For compliance professionals, advisory is a very popular area. The main reason for this is that these roles require an individual to sit on the trading floor with the front office working closely with products and traders. As a result, they develop an innate understanding of the way the broader business works.
One common myth about compliance is that it's boring and back-office focused. But regulatory pressure is now such an important part of banking that it's become a very business-focused and interactive function. Working in compliance, you will be strongly involved in the decision-making process.
On a day-to-day basis, someone working in compliance advisory will be advising on deals, assessing whether new product and fund launches are logical for the business, considering the suitability of advice from the front office and looking at the impact of new regulations on existing products.
The good thing about compliance advisory is that people can go into it from a variety of backgrounds. While compliance experience is advantageous, we see individuals from legal, operations and accounting roles secure these roles. In-depth product knowledge is a must-have, and a skill set that's in short supply in the existing market. At the very least, you will need experience of deal flow, equities or fixed income transactions and physical commodities, however. The thinking is that people with this experience can pick the compliance aspect of the job up over time.
Salary levels for compliance advisory professionals range from 60 - 80k at the AVP level, 75 - 100k at the VP level and 100 - 130k at director level. The role also offers excellent scope for career progression - most heads of compliance will have done a stint on advisory at some point in their careers.
Marina Law is manager of compliance recruitment at Robert Walters