Danos Group
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

jlimburn@danosassociates.com

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:

LEAD

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

REVIEW

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

PREPARE

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

rbh@danosassociates.com

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.

Consent

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.​

Reporting

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

13 Feb

What will the Year of the Dog mean for recruitment in financial services?

The year of the dog promises great and positive change and market sentiment across Singapore and Hong Kong reflects this for 2018.

This New Year the rise of digital continues to influence the recruitment market in financial services. Managing Risk and complying with regulation put in place to support the ever-growing technical advancements, unsurprisingly continues to drive hiring in Risk and Compliance sectors. This, alongside a strong economy makes for a busy year ahead.

Many firms are waiting until after Chinese New Year to confirm new headcount but when they’re ready to move, a more fluid market of candidates than we’ve seen in years will be ready. The year of the dog is said to be a defining year for careers and business and we are already starting to see an impact. Those who have previously kept their heads down feel that 2018 might be the year for a fresh challenge and an increasing number of candidates are more open to exploring new opportunities.

In a competitive market place for experienced talent with emerging technical and specialist skill sets we’re seeing companies offering more persuasive compensation packages. They’re also becoming more mindful of the attraction of non-financial benefits, being more accommodating with flexible working hours and working from home requests. Some financial companies could be tempted by the pull of lower costs and centralisation benefits of expanding teams in India or China but instead are looking to develop on-shore headcount because of the higher quality of talent here in Hong Kong and Singapore.

In January, across Risk and Compliance, Buy Side firms were more active than the bigger sell side Banking groups as many pay bonuses earlier and are quicker to approve new headcount. A number of these have increased headcount in both Investment and Business Compliance. The larger Asset Managers are also looking to invest in setting up dedicated Compliance Testing and Assurance teams that previously have been more common at larger international banks. They have been hiring in Investment and Operational Risk too but the majority have been replacements.

A few international banks are looking to make senior hires in the Markets Advisory space after a number of moves last year. With increased market volatility and higher trading volumes the urgency to get these unfilled vacancies is increasing. Banking groups are also continuing to invest in hires supporting their Data Analytics and Model Validation teams with candidates in this space being in high demand.

As ever, we look out for the impact new regulation will have. A key area on our radar is regulation around Crypto-currency trading and we will be monitoring how this effects the market throughout the year.

Honest and just, a dog is looked to for their advice and help. With our unparalleled network of talent and market expertise, we are excellently placed to find top-quality candidates for your roles and exciting new challenges for candidates. Please do get in touch.

08 Feb

McMafia

Over 8 million of us have been gripped by the BBC drama series McMafia. It follows the life of Alex Godman, son of a Russian mafia boss in their world of organised crime. Although fiction, it was ‘inspired’ by a non-fiction book by journalist Misha Glenny, written ten years ago. This explored the rise of the mafia following the fall of the Soviet Union and the deregulation of the financial markets in 1989. We’re now seeing a whole new wave of reality as the series has created widespread exposure of London being used as a playground for Russian gangsters and the super rich.

Earlier this week security minister Ben Wallace applauded the programme for raising public awareness of corruption. He has said that criminals would feel ‘the full force of government’, on a crackdown on Britain being used as a haven for corruption. This has led to wealthy Russian oligarchs to write to President Vladimir Putin to ask if they can return home without fear of arrest. It’s been revealed that some of the ten businessmen known to have done this had fled the country so as not to be detained there. Further applications are expected.

A movement set to tackle this has been the introduction of Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) last week. They allow the government to freeze suspicious assets worth more than £50,000 until they have been properly accounted for. Speaking to The Times, Mr Wallace said that dozens of potential targets have already been identified and that the orders ‘can be used against everyone from a local drug trafficker to an international oligarch or overseas criminal’. He went on to explain that proceeds from seized assets will fund the law enforcement against it.

It is estimated that around £90billion of illegal funds is laundered through the UK every year. The ‘Azerbaijani Laundromat’ scandal exposed last September was responsible for £2.2 billion of this alone. While financial crime is still a real issue, original writer Glenny holds hope for the future. When asked for his take on things a decade on after his investigation he said, “we now have a lot of people and a lot of organisations standing up and saying this level of corruption, these tax havens, this type of money laundering is unacceptable…(there is a) real fight on to do something about it by organisations and individuals around the world.”

Danos Associates has been placing top Financial Crime professionals for over 14 years and is the leading global provider of Financial Crime talent in Financial Services. Please get in touch if you need support in hiring good talent in this sector in Europe, Asia or America.

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7610 6442 Email: info@danosassociates.com

www.danosassociates.com

 

25 Jan

We are well into the New Year, the economy is strong and this confidence in the market creates fluidity. This, alongside the ever growing need for regulation means it is a busy time for financial services recruitment.

As the recruitment needs increase, those hiring are truly starting to feel the impact of the compensation history ban. Nearly three months in, we look at the effect it has had so far.

Addressing the gap

The philosophy behind the legislation closing the gender pay gap is, in the main, universally supported. Women were reported to be earning 20% less than men in the same job and disturbingly, women from ethnic minorities even less. Something quite rightly needed to be done to address it.

It in itself is being exploited

While we hope the new law proves to solve the imbalance, it can also be exploited for the purpose of heightened salary inflation and we have had to manage this carefully. At the more junior end of the spectrum in particular, some candidates are using the compensation ‘veil’ as an opportunity to go for larger (and previously unjustified) salary jumps.

With penalties of up to $250,000 there has been a reluctance for companies to go near discussion around salary. Add the loss of previous compensation as a guide into the equation and recruiters are finding that without proper advice, the process has been taking much longer as salary negotiations draw out. Some find out much too late in the process the extent of the gap between expectation and budget and others find themselves taking a leap of faith that they are not paying much more than they should.

Adding value for our clients

This is where we, as a recruitment specialist have found we can add even more value to our clients. While we too cannot ask about candidates’ compensation history we do have a broader knowledge of the market. With visibility of what people are being paid, going into roles across the industry, we can offer sound advice on what the right salary bracket should be. This gives our clients reassurance they are not unintentionally excessively overpaying or indeed restricting themselves from attracting the top talent by underpaying.

With this knowledge we can also have frank conversations with our candidates so they know what is fair to expect at the outset. By truly getting to know the needs, motivations and expectations of both our candidates and clients we can match the right people to the right organization.

Some are choosing to disclose

Happily, we are finding particularly with the mid to senior end of the market, candidates trust us to freely offer their previous salary information. At their level they find it beneficial to be upfront with the client, saving time if a compromise is out of reach. They feel it shows transparency and seriousness about a role. They also recognize that a company can request salary information after an offer has been made and being found to have been unfair is not the best way to start a new job.

They know being overpaid can leave them vulnerable if lay-offs are made and that it can be more difficult to move around so there is no point in trying to take advantage to push for an above market offer. Interestingly, giving their historic information can often act as a justification point to negotiate a new higher salary or show that if they are at the top end of their bracket it is because they are worth it!

Finding balance

The clients we work with are not trying to pay less than they should, they just want to know what is fair and appropriate. It is still early days and playing out but in time we are hopeful that with the help of specialist expertise, candidates who try and take advantage find balance and recruiters reach a process that works more efficiently. We all want to avoid firms feeling forced to be rigid with their bandings, not being able to offer flexibility for the most talented people.

While the eyes of the rest of the country and indeed the world are on this as a solution to a fairer working environment, we are committed to doing everything we can to help it thrive.

If you would like our support in finding the right candidates for your roles with the expertise that helps navigate the new law please do get in touch.

15 Jan

Today is supposed to be ‘Blue Monday’ – said to be the most depressing day of the year. For some, the memories and joy of the holiday festivities are fading, another New Year’s resolution may have been broken and that summer holiday is a bit too far away to offer any solace.

There’s not much we can do about that but, pseudoscience aside, if your motivational levels, lack of challenge or even bank balance are causing you distress today, we can help you make a positive step forward.

We pride ourselves on being able to match talent not just to the requirements of the role, but to the style of the organisation. This means we can be sure that the hundreds of candidates we have placed for our elite client base across the globe are happy in the right place for them.

We know that for some, depression is serious and not limited to one day so we’ll be making a donation, as part of our ongoing support to the Mental Health Charity Mind https://www.danosassociates.com/charity/

Have a good Monday everyone.