The Reptutation Revolution

Happy national chief compliance officer day: Celebrating financial services regulatory compliance professionals

Dear chief compliance officers, today is your day!

Serving as a financial services regulatory compliance professional, you are your firm’s gatekeeper, mitigating risk day in and day out. And you know better than anyone what that entails, crossing all the Ts and dotting all the Is to ensure you firm doesn’t face a breach of compliance and the penalties that come with it. And you manage it all while facing the pressure of increased liability.

In short, your plate runneth over.

So today? We celebrate just how precise, accurate and hard-working you really are. We highlight the dedication, the integrity and the sheer number of hours that go into being a chief compliance officer (CCO) in today’s digital realm.

We celebrate you!

Advise from fellow chief compliance officers

In honor of National Chief Compliance Officer Day, we’ve aggregated the best nuggets of advice from your fellow financial services regulatory compliance professionals. Because every CCO deserves a little recognition, and maybe you can walk away with a one or two helpful tips to further your own compliance program.

K1 CCO and Managing Director Matt Jones on keeping his compliance program more proactive

I like to look outside my organization – reading the latest industry journals, working with third party consultants, talking with other CCOs, going to conferences, attending webinars, referencing my network. I do my best to stay in the loop on everything and anything happening in the world of compliance outside of my own bubble.

Abbott Capital Management, LLC CCO Monique Horton on the skills compliance officers need to succeed

There are a host of soft skills you should develop if you want to work in compliance. You need to be flexible yet firm and enjoy learning, as compliance is an ever-evolving discipline.

Perhaps more importantly, you need to be able to speak to rules and regulations plainly and practically. This comes with experience and a deep understanding of rules and regulations.

You also must be creative when it comes to finding solutions.  Many times, there are a million ways to solve a problem and you have to be creative to find the best solution for your firm.

Madryn Asset Management Partner, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and CCO John Ricciardi on prioritizing his focus and adapting to the ever-changing compliance landscape

Staying focused is always a challenge. We do a mock Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) exam every year. We do a holistic review of our compliance program. We figure out what is and isn’t working from a compliance perspective. Then we make enhancements and implement best-practices into our compliance program.

In addition, I attend a number of key industry functions, such as the Private Equity CFO Conference. I read anything published by our accounting or law firms to stay in the loop. I do that, in part, because we’re a lean organization and it is especially important for me to know the state of the market.

Audax Group CCO Jason Scoffield on succeeding in the field of compliance

I think to be successful you have to find out what’s interesting about compliance for you. People often come to compliance from either a legal or an accounting background – two different sets of skills and often different backgrounds and interests.  In my experience, accountants are very good about seeing things in terms of process-oriented checks and controls.  Legal work tends to be more analysis-driven where you are figuring out what regulators or courts are saying and then applying that to specific fact scenarios. I think compliance requires some of both, which is why I like it.

At the end of the day, whether you approach compliance from an accounting background or a legal background (or something else entirely), you need to be flexible and willing to learn new skills. It challenges you to think about things in a way that may not be natural for you.

I talk to a lot of people who think compliance is just about looking at expense reports or ticking and tying trades. But there’s a lot more to it. There’s legal analysis, data analytics, creating workflows and controls and, most importantly, building relationships and working with others. For the first time in my career, I can walk around at a firm party, and I know everybody because I have worked with so many different people across the organization. There is an intellectual depth to compliance that I had not anticipated and the ability to build relationships across the firm is something I truly enjoy.

Bluerock Capital Markets (LLC) Executive Vice President and CCCO Paul E. Dunn on advice for growing compliance departments

I cannot stress enough how critical it is to hire the right people with the specific skill sets and past documented success that you are looking for.  Hiring people with experience, who have seen a lot and know how to appropriately respond is ultimately less expensive than hiring rookies. It may take time to find the right person, but it is important to recruit with discipline. We have found some of the brightest and best people, some that can be considered subject matter experts and are qualified to be leaders on their own. Finding the right person and bringing them into the organization is worth all the time and energy of the hiring process.