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The Demands of Financial Crime Growth in Wealth and Investment Management

There has been a significant increase in demand for financial crime professionals in the last year.  The level of focus and scrutiny on anti-money laundering (AML) and financial crime has seen even traditionally low risk financial services firms such as institutional asset managers, investing heavily in building out their financial crime teams. Across the investment management and private wealth sectors, firms are digging deeper and identifying what more can be done to strengthen their defences to protect against not only the widely publicised severity of financial penalties, but reputational damage faced for shortfalls.

Another factor contributing to the demand of financial crime provisions is changes in regulation, adapting to the European and International political landscape. ESMA has been issuing statements and sharing thoughts on how to deal with the UK in the event of a no deal Brexit, all of which require preparation. Updates to Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations are having a big impact on Wealth Managers in particular, with stricter checks on the high net worth individuals they service.

Despite being so prevalent and entrenched across other sectors of financial services, because the intensity of focus on financial crime in Wealth and Investment Management has been relatively recent, finding experienced financial crime and AML professionals in these sectors has presented a challenge for Hiring Managers. This is where the strength of our network and understanding of our clients’ requirements has been really advantageous; identifying candidates outside of the sector with relevant skillsets and experience who can transition across.

We have recently completed a successful Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) search for a major US Investment Manager. Half of the candidates were from Asset Managers and half from Investment Banks, the role going to a candidate from the latter.

Last year we flagged that financial crime was mirroring the growth of compliance and predicted that by the end of 2019, the number of Managing Directors in financial crime and their level of compensation will be on a par with those in compliance at large international banking groups. We still believe we’re on course for this.

Having specialist knowledge of the market is essential in hiring into a historically unpopulated area. If you would like to utilise our network and expertise, please get in touch.

Denis Spearman

Partner, EMEA Head of Compliance & Financial Crime Practice

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