What does working in compliance involve?
The Compliance department has a wide range of roles and responsibilities, such as:
- Monitoring regulated and
- non-regulated activity
- Preventing conflicts of interest
- Ensuring compliance with regulations, including the prevention of
- money laundering.
There are also many other unseen functions of the department, which include assisting in the development of new products and services and training staff.
The Compliance department works to very specific rules and regulations and must ensure and provide evidence that the company is adhering to these by monitoring and testing various samples of the business. It helps management ensure the smooth and efficient running of the company, but more importantly, it maintains the organisation’s integrity and reputation.
How did you get your job at Rathbones?
Upon finishing sixth form I acquired a work experience role within the Compliance department in Rathbones. I was given this opportunity due to a project Rathbones was undertaking, which offered students in Liverpool the chance develop their interview techniques and gain experience within the financial industry. This three-month temporary contract filled the gap between finishing sixth form and starting university, and gave me a great insight into the business and the financial industry as a whole.
Upon completion of my three-year university course I applied for many jobs and signed up to several recruitment agencies. Through one of these I applied for and was successful in an application to the Operations department in Rathbones.
After two years’ service within the Operations department, a vacancy opened up in Compliance. Having been unsuccessful in an application for a permanent position, I was offered a secondment to cover maternity leave. I accepted this offer and I hope to secure a permanent position in the near future.
Why did you choose a job in this profession?
I developed a strong interest in the compliance/regulatory side of the finance industry after studying corporate crime during my degree. This interest, coupled with my time with Rathbones Compliance department during my work experience placement had a strong influence on my search for a career in this profession.
My interest is in the ever-changing rules and regulations, which mean that new challenges arise on a regular basis. This allows me the opportunity to continually broaden my industry knowledge as well as increase my exposure to the company as a whole. This fast paced, forever evolving working environment means I am always facing new challenges in order to learn and ultimately progress in this role.
What are the most stressful parts of the job?
The most stressful part of the job is trying to manage several important tasks at the same time. This can be quite a daunting prospect when you first start, but with good self-organisation, good communication and strong time management skills, the burden can be lessened.
If ever I find myself bogged down, or if I’m having trouble with a particular aspect of the job, experienced colleagues are always at hand to share their knowledge and offer their advice.
Is it a 9-5 job?
It is predominantly a 9-5 job but there are occasions when it is necessary to work outside of these hours. This is due to a range of influences, such as a heavy workload, meaning you have to stay late to make a deadline; a meeting over-running; or having to travel to and from a different branch. In some instances this could mean doing many hours of unpaid overtime but this is an occupational hazard of working in the investment management industry.
What would you like to achieve in the future?
Because the compliance role is so diverse I still have much to learn, therefore my short-term goal is to develop in my current position. In the long-term I hope to extend my existing knowledge base and broaden my long-term career options by taking qualifications relevant to the financial industry, specifically compliance orientated exams/courses.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into the industry?
I have learned that nothing is a replacement for hard work and experience, and these should be the main priorities. For someone considering a career in this industry, there are many ways to gain experience such as volunteer work, temporary work or internships. It’s a vital way of deciding what direction and career path is right for you, as well as being a fantastic way of building working relationships and networking with industry experts. Any work experience within investment management will help you develop the essential skills required when working in this industry.
What was the application process like – any advice?
It may seem a ‘no-brainer’ but presenting yourself in a professional manner is of vital importance. This means dressing appropriately for the interview and researching and rehearsing for the interview. Just a few hours of research and preparation can make all the difference to whether you are successful in your application or not and having pre-prepared answers is a great way of dealing with nerves during the interview.
What skills are useful in this profession?
I have already touched upon some of the skills required in this profession, but there are three I believe are most important. Firstly you must have a strong work ethic, as you are unlikely to pass any probationary periods if you are seen as lazy! Secondly, as I alluded to earlier, a willingness to keep learning is hugely important. This profession is the equivalent of one long exam where you are required to constantly study new material, regulations and procedures, which means a lot of reading and research.
Finally, in line with a willingness to learn, you should possess good academic ability, which will enable you to progress quickly in your role.