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Interim Market Report 2011 - Compliance Market Analysis

Jun 2009
Dec 2009
Jun 2010
Dec 2010
Jun 2011
New vacancies






Closing vacancies






Candidates registering






Defensive registrations






Overall salary increase






Demand for compliance staff now exceeds pre-crisis levels. It is the result of not only increased UK and EU regulation, but also more aggressive regulatory supervision. In response, significant numbers of not only new positions but whole new teams have been created. It does beg the question: when a market is expanding in the way that compliance is, where will the people with the skills and experience come from? It is perhaps a particularly pertinent question when it is clear that the expectations employers have of their potential recruits is rising. Recruitment is taking longer as additional stages are added to the selection process. The increase in demand for compliance staff, rising expectations and the limited pool of expertise, is resulting in higher salaries. The need to employ more compliance staff at higher salaries will make the provision of financial services more expensive and ultimately less competitive. Striking the right balance in an environment when sensitivities to the financial crisis remain high is both a political and regulatory challenge.


The number of new vacancies increased from an already high 147 in the second half of 2011 to 167 in the first half of 2011. Unlike other areas of corporate governance, where a high proportion of the vacancies are simply to replace those who have left, many of the vacancies are newly created.

At the start of the year demand was particularly strong from the asset management and insurance sectors. This demand then spread to include the banking sector with demand building from the investment banks during the course of the second quarter. It includes both London based institutions and those based elsewhere in the UK. Vacancies arose at all levels of experience and seniority from entry level to Head of Compliance.

The number of outstanding vacancies has increased from 73 to 86. This reflects the difficulty many companies are having in securing compliance specialists with the skill sets they require. Given that in the short term there is only a finite number of compliance specialists with the appropriate experience, and given what appears to be more rigorous recruitment processes, an increase in the number of outstanding vacancies is almost inevitable. They are likely to stay high for the remainder of 2011.

Candidate Registrations

Candidate registrations increased from 137 in the second half of 2010 to 156 in the first half of 2011. The number of candidates registering for defensive reasons remains at an historic low of 8%. Compliance professionals are currently enjoying high levels of job security. In spite of the depressed state of the economy, the rise in candidate registrations is indicative of a market where compliance professionals are feeling not only more secure but are sufficiently confident to actively look to improve their employment prospects. This is not surprising given how effective the recruitment industry is at advertising the opportunities available. Looking for a new position, however is not the same as securing one. Companies have become more rather than less selective.


The upward pressure on salaries evident during 2010 has continued. Given that salary is most often simply a consequence of supply and demand we should not be surprised. The average salary increase achieved by compliance professionals changing employment has risen from an already high 21% in 2010 to 22% in the first half of 2011. In the present market, good candidates are receiving multiple offers. Counter offers from existing employers have become a regular feature of the recruitment market. Some companies have even been prepared to buy out bonuses. Whilst not unusual in front office positions, this has historically not been a feature of the compliance recruitment market.

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