FICA; Certified Professional
Director of Advisory Services
The Consulting Consortium
1. How long have you worked in compliance?
I have worked in compliance since 2002.
2. How did you land your first role in compliance?
After completing my probation as Officer Manager at an IFA/Employee Benefits Firm, I told to the CEO that Compliance within the Firm was a little on the weak side. His response was “would you like to be the Compliance Officer”. My response was “Yes, but I would like to do some professional qualifications to ensure that I understand what is required of the role”.
3. What do you enjoy the most about your role?
My current role is as Director of Advisory Services for The Consulting Consortium, I am also the Chairman of The Association of Professional Compliance Consultants. The most enjoyable part of the role, and probably the biggest challenge, is the diversity of projects that we are required to work on.
4. What skills do you think you need for your type of role?
To my mind there are three core skills that you need 1) a good inquisitive/analytical mind - do you understand the business and the regulatory requirements, 2) Interpersonal/relationship building - whether that is internally within the business or with external stakeholders, including the FCA and 3) Pragmatic/common sense approach - at times as a Compliance Officer/Professional you will need to be mindful of the requirements of the business, that’s not to say that you should not challenge the business rather that you may have to find a common ground that protects all parties.
5. Do you have any advice for those looking to move into a career in compliance?
My advice would be to undertake as much knowledge gathering as you can, including an element of formal qualifications. I started with the ICA’s UK Diploma in Compliance and then the MSc in Financial Regulation and Compliance Management at London Metropolitan University. My own knowledge gathering will continue and was most recently added to by 3 years as a Supervisor at the FSA/FCA.
6. What has been your career highlight so far?
I have two - successfully completing my MSc and having my dissertation accepted as a contribution to the debate on ‘Twin Peaks’ Regulation prior to the split of the FSA into the FCA and PRA and being appointed as Chairman of the APCC by a number of my peers in the Compliance field.