Making rules is one thing; complying with them is another. Failure to comply with regulatory requirements, for instance, poses reputational and other risks to an organization. It is the job of compliance professionals to ensure that an organization meets those requirements.


Compliance teams manage relations with regulators and must lead their firms in promoting the highest levels of integrity and accountability. They protect their firms’ reputation and manage risk across the business. They work with the senior leadership and all parts of the business to interpret, ensure, and monitor compliance with regulatory requirements. Thus, they are expected to have an excellent grasp of firm operations and knowledge of regulatory practices and trends in jurisdictions where the firm does business. Hence, there’s no clear-cut path leading to a career in compliance; many roads can lead here. Compliance professionals often start their careers after working in internal audit, which offers a useful in-depth view of an organization’s workings, whereas others may move from risk management into a compliance role and sometimes lawyers come into compliance, sometimes people with a trading or risk management background will move into compliance.


Increasing local and international regulatory requirements have made the job of compliance professionals more challenging and complex. They may find themselves working on large amounts of data in a fast-paced team environment. Large banks may divide the compliance team into divisions focusing on specific areas such as operations, regulatory audits, or anti-money laundering. There is robust demand for compliance professionals as firms face increasing regulatory requirements; which require analytical, quantitative, and communication skills. An aptitude for precision and attention to details are also valuable assets.