Danos Group
10 Apr

Last week saw the deadline for the first Gender Pay Gap (GPG) reporting. The new UK legislation required employers with 250+ employees to disclose the pay gap between their male and female employees and the results have intensified dispute around this issue.

The Results

78% of companies have been found to pay men more with women being paid a median hourly rate of 9.7% less on average than their male colleagues. The financial services had the second highest pay gap with a median company pay gap of 22%.

Interestingly, even nine out of 10 of the Times Top 50 Employers for Women (2017) have revealed that on average they pay women less than men.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) were unable to take into account job demands so while this data does provide useful comparisons, it isn’t able to give validation that men and women are being paid the same for the same work as per the Equal Pay Act, 1970.

Lots of companies are citing having a higher number of males in senior roles skewing their average figures as a reason for their imbalance but this in itself highlights a key issue. It shows that there are more women in lower paid roles while males dominate the boardroom.

Compliance is Bucking the Trend

This got us thinking and we decided to do some research of our own. At the end of last year we reported that women were ‘leading the way in Compliance’ and despite the financial services’ shortcomings in these results, over 60 percent of our Compliance placements from AVP to Global MD continue to go to women.

Our position also gives us insight into salaries across the market and we pleased to report that there is very little disparity in pay between the sexes in Compliance, far from the 22% of the rest of the industry.

With inspirational women at the helm of major institutions such as Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, BlackRock and Barclays in Chief Compliance Officer roles, we are sure Compliance will continue to be a stronghold for equality.

A Global Perspective

With offices in London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, we can take a global perspective and are pleased to report that the high number of women in Compliance and equal pay extends beyond our borders.

In New York, they’re tackling the GPG with their Salary Disclosure Ban. This forces salaries to be based on the role alone and for women, protects them from any previous inequality or impact from taking time out to have a family. Many of our top clients in the US have had robust diversity programmes for a few years now and invite us, as the people responsible for recruiting their teams to attend ‘diversity awareness’ meetings which is something we wholeheartedly support.

Making a Difference

A company’s GPG has to be published on their own website as well as gov.co.uk. This widespread availability has led to difficult questions from employees, poses potential issues for future hiring and crucially can influence customer choice so it has been a real motivating force to see a greater change.

We’ve seen companies set targets, run programmes to attract female talent and take steps to ensure there is no bias in the recruitment process but the real challenge is ensuring women can remain in successful and balanced careers. We are supporting our clients who are having open discussions about the barriers to this and creating paths to an inclusive culture for everyone.

We’re seeing moves within banks towards more flexible working, job-shares and working from home already and we know the world is watching. Smart companies realise that equality in the workplace isn’t just about being fair. There are a huge number of talented women in the marketplace and studies have proven that diverse working groups are more successful to which there is a real commercial benefit.

We have a very clear view of the success that comes from matching the person to the right role and this is based purely on talent, experience and fit. If you would like support in strengthening your team with a recruitment specialist that has an unparalleled network of talent, please get in touch.

+44 (0) 20 7371 8332 dspearman@danosassociates.com

03 Apr

Alongside Compliance, financial crime and anti-money laundering (AML) have been the fastest growing areas in financial services. Financial crime has recently gone through an extensive period of new legislation across investment banks, private banks and asset management but we are hearing from our clients that this is set to change.

There will be less new legislation and more focus on how effectively it is being implemented.

Regulators are going to be rigorous in their efforts to ensure everyone is adopting strong Anti-Financial Crime (AFC) controls, putting personal liability at stake.

The knock on effect has meant that firms are:

Getting more ’tec’ focused

Responses to financial crime have to evolve with the progressively complex and sophisticated attacks and this relies on ever advancing technological solutions. Firms are striving to get the most efficient technology in place as a means of managing the huge costs of fighting financial crime. Transaction monitoring and data analytics are key areas set to benefit from technological development.

Fin Tech companies have a real opportunity here to use their technology to be part of the solution. As Blockchain gains momentum, the use of digital identity technology and Biometrics could have a real impact on preventing and detecting financial crime.

Utilising data analytics more than ever

As technology expands rapidly across the financial services, it brings with it more data and more opportunity to find answers within it.

The emergence of data lakes also gives analysts further scope for data based detection and prevention of financial crime.

Adopting a more sophisticated use of Artificial Intelligence

Machine learning techniques are being applied to anti-fraud models and surveillance is ramping up with more sophisticated voice surveillance and trade monitoring to protect against market abuse, anti-bribery, anti-fraud and corruption controls.

Being more collaborative across the industry

Onus has spread beyond banking, looking to insurance, asset management and private wealth management to play significant roles in a conjoined effort against financial crime. The Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) introduced last year will support sharing best practice across all of the financial services.

Honing in on specialists

We’re seeing an upsurge in clients moving away from generalist roles and looking for dedicated financial crime and AML subject matter experts (SMEs).

Understanding this shift and the impact it has on a team’s requirements is where a company with Danos Associates’ expertise and unparalleled network of financial crime professionals can really add value.

If you’re looking to enhance your financial crime programme by bringing in the right skill-sets and experience, Danos Asscociates can deliver on both a permanent and consultancy basis. To discuss your hiring needs please give me a call.

+44 (0) 20 7371 8332 dspearman@danosassociates.com

16 Mar

The talent pool is changing and it is effecting hiring

A late Chinese New Year marked a delayed movement on headcount (that is still very much there) and the more strategic approach to hiring we have observed has seen employers take more time to consider their requirements.

The last 6-7 years in particular has seen so much growth in Compliance and Financial Crime that we reached a critical mass in the talent pool. Now in 2018, the transferable skills of the people originally placed into these sectors have developed into 6-7 years of directly relevant experience.

This means employers can properly assess their team’s structure and make sure they’re balancing out abilities when looking to fulfil specific gaps or needs because specialist competencies now exist. The talent pool is bigger and employers have options but we are not yet in a place of being spoilt for choice.

We have seen increases in demand for:

·      Technology based Regulatory Compliance

·      AML and Surveillance Monitoring

·      Anti-bribery, Corruption and Fraud

An area of growth is for those with a technical compliance background. Big data and systems requirements brought on by regulatory pressures create a greater need for tangible assets that were once satisfied by advisory, product compliance roles. Regulators want to see traceable policies and procedures with testing controls from technology and surveillance rather than rely on the spoken word.

An area that remains unaffected by this change in the landscape is hiring at a senior level. The talent pool is developing but these roles require a much greater depth of experience. This is where clients rely on our network and market knowledge to place the right candidates. Our consultative approach and market maps allow us to fully understand the client’s needs and come back to them with what is available in the market place locally, regionally and globally. Our expertise allows us to consider options and points of difference and has seen us have an excellent track record in this field.

If you would like our support in strengthening your team in 2018 with the very best talent, please do get in touch.

T: +(65) 6233 6871 E: cdecarvalho@danosassociates.com

09 Mar

As the financial services brace themselves for Brexit we are seeing a significant increase in legal roles required in Luxembourg, Dublin, Frankfurt and to a smaller extent Paris.

It is very unlikely that Brexit regulation will result in an immediate loss of the financial services passport but unsurprisingly banks and funds aren’t willing to take the risk and in the event of a transitional period, want to be ahead of the curve.

Asset Managers are looking to Dublin and Luxembourg, often domiciles of their fund platforms, as a natural place to make an easy move, given they are already registered there. Investment banks have primarily chosen Frankfurt for access to the market infrastructure and pre-existing talent pool. With some of the bigger banks already based there, there is somewhere to start with a stable, tried and tested regime.

This has created a very competitive marketplace with a captive pool of funds lawyers and the consequent replacing of roles that have moved as part of this new demand. With a scarce candidate market, compensation rates in these countries are now approaching parity with London suggesting near-term parity when taking into account the conversion rate of Sterling to Euro.

It has been proving costly for companies who have not only been having to pay higher compensation to secure talent but are also having cost savings of moving workforce to lower cost jurisdictions negated. Companies who were taking a multi-tiered approach and moving parts of their business to other countries to benefit from lower salaries are now seeing less financial advantage as workforce costs level out.

Financial services looking to move parts of their legal function in preparation for Brexit need specialists with international expertise and reach. Danos Associates is in this unique position and we are taking steps to meet the needs of our clients – existing and new.

We are identifying people with the relevant qualifications and right set of language skills who have a willingness to move to Europe. Some, originate from these countries, having moved to London to seek more choice and higher paid jobs. The shift in the market has meant that they can now achieve this back at home.

Many private practice lawyers now have the option to go in-house. For those tempted by the better work/life balance, scope of work, senior visibility and loss of business development pressure are being shown that now is the time for them to make a move. Our forward planning, relationships, market knowledge and agility mean that we have been successful in achieving this and have an excellent track record of being able deliver.

Thanks to a strong period in the global economy, Brexit preparations haven’t signified a mass exodus and there is still strong hiring in the UK.

If you’d like advice on how to ‘Brexit-proof’ or find talent in a competitive marketplace we’re very well placed to help. You can contact me on:

+44 (0) 20 3889 5758


28 Feb

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming and it’s important.

From 25 May 2018 all firms processing data of data subjects who reside in the EEA, (irrespective of where the firm is located) need to be ready. Those who aren’t taking it seriously need to and those that are, need to be sure that their response is robust.

With direct lines of accountability back to individuals and fines of up to 4% of global turnover or £20,000,000 (whichever is greater), getting it wrong simply isn’t an option companies can afford.

This may lead firms to question:

How do I ensure I have the right procedures in place?

How can I bring in the right expertise?

How quickly can I bring someone in?

Who can be trusted to provide the talent?

Are there alternatives to the ‘GDPR expert’?

Danos Associates and through our consultancy side of the business, Danos Consulting, working together with our strategic partners K&E Consultants can offer both long term and short term solutions.

We have a unique relationship with experts within Risk Governance. This allows us to screen candidates at a higher level prior to presenting them for interview – a massive save on time for our clients as they have already been pre-screened. This adds a significant level of trust to the process.

Speed is of the essence with recruitment and even more so with consulting and having an established network of experts, practitioners and project managers allows us to fulfil challenging roles – quickly and cost effectively.

When is comes to security around GDPR we can help:


We can put in a Project Manager to lead GDPR projects as well as other contributing roles.


We can put in teams to review GDPR projects and provide SME advice and support.


We can help you make sure you have the wider teams to support programmes such as this with ongoing Data Security, Privacy and Governance Experts and Cyber Risk specialists.

As specialist Risk recruiters and consultants in the Financial Services Industry we have seen huge increases in the desire to hire GDPR specialists across the board. In fact, from the 6 months to the present date in London alone there are 979 GDPR related roles advertised.

This compares to 102 in the same period in 2017 and a mere 3 in 2016.

Job Vacancy Trend in London

Job postings citing GDPR as a percentage of all IT jobs advertised in London.

Source: itjobswatch.co.uk

This can often lead to a competitive market place but we have permanent and consultancy staff ready and waiting to go.

Please do contact me if you’d like to discuss how we can support you.

+44 (0) 20 3889 5757


Demystifying GDPR

What is it?

The EU GDPR was designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe and to reshape the way organisations across the region approach data privacy.  It is an essential step forward in enhancing the privacy and security of personal data.  It has been described as “Data Protection on Steroids”.

The fines

Focus will undoubtedly be on the sanctions that will apply when failing to comply – up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 Million (whichever is greater).  Clearly this will be for the most serious of breaches but firms may still find themselves facing a fine of 2% for not having adequate records, not notifying the authorities of a breach or not conducting impact assessments.


The conditions for consent to use a subject’s personal data has been strengthened.  Reliance can no longer be placed on standard terms and conditions.  Consent must be clear and distinguishable from other matters and provided in an intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language and setting out the purpose for the data processing. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it.​


Firms will be obliged to notify the authorities of a breach which is likely to result in a risk to individuals.  That notification must be made within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach.

Data subject rights

Extensions to the individual’s rights include greater access to the data that is being processed, including where and for what purpose, and the right to be forgotten or data erasure.  The latter can involve preventing further dissemination of data, prevention of third party processing of data as well as withdrawal of consent.

Key considerations for firms

Under the GDPR, the data protection principles set out the main responsibilities for organisations.  There are 6 Principles and an accountability principle.

Personal data shall be:

  1. processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner;
  2. collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes;
  3. adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary;
  4. accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;
  5. kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary;
  6. processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data.

 “the controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate, compliance with the principles.” – Article 5(2)

Some questions firms may wish to ask themselves when assessing their compliance with GDPR include:

  • Is the firm a data controller, data processor or both?
  • Who is responsible and therefore accountable within the firm? Do you need a data protection officer?
  • What data is held? Where, how and for what purpose?  Is it still required?
  • How is the data used, by whom, who has access to it and should they?
  • Who is the data shared with? How is this controlled?  Can access be removed or data retrieved and/or deleted?
  • Is IT security up to date and robust?
  • Are policies and procedures clear and effective?
  • How is privacy information communicated to data subjects? Is it provided in concise, easy to understand and clear language?

Steps firms should be taking

  • Risk assessment. Based on the nature of the business and its role as data controller, data processor or both, it is essential to understand the potential risks to individualsThe risks should be evaluated, classified and mitigation adequately evidenced.
  • Data mapping. Documenting what personal data is held and the lawful basis for holding and processing; how it is used and with whom it is shared.  Data flow maps and data lifecycles should be produced.  If data is inaccurate and has been shared externally, it is the firm’s obligation to ensure that the other organisation is notified so that they can change their records.
  • Communication and disclosure. A review of how the rights and obligations are communicated to data subjects, including the process for consent and withdrawing consent.  A review of existing consents to ensure they comply with the new requirements or obtain new consents.  Firms should ensure they are clear upfront when collecting data how that data is to be used and then ensure that they operate in accordance with this.  Where third parties are used, this should be disclosed.
  • Policies and procedures. A review of existing policies and procedures and introduction of new policies and procedures which deal with personal data, including but not limited to
    • data capturing and storing;
    • recording of consents and process for withdrawal of consent;
    • data access requests;
    • rectification of data or data erasure;
    • data sharing with third parties;
    • record keeping and data retention policies.
    • Also procedures for identifying breaches, dealing with a breach, roles and responsibilities and notification process.
  • IT security. A review of IT security including resilience testing; access rights; portability of data; fraud prevention and vulnerability scanning.
  • Awareness and training. Ensuring all staff are aware of the changes, policies and procedures and roles and responsibilities.

The Information Commissioner’s Office is the authority in the UK responsible for upholding information rights and has useful information and tools available to firms’ implementing GDPR.  ICO.org.uk