HOUSE, Issue 27

Welcome the 27th edition of House. Notable hiring activity over the last month has been seen:

  • at Deutsche Bank, where more senior hires have been made in Anti- Financial Crime, globally;
  • within the payments industry, notably at Ant Financial; the payments arm of Alibaba who recently acquired Moneygram;
  • at asset managers looking to hire their first dedicated Anti-Money Laundering officers, especially in London; and finally
  • the continuation of outsourcing of compliance and financial crime departments within capital markets.

Electronic Payments Systems

In recent years, Hong Kong’s rapidly expanding e-payment market has seen the entry of a whole host of new e-payment tools that are challenging the market dominance of conventional non-cash payment service providers.

Due to these rapid developments, the HKMA implemented a licensing and regulatory regime for multipurpose stored value facilities (SVF), under the Payment Systems and Stored Value Facilities Ordinance in 2015, to provide a robust legal and regulatory framework to manage the risks that may arise from SVF. There are currently 13 SVF licensees and 3 licensed banks operating in the HK SVF market.

Arion House has seen a marked increase in e-payment compliance hiring across the globe. Ant Financial has been particularly prolific, having recently made a series of hires, including Seng Hong Wee in Singapore as the Head of Compliance for International Business, James Wang as the China Head of Compliance and Victoria Edison as the Americas Chief Compliance Officer. Similarly, Tencent internally appointed Timothy Ma as the Hong Kong Head of Compliance for Wechat Pay.

The increasing array of payment options being made available, combined with the regulatory developments, will only sustain compliance hiring in the e-payments market. However, compliance officers and regulators alike will look to leverage the experiences gained from the SVF regime towards the more technologically-advanced financial services environment of the future.

Asset Management

2017 has really seen the regulatory attention swing towards the buy-side community. As a result, asset management firms across Europe and Asia have been looking to boost their compliance functions and put in place structures resembling those of investment banks. In a very tight candidate pool, firms are having to look outside the existing asset management population and hire from the sell-side.

Financial crime has seen the most activity, with Andrew Bradley, a fin-crime banking veteran, joining Fidelity, Amy Pile joining Man Investments in London and Matthew Pascoe joining M&G Investments in London.

Whilst asset managers view their business as low risk in Asia, it is unclear if regulators and enforcement agencies agree. Many of the larger funds have one or maybe two senior staff covering this area and must now consider if this is enough?

Are banking AML professionals the right people to move to asset managers? Time will tell as the moves are still in their infancy, the buy-side likes to stay lean though and many MDs in banks are used to managing very large teams.


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