Darci Trout (formerly Lowe) joined Protiviti Chicago in 2004, shortly after earning her MBA. Though she initially started in Internal Audit, she eventually transitioned to the Risk and Compliance practice. After over 11 years at Protiviti, Darci left as an Associate Director and joined OCC (Options Clearing Corporation) where she is now the First Vice President of Adherence, Monitoring and Business Controls. Connect with Darci on LinkedIn.
I started in Internal Audit, working primarily on SOX engagements – it was 2004, after all. After several years in Audit, I started to do Enterprise Risk Management for non-financial services companies eventually moving into Risk and Compliance working with more FSI clients. In my career progression, I went from more task-driven to client and strategy-driven, balancing multiple clients and obligations at one time.
On Protiviti’s growth in the 11 years she spent with the company:
I think the Chicago office was less than 100 [employees] when I started, and was nearly 300 when I left, and because of that our name recognition grew. Even today when I state that I worked there, people have heard of it which is a big change from when I started.
I also think there was a pivot from project/SOX work to consulting work, built on relationships and advising. Reframing [our offerings] into Solutions really helped to drive the change.
On Protiviti’s biggest impact on Darci:
It was certainly the people. It was always fun to come into work – travelling with people you call friends; the socialization in the office. I was also actively involved in facilitating our Challenge schools while I was there, the Intern Challenge in particular, which was a great way to energize the “next gen” of Protiviti and network with those from other offices.
On her current responsibilities:
In my current role, I am responsible for the internal control environment and compliance testing and monitoring at OCC, for both business and IT. This includes facilitating process maps and controls, facilitating a self-testing program, issue management, our eGRC tool and executing the compliance risk assessment, testing and monitoring program.
On the challenges of her current role:
The challenges are working in a highly regulated environment. OCC is a SIFMU, meaning they are a systematically important financial market utility, and the expectations of regulation are very high. Also, understanding the clearing industry and terminology has been a steep learning curve. On a personal note, coming to the same office/desk daily has been a bit of a change! Though I still have a lot of variety in what I do, settling into a routine took some time.
On advice Darci would give her younger self:
Take every opportunity as a learning opportunity. There is something to be gained from every experience, thought it may not be evident at first. Maybe it is a simple as meeting a new person and gaining a new connection, or seeing a part of the country you never would have made it to otherwise, or understanding an industry you didn’t really realize existed, there is always something new to learn. Working in consulting is a great way to expose yourself to all these different facets. And you never know when the may come in handy again. Still waiting for my Jeopardy call!
Who should be featured in the next Alumni Spotlight? Let us know at Alumni@Protiviti.com!