Compliance/Legal: currently 751 jobs.The latest job was posted on 22 Oct 14.

Compliance / Legal

The majority of the individuals working in compliance / legal are there to ensure that customers and internal staff behave appropriately and in accordance with the law and regulations. They monitor the activities of the firm, and its workers, making sure that the the rules and regulations of the country in which they are headquartered, or the countries in which they operate are adhered to.

There are many different subcategories of compliance / legal, including AML, surveillance, and control room operations. AML, or anti money laundering, is about preventing criminals from using the financial institution to make their ill-gotten gains appear legitimate. Surveillance is the monitoring of suspicious behaviour, particularly of those transactions that involve clients who have been flagged on a watch list, such as those subject to international sanctions. Control room operations involves maintaining the firm’s restricted list of investments that are not allowed to be held by staff, and ensuring that information and data is only shared with individuals within the firm on a need-to-know basis.

Those wishing to work in this sector will need to be well versed in national and international regulations, particularly if working for a global bank. Regulations vary by country, and many changes have been introduced as a result of the recent financial crisis. In the United States, the Dodd-Frank Act is having a major impact on financial institutions and globally rules developed by the Bank for International Settlements’ Basel Committee referred to as Basel III are being introduced gradually over the next few years. Having an understanding of significant regulations like these will increase your chances of finding employment.

Compliance / legal work is in essence that of an internal law enforcer. A large part of the role involves building relationships, particularly with front office staff, but it’s also necessary to be brutal when required. Compliance / legal workers need to have a good eye for detail, be inquisitive if something doesn’t seem right, and not be afraid to whistle blow. It can be a tough job, but it’s one of the most important roles in the financial services industry.

The Market & Salaries
There has never been a better time to try to make your way in the compliance / legal sector. Following the recent global financial crisis, banks and other participants are doing all they can to maintain reputation, however there’s always the risk that some firms may cut corners to climb back up the ladder. Many firms are increasing their compliance teams to ensure all processes are above board, and all regulations are adhered to, for example Morgan Stanley has doubled its headcount in this area, so you’ll find plenty of opportunities on efinancialcareers.com.

While salaries have traditionally been unspectacular for compliance workers, the newfound importance attached to the role during this period of recovery has seen salaries shoot up. Graduates can expect to walk in at $60,000, while those with 10 years experience can expect an average of around $500,000, depending upon their area of expertise.