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The most desired candidate profiles in compliance

05.09.2023 - In an era of increasing regulatory requirements and growing complexity in the compliance environment, financial services firms are forced to adapt their recruitment strategies to attract the best talent. Nico Pesch, Senior Consultant at Robert Walters, shares his expertise and highlights the most sought-after candidate profiles.

The biggest compliance challenges for financial service providers

The rapid development of compliance requirements and the ever stricter regulation on the part of the legislator are leading to an increasing complexity of the subject area. The tight labour market, which is plagued by a shortage of skilled workers, and the increased professional requirements for compliance specialists make the hiring process more difficult. In addition, financial crime is on the rise due to digitalisation and credit institutions have to face this challenge more than ever. The targeted search for candidates from the financial services sector also reduces the pool of potential applicants.

According to Robert Walter's 2023 Salary Survey, these converging factors have already led to an increase in salaries for compliance positions of more than 12 % compared to the same period last year - for individual positions, such as Head of Compliance or Compliance Manager, even much more.

Sought-after qualifications and expertise

Finding the right talent can be a challenge. Financial services providers are looking for experts in the areas of 'Know your Customer' (KYC), in anti-money laundering (AML) and in anti-corruption.

Candidates with interface skills between compliance and IT to make regulatory technology (RegTech) processes more efficient are particularly sought after.

explains Pesch.

Financial services companies need candidates with a good understanding of the law, experience in internal and external reporting or reporting as well as professionals who have already worked with authorities such as the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). Experience in auditing or consulting (Big 4/ Next 10) geared towards financial services providers is also in high demand on the market.

Four highly demanded job profiles in the compliance field

Before focusing on the specific roles in the compliance environment, it is important to emphasise that in practice there are many different job titles that are often used synonymously. The exact title can vary from company to company. The most sought-after job profiles in the field of compliance are presented below as examples.

1. Head of Compliance

As a crucial figure in ensuring compliance with all relevant legal requirements, a Head of Compliance acts as an advisor and guide. Ensuring that the company prevents legal risks and potential penalties. The work often includes developing and implementing compliance programmes, training employees and managing compliance audits. In this way, the Head of Compliance promotes the trust of customers, investors and employees in the company.

2. Compliance-Manager

In his monitoring and management function, the compliance manager ensures that compliance regulations are adhered to both within the company and in relation to external authorities and stakeholders. This position is often responsible for the creation and implementation of compliance policies, the identification of violations and the initiation of corrective measures. This transparency is essential to ensure the trust of all stakeholders and to underpin the integrity of the financial services provider.

3. KYC-Analyst

The "Know Your Customer (KYC) analyst" plays a crucial role in protecting the financial services provider and its customers from fraud and identity theft. By closely reviewing customer data, including their personal information, financial transactions and the background of their business relationships, legal risks can be avoided. In addition to verifying the identity of clients and assessing potential risks, due diligence is also one of its main tasks.

4. AML-Analyst or AML-Officer

AML stands for "Anti-Money Laundering", i.e. measures to prevent money laundering. These professionals are responsible for monitoring financial transactions, identifying suspicious activity and ensuring that the company complies with all anti-money laundering regulations. By complying with these regulations, they help protect the financial service provider from legal consequences and avert potential damage to its image.


KYC = "Know Your Customer" (KYC) refers to the process of identifying and screening new and existing customers to comply with money laundering requirements. Such screening can reveal hidden risks in potential or existing business relationships.

RegTech = "Regulatory Technology" refers to the area of information technology that aims to improve companies' compliance with regulatory requirements, e.g. to automate them or make them more efficient.

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Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Nico Pesch

Senior Consultant Finance | Düsseldorf
Phone:  +49 211 30 180 028

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