How compliance departments are adapting to a new era


Joseph Schifano, Global Head of Regulatory Affairs at Eventus, made an appearance on the DerivSource podcast, ‘Living the Trade Lifecycle’.

Within the ‘Professional Pivots’ series, he deliberated on the technological transformations influencing compliance experts and offered insights on adapting to these changes.

Chief compliance officers find themselves constantly challenged to optimise operations and stretch limited resources. Given the ongoing push for better efficiency, businesses are contemplating how technological advancements can enhance automation, streamline operations, and bolster data analytics, enabling compliance experts to swiftly identify and counteract potential risks.

This shift towards technology is not unfamiliar to compliance divisions. Dating back to the emergence of electronic trading, compliance experts had to adopt tools like Excel for data analytics. Presently, financial organisations are exploring sophisticated technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to assist in compliance and market surveillance tasks.

There are three notable trends that highlight how the landscape of compliance is evolving:

  1. Technologists in the Frame – Compliance teams are recruiting specialists, primarily technologists, to oversee data systems. Such experts typically have proficiency in data integration, analytics, and reporting.
  2. Tech-Savvy Compliance Experts – The demand for compliance professionals with technical skills, like SQL or Python coding abilities, has seen a significant surge. These experts can directly delve into the data and generate reports.
  3. The All-Rounders – There’s a pressing need for professionals who possess a holistic grasp of technological capabilities. They play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between compliance needs and technological solutions.

Getting the technology right is paramount. Incorrectly built tech platforms not only waste resources but also pose operational risks. Therefore, collaboration between compliance professionals, technologists, and other relevant stakeholders, such as front office personnel, is essential.

Today, the dynamic nature of technology, trading desks, capital markets, RegTech, and the regulatory landscape, makes a career in compliance incredibly stimulating. With constant innovations, professionals who relish diverse roles and can cater to diverse stakeholders will find abundant opportunities for vertical growth in their careers.

For those keen on venturing into compliance, a stint with a regulatory body, such as the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) or FINRA, can be a promising start. Although the initial remuneration might not rival that of financial institutions, the experience garnered is unparalleled.

Alternative entry routes include transitioning from technical or front-office roles. After gaining substantial experience in financial markets, many professionals, like Schifano himself, transition to legal and compliance roles. In Schifano’s case, he leveraged his law degree and experience to steer the regulatory affairs at Eventus, a prominent trade surveillance software firm.

Compliance is a multifaceted role, indispensable across a myriad of sectors. Thus, professionals in this domain have the flexibility to transition to academia or other industries mid-career, presenting a wealth of opportunities for the future.

Read the full post here.

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