How is the risk and compliance market looking in the wake of the Royal Commission investigations

Based on our experience in the market, there are many opportunities for the present and foreseeable future. Leading market players have been required to hire multiple Risk and Compliance staff whilst other FS institutions are looking at what’s happening and trying to future-proof themselves. Front office executives have also started taking risk and compliance responsibilities more seriously after witnessing the negative impact that non-compliance can have on a business’ bottom line and brand reputation. 

We set out below our responses to common questions we've received from candidates:

The banking Royal Commission has been investigating whether any of Australia’s financial services entities have engaged in misconduct, with any criminal or other legal proceedings to be referred to the commonwealth. How prepared are institutions for the transition resulting from the measures set by the Royal Commission?

Our view is that it varies according to who you are. The entire ramifications of the Royal Commission will not be able to be accurately analysed until years after the fact. The Royal Commission will run through the rest of this year with an interim report due in September and a final report due in February 2019. Some of the bigger banks we are working with are in the “it’s a big problem right now” camp and some of the other clients we have in the investments, assets and fund space are not too worried by it and think it will pass them by. I do think however that the media coverage has made the wider FS world take compliance and specifically risk in Australia more seriously which would lead to more opportunities in that space going forward.

Is cyber risk a top concern for financial services risk managers?

Yes, many banks are now largely technology-driven and as such managers should ensure cyber risk is explicitly considered and managed in every project, for example when adopting new technologies. Having a great defence against cyber risk in almost every aspect of the business will improve the speed to market as well as firms’ resilience and responsiveness to market demands. In this way, cyber risk can be a determining factor for banks when becoming more agile.

Is risk and compliance a candidate-led market?

At present, it certainly is. Candidates have multiple roles available to them from Big 4 banks as well as niche players. To give you an example - 12 months ago, a compliance manager may have decided to move on but perhaps had only two relevant jobs to apply to. This number is now much higher – which means that clients are experiencing a harder time securing new talent in addition to maintaining current staff. As a result, organisations need to not only increase salary levels but hone in on the benefits to provide their employees in order to keep them engaged in their role and see value in the company they work in.

What are the type of candidates in hot demand?

Besides meeting the competency requirements of a role, I have noticed that my clients are increasingly looking for soft skills when assessing a candidate. Being able to influence, negotiate and persuade is the driving force behind how successful you can be in the risk and compliance market. Hiring managers see value in a candidate’s ability to win a client or customer over to their way of thinking - in spite of all the administrative risk and compliance activities that they need to go through.

Soft skills have actually become more difficult to recruit for. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has revealed that the biggest imbalance this year is in interpersonal skills and that major people-focused skill gaps are leadership, communication, collaboration and time management. This is because when a firm is looking for their next recruit, they want that person to have an excellent technical skillset in addition to having great relationship skills and the ability to make viable commercial decisions and take risks. They also want people to show commitment and care. Given the market is candidate-led, employers know that candidates are highly likely to be interviewing at multiple places. Hence, they are really looking for employees who would show a genuine desire to join the business long-term.

Contact us for any enquiries

If you wish to discuss your next hire or learn about current opportunities on the market, please contact us on 02 8251 2100 or visit our Linkedin page to learn more about what we do. 

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