Danos Group
10 Apr

With AI, automation and other technological advancements starting to play bigger roles in our compliance departments, alongside globalisation and the increasing use of outsourcing, it is only natural that some are starting to question their role in the future of the sector.

Whilst many financial services firms have become increasing cost conscious and focussed on limiting headcount, there are some areas of compliance that are thriving. We are continuously seeing reports of banks being fined by world regulators and this level of scrutiny and the severity of the penalties faced are keeping focus firmly on compliance.

Roles in some compliance functions such as Trade Surveillance, AML Transaction Monitoring and Compliance Testing have been, or are being, outsourced to high tech hubs in India, Malaysia and the Philippines in a drive to cut costs and automate processes by larger banks.

Meanwhile, there are areas of the Asian economy such as Private Banking, Trusts, Asset Management and Consulting that continue to thrive and demand compliance expertise working closely with the business onshore. Companies in these areas are always looking for the best talent and are willing to train people who have the right character and potential,  which opens up opportunities for people to move from other sectors into compliance.

Think – become a business enabler

There are ways people can put themselves ahead in this ever changing and increasingly competitive market. 

The very best candidates we speak to are very proactive and forward thinking. They strive to learn why companies are being fined, what issues aren’t being fixed, how to fix them and are continuously thinking of innovative ways to ensure a business can succeed.

They’re staying on top of the latest regulation and are able to offer practical advice across a broad spectrum. We find that this level of ingenuity not only makes sure they’re in a position of power but keeps them passionate about their profession.

Seek advice

I have a great insight to the market and what Hiring Managers are looking for. I’d be very happy to offer practical advice on how you can put yourself ahead of the game. Please get in touch.

22 Mar

The global risk consulting market is estimated to be worth $70 billion dollars with UK analyst firm, Source Global Research estimating that it could reach $80 billion by 2020. The growth of $30 billion in just five years is unsurprising given the current economic and political landscape. 

With continuous waves of regulation, advancing cyber threats, the uncertainty of Brexit and global trade disputes, companies are seeking the right expertise to protect themselves from what could be very damaging consequences both financially and for their reputations. 

PWC’s latest Annual Global CEO Survey found that the top threats concerning CEOs in 2019 are; over-regulation, policy uncertainty, availability of key skills, trade conflicts and cyber threats. Policy uncertainty and trade conflicts are new entrants for 2019 while issues such as terrorism and increasing tax burdens have crashed out of the top 10. 

Agility is key for adapting to this change and a big part of this is being able to bring in the right talent to address issues as they arise. Consulting gives firms quick access to specialist skills and expertise without adding to headcount and provides the flexibility of being able to swap in and out capabilities as projects come to an end and new matters come to the fore. 

The key risk consulting trends we have seen are: 

Model Risk 

We’re seeing an increase in requirements for risk expertise on the buy-side. Buy-side firms haven’t historically been under the same intensity of regulatory scrutiny as the sell-side but there is now a notable shift. 

Stress testing across the board 

New models and processes are having to be implemented and updated all the time and they all need validating. Testing individual methods doesn’t need to be done continuously and therefore doesn’t require a full time, permanent role. Consultants are perfect for coming in to test these, see how they react, offer advice and move on. 


For most firms FRTB and Brexit plans are well under way. We may see a spike in consultants checking and refining the work as the FRTB deadline approaches next year and more becomes clear around Brexit. For now consultants are being used to review and update ICAAP and ILAAP. 

Regulators often advise companies to instruct consultants for their expertise and firms are happy to comply to show that they are taking the guidance seriously. 


FinTech companies are developing quickly and often faster than regulation. While this leaves them unconstrained, it also leaves them vulnerable without guidance and protection. 

Smart companies are wanting risk expertise to help protect them from their unpredictable environment whilst regulation catches up. 


A rapidly growing part of risk management is harnessing innovation and developing the use of technology. While digitisation, data migration, the cloud, AI, machine learning and robotics all offer operational advancements and efficiencies, they can create disruption and heighten cyber risk. Cyber security is thought to be the biggest risk management service, worth an estimated $15 billion. 

More than ever it is desirable for risk professionals to have cyber, technological or quantitative experience. Consultants are being used for this expertise where there are gaps in securing permanent staff with this highly sought after mix of skills. 

To conclude 

2019 is going to be challenging with it’s unpredictability but this environment creates opportunities in the risk market for those whose aim is to create security and stability. Agile and forward thinking companies will see that sometimes this means extending beyond their own internal capabilities and bringing in new expertise with contractors. 

Below is a sample of contractor profiles who are ready to come into companies and assist with a direct need.

Risk Professionals – Available Immediately 

Market Risk Model Validation Quant

Top Tier Investment Bank 

Validation of VaR and sVaR models 

Market risk model review for product layer and simulation layer for all asset classes

Knowledge of products across asset classes Equity, IR, FX, Commodity

Technical Skills: Python, C++, VBA, Excel, SQL, Matlab

£750 per day + mark up + VAT 

Senior Interim Risk Manager

Insurance & Banking sector 

Revising Risk frameworks – ICAAP specialist, development of ILAAP

Advises on Market, Credit, Liquidity, Operational and Regulatory Risk

Held previous CRO roles before turning to contracting/consulting work

£900 per day + mark up + VAT 

Interim Head of Risk 

Retail & Investment Banking

Skilled person review of Equity release and Treasury services

Implementation of a new framework for a key banking client

Implemented new internal fraud controls and financial crime framework (policy, reporting, governance and controls).

BREXIT Scenario modelling and Board reporting on risk topics

£1000 – £1500 per day + mark up +VAT

Operational Risk Manager

Investment Banking

Implementation of the EUC policy and procedures

Development and implementation of the EUC inventory

Implementation of Operational Risk Assessment Actions

£500 per day + mark up +VAT

26 Feb

When Dutch Historian Rutger Bregman insisted, ‘we have to talk about taxes, taxes, taxes’, emphasising the importance of the wealthy paying their fair share, hundreds of thousands of people sat up and listened. His speech at The World Economic Forum in Davos at the end of last month has gone viral. People in their hundreds of thousands have applauded his straight talking and bringing the issue that some had thought wasn’t being taken seriously enough to the fore.

Many firms may have felt they were past the worst of their financial issues but Bregman’s widely publicised speech alongside further announcements of penalties (only last week it was reported that UBS has been hit with a penalty of 4.5 billion Euro for tax evasion and a US firm has recently been fined $5.1 USD billion) has got the world talking about tax once again.

As Bregman said in his speech, the reluctance to speak openly about tax evasion as a major issue for the world’s economy was like, ‘being at a firefighter’s conference and no one being allowed to talk about water’, but the reports of huge penalties for major banking groups show that regulators and governments are indeed focusing on financial conduct and tax fraud in particular.

It is believed that $170 billion is lost to tax havens every year, denying governments funds that could benefit wider society. When we speak to people working in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) we see that there is a common misconception that banks are knowingly being complicit in tax evasion. Most banks are diligently checking sources of wealth as part of the Know Your Customer (KYC) regulation, but some clients are getting smarter and more sophisticated in concealing the truth.

In order to avoid tax fraud, financial institutions need to continue to step up their efforts to better understand and report their client’s source of funds and wealth, ensuring compliance with ever stricter governance and regulations. We believe that this renewed pressure and scrutiny in tax related regulation will see a resurgence of associated roles in the market, first and foremost in private banking and trust and fiduciary firms.

If you need our support in building out your teams to have the best possible safeguard against tax evasion, or if you’re wanting to move into this area please get in touch.

14 Feb

People have returned to work following their New Year celebrations into what we foresee will be a year of change. 

Global uncertainties loom; the wider knock on effect of Brexit and the trade war between China and the US. Will continued Brexit uncertainty have an impact on growth outside of Europe? Could the trade agreement outcome see an influx of business routed through Hong Kong? 

Here in Hong Kong and Singapore we’re excited to see how the changes on our own shores will play out this year. For the first time in a number of years we’re seeing a lot of senior level management changes in the compliance and financial crime space across major international and European banks – and more is yet to come. Some senior individuals are being poached by direct competitors, whilst others are joining new challenger businesses or relocating internationally. 

These moves at the top will create opportunities that will filter down to the wider teams. With new leadership comes new strategy and structure. Some people may choose to stay, seeing an opportunity to develop and progress under new leadership but others will consider it as a time to explore other possibilities. They may want to follow their old boss or others may simply not see a fit with the new focus of their department. 

It is likely that once new heads are settled, we will see more VP and Director level hiring as well as movement across the wider market as moves inspire and promote change, leaving more candidates open to new opportunities. 

It’s going to be an interesting year ahead. We have an unparalleled network in this space and truly understand the needs of the market. I will be visiting clients in Hong Kong, Singapore and London in the next few weeks to discuss their plans for the year. If you would like our support in finding new heads of department, replacing wider headcount or bringing in new people as part of a restructure please get in touch.

06 Feb

EMEA – Compliance

Colin Harrison has joined Interactive Brokers as Chief Compliance Officer UK.

Es Nelson-Jones has joined NatWest Markets as Head of Compliance, Conduct & Financial Crime.

Sarah Bennett-Nash has joined Standard Chartered Bank as M.D, Head of Compliance Europe.

Robin Oliver has joined Daiwa Capital Markets as Managing Director, Head of Compliance.

Barry Wainwright has joined Panmure Gordon as Head of Compliance.

Alexander Culley has joined INTL FCStone as Chief Compliance Officer EMEA & Asia.

Spencer Prinn has joined Pantheon Ventures as Head of Compliance (EMEA).

Dominic Hirons has joined Citi as Head of Compliance (EMEA).

EMEA – Risk

Keith Garbutt joined HSBC from Credit Suisse as Head of Independent Model Review (Q4, 2018).

Dmitrij Senko has been appointed as the new CRO at Eurex Clearing, moving from his current role as Head of Risk Analytics and Model Validation (2019).

Grégoire Debray joined Morgan Stanley as Managing Director, Head of Risk Analytics EMEA . Joining from JP Morgan (Q4, 2018).

EMEA – Legal In-House

Nigel Reglar has left Barclays.  The MD latterly responsible for Barclays’ Global Markets Legal business stepped away after 14 years with the bank. 

Allen & Overy’s Michael Castle has joined Deloitte Legal to establish the legal division of the Big 4 firm.

Richard Punt has left A&O Peerpoint as CEO and is rumoured to be joining a new law business.

Martin Sandler has joined EY Law from PWC Legal to develop a regulatory practice for the Big 4 firm.

Pamela Grover-Mitchell has joined MGA aggregator, Advent Solutions Management as General Counsel.

Michelle Huang joins Goldman Sachs as an ED in OTC Derivatives Legal from Credit Suisse.

Roya Abrams has joined Barclays Bank as Legal Counsel.  She joins from M&G Investments.

Anna Marx has joined M&G Investments as Head of Product & Distribution Legal from Allianz Global Investors.

Emily Phipson has been promoted from Senior Legal Counsel to Head of Legal for Funded Products, Financial Markets.

James Cousins is now General Counsel at Coremont LLP from Brevan Howard as Senior Legal Counsel.

EMEA – Legal Private Practice

Bird & Bird’s Head of UK tax Mathew Oliver has joined Osborne Clarke’s London office.

Morgan Lewis’ City transactional finance head Thomas O’Connor has joined Akin Gump’s financial restructuring and global debt team in London.

DLA Piper has won back Greenberg Traurig tax partner Clive Jones reuniting him with his former colleagues.

Ropes has announced that litigator Rosemarie Paul is joining its City practice after six and a half years at Akin Gump.

White & Case has hired Weil Gotshal & Manges’ London Head of Banking, Mark Donald.

Clifford Chance infrastructure M&A star Amy Mahon is joining Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s City office.

Hong Kong

Rod Francis has left Citi where he was Regional Head of Financial Crime and has joined FTI Consulting to head up their new regional Financial Crime Practice.

Gretchen Goodall is relocating to Hong Kong within Citi to take on the APAC head of Financial Crime Position, she was previously Global KYC Head for Corporate & Investment Banking.

Connie Hui has joined EFG, she was previously an MD within UBS’ Compliance and Operational Risk Control department.

Darrin Chan has joined Deutsche bank as Regional Head of Equities Compliance, he was previously with BNP Paribas.

Aveline San is leaving UBS where she was APAC Head of Compliance & Operational Risk Control.

Kristine Howse joined MUFG as MD, Regional Head of Financial Crime, she was previously with Citi in Hong Kong and Australia.

Joshua Pieterse has joined UBS as Regional Head of Compliance & Operational Risk Control for their Asset Management business.

Fadi Amro has joined Morgan Stanley as Regional Head of FICC Compliance, he was previously with HSBC.

Joseph Wong has joined CICC as Hong Kong Head of Compliance, previously he was with BNP Paribas.

Hidde Bart de Vries joined BNP Paribas as North Asia Head of FICC Compliance from ANZ.


Shulin Tay has left Deutsche Bank to join Mastercard as Director of Legal & Compliance.

Kausik Ghosh has left PWC to join StrairtsBridge Advisors as a Senior Director.

Jed Wei Lii Khoo has left BNP to join UBS as Executive Director, Business Risk Partner APAC.

Dibyajyoti Sen has left Citibank Country to join SCB as Head of Fraud Risk Retail PBW.

Chee Keong has been promoted to Country Risk Director (Regional) at Ant Financial.

Phuong Trinh has moved from FIA Inc to Jump Trading as Head of APAC Legal & Compliance.

Wee Soon Tan has left Deutsche Bank to join DBS Bank as Executive Director FCC.

Tan Choo Li has left Nets to be Executive Director of Cloud Governance.

Pradheep Sampath has left OCBC and is now Head of Platform and Transformation Legal & Compliance at DBS Bank.

Hui Min Q has moved from BNP to Nord/LB as Compliance Director.

Edris Azlan has moved from IYO Bank to Finexis Advisory as Head of Internal Audit.

Hardy Singh has moved from NAB to DBS as the Head of Group Transaction Surveillance, Financial Crime Compliance.

The United States

Richard Weber has moved to UBS as Managing Director and Americas Head of Financial Crime from Deutsche Bank.

Paul Walsh has moved to Betterment as CCO from Commonwealth Bank.

Jerry Chou has moved to Line Corporation in San Francisco as CCO from Lending Club.

Christopher Newman has gone to Seven Eight Capital as Director of Finance & Operations / Chief Compliance Officer from Credit Suisse.

Philip Pescatore has moved to Guardian Life as CCO from AXA Advisors.

Jeffrey Schultz has joined Navy Capital as CCO & GC.

Jana Hatten has moved to Discover Financial Services in Chicago as CCO from Rabobank.

Amy Mertz Brown has moved to Securities & Exchange Commission in Washington DC as CCO from CFPB.

Julianne Hull has joined Frontier Capital Management as CCO & GC in Boston.

Jeff Kern has joined bitFlyer in San Francisco as CCO. He was previously Payments Compliance and FIU Manager for Google.

Erick Pacheco has joined International Currency Exchange (ICE) as CCO in Los Angeles.

Jeffrey Schwartz is now Deputy CCO at KKR Capital Markets. He was previously Head of Capital Markets Compliance for Credit Suisse.

Dipesh Mehta has joined Ilinois State Board of Investment in Chicago as CCO & GC.

Aviva Lipkin has joined Rockefeller as Chief AML Compliance Officer from ABN AMRO.

Jane Downey has joined ABN AMRO Clearing Chicago LLC as CCO.

Paul Tufaro has joined RBC as Regional CCO from CIT.

06 Feb

EMEA – Compliance

The final quarter of the calendar year normally sees some drop off in recruitment activity, however this year things didn’t really slow until mid – December. 

We saw large numbers of firms continue to expedite their Brexit planning with hiring going on across Europe with a particular focus on Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris.

The London market remained buoyant with the exception being the larger investment banking groups who were not as active as the smaller organisations.

Regulatory pressure and focus on the asset management/private banking sectors have seen significant demand for senior candidates in those sectors, with financial crime in particular being a massive growth area.

Q1 for 2019 has started with a flurry of activity with the contingency team working on a total of 41 new roles in the first four weeks of January.

EMEA – Risk

Model review remains a key hiring space pretty much across the board and inclusive of multiple different models especially market and counterparty risk as well as AIRB models. Additionally, we expect to see more live roles focused on validation of machine-built compliance / anti-fraud models.

Risk candidates with strong quantitative skills, either in model development or validation have been in high demand and this shows no signs of abating. Competition for the better candidates is likely to increase for those with a balance of coding / modelling skills, regulatory knowledge and the ability to work / communicate in a fast-paced business orientated environment.

We’re seeing an increasing demand in corporate credit risk. Especially for mid / senior level candidates with significant sanctioning authority and diverse sector experience in the UK and Western Europe.

Risk and control continues as a growth area. Candidates with balance of first and second line expertise are in demand and there are increasing requirements in consumer credit and fintech.

Cyber risk is considered one of, if not the key operational risk and this has been reflected in hiring especially at the larger multi business line banks and consultancies including the Big4 and boutique specialist firms.

Payments firms and fintechs continue to compete with banks for talent. Not necessarily in terms of compensation but these firms can offer more of an open mandate and / or the start-up environment which can be less corporate. This is often especially attractive to more junior candidates. One such example is Klarna which continues to build out having acquired Close Brothers Retail Finance in the UK.

We have seen an increase in senior risk roles in European centres beyond Frankfurt, including Dublin, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Madrid. These roles tend to be about increasing a presence for risk in Europe as opposed to the relocation of specific roles from London.

EMEA – Legal In-House

Q4 has continued to deliver a range of positions across the legal sector. There has been a notable taking of the lead by smaller institutions in terms of where the recruitment volume in the market is, with many small businesses recruiting a 1st, 2nd or 3rd lawyer and disruptive challenger institutions gaining considerable traction.  Parallel to this, there has been a trend on the part of larger banks and funds to await greater certainty around Brexit.

Brexit planning has continued apace with many institutions launching the risk and control functions within their Brexit HQs in Germany, Ireland and Luxembourg.  France and the Netherlands have also been busy for this reason.

EMEA – Legal Private Practice

Despite continuing political uncertainty the private practice partner level market continues as buoyant as ever across the majority of practice areas. There has been a real uptake in the number of lateral hires within the projects and energy space, an area previously fairly quiet, and continued activity in the real estate sector across both corporate and finance due to a continuingly busy market. Hiring does still continue to be mostly dominated by the US law firms with Baker McKenzie at the forefront this quarter.

Concerns around a slowdown post-Christmas have proved unfounded with teams now ramped up to full capacity. It has been good to hear a general consensus of continued positivity for the upcoming quarter.

EMEA – Consulting

The contract market remains buoyant despite economic and political uncertainty around Brexit. In 2018, financial services firms have been under increased scrutiny by the regulator to improve controls and meet regulatory demands and this continues into 2019.

We predict regulatory change, including the introduction of Senior Manager’s Regime across additional financial services sectors, and Brexit strategy across the banking sector in particular will have the biggest impact on the contract market in 2019. MIFiD II and GDPR were tackled in 2018 but some contracts continue to roll into 2019. On the whole, Brexit was approached tentatively by many firms and this will need to change this year. Interim legal support will predominantly mirror the compliance contract market.

Across compliance, there has been a demand for financial crime professionals linked to money laundering scandals and the implementation of the first wave of cryptocurrency regulations. We predict the 6th money laundering directive (6AMLD) and the payment services directive (PSD2) will continue to increase compliance contractor numbers within the financial services sector. The risk landscape is also changing with skills shortages in credit and market risk. With FRTB aiming to standardise the treatment of market risk and impose stricter global capital requirements, we predict the market risk contract market will expand.

Consultancy or interim support is often used to bridge the skills gap or as a tool to upskill the function whilst hiring for permanent professionals. In 2018 we saw a rise of interim hiring in financial promotions, central compliance, and monitoring and surveillance where hiring plans were delayed due to candidate shortages.

Many factors including the sector within financial services, geographical location and demand can affect the rates achieved by contractors.

Hong Kong

There has been a reasonable amount of senior level movement in both the compliance and financial crime space late last year and early this year and there are still a few moving pieces.

The impact of this is that there has been an increase in the number of candidates open to new opportunities who are seeing the changes in management as representing a good time to explore roles for themselves.

Through the majority of last year there was more activity on the buy side. This year once new heads are settled in their roles we expect to see more VP and Director level hiring from larger international banks as teams replace headcount and go through restructuring as the focus of the departments change under new leadership.

Smaller and mid-size firms are also expected to continue to incrementally grow their compliance and financial crime headcount but unless they face particular regulatory scrutiny we don’t expect high growth of headcount numbers.

Sales and trading product knowledge remains in demand for compliance officers and those people who can match legal and compliance backgrounds with an understanding of data and technology will be sought after.

Insurance is another busy area of hiring with compliance functions increasing headcount as the impact of the new insurance regulator is starting to be felt.


In Singapore Q4 is typically one of the busiest times of the year. With Singapore being a regional financial hub, businesses dash to replace candidates to avoid losing their headcount to other offices around the region.

The main moves have been in, cyber security, fraud, technology compliance and data privacy. Local banks have been focusing a lot on digital payment services and payment platforms.

There has been a continued push to diversify the workforce with more senior positions going to female candidates .

The Singapore FinTech festival arrived in Singapore with the likes of Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India, Bill Withers CEO of SCB, Christine Lagarde MD of IMF and Piyush Gupta CEO of DBS all discussing the impacts of fintechs being the next frontier of banking.

There has been a big push with trust and fiduciary businesses to become more transparent with teams growing in the Senior Analyst and AVP compliance areas.

As Singapore offer major tax and business incentives to fintechs we are expecting continued growth in all areas of back office compliance but with a greater emphasis on credit risk, market risk, transaction monitoring, EDD & fraud positions.

The United States

For hiring, Q4 of the calendar year is typically stop-start in the US with the holidays punctuating the quarter.  However, the quarter remained very active overall, with firms seeking to fill headcount before the end of year.

With many bulge bracket firms focusing on less ‘conventional’ securities-related business lines, hiring in this space has been slow, with focus only on key /replacement hires.

By the same token, with many bulge brackets pushing into new, innovative businesses, there has been a requirement from ‘out of sector’ specialist hires across consumer banking and various areas of digital finance.  

Geographical dispersion in the US continues as many firms – both sell side and buy side – utilise lower cost centres by ‘near-shoring’ certain teams away from traditional FS hubs, to Jacksonville, Buffalo, Salt Lake City and Parsippany, to name a few.  

Growth of FS hubs outside of New York remains in focus for many. San Francisco Bay Area continues to house the majority of fintech growth and Chicago goes steady in the commodities (metals) space. Texas sees growth across Austin, Houston, and Dallas / Fort Worth, with a combination of traditional business for the area (energy in Houston) with the ballooning of the consumer banking presence in Dallas / Fort Worth.  A slower process, but hedge funds still seem to be entertaining or making the move south to Florida from the old hedge fund capital of Greenwich, CT.

With regards to practice areas, financial crime remains a huge growth space for most firms, with many bulge brackets being affected by consent orders, and general deficiencies in this space.  Migration from regular compliance to financial crime is becoming a strong trend, which we expect to continue into 2019 hiring.