Shelly Mady


485 Lexington Avenue, 10th Floor
10017, New York, USA
Tel: +12128181555


Peers and clients say:

"Shelly is instrumental to lawyers with her advice on data"
"She can very clearly and effectively explain complex issues and propose solutions"
"She is smart and hard-working"


Shelly Mady is a senior managing director in Ankura’s New York office and brings over 13 years of experience leading complex forensic data analytics engagements in response to regulatory driven investigations and litigation. Shelly has led and supported teams in a variety of cases involving sales reporting practices, improper financial disclosures, vendor kickbacks and improper payments, sanctions violations, trading improprieties, and FCPA investigations and monitorships. In addition, Shelly has led the development of continuous monitoring analytics and protocols for internal audit and compliance teams across a variety of industries.

What do you enjoy most about acting as a data expert?

I enjoy many aspects of the work I do as a data expert. In the reactive nature of the work that I do, I love using data to put the pieces of the puzzle together. To solve these problems, it requires more than just using data, but thinking through processes, how information is captured, what is the source of truth and identifying the “right” data. I find it exciting to put the fact patterns together to bring understanding and clarity to my client teams.

With the proactive and strategy work that I do, I love to see information come together to tell a story or drive business decisions. Information can be extremely powerful when used appropriately and I enjoy helping companies realise the potential of the data that they capture.

Data is everywhere and can be used at companies of all sizes and across industries. I appreciate the opportunity to work across a diverse range of companies to achieve varied goals and objectives.

What common pitfalls are you seeing when companies strive to build a data-driven culture and how might they be overcome?

The proliferation of data over the last decade has forced companies to recognise the power of data to inform decisions and drive value across the organisation. At the same time, tools and technologies are advancing rapidly driving many companies to request advancements such as process automation and machine learning/artificial intelligence in their organisation. A few common pitfalls that I have observed include 1) lack of organisational buy-in 2) business needs not clearly defined and 3) unrealistic expectations.

A data-driven culture is influenced by the tone at the top. Without proper organisational support, it will be hard to achieve the proper results because a data shift requires monetary and resourcing needs. Additionally, a data-driven culture requires a partnering of the IT/technical elements to business operations. Understanding the business needs and objectives and clearly defining goals and use cases with realistic timelines is important for the success of your data program.

Furthermore, it is important to start with an understanding of your company’s IT landscape and data maturity; what information is currently being captured, the locations of your data, and how data is currently utilised. Even though predictive analytics, AI/ML may sound intriguing it is important to start with the basics and ensure data is harmonised and the quality is sound. Focus on the low hanging fruit. Even the centralisation and aggregation of information in itself can create significant value for an organisation.

How does Ankura distinguish itself from the competition?

Ankura distinguishes itself from the competition in its approach, flexibility, innovation and collaboration. Ankura seeks to provide the best expert(s) for the project need. The firm does not throw bodies at a problem but rather focuses on bringing deep subject matter expertise to advise and support. From a data and technology perspective, Ankura is flexible in the tools and methods used and works with our clients to find the best fit across all factors (infrastructure, cost, etc.), as a result, our professionals have experience with a wide array of tools and technologies so that we can deliver the best job possible. The need for innovation and creative thinking is built into our company’s fibres and consistent knowledge sharing is the foundation of our innovative mindset. Our approach is to never settle and to be forward-thinking for our clients. The cross-border and business group collaboration has, in my opinion, stood out in comparison as we are working together with our diverse experiences in order to deliver our best.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

When faced with multiple tough decisions, the worst decision is not making one at all. The best you can do is to trust yourself to make an informed decision based on what you know/gathered. Regardless of the outcome, you can always make a change.

This was recent advice I received from a mentor in the industry and, in my opinion, can be applied in multiple scenarios whether it be a business or personal decision one may be encountering. Nothing is final and making an informed decision is better than making no decision at all.