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9 February 2015

Demand for compliance professionals "on the rise"

Content team

An increase in regulatory activity is leading to greater demand for compliance and risk management professionals.

This is according to Andrew Wallace, a partner at financial services organisation Leathwaite, who has discussed the issue with FT Adviser.

"Unlike accountancy or the legal profession, compliance and risk management was only really invented in the last 30 years. I think 2015 will see a lot more regulatory activity, so there’s continued need for non-revenue producing staff," he told the organisation.

Mr Wallace forecast that the need for skilled personnel in this area will lead to a "war for talent" between businesses.

Mark Spiers of regulatory consultancy Bovill claimed larger organisations have been "hoovering up" the best compliance and risk management professionals, meaning smaller companies are increasingly turning to consultants.

According to Mr Wallace, the skills shortage could potentially get worse, as the increased regulatory burden is deterring graduates from entering the financial advice profession.

This is not the first time that businesses' desire to hire more compliance staff has been highlighted. Last year, recruitment consultant Merje revealed a 22 per cent increase had occurred in the number of organisations offering permanent or temporary risk management positions.

As well as hiring the necessary staff, developing a culture of compliance is widely regarded as key to meeting the increased demands of regulators. According to a survey by Kinetic Partners, 53 per cent of senior finance executives believe this is of vital importance.

Think tank New City Initiative has claimed compliance is the "new priesthood" of financial services, with professionals in this area having a critical role to play.

Content team, Bureau van Dijk

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