Key recruiter information within the compliance sector, covering salaries,contract rates and trends across London. Including developments in key areas such as Regulatory Compliance, Surveillance and Financial Crime.
Compliance Permanent Market
Compliance Temporary Market
Basic Salary (£ Per Annum)
|Financial Crime / AML||40,000-50,000||50,000-75,000||£75,000 £120,000||125,000-170,000||170,000+|
|Monitoring & Surveillance||40,000-60,000||60,000 85,000||85,000 120,000||120,000-150,000||150,000+|
|Central Compliance||30,000-50,000||55,000 70,000||70,000 110,000||110,000 140,000||140,000+|
|KYC / Onboarding Analyst||30,000-50,000||50,000-60,000||60,000-80,000||80,000-100,000||100,000+|
The volume of compliance vacancies decreased from 2015, though there has been a consistent flow of recruitment activity. Regulatory change has driven a lot of the recruitment that we saw over the year. For example, with MAR in July, many firms invested heavily in bolstering their surveillance teams. Throughout the second half of the year we have seen firms hiring MiFID 11 specialists with an eye on January 2018, when the legislation comes into play. With banks making a healthy profit from fixed income sales and trading, compliance professionals who regulate this activity are in high demand. Other areas of compliance such as AML and monitoring have seen a steady flow of opportunities too. Salary increases are healthy, but not at the lofty levels that we saw in 2015, where professionals could expect anything upward of 20%.
Across compliance roles, skills and experience that have been in demand come within the regulatory and trade surveillance/monitoring space. Large investment banks are consistently under pressure to meet new demands from the regulator and improve efforts around transparency, we have seen this reflected in their hiring, with job descriptions requesting strong skill-sets in this area. A number of new regulations have come out over 2016 with SMR in March and MAR coming into effect across the EU in July. MIFID II was postponed until this year. The multitude of regulations impacting compliance teams has seen employers requesting specialist knowledge of these regulations from new hires, we expect this area to continue to grow in 2017.
The implementation of MAR caused a spike in recruitment during the first half of 2016, with large investment banks signing off a number of new roles. Our banking clients were looking for individuals with excellent product knowledge, especially in equities, fixed income, money markets and FX businesses. This directive put pressure on surveillance systems implemented prior to the change, driving a spate of recruitment activity aimed at enhancing existing systems. With trade surveillance departments growing, institutions were open to considering candidates with ‘front office trading’ backgrounds. This trend will continue to grow throughout 2017.
The demand for candidates with a generalist background decreased throughout 2016. We expect this trend to continue in 2017, as specialist knowledge is increasingly required in areas such as monitoring and policy. More generalist roles tend to be asset managers within small teams.
Most senior roles within compliance require an extremely high level of technical competence within their chosen sub discipline. That is the one key element that distinguishes the top level of talent from the rest. However there are a number of soft skills that separate the top candidates from the rest, particularly communication skills. Strong communication skills coupled with impeccable technical expertise stand out for employers, as the post holder is often expected to disseminate technical information across all functions of the business. Due to their very nature, compliance roles can often expose the post holder to hostility from other areas of the business, meaning the ability to build strong internal relationships, in pursuit of solution driven dialogue, becomes crucial.
Job seekers can undertake a multitude of different activities to achieve a positive change in salary. When searching for new roles, compliance candidates should also be undertaking further training and gaining additional qualifications within their specific field. For candidates looking for roles in financial crime, completing the ACAMS, ICA (Diploma in Financial Crime) and CISI (Combating Financial Crime) qualifications will significantly enhance their chances of gaining a positive change in salary. This will make a CV stand out from the crowd and increase the chances of getting a new position. Training is also an important aspect for organisations to up-skill their current employees. This results in employees becoming valued within a team which will therefore increase retention levels for a firm. When looking for new roles, a job seeker can also utilise their own networks from previous employment and compliance networking events.
Throughout 2016, there has been a large push within compliance on increasing diversity, with a specific focus on the gender balance within teams. Significant efforts have been made towards increasing the numbers of females in the workplace, with many organisations acknowledging that their male/female ratios are not even. In some cases, employers have asked recruitment consultants to forward the profile’s of all strong female candidates that they come across, in the anticipation that they could create a role for them. In many of our service level agreements, employers have stipulated that we provide equally balanced shortlists for the vacancies that we recruit, ensuring at least a 50/50 gender mix of candidates for any given role..
We tend to find that the majority of candidates that we place are based in the UK. Although we did work with some candidates based abroad, international recruitment was minimal over 2016, down from previous years.
We have found that there is an even split across permanent and temporary contract hiring throughout 2016 and we expect that this will continue in the new year. Some of the firms that we work with have voiced a preference for replacing contract staff with permanent staff, however this could be easier said than done due to the scarcity of compliance professionals in the market.
Rate (£ Per Day)
|Financial Crime / AML||150-250||250-350||350-500||500-700||700-1,300|
|Monitoring & Surveillance||150-200||200-350||350-500||500-650||650+|
|KYC / Onboarding Analyst||150-200||200-350||350-450||450-600||600+|
Contractor vacancies within compliance were somewhat sporadic throughout 2016. The lead up to the EU referendum and the uncertainty surrounding the vote led to a lack of confidence in recruiting new staff as many projects stalled. Interestingly, the market had a boom immediately after the leave vote with Morgan McKinley recording its busiest job volume quarter of the year in Q3, which was up 150% compared to Q2.
There was a significant demand for subject matter experts (SMEs) in regulatory development over the course of 2016, as many companies looked to interpret and implement large scale legislation, ensuring compliance both locally and globally. Highlights include MiFID II and MAR. Project and programme manager roles in this area also recorded high growth levels in 2016. We anticipate that hiring in will continue in this vein as projects go through to completion.
With GDPR coming into effect on the 25th May 2018, we have seen a number of firms within financial services hire in this space. They are predominantly looking at two types of people: (1) Project managers, who have experience of working on implementing privacy policies (2) Privacy SMEs, these individuals are mainly coming from a legal background with recent experience in privacy. Due to the competitive nature of this area, employers are considering candidates with privacy experience from different industries.
The need for compliance training professionals is also high, as companies look to develop e-learning platforms and syllabuses as a more dynamic way of keeping their staff up to date with essential legislation and regulations. Due to the mixed skillsets of HR and compliance knowledge these roles prove challenging to resource for.
KYC has also been extremely busy as many companies, predominantly large investment banks, continue to strive to keep up to date with BAU on-boarding as well as working through specific remediation projects with their existing clients. In some instances, companies have been prevented from onboarding clients, which is having a significant impact on revenues. As such KYC is being treated with the utmost importance as opposed to a BAU task. As entity types and jurisdictions become ever more exotic and complex, risk assessment and high level investigative skills have become a paramount requirement from an EDD perspective.
Qualities and skills currently in demand include the ability to translate and disseminate complex legal requirements into working internal policy. This is particularly important in the regulatory development and change sector.
Within AML and financial crime, journalists or ex government agency professionals such as the NCA or SOCA are highly sought after as the have the necessary investigative skills to produce high quality written risk assessment reports. Because of this, there has been a move away from businesses considering traditional KYC analysts as with previous years.
Language skills are also a strong factor when recruiting for certain firms. Those with a footprint in emerging markets, such as APAC & South America, find local language skills are essential to facilitate communication between staff members, as well as clients.
External qualifications can help when looking to gain promotion or attract a higher rate or salary. Sought after qualifications include ICA diplomas, CISI and ACAMS. Degrees such as law, mathematics, business and finance are usually preferred over those relating to the arts. Employers looking to attract the best talent can gain an advantage by funding these whilst the employee is with them. Investment in staff also proves to be a strong method of retention for businesses.
Networking is also key. The market is a smaller than one would think and many senior professionals are likely to know one another. Keeping networks fresh and up to date, as well as utilising social media such as LinkedIn, can make job searches easier.
One notable trend we observed over 2016, particularly in banking, was cost cutting. The increasing need for contractors has put a financial strain on companies, as compliance teams grow across the board.
There has also been a focus on either ‘nearshoring’ or ‘offshoring’ certain transactional work from London to locations such as Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Edinburgh. Some firms have outsourced further afield, with Poland, India and Ireland all proving to be popular destinations, particularly in monitoring, central compliance, surveillance, KYC and transaction monitoring. For more high level positions, such as advisory roles, we have noticed a more focused attitude by firms attempting to convert short term contractors to permanent members of staff.
Compulsory furloughs and rate cuts for contract workers also increased compared to 2015, with cuts of 10% - 15% recorded in 2016.