Danos Group
03 Dec

Given Danos Associates’ strength in the legal search space, we are keen to share the main talking points on an increasingly topical line of conversation with our clients. Along with our own expertise, we have collated together discussions we have had with C-suite executives and Partners in leading law firms, regarding the fundamental benefits of having an in-house legal counsel.

Reduction in legal expenditure

As your business flourishes, you may start to notice the rising legal requirements. With the increasing charge-out rates for external counsel, it is logical that you would want to find cost efficient ways of managing legal spend.

One effective way of doing this is by hiring a dedicated business lawyer.  With a lawyer working within your organisation, you could significantly cut down your legal outsourcing costs, particularly if the business needs are aligned with their area of expertise. In areas outside their remit, they are perfectly positioned to negotiate fees with external firms.

Whilst the upfront cost may seem expensive, you will be able to derive maximum value from the hire if you align the needs of your company with their expertise.

Trusted business advisor with vested interest in the growth of the business

In-house lawyers often play an integral role in the strategic planning process. It is common for a commercially astute lawyer to closely advise on the Board, contributing to the overall strategic mission of the firm.

The best in-house lawyers have in-depth understanding of the businesses they support, liaising with other support functions to achieve the objectives of the organisation.

As we have seen recently, shaky senior investor confidence can negatively impact a business. Having an in-house lawyer reassures these stakeholders that you are taking legalities and risk seriously, alongside the clear objective of having their best interests in mind, i.e. keeping their investments safe and secure.

Management of external counsel

In the instances whereby you may require work to be outsourced, Ii-house counsels are well positioned to identify the best individuals for this additional support or advice. They will easily pinpoint the legal issues and give direction to your law firms on the right legal advice needed for the given matter.

They will serve as a trusted liaison between the business and external counsel, again facilitating your firm’s best interests, whilst effectively translating any technical legalese into digestible information.

Identification and mitigation of legal risk

It is your lawyer’s job to identify, analyse and evaluate legal risks. A trusted permanent advisor will have a clear understanding of the business’ assets / product offerings, making it easier to deal with these risks.

They can work in unison with other internal stakeholders to put mitigating measures in place which in turn can limit the risk of disputes and damage to business reputation. This long-term foresight and continued monitoring will enable counsel to track risks and foresee where issues may arise, making their reactions much quicker.

In conclusion…

Hiring an internal counsel can prove extremely valuable in the long term. Focus on hiring an in-house lawyer well versed in dealing with the legal issues your business experiences daily to ensure that your outsourcing requirement is minimised.

As a leading specialist executive search firm, we have an unparalleled talent network within the Legal sector throughout EMEA, the Americas and APAC.

We pride ourselves on being able to match talent not just to the requirements of the role, but also to the style of the organisation.

If you would like to find out more, would like our support, or advice on permanent and interim resource solutions, please do get in touch.

03 Dec

It has been an active year for senior in-house legal professionals within the financial services sector. Outlined below is a selection of the moves from the last six months of 2019.

Investment Management

Chris Bell joins Ares Management Limited as Managing Director and Head of Compliance, from OxFORD Asset Management LLP and previously Capula Investment Management LLP as their General Counsel.

Paul Loynes joins SoftBank Investment Advisers as Partner, Deputy General Counsel, from his role as European General Counsel at Apollo Global Management.

Huan Ke joins RWC Partners as Head of Legal and Compliance, from his role at Macquarie as Head of Legal EMEA for the Funds Group.

Rhian Lloyd moved to Caxton Europe LLP as General Counsel, from East Lodge Capital Partners LLP.

Shalon Spencer joined as Head of Legal of Octopus Renewables, from her role as Managing Associate at Linklaters LLP.

Art Markham joins Kite Lake Capital Management (UK) LLP as General Counsel, from Simmons and Simmons where he was a Managing Associate in the Funds practice.

Dominic O’Brien joins Amber Capital as the Group General Counsel, from Arrowgrass Capital Partners LLP.

Consulting

Michael Castle moved from Allen and Overy to Deloitte Legal, as Managing Partner to head up their employment law offering.

Banking

UBS’ head of litigation Susy Bullock has left the firm, with its regional head for Hong Kong, Jake Scrivens, taking over her role as head of the EMEA region and APAC.

Phil Hagan joins Lloyds Banking Group as the interim Head of Legal for Corporate and M&A, from his role as Group Legal Director of the Phoenix Group.

Rachel Knipe joins BNY Mellon as Director, Managing Counsel, Office of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs, from her role as Managing Associate from Linklaters.

Louise Oades joins Gulf International Bank (UK) as the Head of Legal, from RWC Partners where she was the General Counsel.

Joseph Crowley joins Zenith Bank (UK) Limited as the General Counsel, moving from his role as General Counsel at Trade Finance Bank.

FinTech

Sam Ross left WorldRemit, where he joined as their first in-house lawyer in 2016, for London-based financial crime business ComplyAdvantage, to take up a General Counsel role.

Thomas Brown Director and Head of Legal UK and Ireland left PayPal, for a General Counsel role with rival Worldpay.

Martin Cook joins WorldRemit as their General Counsel, from FundingCircle (UK) where he was the Global Head of Legal and Regulatory.

Nathalie Hoon joins R8 Group as General Counsel, from Fox Williams where she was an Associate advising start-ups in the FinTech and AltFi sector.

General Financial Services

Nnenna Ezeike joins Marex Spectron as the Head of Employment Law, from BGC Partners where she held the role of Senior Employment Counsel.

*** DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE ***

DANOS ASSOCIATES – LEGAL

Danos Associates is a leading specialist executive search firm providing a personalised, discreet recruitment and selection service to an elite client base across the global market.

With an unparalleled talent network, we provide experienced, top quality professionals within the Legal sector throughout EMEA, the Americas and APAC.

Our network and deep understanding of the in-house market and are positioned perfectly to efficiently source the best individuals for your organisation, whether that be General Counsel or junior level lawyers.

We pride ourselves on being able to match talent not just to the requirements of the role, but also to the style of the organisation.

Our offering:

  • Retained Search
  • Contingency Recruitment

Having an interconnected practice successfully enables us to uniquely leverage the Legal and Compliance spheres within financial institutions, professional services, and commercial companies.

The Private Practice team focuses solely on partner and senior level individuals, specialising in financial services, corporate, and the real estate sector.

Over the past decade, our search consultants have developed a comprehensive network of candidates and clients, built through both delivery on mandates and nurturing of relationships.

If you have any further queries or if there is anything else you would like to discuss, please get in touch.

29 Nov

The implementation of IR35 to the private sector is showing no sign of stopping, but is it all bad news? If like me, you are searching the internet for any nugget of information that might show a silver lining, you might just be in luck.

Let’s start at the beginning – IR35 legislation was initially introduced in April 2000, to address concerns that workers who were providing their services through intermediaries (such as limited companies), were in some instances, ‘disguised employees’ and were therefore avoiding paying employee income tax and national insurance contributions.

It has been the responsibility of the worker to decide whether they are working inside or outside of the IR35 regulations. However, from April 2020 this responsibility will fall to the employer. Companies will need to assess their workforce and determine whether each role is inside or outside IR35. The legislation states that all companies must take ‘reasonable care’ when assessing, simply classifying every role the same way will not work. If a non-compliant procedure is followed the financial penalties can be significant.

This spells bad news for a whole host of private sector companies, if they wrongly deem a role outside of IR35 they could face a substantial fine. This has led to an unfortunate ‘knee jerk’ reaction from many companies, enforcing a blanket ban on all limited company contractors/Personal Service Company (PSC) and not extending contractors they are currently engaged with. If all roles are treated as inside IR35, then there is no risk of repercussions.

Now for the good news. This doesn’t mean that contracting will be a thing of the past, something future retired contractors will refer to as the ‘golden age of employment’. The UK needs a flexible workforce and there are only so many permanent positions that are financially viable to offer.

So, what’s going to happen? The issues many contract workers are facing are not new, these IR35 changes were introduced into the public sector in April 2017 and the response from the public sector was exceedingly similar to how the private sector has responded. Approximately 75% of the public sector had the same ‘knee jerk’ reaction and stopped engaging with contractors. Now they do engage and release roles that are both inside and outside of IR35. This is not to say there haven’t been issues, the HMRC’s Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool for example has been under scrutiny in recent months, notably in a story about the NHS.

That aside, it shows that after the initial panic things can return to normality. This is good news for contractors, although many may need to hunker down and brave the ‘perfect storm’ that IR35, Brexit, a general election and Christmas has created. I’m quietly confident that by quarter two of next year the contract market will be much more stable.

For more information visit the government’s IR35 web page here, and see its assessment tool (CEST) here

As an employer how can we help?

Danos Consulting is here to support you, we can help ensure that you understand the legislation, and that you have the right processes in place. We can support you with:

  • Current contractor auditing
  • Analysis of IR35 and the reforms
  • Detailed guidance on implementation
  • Process and procedures
  • Delivery of cross functional training

Don’t delay, contact me today, and let’s discuss your IR35 solutions to ensure that you comply.

Solutions for you as a Contractor

Some of our clients are open to taking on contractors, opting out of IR35 if there are clear deliverables within the project. Other larger firms have more of a blanket approach of not taking on limited company contractors outside IR35, as they are unable to review all roles on a case by case basis as required.

The likely hood is that we will begin to see an increasing number of contracts inside IR35, and although there are some solutions out there that will let you keep your limited company, would working through an umbrella be such a travesty?

Most umbrella companies advertise that when you are considering a new contract you should look for around 20% more than your standard rate to bridge the gap. Working through an umbrella also gives you access to a lot of the benefits that come with being a permanent employee.

If you would like more information on the contract market or have questions regarding IR35, Danos Consulting can offer a range of solutions tailored to your personal needs.

27 Nov

In this report you will find industry salary breakdowns for:

  • Payments
  • Retails Financial Services (Peer to Peer, Cards, Loans, FinTech’s)
  • Retail Banking

The report also highlights some key insights, including:

  • Hiring across Payments, FinTech and Retail Financial Services has seen major growth with the influx of firms looking to use the Central Bank of Ireland as a passporting hub for the EU, as the UK decides its future.
  • Salaries have grown steadily all year as a result of demand from the new market entrants, growth and big brands expansion. The arrival of Revolut, the enlargement of Paysafe, Tide, Fexco, and other electronic payments brands, in addition to the growth in retail and technology firms like Amazon, Facebook, Dropbox, and Indeed. Together this is creating a competitive candidate short market. 

Contact Paul Geist for your free copy of the report and to discuss your search and selection requirements – pgeist@danosassociates.com.

18 Nov

What has been happening in Risk Management this year? As a specialist in risk recruitment for the financial services, I have good visibility of market movements and trends. Here are my market views and observations.

Regulatory Projects

The Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB), Basel III and Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MIFID) are regulatory projects that have been constant over the year. Going forward these projects will mainly be within FRTB and more specifically in Basel III and IRB (Internal Ratings-Based Approach) modelling within quantitative risk.

Consultancy clients are predicting a busy 2020 to support the implementation of the regulatory changes and in preparation many clients are keen to seek IRB modelers on an interim and permanent basis. The banks are starting to look at direct hires, but this is slow as their preference has been to use consultancies to provide interim support.

In December 2018, Ruaridh Brown-Hovelt, the Head of Risk at Danos Associates predicted a busy year for FRTB and gave an insight into industry views – The Questions Facing FRTB.

IBOR Reform

The need for more Interbank Offered Rate (IBOR) reform support this year has been a big trend and we expect this to continue and likely to get busier in the coming months and into 2020.

Many hiring managers across the industry on the sell side have acknowledged this and the rise in interim support for IBOR transitioning has increased. Candidates with expertise in IBOR and the understanding of how to transition to SONIA are in high demand and can potentially have multiple opportunities to choose from.

Ruaridh Brown-Hovelt, the Head of Risk at Danos Associates explains further about the transition – An update on the risk recruitment market: are you ready for SONIA?

On the buy side, only a few managers I have met during the year have flagged IBOR and the need for expert support, but those who have are very surprised at the lack of acknowledgement by the rest of buy side so far – this is an early indication that there will be further growth for specialist requirements in this area.

Technology Impact

With more functions and teams starting to find new innovative ways of implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning techniques into risk management, the need for more technical skills is on the rise. Quantitative candidates with knowledge of certain techniques and processes like deep learning, are increasingly in demand. Especially those with practical experience of applying said techniques to credit risk and anti-fraud.

Most of the banks are restructuring and hiring in the electronic trading risk teams.  Ruaridh Brown-Hovelt, the Head of Risk at Danos Associates wrote further on this earlier in the year – Recruiting for e-trading risk functions.

This is an increasingly competitive hiring space and we foresee more opportunities being created here in the coming months.

FinTech Boom

In 2019 we have seen successful European digital banks and FinTechs expand to support these growth markets around the world, with our global offices filling roles in this space. The speed of the growth creates the need for substantial hiring to cope with the new demands and creates the need to backfill rapidly.

The growth is great for new opportunities in the market, but divides opinion from candidates and clients who have experience from your more traditional retail or investment banks, whether this is something they would or could transition into. The main hiring activity we have seen and filled has been within the framework and regulatory reporting, as well as permanent and interim senior risk positions to help lead and develop the operations.

We have worked with very early stage FinTechs often with the need for experienced resource to design and implement frameworks from scratch, as well as more established firms which have needed to increase capacity to cope with the new workloads.

Katherine Lord, Head of Danos Consulting earlier in the year explained how big the FinTech market had already become and it has only continued to grow, now on a global scale – FinTech is a key driver in the recruitment market.

Conclusion

A year filled with so much change and uncertainty in the market is usually followed by a year of increased demand and decisiveness to get on and make changes. The market has seen a busier Q4 this year, with more headcounts being signed-off and most of the hiring for much needed replacements across the board.

In 2020 we foresee the need for structural changes, expanding and tailoring of teams and functions, and we expect an even busier year across the market.

If you are keen to hear what we are currently fulfilling or our market awareness, please feel free to reach out for a confidential discussion on how we can assist you with your search or provide you with right talent and expertise.

04 Nov

Card fraud poses a major threat to the finance industry. It has been recently reported that criminals stole more than £1.2 billion through fraud and scams in the UK in 2018 alone(1). These crimes can have a devastating impact on victims. And even if the customer gets their money back from their finance provider, the organised criminal gangs which perpetrate these frauds still profit from the proceeds. This money may go on to fund illicit acts which damage our society – crimes such as terrorism, drug trafficking and people smuggling.

The financial industry is committed to tackling fraud and scams, and the banking industry is proactively using technology in the fight against fraud. In September 2019 we saw the introduction of two-factor authentication, a Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirement for most electronic payments made within the European Economic Area (EEA). Under the new rules, customers making certain transactions online will now require a second level of security, such as a passcode sent via text message, or biometrics.

Biometrics is emerging as a formidable solution to support secure payment and banking options. Biometric fingerprint readers have grown in popularity and are now used in many major areas including banking, mobile phone security and as broader security controls.

Biometrics are currently being used to verify people through:

  • Facial Recognition
  • Fingerprints
  • Retinal Scans
  • Signatures
  • Voice Analysis
  • Palm Vein Identification
  • Hand Geometry

These techniques are also available but have not yet been as widely adopted:

  • Brain Waves
  • Walk Style
  • DNA
  • Heartbeat
  • Iris Scan

Using biometrics to verify identity is popular because it is convenient and reliable.

Biometric identification is in the palm of every modern smart phone users’ hands. People can unlock their devices with their face, eyes or fingerprints. But, as a result, this opens people and organisations to cyber risk and the possibility of biometric data being hacked and stolen.

Biometric data security, storage, compliance and regulation are concerns that negatively impact adoption of biometrics by consumers. With increasing numbers of data breaches year by year, people are afraid of what could happen if hackers steal their biometric data. Since a person’s biometrics cannot be changed if stolen, like a password could be, fear of losing biometric data holds back some acceptance of this technology.

The evolution of the payment and banking industries are driven by three key factors: technological innovation, regulation, and consumer adoption. In the case of biometric payment authentication replacing passwords, the technology and regulation is in place to allow for the new era of card-not-present transactions, but research suggests that consumers are not ready to relinquish their dependence on password authentication(2).

Biometrics could play an important role in the fight against financial fraud, with their uniqueness and technology ease, however the financial services industry will need to install consumer confidence by eliminating risks related to data security, usage and storage, as well as defining and implementing regulation compliance. Having the right talent who understand compliance and risk and can work alongside data scientists to drive technology innovation is paramount.

Danos Associates has over 15 years’ experience in the Payment and Fintech sectors internationally covering Compliance, Financial crime, Risk, and Legal. We leverage our knowledge of firms and individuals to help connect individuals to solve technical and regulatory issues and provide succession planning or search to fill team gaps. If you would like to discuss this article or your team, please do get in touch.

Paul Geist
Associate Partner, Compliance

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3908 4806
Email: pgeist@danosassociates.com

Ruaridh Brown-Hovelt

Associate Partner, Head of Risk and Quant Practice

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3889 5757
Email: rbh@danosassociates.com

References:

  • Fraud The Facts 2019
  • Lost in Transaction – Paysafe Group