Asset management firms lack qualified compliance staff

The asset management industry may be in need of more individuals with the skills to ensure all they remain compliant.

It appears that the amount of people with the right qualifications to meet the demands of working in compliance is in doubt, according to a new survey by PwC.

When the PwC polled 20 heads of compliance within asset management firms, all of them said that the market for appropriately qualified staff is lacking. Additionally, 35 per cent doubt that their current compliance position is strong enough to deal with demands that may arise in future.

Partner and head of asset management at PwC Amanda Rowland said: “The changing regulatory landscape means the responsibilities placed on the compliance function are constantly increasing and firms will need to have access to a qualified pool of talent in order to meet these needs. Failing that, they need to consider a structure which enables them to perform their core essential role in the business, finding alternative solutions to cope with the remainder.”

Asset management firms must ensure that they meet demands from both investors and regulators alike and their demands are increasing.

The regulatory responsibilities of asset management companies are also likely to grow as, on October 30th, the UK financial regulator announced it would be shaking up the way that costs are passed to clients.

Head of the Financial Conduct Authority, Martin Wheatley, said that the current system of regulations on how clients’ money is spent by fund managers is flawed. Instead, a new system is planned to be implemented that is set to increase transparency among firms and ensure that they are disciplined more harshly if they are not compliant.

Therefore, it is natural to expect that the regulatory pressure faced by compliance staff will be tougher and so ensuring skills are up to date is a must.

To make sure that compliance staff in asset management firms can keep up with regulation and investors needs, they must ensure they have a good system of controls in place with qualified staff to enforce these.

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