Search for a Head of Compliance – Start Up Investment Platform


Our client had been operating as an appointed representative and wanted to take the next step towards becoming directly authorised in the UK. They needed to hire an experienced compliance professional to lead them through FCA authorisation, whilst remaining with the business longer term to help build the business and develop its compliance function in step with the development of the business. This was an absolutely key hire for the business working in partnership with the founders who had successfully acquired additional funding and investment.


The firm were still at a relatively early stage of development, building a loyal customer base, and this required a skilled compliance professional to help navigate marketing and financial promotions regulation for retail customers whilst also working with the systems designers and developers who were building the platform. The founders felt that the Head of Compliance would need to be comfortable working in tandem with product development to find commercially viable options in a pragmatic way whilst also creating robust regulatory processes and procedures being mindful of the target retail audience.


Barclay Simpson spent considerable time gaining a full understanding of the business through an in-depth consultation with the founding partners and also the advisors who were acting as the FCA “principal firm”. Having discussed the nuances of the mandate, we identified the soft skills and technical skills required. We mapped the market to find appropriate individuals and began our screening and interview process. We delivered a succinct shortlist of individuals to meet with the founders for a light touch interview to assess team fit and for the founders to share their vision. The second more in-depth meeting with selected candidates was to discuss current and upcoming challenges in transitioning from being an Appointed Representative to a directly authorised firm. The final interview of two candidates focused on their understanding of the high-level approach required, strategic insights and their approach to compliance in an early-stage FinTech.

One candidate was chosen. As there was no real HR function available in the business, Barclay Simpson managed the final stages of the recruitment process for the successful candidate, including the framing and communicating of the offer, managing negotiations and acceptance, agreeing the start date and completing due diligence and onboarding.