Citi poached one of Morgan Stanley's most senior compliance executives

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It's 2019 and Citi seems to be bolstering its compliance function. Dominic Hirons, Morgan Stanley's former head of operational risk for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Asia, has joined the bank's London office. Hirons will serve as Citi's chief compliance officer for EMEA region.

Hirons looks like a big win for Citi. He spent almost 11 years at Morgan Stanley after beginning his career in corporate finance at Rothschild in 1994. He later joined the UK Financial Services Authority (FCA) as a supervision associate, before working in compliance for Dresdner and Bank of America.

Hirons joined Morgan Stanley as a COO of the Asian business in 2008 and initially worked in Hong Kong. In 2011, he was made a managing director along with other 231 people. Within two years of being promoted, he was designated as the EMEA operational risk head.

Hirons' appointment comes at a time when banks are trying to cut spending on compliance by automating the function after years of splurging on compliance recruitment to appease regulators. In early 2017, for example, JPMorgan said it planned to start cutting compliance spending while a report from McKinsey said the emphasis is now on trimming compliance budgets through automation.

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