging that politicians, criminals and even celebrities have been hiding their wealth in offshore shell companies has prompted Americans for Financial Reform and nine other groups to pressure the U.S. Treasury Department to finalize its anti-money laundering rule for investment advisers.

The groups told Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan in a letter sent Monday that Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network should impose anti-money laundering and suspicious activity reporting requirements on RIAs managing $100 million or more in assets.

Such AML rules would require these RIAs to "know their customers, report suspect transactions to law enforcement, and contribute to the work of the U.S. financial community to protect the United States from money launderers, terrorists and other wrongdoers."

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Melanie Waddell

Melanie is senior editor and Washington bureau chief of ThinkAdvisor. Her ThinkAdvisor coverage zeros in on how politics, policy, legislation and regulations affect the investment advisory space. Melanie’s coverage has been cited in various lawmakers’ reports, letters and bills, and in the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule in 2024. In 2019, Melanie received an Honorable Mention, Range of Work by a Single Author award from @Folio. Melanie joined Investment Advisor magazine as New York bureau chief in 2000. She has been a columnist since 2002. She started her career in Washington in 1994, covering financial issues at American Banker. Since 1997, Melanie has been covering investment-related issues, holding senior editorial positions at American Banker publications in both Washington and New York. Briefly, she was content chief for Internet Capital Group’s EFinancialWorld in New York and wrote freelance articles for Institutional Investor. Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Towson University. She interned at The Baltimore Sun and its suburban edition.