Danos Group
01 Jan

We recently reported on the hiring trends in Algo and Electronic Trading Risk, hiring activity has continued in this space at most Banks. As we move into 2020, we look at some of the notable factors in permanent risk recruitment, as well as some of the key appointments in 2019.

  • Risk analytics and the more quantitative end of risk methodology for both Market and Counterparty Risk has seen increased hiring activity.
  • Boosted hiring in model validation both in Capital markets (pricing and market risk models), and Retail and Wholesale Banking (primarily the IRB models). There is significant competition for the best candidates across model validation and we expect this to continue into 2020.
  • Operational Risk hiring continued throughout 2019 on both the buy and sell side with steady hiring across all levels of seniority.
  • There has been an increase in hiring into Investment Risk teams on the buy side, most notably for candidates with three to five years of experience. Candidates with Cross Asset experience and expertise in Python have been especially in demand.
  • Investment Book of Records (IBOR) transition has started to drive hiring requirements at both the Banks and Consultancies. The latter suggests that this ultimately might have a more meaningful impact on the market than the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB) has had so far. 

With increasing competition for the best candidates, a growing number of firms are recognising the need to be more decisive when hiring. Candidate engagement can become an issue in drawn-out, overly complex interview processes. Whilst detailed candidate assessment is of course of great importance, an efficient interview process with detailed feedback is equally important and can mitigate against losing candidates to competing offers, as well as maintaining a positive experience for a potential new joiner.

People Moves

  • Olivier Vigneron has joined Natixis as CRO. He joins from JP Morgan where he was EMEA Chief Risk Officer.
  • Anne-Juliette Laurencin joined Morgan Stanley as EMEA Head of Market Risk from JPMorgan Chase and Co.

  • Lisa Nowell joined Monzo Bank as Chief Risk Officer from ClearBank where she was Chief Risk Officer.

  • Margaret Ammon is joining Legal & General Investment Management Limited as Chief Risk Officer from M&G Investments. Ms Ammon is set to join the firm in February 2020, subject to regulatory approval.

  • Matthew Haigh is joining Citigroup as EMEA Head Algo Trading Risk from Nomura.

As a leading supplier of Risk personnel to the global Financial Services and Banking industries, we are extremely well-placed to find you the best-matched candidates. We have a strong track record in permanent risk recruitment from Associate level to Managing Director. Please contact us to discuss this further or to ask any questions.

23 Dec

A few months ago, we discussed why the Financial Services industry should care about achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce, and highlighted some of the benefits, including:

  • Diverse and inclusive workforces help businesses better relate to the global markets they operate within
  • Leads to higher employee satisfaction
  • More likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians

While it is great to talk about why diversity and inclusion are important, and necessary in today’s hiring landscape, the question remains as to how companies are ensuring they achieve these goals. There are many diversity and inclusion best practices that firms may use, but we wanted to highlight a few simple areas to consider, and that you can implement straight away into your hiring process.

In order to gain some insight into this topic, we talked to Jennifer Brown, an award-winning diversity and inclusion speaker and consultant, who boasts nearly 15 years of experience in this space. Her new book, How to Be an Inclusive Leader, hit the bookshelves this summer. 

Job Postings

From Jennifer’s perspective, if you want to build a diverse team of professionals, the first place to start should be the Job Posting. According to Jennifer, “Hiring requirements can be so narrow that they become biased themselves”. Her suggestion is to re-evaluate how you are writing job descriptions to stop unintended bias. This means eliminating gendered words like “compete”, “dominant”, or “adventurous”.

This is backed up by research from studies published in 2011, from the University of Winnipeg, by professor Danielle Gaucher, who found that “Gendered wording is common in male-dominated fields, and contributes to the division of traditional gender roles by dissuading women’s interest in jobs that are masculine worded”.

While rewording job specifications may seem like a daunting task there are tools out there like Textio, that help hiring managers analyse job postings for gendered and non-inclusive language, by judging it against a “bias meter”, which reflects how inclusive a job posting’s language is.

Firms are also finding success by inviting under-represented people to apply in the body of a job post. This simple prompt goes a long way in making a candidate feel welcome to apply.

Selection and Bias

Bias can also find its way into the candidate selection process. A 2003 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that, whether they intend to or not, recruiters tend to discriminate based on candidates’ names and assume race/gender when screening resumes. There is an inherent tendency to “pattern match” while reviewing resumes, from Universities to previous Companies worked.

In order to eliminate bias in resume evaluation, Jennifer Brown suggests “Rethinking the reliance on the resume”. While looking at resumes, hiring managers should consider the bottom-line needs and criteria of a Company and evaluate whether a candidate has the skills to meet these needs.

Project Include is a non-profit that uses data and advocacy to accelerate diversity and inclusion in technology recruitment. They write in their hiring guide – “Think about employing a ‘distance travelled’ metric: Where did a candidate begin their journey? Which achievements were accidents of birth and linked to privilege (e.g. an internship at a family or friend’s company) as opposed to earned in a meritocratic competition?”.

Outside of the interview and selection process, Financial Services firms have found that diversity and inclusion cannot be improved by better hiring practices alone. Therefore, Financial Services firms are investing in programs that offer mentorship and education for underrepresented groups. Programs like “Girls Who Invest”, are backed by firms like Oaktree and TPG, and strive to increase the number of women in portfolio management and executive leadership in the Asset Management industry. 

At Danos Associates, we adopt at headhunting approach to our recruitment process. That means that we don’t have candidates apply directly to us. Instead, we actively go out and find candidates for each role, which means the onus is on us to find the best possible candidates for each job, using a variety of different metrics.

We take the time to meet with each candidate in person and get to know each candidate before putting them forward for your roles. We feel that we are uniquely placed to ensure we are doing our part to find diverse candidates and, in turn, the strongest candidates for each job.

We approach every search with an aim towards diversity and inclusion. While skillset and experience remain a focal point in our selection process, we strive to ensure that each shortlist reflects a diverse range of experience, culture, and backgrounds.

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.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your diversity and inclusion efforts and how we can assist you with your search and selection.

18 Dec

Danos Associates have published a 2019 Salary Report for UK Compliance Roles. In this report, you will find industry salary breakdowns for:

  • Payments
  • Retails Financial Services
  • Retail Banking

The report also highlights some key insights, including:

  • Hiring across the Retail sector has been inconsistent across 2019. The new entries to the UK Retail sector include Online Banking, Challenger Banks and Payment Firms and these have created hiring volume, while the legacy areas have mainly focused on backfilling essential hires. Established firms are waiting on Brexit and Economic factors to settle down before moving back to hiring to support their expansion plans.
  • Salaries have continued to grow with the introduction of new Online and Payments technologies and products. The traditional firms must compete or risk losing the best talent.
  • The attractiveness of nonguaranteed Equity in start-ups is starting to fall, as most never fulfil their expectations. Candidates are looking for other incentives to guarantee income and cover the risk of joining.

***Download The Full Report Here***

Danos Associates is a global leader in the Compliance recruitment space. Our unparalleled network of professionals makes us the first choice for the world’s major financial services firms.

Recruiting into the Compliance and Financial Crime sectors across financial services firms worldwide since 2004, our specialist knowledge and reach within the Compliance talent pool is unrivalled.

If you would like to discuss the 2019 Salary Report for UK Compliance Roles or you have any questions regarding hiring, search and selection, please contact Paul Geist, Associate Partnerpgeist@danosassociates.com

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 an in-house lawyer or 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.

A 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 an 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 who is 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.


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


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.


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.



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 us 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. Contact us today.