String and Key
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String and Key

The String and Key Crew: Ilana Kauffman

As part of our ongoing employee spotlight series, we’ll be profiling colleagues who inspire us. Today, meet Ilana Kauffman.

Company Role: Head of Compliance

Most likely to: Check something off my to-do list

Secret talent: Making sensory bins for my kids

At String and Key, we push ourselves to produce creative and exciting content for the ever-changing insurtech world. With that kind of fast-paced innovation, it’s important that we always stay within regulations. A big part of the structure that keeps us compliant and amenable is having someone in the company who’s an expert at keeping us in line, so to speak. Enter Ilana Kauffman, our Head of Compliance. After she studied abroad in Prague and spent summers in fabulous places like Italy, Greece, and Spain, she settled on Long Island, NY. After starting her career as an underwriter, she moved into the compliance realm and has been at S&K since June 2021.

Let’s get to know a little more about Ilana.

What do you do, and what does your typical workday look like?
I’m the Head of Compliance here at String and Key. I am fortunate enough to get to work with all the teams by splitting my time between larger cross-functional projects that require collaboration, attending meetings, as well as doing sole compliance work including lots of spreadsheets, research, and review.

What excites you about your job?
The challenges. Every day there is something new to tackle, but I also have the freedom to problem solve.

What’s your favorite part about working at String and Key?
The mutual respect. Professionally speaking, we recognize that everyone is an expert in their functions. No one is smarter than the next person; we’re all smart about different things. Personally speaking, we treat each other as adults, which is not so easily found in every company.

What do you find most challenging about your role?
As someone who works in compliance, it’s not a shocker to say that I love processes, and as a fairly new company, we are still working to solidify all of them. It is difficult, at times, to have to rework something based on a new process that was put in place. However, I am continually impressed with the fact that we are always innovating and looking to do better.

What are the values that drive you?
Authenticity, boundaries, and validation.

How do you stay on top of your game?
I attend a lot of training courses, webinars, and conferences. I also listen to industry podcasts. There is so much information in our field to take in, and it’s constantly changing, so I use any opportunity I have to learn more.

What drew you to tech and what excites you about the industry?
I never felt like I truly fit in at more old-school companies. Tech is in tune with the work I like to do: digital, fast-paced, efficient, forward-thinking, and innovative.

What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — that you’ve learned in the last month?
The first African-American owned insurance company in the US, named “The African Insurance Company”, was founded in 1810 in Philadelphia.

If you could swap places with anyone at String and Key, who would it be and why?
I’d say Susan Park, our Head of Finance. Back in the day, I used to be a math nerd, so much so that I even placed out of the requirement for college. However, not sticking with it was to my detriment because now I can barely do simple addition without a calculator. Susan does amazing work and has such a strong sense of numbers and finances, and I admire her for it.

What unexpected subject could you give a one-hour presentation on with no advance prep?
There are many because I’m an over-researcher, and when I commit, I commit. We are a Marvel family, so I could probably talk about that for an hour, easily.

What keeps you busy outside of work?
My kids. If I’m not at work, I’m doing my other job, being their mom. And once in a glorious while, I get to watch one of my TV shows with no disturbances.

Can you list five hashtags that describe your personality?
#AmazonPrimeObsessed #OnTheme #ToDoList #MultitaskingMom #Streaming

Lighting Round:

Big party or small gathering?
Small gathering.

Sneakers or sandals?
Sandals.

Couch or recliner?
Couch.

Online shopping or shopping in a store?
Online shopping.

A day at an amusement park or a day at the beach?
It’s a tie!

Interested in working at String and Key? Join us!

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