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Leaders in Compliance Series – Key Takeaways

17 December 2020 by Finlay Barry
Leaders in Compliance Series – Key Takeaways

In November I had the pleasure of sitting down with some of the most experienced and knowledgeable compliance professionals in the country to have a look back at the biggest issues faced in 2020 and what is coming down the line in 2021. Perhaps surprisingly, many of the key issues that I have discussed with senior leaders over the past couple years are still front of mind for organisations today and will continue to be at least for the short term.  

Conduct, market abuse and culture are key areas of focus for financial services firms and areas of increasing scrutiny from the regulators.

Prudential, IT Security and Data Privacy are growing areas of focus for Compliance Officers and will remain in the spotlight beyond the Brexit transition period.

Between SEAR, F&P, Best Ex, CRR II, Brexit and numerous other regulation changes in the pipeline there is no let-up in issues facing compliance professionals in the coming year.

Managing teams and engaging meaningfully with employees in a remote working environment has proven difficult and a top concern of Compliance Officers. Taking time to understand team members sentiment and offering them interesting work has been the key to bringing teams together.

Attracting risk and compliance talent is, and will continue to be, a significant issue for organisations. With businesses coming under more pressure to resource their governance functions and nature of these business lines becoming increasingly specialised it has presented difficulties in finding the right talent with the right knowledge.

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.

Another key takeaway for the group was that the issues that these firms faces are not unique to each organisation and that there is solace in that they are facing these problems industry wide.

Key Skills in Demand –

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

  • Compliance Assurance

  • Fitness and probity

  • Anti-money laundering (AML)

  • Trade compliance (EMIR/ MiFIR)

  • Regulatory Relations Experience

  • Understanding of wholesale/investment banking

  • GDPR/ Data Protection

  • IT Risk

If you are interested in hearing more about trends in the compliance market or potential opportunities, please reach out to Finlay at

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