Hiring Uptick Seen for Compliance Leaders

February 1, 2016 – Finding senior leadership within the compliance function is exceedingly complex today, as companies today face intense pressure under the current regulatory environment. It therefore requires leadership who can foster close collaboration between compliance and other corporate functions as well as communicate to a more complex and sophisticated set of stakeholders, internally and externally.

According to a recent Heidrick & Struggles report, sharply rising demand for compliance talent, the absence of a clear career path in the discipline, and greater need for compliance executives with leadership and influencing skills are creating difficult challenges for organizations seeking to identify and retain talent in a world of increasing regulation. 

“The demand is so great for internal auditor and compliance executives that recruiters are looking outside the financial services industry for candidates,” said Michael P. Kelly, president of New York-based Michael Kelly & Associates, which specializes in financial services. “The skills sets are transferrable but there is a learning curve to understand the sector they are auditing.”

Maurice Gilbert, managing partner of Dallas-based Conselium, a boutique search firm that specializes in recruiting compliance professionals, has also seen a major uptick in activity, particularly for chief compliance officers.

“About nine years ago companies that were in highly regulated industries like financial services, medical devices and pharmaceuticals saw a critical need to bulk up in the compliance area,” said Mr. Gilbert.

The result: Mr. Gilbert has seen a 20 percent, year-over-year growth rate for compliance professionals as a direct result of ongoing or potential measures being taken by the U.S. government to investigate companies they potentially deem as having behaved improperly or who have not been compliant with new regulatory measures.

One compliance leader who was recently put into place is Mary Lomasney as head of U.S. compliance and legal for JOHCM (USA). The search was completed by Brian Porter, a founding partner of executive search firm Charles Sterling Group, LLC, based in Boston.

Ms. Lomasney has an extensive background in investment management compliance. Formerly, she was managing director of corporate compliance at BNY Mellon where she spent the last 10-plus years.

“We are very excited about Mary joining JOHCM and feel she will be a key contributor to the future growth of their operations,” said Mr. Porter. “Our partnership with the firm began with helping them hire investment teams to establish a presence in the U.S. We are thrilled with their success and our involvement in helping them execute their expansion strategy.”

JOHCM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of J O Hambro Capital Management Limited, a $30 billion U.K. headquartered asset management firm. It manages 18 separate equity strategies in emerging markets, Asia, Japan, European, International and global, U.K. and U.S. products. The firm is expanding its U.S. presence through the addition of investment teams and infrastructure.

Ms. Lomasney will play an integral role in this growth by supporting the firm’s positive compliance culture and becoming a major contributor to its U.S. control environment. She will develop and implement enhanced policies and procedures that are consistent with U.S. legal and regulatory obligations.

Charles Sterling Group is an executive search firm specializing exclusively in leadership positions in the financial services industry. Some of the firm’s recent compliance and risk engagements include: global head of market risk, chief risk officer, head of model risk management, global head of credit risk management, global head of treasury interest rate risk, chief compliance officer, head of regulatory compliance, head of legal, insurance asset management, and senior legal counsel.

“The chief compliance officer is there for a number of reasons, including conducting their own internal investigations — known as ‘self-disclosure,’” said Mr. Gilbert “They are there to educate and to develop new policies within the company so these types of problems and issues don’t occur in the future.”

According to Mr. Gilbert, senior level compliance officers can make anywhere from $500,000 to $1.3 million annually depending on the size of the organization being served.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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