How to diversify your career with Risk and Compliance!

by Stevie Doubleday | Jan 14, 2020 | Jobs

As we come into 2020 it is evident that the nature of the world is evolving fast through generation Z entering the workforce, we have hit the transformative age with new ideas, new technology and new behaviours. With this, we are hearing phrases like innovation, collaboration and agile business models being spoken about and the end of the last decade saw a particular focus put on risk and compliance.

Regulators and Financial Institutions are becoming more aware of the importance of understanding and protecting our risk capacity and therefore restoring trust back into consumer protection and market integrity. This of course, in turn, has meant the job market has boomed and we have found ourselves in a position of skill shortage. Adding to that the benchmark for experienced candidates changing with the introduction of new legislations. This has resulted in accelerated career opportunities and much higher than average pay increases across risk and compliance than other industries, some cases 25% of annual salary.

Forging a career in this industry can offer both the opportunity to learn in an ever-changing environment while progressing your career with endless opportunities. So What Skills And Experience Do You Need To Get Into The Risk And Compliance Field?

The way we see it, there are three different paths into establishing a risk and compliance career in New Zealand. Audit, Law and initially commencing a career in the sector:

Auditors: Many Accountants find themselves working for the Big Four in an independent assurance team as an Auditor. Here you have a key role in building relationships with key stakeholders and enabling organisations to build trust for their brand. Auditors conduct control testing and provide insights on all the risks that an organisation faces. As we move through this transformative age, Auditors are now investigating innovation, demographic shifts, globalisation as well as your traditional laws and regulations. Many corporates are now exploring this skillset as a vital part of their team and are employing staff who are not just ticking boxes but have the outlook to partner with the business and understand how to mitigate the risk.

Lawyers: The risk and compliance profession goes hand in hand with the legal industry. As a Lawyer you have unrivalled experience working across and understanding regulations, organisational policy and the law. You regularly help organisations to navigate risk, while understanding what process, frameworks and pragmatic solutions could have been put in place to have mitigated such risk and ensured obligations were met in the first place. Many organisiations are creating joint legal, risk and compliance teams and utilising their commercially focused and pragmatic staff to continuously improve their strategies and stay ahead of the changing regulations and market.

On the flip side, compliance managers often begin their careers in an entry-level position, especially in the banking and finance industry. People might start in a customer facing banking role which gives the advantage of understanding how the “engine” works or commence in a back office role which might include commencing as bank tellers, analysts or even work in an administration role for a regulator. It is pretty common once you are in one of these positions if you work hard, you will progress through the team pretty quickly depending on your career goals and appetite to progress.

As I mentioned earlier, the risk and compliance space is an ever-moving target and the progression and learning possibilities are endless, once you have some experience in a similar position. The experience that you gain in this area of expertise is also transferable internationally and we see kiwis relocating all over the globe with this skill set. Overseas relocators are coming to NZ and are able to secure senior roles and kiwis who have worked abroad and are able to return home retaining strong earning capability. 

The start of the year is when we think about our careers and where we want to end the year. It is time to ask yourself a few questions:

Have you taken on new responsibilities this year?
Have you received any further benefits or a salary increase this year?
Do you enjoy your job overall?
Do you need something to change in your role? 

If you are looking for a change or even to just have a discussion as to whether you are on the right track now is the time. Are you in one of these professions currently and looking for a route to a large corporation? Is a risk and compliance role the new challenge you are looking for? For more information and career guidance please get in touch sdoubleday@tylerwren.co.nz or 09 930 9828 to hear more.