Danos Group
14 Aug

Of course, rejection hurts, but to tell your friends and family (and yourself) that you were turned down because you were too skilled or too experienced is much less bruising on the ego. For companies looking to reject candidates, using the word “overqualified” may take some of the sting and fear of retribution out of the rejection. But is it true?

Being overqualified for a job does not necessarily improve your chances of getting hired. Hiring managers may view “overqualified” as:

  • Being less committed to the company and having more outside opportunities.
  • The employer is not able to pay you fairly for your skills.
  • Worried you will be bored and unwilling to do tasks below your skills level.
  • Line manager worried about managing a more experienced individual and their own job security.
  • Concerns you will not stay long and are merely taking this job as there are no suitable opportunities at this time.

Dare I say that ageism might be a problem – but in my experience some of the self-diagnosed claims of ageism are from candidates who spent many years working for the same company and have not focused on keeping their skills up to date. The problem often isn’t age, it is relevance to the employer.

If you feel you are overqualified, what can you do:

  1. Investigate the meaning of you’re “overqualified”:
    • Check that your required compensation is in-line with what companies are paying for your set of qualifications.
    • Present yourself at interviews as someone who will not become easily bored when working on less challenging tasks.
    • Making it clear at interviews that you want the job and explain why you want the job.
  2. Make sure your skills are relevant and being sought by companies – Invest time to learn an emerging technology or developing some niche speciality that isn’t already flooded.
  3. Write down the top reasons you think a company should hire you, and make sure these are represented in your job search materials (resume, email application, cover letters).
  4. Take a new look at your options beyond the traditional career paths:
    • Have you considered consulting or contracting roles, where your guidance and mentoring skills could be justified and valued for temporary periods?
    • Are there emerging markets that interest you?

Terms like “overqualified” and “not a fit” are unfortunately the laziest, easiest, and safest ways that companies can reject you for a position, and they almost always mean something else. Discovering the real reason you were passed up is necessary to make the proper adjustments, so you get less rejections and more offers.

At Danos Associates we meet and assess technically and culturally every candidate to ensure the best match for our clients. We are proud of our close client relationships and our understanding of their needs, to ensure that the best candidates are presented.  We use our experience and market knowledge to assist and advise clients throughout the whole process, ultimately helping them land the best person for the role. We are there throughout to keep things moving and make sure the search is on point.   

If you are recruiting or are looking to move jobs within Compliance, Risk, or Legal then please contact us today – info@danosassociates.com.

07 Aug

It has recently been reported that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has imposed significantly more fines in the first half of 2019 than in previous years. Fines worth a total of £319.2m have been enforced in 2019, costing one firm more than £100m. These stiff penalties are set to continue as the FCA faces increased pressure to protect customers of the financial services industry.

But this trend could be turned, by having the right compliance experts in place, you will save money. Getting the right people, in the right place, doing the right job – this is not rocket science so what is holding you back?

Before you go on a costly hiring frenzy or upset the applecart with a restructure of existing resource, you should review your current compliance talent, alongside your regulatory processes.   

The Danos Group offers the expertise to independently review your processes and resources; with over 15 years’ experience and a proven track record, we can help you in three easy steps:

  • Compliance health check – Let our consultancy services team conduct a high-level review of your firm’s compliance with regulatory obligations. Let us work out your critical hire strategy.
  • Project partnership – Our team will provide detailed recommendations and facilitate change. We can bridge any interim shortfalls drawing from our talent pool of over 600 specialists, who are ideally positioned to support you.
  • Permanent solution – Our unparalleled network of professionals makes us the first choice for the world’s major financial services firms. Our specialist knowledge and reach within the compliance talent pool is unrivalled.

You don’t need to be wasting money on fines, but you do need to have the right compliance processes and expertise to mitigate these costs.  

The Danos Group is unique as we can bring together our internal experts from Danos Consulting and Danos Associates to offer you the complete compliance solution.

We offer a comprehensive suite of consulting services from expert analysis through to implementation support. With a pool of highly qualified compliance professionals that can help you fill resourcing gaps in the interim and make sure you have the appropriate skills and backgrounds to boost your department’s capabilities.  

As a leading supplier of compliance personnel to the financial services industry globally, we are extremely well-placed to not only find you the best permanent candidates in the first place, but use our experience and market knowledge to assist and advise you throughout the whole process, ultimately helping you land the best people for your roles. We are there throughout to keep things moving and make sure the search is on point.   

If you would like our support, advice or access to our excellent network, please do get in touch.

Denis Spearman – Partner, Head of Compliance Practice, Danos Associates

Katherine Lord – Associate Partner, Head of Danos Consulting

02 Aug

You have spent years preparing your Brexit plans, but what should you prioritise in the event of a no-deal? Compliance, Cost, and Continuity.


Have you reviewed the no-deal Brexit guidelines issued by UK Government and European Commission? As you will need to ensure that your organisation, products and services comply with new rules and processes.

Reviews can be resource-intensive, and a fresh perspective can often expose new insights. Danos Consulting provides expert consultancy and advice on financial services regulation and compliance. We can assist you in your compliance assessment through to implementation.


Manage your operational costs, with all this uncertainty it is likely that economic performance will be impacted as businesses and consumers lessen their investments and spend during a time of ambiguity and change. 

Employee costs can be significant, during a time of change it can be beneficial to have flexible expertise. Danos Consulting provides specialist resources across compliance, risk and legal, our mantra is to provide experienced, first class practitioners at affordable and reasonable costs to businesses.


Minimise disruption during Brexit. Don’t let your business and employees get distracted by Brexit. Deal or no-deal changes will need to happen. Danos Consulting can support your business to enable you to stay focused on delivering the business results. We can deliver professional flexible staffing to help you navigate through Brexit and beyond.   

We can provide a consultancy service offering a full health check on your firm, in line with no-deal Brexit requirements. We have a bench of over 600 fully vetted and highly skilled professionals. They can provide support within as little as 48 hours at very competitive rates. If you would like to discuss your corporate governance requirements, please get in touch.  

24 Jul

December 2019-A CEO takes quiet satisfaction that her Core firm has delivered its SM&CR project and met FCA’s deadline.

She had led the SM&CR project from the off, supported by HR and Compliance. It had been challenging. Compliance completed legislative and rules analysis and she had a consultancy firm validate it using proprietary software. She kept the project in house, supporting Compliance with contractors that had tackled SM&CR with banks. This helped to focus on the difficult issues early. She was surprised at the extent of the HR documentation rework.

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Conduct Rules training for all staff and role specific training for the Senior Management Functions (SMFs) and Code Staff has just been completed. A good job, but she is concerned how they will live-up to the regime:

  • She now has a “Duty of Responsibility” and the “Prescribed Responsibilities” largely fall on her shoulders.
  • FCA Supervision will expect each SMF to address their Statement of Responsibility (‘SoR’) and so she has demanded key performance indicators and management reporting to be enhanced. 
  • Management committee terms and membership have been revamped to align SoRs and collective responsibility.
  • Change management will need to be more disciplined so SoRs are updated and resubmitted to FCA.
  • Hiring new SMFs is going to be more involved. FCA are expected to closely scrutinise candidates. She expects new hire SMFs to cost more, and the recruitment and FCA approval to take longer.
  • ·She will appraise each SMF on whether they meet their SoR with input from Compliance and Risk alongside commercial objectives. Remuneration will be at stake!
  • HR has set up annual fitness and properness assessment and certification for all SMF and certification functions. HR are looking for software to automate this task.
  • HR and Compliance need strengthening, and she aims to hire talent from a larger firm with SM&CR experience.
  • FCA will no longer approve new certified functions. This may make hiring more dynamic but gives new obligations and risks.
  • Managers of certified functions are also certified so there is a clear chain of accountability from risk takers up to SMFs.
  • She is supportive of the new regulatory referencing requirements but is concerned about how they will deal with any fit and proper issues that arise and the potential impact on reputation. They are no longer be able to use NDAs.  
  • She plans to test her Firm in periodic mock Supervision visits to ensure that they continue to meet FCA expectations.
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SM&CR is a far-reaching regulatory change and it will have implications for all firms for many years to come. 9th December 2019 is the start date and we would anticipate CEOs will continually evaluate their organisation to meet evolving regulatory expectations.

With so much of this success resting on the strength of the team, it is really important to ensure that the skills and experience of those being brought into the team are of the highest quality. This is where the specialist expertise and network of Danos Associates can make a real difference.

Stephen Burke 

24 Jul

The FCA is responding to the ever-increasing use of data in our financial services and are looking to improve the way in which they collect data from firms. This will see Gabriel, the current main regulatory data system being replaced with a more “easy to use system” that is “efficient” and can adapt to the FCA’s “changing needs”.

With Gabriel being used to facilitate the collection of 500,000 submissions annually, across 120,000 users and 52,000 firms, the FCA are cleverly and reassuringly reaching out to existing users to provide their input on what the updated system and approach should look like. This is being facilitated with a survey and a programme of events and activities to capture thoughts and test the new platform.

In our data centric environment, it is imperative that the FCA are able to “deepen (their) understanding of markets and consumers, and more swiftly identify, appropriately intervene and remediate issues to minimize harm”. This relies on firms being able to effectively meet their regulatory reporting requirements by providing high quality, meaningful information.

Work is in its early stages. The FCA plan to publish the findings from their information gathering later this year, giving stakeholders an opportunity to discuss the feedback and initial plans. Early changes will be technology focused and won’t require immediate changes to the way data is submitted in the first instance. More significant improvements will be phased in as user feedback is received and considered.

With such an instrumental change, clever firms will be planning ahead and looking at how their structure will need to adapt to this change. This could come in the form of permanent hires or bringing in specialist consultants or task forces. The Danos Group, through both the Associates search and selection and Consulting practices have a rich network of specialists in change and process management ideal for this task. Please get in touch for support with your team strategy.

11 Jul

As the compliance boom subsides, could risk be the new frontier?

Banks seem to be getting a hold of the regulation issues and subsequent fines. While compliance is still very much a staple, it is no longer in the growth phase it once was.

Meanwhile, data has been becoming an ever greater part of our financial services operation and with the growth of data comes the growth of risk. 

From a regulatory perspective, due to the sheer volume of data, there needs to be security around how the data is stored and questions answered on what the information means and what is being done with it. Justification is required on the benefit to the customer and wider society. The more ubiquitous the data collected is, the more it will need to be reviewed and analysed.

From an economic perspective, there are growing concerns around an impending recession. Firms are wanting to build models and simulations to stress test their stability in the eventuality of another financial crisis. This has led us to see an increase in the amount of risk functions that are looking for validation, stress testing, model development and balance sheet analysis. 

We are helping our clients to assess the balance of education and personality in bringing the right people into their team. The best person for the job won’t always be the most highly educated in hard maths or sciences. The future landscape requires out of the box, three dimensional thinking that comes from more than academia. This is becoming more widely recognised and this mix is more and more in demand.

With the increase in data usage, threat of a recession and Singapore continuing to grow its financial presence across the region, financial institutions will have to adhere to stronger regulations. This will inevitably lead to a greater amount of employment opportunities in risk. 

We are specialists in this field, with an unparalleled network so please get in touch to discuss your hiring needs.