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Compliance Market Overview 2018-2019

In 2018 there was a buoyant market within the compliance sector, I write mainly with reference to the Asset/Wealth Management and Consultancy Space which is where AJB tend to have most engagement with clients

Contract Assignment

In general, the market was seeking experienced Compliance professionals that have both monitoring and advisory experience Contractors were required to fill in the gap before permanent staff can be employed Specialist candidates were also in demand to cover people being off work due to illness or to cover maternity/paternity leave with the following experience.

Financial Promotions and Retail Distribution

Candidates that are very experienced with Financial Promotions and retail distribution where also in demand, average contract duration of about 6 months in duration with many contracts being rolled over. Again, to cover maternity and illness. Daily rate ranging from £450-700 depending on the level of experience

Compliance Monitoring

General FCA compliance monitoring including thematic and desk-based reviews and also to carry out other ad hoc duties as required by the Head of Compliance or Line Manager. Daily rates being paid in the region of circa £500-700

Investment Guidelines Monitoring

Including pre and post-trade monitoring and also coding using mainly Charles Rivers, Aladdin and Thinkfolio. Manual Coding was also required. Many firms where undergoing migration from one system to another and some large Asset Management firms have created their own software to cover such monitoring and being able to adhere to guidelines. The cost for such professionals varies but was in the main quite expensive due to the natural shortage of high calibre talent. Daily rates were as much as £800 per day, but in the main, the average was circa £650 per day

Generalist Compliance Officer

Candidates that have both Monitoring and Advisory experience, they were also highly in demand as they are able to provide cover for both functions and thereby costs the client less overall, as they do not need two individuals. This is very important, especially when dealing with the smaller boutique Asset/ Wealth Managers, more so, where candidates take a very flexible approach to working and are happy to engage in all areas of the business

Interim Head of Compliance

A number of senior compliance positions were available, again to cover maternity and paternity leave, or to act as interim until a permanent appointment can be made. Such senior candidates generally tend to return to work, normally about 6 months later

Quarter 2.

So, bonuses have now been declared and clearly some candidates will decide that this is now the time to seek out a new career opportunity

There may also be changes within the compliance departments (mergers and acquisitions), which determine that some members a of the team will have to leave the company, and this will in turn create new opportunities for other compliance professionals

In some cases, the contract candidates are offered permanent positions with clients they are working with, as they have proven themselves to be very competent and capable, as well as fitting in well with the client in question

Some of the contractors accept a permanent position and others decline, preferring the option of remaining a contractor, affording them the opportunity to remain independent and determine which contracts they will accept and also the duration of the contract. Also, how long they will continue as a contractor and then may wish to take a break before returning to the market place to secure another contact

Many smaller clients are not willing to have a permanent compliance department and so opt to outsource this function to a regulatory Consultancy, which is another growing area of the business

From small 2-4-man teams to much larger and established Regulatory Consultancies, offering consultancy services on an ad hoc or full-time basis to clients across the Financial Services Spectrum.

Consequently, very experienced regulatory candidates with broad Financial Services knowledge remain in demand for growing and established consultancies

As for 2019

With Brexit fast approaching, understandably many financial companies are making contingency plans and may anticipate having to relocate businesses to mainland Europe. This will require high calibre professionals will need to be employed in such locations

As such, rather predictably, recruitment has slowed and only the most specialist and essential positions are being sought using Recruitment and Head-Hunting firms

The positions being sought will include, Compliance Monitoring (Thematic and Desk based reviews) Compliance Advisory, Investment Guidelines and Financial Promotions /Retail Distribution As for permanent positions, the market remains relatively stable and high calibre Compliance and Legal professionals remain in demand from Manager to Director levels, with basic salaries ranging from £60-200,000 plus the normal attendant benefits associated with such positions

Additionally, many larger Asset/Wealth Managers are engaging in direct recruitment using in-house recruitment teams or RPO’s

However, I suspect there will always be a need for the very experienced Compliance/Legal recruiter due to the network that remains available to them. Many candidates, mainly at senior and Director Level, do not find it easy to trust just any recruiter, but prefer a Head Hunter that is well known and highly regarded with many testimonials to support the good work they have undertaken on behalf of other senior candidates over many years.