Compliance Officer

Compliance Officer

Compliance is part of the control structure of an organization — it provides real-time monitoring and correction of employee conduct and operations. Compliance Officers promote ethical conduct and compliance with rules, regulations and standard processes that govern how financial services organizations should conduct business. This applies to how financial transactions and trades are handled, how client accounts are maintained and processed and how the organization operates as a business.

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

There is strong demand for both entry-level and senior Compliance Officers.

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate degree typically required.

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills
*
Desktop area Work Environment

Office; possibly some travel required

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

There is strong demand for both entry-level and senior Compliance Officers.

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate degree typically required.

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills *
Desktop area Work Environment

Office; possibly some travel required


WHAT IT IS

Key Role Dimensions

Monitoring business operations for compliance with regulatory and policy requirements: Report non-compliance issues to management and work with staff to correct the issue.

Operating with a high degree of integrity and fairness: Strive to maintain a balance of impartiality and fairness while promoting compliance excellence. Personal integrity is of the utmost importance in this role.

Offering training and education support: Help develop and deliver training programs to increase understanding of regulatory requirements, compliance policies and ethical conduct within business lines and across the organization.

Varied scope: In smaller, less complex firms, Compliance Officers may be responsible for monitoring activities across the firm. By contrast, in larger or more complex firms, Compliance Officers may be aligned to one specific business unit.

Focus Areas

Compliance Officers may focus on different areas of compliance across the financial services sector:

  • Banking: Securities, investment practices, consumer protection, privacy, anti-money laundering
  • Insurance: Consumer protection, privacy, anti-money laundering
  • Investment Management: Securities, investment practices, privacy, anti-money laundering
  • Pension Management: Investment practices, federal pension regulations

WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED

Key Job Accountabilities

Compliance Officers generally:

Monitor adherence and work with the business to remediate incidents of non-compliance:

  • Conduct reviews of organizational practices and operations in order to assess adherence to policies and regulations.
  • Consult with others to identify root causes of non-compliance events.
  • Provide guidance and recommendations on corrective actions or risk mitigation strategies, and ensure proper implementation.

Develop policies to support compliance:

  • Determine what policies are applicable and needed in the organization.
  • Review and update procedures to reflect changes in legislation and the business.
  • Act as an educational and training resource on compliance matters.

Maintain regulatory awareness:

  • Review regulatory resources (bulletins, trade journals, news publications, websites, etc.) in order to stay current.
  • Attend related conferences and training sessions, networking with industry peers.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

Must-haves:

  • Knowledge of regulatory and legislative policy and procedures for the financial sector
  • Knowledge of risk and credit management in the financial sector
  • Strong quantitative analysis skills
  • Proactive and goal-orientated by nature
  • Application of High Ethical Standards: Personal integrity and a sense of ethics to remain independent

Nice-to-haves:

  • Experience within the firm
  • Strong understanding of financial markets
  • Experience in sales, trading, brokerage, clearing, operations or in a corporate control department (e.g. risk management), or experience working at a regulatory organization

Education & Credentials

Entry-level positions typically require:

  • College diploma or
  • Undergraduate university degree

In the fields of:

  • Accounting
  • Business Management
  • Finance

Senior positions may require:

  • Graduate degree

In the fields of:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Law

Employers in different segments may require candidates to possess one or more of these designations:

Other training on special topics related to compliance may include:

  • Anti-money laundering (AML)
  • Investment management
  • Financial planning
  • Trading
  • Insurance
  • Audit
  • Securities and related laws

WHERE IT CAN TAKE YOU

Career Pathways

There are a number of pathways open to Compliance Officers through:

  • Increased Seniority: You may take on additional supervisory and management duties or become a more senior Compliance Officer. With experience and exceptional performance, you might move into Director-level roles and eventually into the Chief Compliance Officer position.
  • Deeper Specialization: You may choose to move into more specialized compliance roles focusing on complex areas of the business (e.g. anti-money laundering, Sarbanes-Oxley, security and safety).

Future Trends & Impacts

Given the highly regulated environment of the financial services sector, great attention is paid to the inherent costs of non-compliance with regulations. The following changes will have an impact on the profession:

  • Regulatory Changes: Continual learning is necessary to stay current with all changes.
  • Globalization: Greater global connectedness may lead to the need for more global compliance understanding.
  • Expanded Consultant Roles: There may be opportunities to work in more entrepreneurial roles or become highly specialized.
  • Demand for Senior Compliance Positions with Strategy Development Responsibilities: Organizations have started to include compliance in their business strategies.


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