2019 Market Update: Compliance

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The hot topics in compliance last year were privacy, cybersecurity and GDPR. Banks with an international presence were looking to hire risk and compliance specialists to help reinforce their privacy and cybersecurity infrastructure.

The banking sector continues to see a slowdown in hiring as many banks in NYC are looking to move their compliance function to locations such as Delaware, Tennessee, Jacksonville and Salt Lake City. We expect this trend to continue into this year as banks are looking to cut costs.

Asset management

Hiring remained robust in 2018 for New York where a focus on recruiting candidates that could operate in a multi-faceted role took precedent over individuals who were subject matter experts. In addition, employers continued to have a strong interest in compliance candidates with legal degrees. We expect asset managers to continue this trend into 2019 - top talent will continue to benefit from a candidate driven market defined by multiple offers while firms are competing for a tightening pool of available candidates.

Venture capital and private equity

This year we have seen private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) firms hiring excellent junior candidates. As much as it has been a candidate driven market, the junior candidates have the desire to move away from the traditional banking or legal careers. With a vigorous and lengthy interview process, there is strong competition amongst the VC and PE firms to recruit top talent. We foresee this trend to continue into 2019 and expect firms to consolidate their interview processes to quickly acquire exceptional candidates.


Hiring has dramatically increased within the fintech and startup sectors. Banking and asset management compliance officers are now moving away from traditional roles and considering unique options with startups.

In addition, candidates are open to making a lateral move or taking a decrease in compensation in the hopes of joining a new and exciting business. We expect to see this trend to once again continue in 2019.

Hiring trends

The most consistent hiring we’re seeing exists in Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C. respectively. Specifically, the traditional investment management and private equity sectors are the areas with the most needs in these locations, as firms start to adapt more of a multi-strategy approach and fundraising is at an all-time high.

With these new strategies and the importance of fundraising, versatility in the compliance realm is needed, and one example of this is traditional CFO/CCOs looking to shed the CCO title and bring on senior-level compliance hires.

We expect these locations to continue consistent flows of hiring in 2019, as the quality of investment management firms and the growth of assets under management with firms in these locations will require compliance buildouts and quality subject matter experts.

For further insights, download a copy of the 2019 Market Update: Compliance.

Or, for more information on how Robert Walters can assist with your hiring needs, please get in touch with a consultant.

E:  newyork@robertwalters.com  |  T: 212 704 9900

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