Compliance Market Commentary Q1, 2015

• Article by BRUIN Financial

Compliance Market Commentary Q1, 2015

Market Overview

The demand for Compliance candidates has remained high in the first quarter of 2015, consistent with the levels of recruitment that we were witnessing in 2014.

The Investment Banks continue to recruit in bulk, and this has been exacerbated by the increased levels of enforcement from the FCA. In addition, some banks that were more passive last year have really started to up-skill their Compliance functions. However, there is still a trend of near-shoring those functions that aren’t deemed ‘business critical’; we have seen a number of our clients looking to attract talent to regional locations.

Recruitment levels within the Asset Management space continue to rise in line with the increase in regulatory scrutiny. The challenge faced for such firms, similarly to the investment banking space, is that it is still a very candidate driven market and there are often multiple firms looking for the same type and calibre of candidate. This has caused salaries to be inflated, and competition to increase, with a large proportion of candidates having multiple offers on the table at any one time.

The bonus period did not cause the usual surge in movement that we would normally witness. Despite the fact that bonuses were widely recognised as not great, most candidates are aware that salaries are inflated so are able to hold out for the right opportunities, therefore compensating for the short-fall in bonuses. Similarly, there has been a shift towards firms splitting bonus payments over 2 instalments, encouraging people to remain in their roles until they have received the full amount.

Role Profiles

Monitoring & Testing – the demand for good Monitoring candidates has been consistent across the financial services. With increased levels of scrutiny coming from the regulator, firms are bolstering their monitoring teams. Interestingly, unlike other areas, firms have become much less specific about the background of candidates with the methodology and technical ability taking priority. As a result, there are many examples of candidates switching between the buy-side and sell-side.

Product Advisory – there is still high demand for strong front office advisory candidates within Investment Banks, with many firms requiring specific experience as they continue to up-skill their advisory teams. We have seen a particular increase in demand for strong Private Side candidates, as well as continued demand in areas such as Fixed Income and Equities. The majority of hiring is taking place at senior AVP & VP level.

Regulatory Developments – candidates with technical knowledge of specific regulations remain in demand across the Financial Services. Compliance professionals with understanding of regulations such as MIFID 2 and Volcker are increasingly sought after as firms continue to develop their risks and controls in line with regulatory requirements.

Financial Crime – this continues to be a hot area across the buy and sell-side. We continue to see demand for Financial Crime professionals who can advise the business in relation to areas such as AML, ABC and CTF amongst others. There is also a continued requirement for more BAU aligned responsibilities such as KYC, Due Diligence and the On-boarding around high-risk clients.


We envisage that Q2 of 2015 will be extremely busy, and we have already witnessed an upturn in levels of recruitment. It appears that following bonus period, firms have clarity around headcount requirements, and are therefore being extremely proactive in terms of securing the best talent as quickly as possible in order to fill niche roles.

Unfortunately, whilst the levels of recruitment increase, so does the demand for good candidates. We continue to see the best talent being offered multiple opportunities at any one time within a short time of starting to look for new roles, and as a result their salary requirements continue to increase. Fundamentally, firms need to be decisive and swift when recruiting for niche roles.

Finally, a lot of firms will continue to build Compliance teams in regional locations, with a number of tier-one banks building large scale functions outside of London. That said, the demand for “business critical” hires in London will continue, and firms will have to offer excellent career development and total packages in order to be securing the best talent.


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