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Key Takeaways from the latest Compliance Leadership Lunch

12 March 2019 by Mason Alexander

Mason Alexander were delighted to host the second instalment of our Compliance Leadership series with some of the industry’s top professionals.  The topic for discussion at this event was surrounding “Culture, Conduct and Attracting Talent”.

The compliance industry in Ireland is experiencing a huge increase in demand for experienced professionals and companies are seeking a broader skillset from employees. Over the past number of years, the industry has become an increasingly attractive career for professionals working in banking and funds and the number of people seeking qualifications in compliance has risen dramatically.

These were key takeaways from our recent Compliance Leadership Lunch:


It is difficult to attract key talent and find the right skills/ expertise

There is still a shortage of strong compliance professionals who are seeking new opportunities. Companies are having difficulty attracting and retaining talent. New firms arriving to Ireland are also having difficulty finding the right skills and expertise. This has resulted in high demand for people with experience in dealing with regulations.


Culture, conduct and market abuse are still key areas of focus for FS Institutions and Regulators

Since 2008, a lot of focus from regulators has been on culture and conduct of Financial Service firms. More stringent governance has created a new demand for individuals with specific skill sets in this area, in particular professionals with experience in regulatory compliance.


Prudential and IT security are increasingly becoming areas of concern for Compliance Officers

Prudential and IT Security regulation is a relatively new concern to compliance officers. These areas are more complex than the traditional areas of responsibility for compliance officers which has forced individuals in compliance to become increasingly sophisticated in their skillsets.


Applications from the CBI have been more difficult than expected and communication can sometimes be ambiguous

From speaking with industry players and new entrants to the Irish market, their experience with the CBI has been more challenging than they expected. The process of putting an application through the CBI and receiving approval is more challenging than their initial expectations. This has created a demand for individuals who have previous experience in both dealing with or working in the regulator.


The Individual Accountability Regime could introduce some interesting dynamics to the compliance industry

Although it is still uncertain as to the particulars of the Individual Accountability Regime,  it is a concern of senior compliance professionals as they may become liable for the activities of the companies they oversee. As is the case in the UK where this has been implemented, there is a premium put on individuals taking on responsibility for the actions of their companies. As a result of this, it creates an incentive for risk adverse professionals to stay in number 2 roles and not go for regulated positions. As a new phenomenon in the Irish industry, it could create some interesting dynamics for the future of the professional compliance market.


Key Skills

As the conversation progressed, the topic of key skills was discussed. Applicants with the most diverse skills are in the highest demand. Key skills that were highlighted were:

  • Conduct

  • Prudential

  • Fitness and probity

  • Anti-money laundering (AML)

  • Trade compliance

  • Understanding of wholesale/investment banking

  • GDPR

  • Compliance Assurance


Mason Alexander’s Compliance Leadership series provides invaluable insights into the market by bringing the most senior leaders in compliance together to discuss ideas, news and trends.

If you are interested in attending a future event, feel free to reach out

Finlay Barry –