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In-demand compliance pros naming own salary and title

The workforce on Wall Street has shrunk significantly since the economic crisis in 2008. In fact, there is really only one role that is in incredibly high demand: compliance.

Currently the unemployment rate for compliance professionals sits at just 5.7%, well below the national average of 7.2%. Expect that number to continue to fall as big banks and hedge funds fill out their compliance teams. J.P. Morgan recently announced plans to commit 5,000 people to its risk and compliance department; HSBC expects to add roughly 1,600. Royal Bank of Scotland is hiring too. Meanwhile, a recent study found that the average hedge fund spends as much as 10% of its operating costs on compliance. Most of that money is going to the people who are overseeing the initiatives.

It’s gotten to the point that if you have the experience, you can essentially pick your job title and salary, according to the Wall Street Journal. With more seats than experienced professionals in the market, compliance officers are seeing huge bumps in pay as well as other perks, such as greater visibility within the company and a seat at the big table.

There is one catch though, and it’s the reason that there are more open spots than available people. You can’t get the job without the experience, and you need the experience to get the job. At this point, skittish firms are more apt to spend the extra money to poach a veteran than to train five rookies. For this very reason, nearly nine out of 10 financial services executives find it a challenge to recruit skilled compliance workers.

However, there are a few ways to sneak in the back door, as we reported back in May. Working in reconciliations, anti-money laundering, operations and client onboarding can provide applicable experience that can help with the transition to compliance. A CAMS certification can be a big help too. Your best chance, though, is to ask your current firm for an internal move.

Where Did the Jobs Go? (eFinancialCareers)

Despite a sluggish third quarter, Wall Street has all but cemented its comeback from the economic crisis. Profits are up, stock prices are soaring and big banks are better capitalized than they’ve ever been. There’s really only one thing missing: the jobs.

Passing the Series 7 (eFinancialCareers)

We spoke to Knopman Financial Training, a New York-based FINRA Licensing Exam preparation firm, to get some tips on what you’ll need to do to ace the test and get your career started at a brokerage firm.

Double Wammy (NY Times)

Goldman Sachs is being forced to pay the legal fees of former employee Sergey Aleynikov, a computer programmer accused of stealing code from the firm. Somehow that doesn’t sound fair.

Woes Continue (Bloomberg)

SAC Capital plans to close its London office by the end of the year. More than 50 employees will be affected. The hedge also reportedly cut six U.S. investment positions this week as the fallout from the insider trading scandal continues.

Profits, Compensation Drifting Lower (WSJ)

Wall Street is on pace to book roughly $5 billion in profit during the second half of the year, down from the $10 billion it made during the first six months of the year.

No Receipts Needed (Bloomberg)

Bernie Madoff had no policies in place for corporate credit cards, allowing employees to use them to finance trips to Disney World and purchase thousands of dollars of wine.

Economists are Terrible People (Business Insider)

Economics majors tend to be less charitable, more deceitful and less likely to be concerned with fairness than us regular folks, according to a new study. Not only do these types of people gravitate toward economics, it seems the actual study promotes the benefits of self-interest.

Buzz Around the Office

Kimye (Gawker)

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are engaged. While reporting the news, MSNBC mistakenly looped in a video of a woman sleepwalking onto a subway track. Seems rather fitting, somehow.

List of the Day: Finding Success

If you want to be a great success in your career, follow these three principles.

  1. Never have a backup plan.
  2. Never be too proud.
  3. Once you get the end, keep going.

(Source: The Daily Muse)

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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