The Feds Need Senior Compliance People to Watch Over the Rest of Us

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Now, federal and state agencies - and those who manage money for them - are hiring from Wall Street to oversee financial reform, and the most-needed are those who have years of compliance experience.

"I'm doing a chief compliance officer search right now, for a large diversified financial institution that is managing money for a large municipality," says Sandy Gross, founder and managing partner of Pinetum Partners, whose Greenwich, Conn., firm specializes in senior searches for hedge funds, investment banks, and other securities firms.

Gross is currently recruiting from the buyside, seeking experienced compliance officers who can identify and resolve regulatory issues, ensure that appropriate processes and controls are established and documented, and assist regulators with regulatory exams and inquiries. They will have sat through routine and sweep SEC exams, and will know how to develop trading guidelines, monitor employees to prevent insider trading, provide training, and be able to determine whether clients are qualified to invest.

Gross expects demand will increase for this kind of CV. "I think this is a pretty hot area-hiring of compliance officers for government as well as the private sector because of Dodd-Frank," she says, observing that the SEC and FINRA will each be conducting more exams, more testing and additional reviews because of the new regulations. That will require additional people able to face off with financial firms to be sure they are compliant with new rules.

Other recruiters agree a trend is afoot:

"I suspect the government will be doing more hiring (from financial firms) as regulators seek to better analyze bank capital adequacy, adherence to new rules of behavior, and the overall health of financial institutions under Dodd-Frank," says Richard Lipstein of search firm Boyden Associates. Best suited to such jobs would be those who do fixed income quantitative analysis, he notes.

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