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PwC survey reveals 100% of UK asset managers think there is a compliance staff shortage

Monday, October 28, 2013
Opalesque Industry Update - A new PwC poll of major UK asset management firms reveals that 100% believe there is a lack of appropriately qualified compliance staff in the market. The majority believe this trend will continue over the next 2-3 years.

In addition, 35% of these asset management firms do not think their compliance function is currently in the position to cope with future demands. The research, which forms part of an extended compliance function investigative survey, polled heads of compliance in UK asset management firms to give an indication of the underlying sentiment around their internal compliance function. It found that 95% of firms believe that regulatory demand arising from the change of regulator will increase over the next 2-3 years. This suggests that worse is yet to come.

Amanda Rowland, partner and head of asset management regulation at PwC, said:

“What we are seeing is that there is an under-supply of suitably qualified resource within the compliance market. Asset managers need to respond to this, and fast. The changing regulatory landscape means the responsibilities placed on the compliance function are constantly increasing and firms will need to have access to a qualified pool of talent in order to meet these needs. Failing that, they need to consider a structure which enables them to perform their core essential role in the business, finding alternative solutions to cope with the remainder.

“Firms need to look at their compliance business model, determine what the core function of compliance should be, its essential purpose in the business if you like, and then focus the limited resources on this. For the remainder of activities they should consider whether they could more appropriately lie elsewhere, whether they can outsource or if a separate ring-fenced department in another part of the business could take on more process driven functions. Investment in staff training is key for all firms, to strengthen internal compliance teams in the short term and the pool of external talent in the long term.

“It is clear that there will continue to be a great deal of change over the next five years, and although the exact shape is yet to crystallise, compliance functions will need to work hard to align themselves for the future so they come out on top.”

Press release


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