A day in the life of .... A Compliance manager

12 months ago by Jessica Brown

A day in the life of .... A Compliance manager


1. What is the starting salary range for this role?

Investment Banking Permanent salaries range from £60,000 - £80,000 depending on organisation and the candidates experience. Equally on the contract side candidates can earn anything from £400-£700 per day, depending on the scope of the role and if you are expected to take on direct management. Asset Management Salary’s vary between different Asset Management firms. However, most of the roles that we come across pay between £400 - £600 per day on the contract side. When it comes to permanent roles, it depends on the size of the firm and breadth of responsibility. In a large firm, roles are likely to be more specialised so they will pay anything from £65,000 - £85,000. With smaller Asset Management firms, you should expect salaries between the £55,000 - £75,000 mark, however bonuses tend to outpace larger firms.

2. How do you enter this field?

The easiest way is having past experience in a junior compliance role within a similar organisation or directly from a regulator. You must have been involved with policies or at least overseen the policy making process. Outside of this, people that come from a Law background or alternatively those who have detailed knowledge of the products or business have found it easier to enter the compliance field. There has also been an increase in demand for monitoring and testing skills, with this we have seen more people with an audit background making the change to compliance. Some qualifications that may help you make the transition include ICA, IMC, CISI and ACAMS. If you are looking to make the move into compliance it is important to show direct knowledge of the industry/area you are looking to move into. For instance if you are a lawyer that looks after and advises insurance firms, start looking at insurance firms to make the switch. Equally if you are working within audit, showcasing you have performed several regulatory reviews covering the financial products that the firm deals with would be beneficial.

3. What does a typical day in the office look like?

Generally A role in compliance could include outlining regulatory risks and impacts, as well as providing advice to other stakeholders within the business. In addition to this, you may be conducting monitoring reviews in line with compliance plans, to confirm that the business is complying with relevant regulatory and statutory requirements. In addition, you may be required to review transactions to ensure there are no financial crime breaches. Within Asset Management A typical day can be very varied for a Compliance Manager compared to banking, because the teams are generally smaller. It all depends on the needs of the business. Some tasks and responsibilities can include: Assessment of current and emerging regulations. Approval of financial promotions Assessment of regulatory breaches Handling regulatory requirement complaints. Delivery of regulatory training.

4. What is the most challenging aspect of the job?

This industry is always changing and with new regulations coming up regularly, as a result, compliance individuals must keep up to date with their regulatory knowledge. The other major challenging part of the job is the application and enforcement of the regulatory requirements to the business. Several stakeholders may be less inclined to oblige by various regulations, because it affects how their area operates. As a result, senior stakeholder management skills are a must for every Compliance Manager. Finally, problem solving skills such as finding the best way to implement new regulatory changes, whilst minimising changes to the business is essential.

5. What is the most rewarding aspect of the job?

Helping the firm to do business whilst protecting the customer. This can be by assisting the firm in creating new innovative products and identifying the clients that would be most suitable for that product. Due to constantly changing regulations, compliance individuals become the “go to” person and take responsibility around certain aspects of the company. With compliance normally spanning across the whole business, you also speak/deal with a huge variety of people in different areas from sales, legal, IT, Risk etc…

6. What skills are the most important to perform well in this kind of role?

A good understanding of the regulatory and legal environment in which the bank operates is paramount. The company depends upon those in compliance to protect the best interests of its customers. This requires strong attention to detail, up-to date knowledge of the FCA handbook and any other regulations. Being able to influence and challenge various stakeholders in the business is vital for a top tier Compliance Manager. Strong communicational skills when facing off to clients and regulators is also extremely important

7. What advice would you give to someone looking to apply for a similar role?

CV to include: Major regulations & rule books you have dealt with (acronyms are fine) Experience with different financial products and systems used in the past. Showcase examples of where you have led projects or dealt with senior stakeholders.

During an interview,

You need to be able to demonstrate what you have said on your CV is true. The best way to do this is by giving examples that illustrate every bullet point on your CV. I would also advise preparing a few examples in advance, to showcase your knowledge, using the STAR methodology.

It is important to demonstrate your personality, for example if a question comes up that you may not have experience of dealing with. Be up front and say that you have little or no experience, however describe what your approach would be. How would you go about finding out the answer?

Other elements that you may want to bring into an interview are:

Experience of dealing with regulators


Experience of looking at/implementing new regulations

Stakeholder engagement

Time Management