GUEST COMMENT: How to get hired into a compliance job in an investment bank

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Stefan Hacker

For a while, it looked like the compliance recruitment market was much like the rest of the financial services hiring industry – moribund. But over the last six weeks, we’ve started to see jobs come through. The volume of financial regulation is high and tight implementation deadlines are approaching. It therefore seems likely that the market will improve even more in the coming months.

.Needless to say, we’re being approached by quite a few former salespeople or traders who are contemplating compliance careers. Many are out of the market and – if they’re willing to accept the reduction in compensation that a compliance job entails – they could make excellent product advisory compliance professionals.

Unfortunately, however, few banks are willing to hire external candidates unless they have direct compliance experience. I have several great compliance candidates on my books, but am struggling to place them.

With luck, this will change. In the meantime, if you think you may want to move into compliance, you’re advised to do so in an internal move with your existing employer. You need to think pre-emptively and address this before you are made redundant.

We also advise everyone who wants to move into compliance from another role that they do one of the compliance certificates or diplomas offered by the International Compliance Association, by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, for example.

This will improve your knowledge and skills; it will also show that you’re serious about your compliance career. When you’re looking for a compliance role, you’re also advised NOT to let it be known that you might also be interested in a job in the front office. Flexibility is a great character trait, but as a recruiter I need to deliver what my clients want - and in many cases they'll insist on 100% commitment to a new role in compliance.

Stefan Hacker is the founder and managing director of Maywater Limited, a London-based international regulatory compliance consultancy and compliance recruitment firm.

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