Anti-money laundering firm SmartSearch has appointed Collette Allen as chief operating officer.

Collette joined the company in 2013 as a senior support specialist and, within two years, earned a position as head of client services. Five years later, she was appointed to the board as client services director.

Under Allen’s direction, the client services division grew significantly and now manages 5,500 global clients across the legal, insurance, accountancy, investment, property and finance sectors.

Her promotion to chief operating officer follows her work developing SmartSearch’s level of client retention – which sits at 98 per cent year on year – as well as her key role in developing the company’s business strategy and helping it to achieve its goals and growth.

Martin Cheek, managing director of Ilkley-based SmartSearch, said: “Collette has shown incredible leadership and innovation in her time at SmartSearch. She’s been crucial in the development of our outstanding Client Services team which has managed to achieve exceptional client retention.

“I have no doubt that she will go from strength-to-strength and continue to drive innovations that will keep SmartSearch as the leading anti-money laundering firm.”

Collette Allen added: “Having been with SmartSearch for nearly a decade, it is a real honour to now be COO. The business is fast growing and it is an incredibly exciting time to be at SmartSearch.

“SmartSearch is the only AML resource any regulated business needs, and we’ll continue to innovate and work with our clients to deliver the best possible product and service.”

Sincer her promotion Collette has also been named Technology Businesswoman of the year: 

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