HOUSE, Issue 36

Welcome the 36th edition of House! Despite a recent slowdown in hiring in some quarters, there have been two huge global moves this month. Former Goldman Partner, Una Neary, was hired by BlackRock to be their new Global Head of Compliance based in New York, replacing Georgina Fogo who has joined Janus Henderson as their new Chief Risk Officer in London. Barclays, meanwhile, have promoted Laura Padovani to be their new Global Head of Compliance following the departure of Mike Roemer late last year to Wells Fargo. Padovani will be based in London.

Areas of continued hiring activity include the establishment of several new hedge funds in Hong Kong, with others growing as they look to take advantage of the opening up of the Chinese equities market; naturally a compliance officer is top of their agenda!

We have also seen a real growth in the interim management market for compliance officers within banking and asset management. Finally, we have noticed a number of people returning to Goldman Sachs after leaving in the last year.

Interim cover - there’s some amazing talent available!

Asia has not traditionally been a hotbed for flexible or interim workers. Permanent positions have been the norm, contractors were often looked down upon and seen as a second class option. Perceived high accommodation and other fixed costs often put off top interim talent. However, we are genuinely seeing a change in attitude, especially around measuring regulatory risk.

Compliance and financial crime prevention teams are in a state of flux; costs are being examined and headcount assessed, and with the volume of regulation coming out of European and Asian regulators it means there is still a lot to be done! Many firms are looking to interim cover to fill immediate gaps; for project work , maternity cover and reviews, whilst a search is conducted for a permanent solution.

The work force in Hong Kong is evolving. Traditionally, the Big 4 firms dominated the interim management market, but firms are realising that there is experienced talent available in Asia now, driven by the desire of individuals to follow a non-linear career.

Hedge funds are hiring compliance officers in Hong Kong

The hedge fund industry has taken a hammering globally over the last couple of years. But with the opening up of China and the surge in Asian equity markets, hedge funds are seeing plenty of opportunity to grow here. The regulatory environment, however, is also evolving and the SFC have released several new papers pertaining to asset management, in which hedge funds come under greater scrutiny and accountability.

We have seen an increase in demand from hedge funds in Hong Kong to hire either their second or third compliance officers or a first dedicated compliance officer to support a legal head. The hiring is happening largely at the 2-5 years experience level, suggesting an uptick in workload for existing compliance officers. It is also a great opportunity for associates and AVPs at global investment banks who have suffered from recent pay freezes to take on a new challenge with strong rewards.

Goldman targeting former employees in compliance

Goldman appear to have spent the last 6 months making a concerted attempt to lure back leavers to their compliance function. Paul Burgess has returned to Asia Pacific to be the new APAC Head of Securities Compliance and in Europe Nicola Salter and Jo Redgrave have returned as Managing Directors in Securities Compliance.

Why are Goldman targeting former employees in compliance? It seems it works two ways; firstly, it shows the existing talent base that they have largely grown themselves that the grass is not always greener and secondly, they get back people who grew up as Goldman people, understand the culture and can bring ideas from their ‘secondment’ to enhance the team.

Need an Interim Manager in London or Hong Kong? - email or to discuss available talent!