Barry Holmes, MICA
Dip (Comp), Spec.Cert (Sanctions), Spec.Cert (CorpGov), Spec.Cert(Conduct), Cert (FinCrime), Cert (Comp), Cert (AML), AwSRE, Spec Cert (AML- PrivBanking), AwCCH
Head of Risk & Compliance, Lloyd’s Insurance Broker.
1. How long have you worked in compliance?
I have worked in compliance for 11 years.
2. How did you land your first role in compliance?
I started in banking and through various quality and audit roles, I decided I wanted focus on compliance only. This was because I enjoyed investigating, researching, solving issues and mitigating risks. I then secured a role in compliance within the Insurance industry which was shortly after the FSA came into force and was a very busy period, so a great time to start!
3. What do you enjoy the most about your role?
I would have to say the diversity for me is the most enjoyable as well as constantly learning new skills and gaining knowledge. Every day is different and brings new challenges, which I thrive on. One day I could be assessing a UK (or international) new regulation requirement (to ensure the firm complies with all and emerging areas) and the next I could be presenting financial crime prevention reports to the Board of Directors.
4. What skills do you think you need for your type of role?
There are many skills required, but I would say the main, essential areas are:
- Attention to detail: Always focus on the detail! But whilst doing this you, must keep an eye on the bigger picture.
- Communication: Consider your audience and vary your methods to fit, as you need the ability to interpret and then present, without quoting Section 220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168!!
- It’s not personal: This is tricky one and for some takes a lot of practice, but your role is to protect the firm, its staff and the industry, so if you remember this and put it all into context and you will be fine.
- Read: This is vital to keep up to date with this ever-changing industry!
5. Do you have any advice for those looking to move into a career in compliance?
Do your research, Read, Read and then Read some more, and then Verify the source.
Research what field you would like to get into, read the Act’s, regulator website etc. and establish/understand the key risks facing that role/industry. Network and gain insight from others in the industry, the ICA events are good place for this or as I found completing their courses, you meet a diverse mix at the workshops, which really assists with learning from others.
6. What has been your career highlight so far?
In addition to passing 8 ICA Qualifications…. Being an FCA approved person (CF10 Compliance Overnight) has been a highlight, even if a bit daunting at first, however, one of the first tasks I decided to do was read every single FCA rule/guidance in their handbook, and complete a gap analysis of the firm’s systems and controls, policies and procedures and training. This was not only a beneficial task for the business as it provided the Board with assurances that assisted with its obligations (e.g. FCA principles) and evidenced conduct was at heart of the company, it was also a massive personal benefit which I really enjoyed and allowed me to fully consider all FCA rules/guidance relevant to my firm’s profile and the insurance industry (and other industries for which my firm is not active in, but could learn some useful lessons from, e.g. investments - although this was not a quick task!).