There has been a strong demand for advisory compliance professionals over the first nine months of the year and this has shown no signs of slowing down as we head towards Christmas. Demand has been across the full sphere of products, including but not limited to:
Commodities and prime brokerage are also areas where we have seen movement in the last month. Whilst there has been no particular pattern in the product class, there has however, been a trend in level of seniority. Most firms are looking to recruit at the SVP, director, executive director level and in some cases at MD. Despite the additional cost involved in hiring staff with more experience, the knowledge base satisfies the regulators' expectations as these more senior individuals have more of a direct impact, as opposed to spending a number of weeks, months or even years to train and develop.
All product specialism areas are candidate short and candidates can expect to earn up to 25% increases within this area. Counter offers are very likely in this space, so candidates need to be managed correctly and their motivations for a move determined long before a firm makes an offer.
AML and financial crime roles saw an increase in September mainly due to major projects within businesses being rolled out, in particular where banks are looking to strengthen their compliance and behavioural standards. There has been a rise in demand for candidates with project management and business analysis, AML and sanction-related skills.
KYC has seen a rise in CDD and on‐boarding roles. This has mainly been driven by regulatory pressures and the need to ensure tighter control with certain legal entities. There are more opportunities for candidates with strong regulatory on‐boarding knowledge particularly those with EMIR experience.
Demand for generalists throughout September remained relatively consistent. There is still a need for the generalist skill set, particularly within the investment management space; however this area of the recruiment market is beginning to slow down as we enter the final quarter of the year.
Monitoring and testing has remained relatively buoyant and candidates with proven delivery of designing and implementing controls across market abuse, conflicts of interest, and communications are required by clients. There have been roles released at the junior end of the market, with the need for individuals who can demonstrate an understanding of compliance strategies and have the relevant skills from defense control environment, acting as a bridge between audit and risk. Strong conduct risk (and operational risk) experience and an ability to conduct a transversal business assessment in the compliance function to mitigate risk are highly desirable. Monitoring specialists need to ensure that a proactive monitoring approach is delivered.
Trade surveillance is much quieter but candidates with cross‐product experience are always sought after. Firms have stressed that candidates in this area need to demonstrate a wider understanding of the market and the broader objectives of a firm, specifically on how key regulatory changes will impact the business. Trade surveillance remains a niche skill‐set within compliance.