Compliance and ethics are an integral part of everything Patria does, influencing all operations. That is why no one is left wrestling with these matters alone. The company's compliance team is there to help the entire organisation, advising on questions regarding legislation and helping identify what kind of behavior to adopt when extra care and attention are needed. One of the team members is Anna Nousiainen, whose particular areas of responsibility  are risk, data protection and compliance internal controls.

Anna Nousiainen's career as a lawyer can be described as varied and interesting. She has worked both for the public sector and as  in-house counsel, as well as in the versatile world of international business as  consultant on governance, risk and compliance. As of today, she already has more than a decade of industry experience under her belt, all to the end of improving security in society and responsible processes.
In addition to legal expertise, Nousiainen believes that at the heart of her professional competence, there is also a more human aspect: a legal professional must be able to hear and truly understand the needs of different people first, in order to then effectively advise them, and support decision-making.

"In a way, I am like an interpreter between legalese and business needs. It is important to carefully listen the different stakeholders and understand the objectives the organisation has in terms of growth, business operations, public image and corporate responsibility, to name but a few. And then, equipped with this insight, to interpret the language of legislation – a lawyer's job to advise on what can or should be done within the requirements and legislation. Our task is to help provide the organisation with confidence for decision-making and to reduces risk."

Nousiainen started in August 2022 at Patria as Manager, Data Protection, Risk and Compliance Internal Controls.

Industry knowledge and insight are paramount

To Anna Nousiainen, Patria was an attractive employer because it presented a great opportunity to continue meaningful work to promote the security of society.

"Being diligent and reliable in everything we do is of utmost importance for Patria, because of both the industry we operate in as well as our customer base. There is a strong link to regulated activities and clear communication chains."

On a practical level, this means that the multiple aspects related to compliance and corporate responsibility need to be considered and included in decision-making in a comprehensive and practical way. In this regard, Nousiainen praises the competence and knowledge of her entire team.

"Everyone in my team as well as our supervisors understand the industry and Patria's working methods in great depth. This is important – when we are giving advice on a particular instruction, for example, we have to understand what it is used for, exactly. This is how we can give clear answers that work in practice."

Anna's own area of responsibility at Patria lies at the intersection of compliance and risk management, with particular focus on data secure information processing with risk awareness.

"A well-known example on this topic is personal data legislation and EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, the GDPR that is closely linked to it. Many  are not thoroughly familiar with the actual rights and requirements in the  legislation in force, and this lack of awareness can make the matter hard to approach and even turn into a roadblock  that paralyses decision-making. That’s exactly where a legal specialist can step in and help. To interpret the legalese for you and, together,  calmly map the situation and evaluate what kind of way of working would be right in this case.”

A strong culture of doing things right

A key part of Patria’s organisational culture has always been a shared determination to do things right. Yet, Anna Nousiainen remarks that she joined the team at a very interesting period of time: the company is evolving from a line organisation to one with a unified model of doing things, extending across the entire organisation.

The fact that Patria is an international company brings its own dimension to Nousiainen’s work. Both Patria and its client base operate in many different countries, meaning the company must take into account many different national and international regulations, requirements, recommendations and laws.

"The global situation is also constantly changing. This means we legal and compliance professionals have a responsibility to always be up to date with changes affecting our work as well as to be understandable and accessible to the organisation. We should provide businesses with solid support based on knowledge of the regulations and the identification and management of risks. Responsible business conduct as well as protecting our business and brand from abuse and other risks are also interlinked with all that we do."

Nousiainen says the entire organisation at Patria recognises that compliance and risk management teams do important work and that their perspective offers great value.

"We are happy to see that we are often invited to participate in the work of different business areas or units. As a recent example, we  participate in creating a model for describing common risks and communicating  them." 

Food recipes and grammar are also systems

In her free time, Nousiainen balances the work life by spending time with family and friends and doing sports. But she also has interests with similarities to the work of a lawyer: Germanic philology and food culture, especially French cuisine.

"I love systems and how regulated parts form a whole, functioning entity. In university, I studied Germanic philology as a second major – German grammar is also very system-based. As for cooking, to me it is all about the entire process of making, say, a particular sauce; it's influenced by  history and culture, and you need to also consider taste and aesthetics. I learned to appreciate the art of cooking and gastronomy when I worked as a waiter in a German resort in the summer prior to my law studies, and later did some temporary gigs in different restaurants in Helsinki."

Thus, legislation, philology and cooking alike all tend to have a set of clear instructions to follow, and the outside world with its needs to consider as well. Someone who understands both the system and the organic environment outside can operate considering both, creating solutions that are just right for the intended purpose.

Career highlights

  • Legal Counsel, Finnlines Oyj – in-house lawyer for an international shipping company
  • Compliance Consultant, Transcendent Group Finland – financial regulation lawyer and consultant
  • Assisting Company Lawyer, Försäkringsaktiebolaget Alandia – in-house lawyer for multi-branch insurance company
  • Court Practice in Päijät-Häme District Courtand Hämeenlinna Administrative Court
  • Legal Counsel for visual arts professionals at Artists’ Association in Finland
  • Customs Superintendent, Finnish Customs – legal specialist in debtor management and monetary transactions
  • Waitress, Restaurant Waldpavillon, Fehmarn, Germany and Restaurant Taidehalli, Helsinki