Compliance Officers – Demand Exceeds Supply

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The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, was envisioned and executed to rein in and keep a check on the financial services industry and usher in a modicum of accountability and answerability into its workings.

High flying secretive hedge funds and other financial anomalies were a worrying factor and the act has enforced financial firms to register with regulatory bodies for the first time, thus making themselves accountable and answerable to them.

This has opened up new avenues of employment and companies are doing a lot of hiring, to ensure that they have someone to make certain that the company remains on the right side of the Act’s requirements.

Most of the jobs currently available are with, community banks, private equity firms and hedge funds. So obviously fiscal knowledge is a must, additional knowledge about the legal system, will give you an edge over the others. "Having different licenses, like the Series 7 or a CFA, always helps," said Michael Karp, managing partner at the Options Group.

Asset managers, retail banks, insurance companies and hedge funds hire compliance staff as well. Owing to which, compliance has become that much more significant. Hiring experts anticipate that the demand for these jobs will increase as the year progresses.

The basic duty of the compliance officer is to ensure that all the employees and the management are following rules and regulations as mandated by the State, Federal and Local regulatory bodies.

Since the position will involve interacting with the FBI and other regulatory bodies, you have to have soft diplomatic skills. You have to have the knack of dealing with sensitive issues and to think things through in a measured, disciplined way. Its challenging to deal with people who have the authority to penalize your company heavily if they are found wanting - you are representing your company - it's your job to represent and protect your company's interests - it's a big responsibility.

The firms that require a compliance officer, are not small firms and aware of the ensuing problems that the new legislation would bring, had comprehended that they would need specialists to monitor the new law, and ensure, that the management and employees stayed in compliance with the rules and regulations of regulatory agencies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compliance is one of the fastest-growing industries and predicts a huge growth in compliance employment. Career Central lists ‘Compliance officer jobs” as one of the most secure jobs that will rock the future.

The compliance and ethics field encompasses how people act in large organizations, and how to keep those organizations out of trouble. This is a challenging field that has been attracting many people. It is full of challenges and presents wonderful growth opportunities.

Maxine Nogard, senior director, Global Corporate Compliance says, “ There are a limited amount of people doing this right now, so there's a huge demand," "There are few compliance officers without a job." Problem is, she notes, not enough people are qualified to do the job. "Recently it took me almost four months to fill a junior-level position," she laments. "I went through more than 30 résumés. Only one of the applicants was even remotely qualified."

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