A German banking giant faces a $14billion fine over mis-selling. Soon after a Danish financial institution finds itself in the dock for suspicious payments. The business pages are punctuated with tales of large corporations falling prey to fraud and money laundering. Small wonder that compliance roles are among the most sought after in the marketplace. Especially when increased regulation coincides with an influx of finance multi-nationals to our capital city. And this is not some transient trend. Compliance is here to stay.
A career option worth considering, surely?
First off, people may be put off by the perception that it’s all about attention to detail and turgid diligence. Undoubtedly, these are hallmarks of a good compliance officer. But there’s more. There’s the investigative side, the deployment of high-end IT (and, increasingly, AI), the detecting of anomalies which can escalate into business-critical issues, and which suddenly catapult the compliance division to the very forefront of the organisation.
And it pays. I have a vacancy for Compliance Manager on my desk at present which commands over €15,000 more than the corresponding grade position in fund accounting, for example.
This is unlikely to change. The march of ever greater regulation is not slowing down. A compliance function has become a basic requirement to trade, and that’s a reassurance to those working in the space. Central Bank approval is needed for all manner of fintech operations to do business here and it won’t happen without a designated PCF39 officer in place.
In fact, for more and more firms it’s not just about avoiding a fine or a slap on the wrist – an unblemished compliance record is a real competitive advantage in an era where trust hinges on good governance and conduct.
So who fits the bill for a career in compliance? Often holders of an economics degree or similar, maybe in their early 30s with 5 years behind them, perhaps in custody, depositary or fund accounting. First move? Compliance risk officer is often the career starting point. So is applying for the PDC Certificate from the Institute of Banking. This is a pathway to Associate Director and Director positions.
Compliance is not for everyone. It does require an appetite for detail and for diligence. But as the news pages are telling us, it also has an edge to it, which makes it more appealing than you might think.
Tom Guilfoyle is Professional Services Recruitment Manager at Eden Recruitment.