Risk & Compliance – Themes & Predictions

By admin on July 13, 2018 in Uncategorised

Over the last 12 months, the pressures on risk and compliance professionals have been intensifying. The Royal Commission has thrown fuel on the fire. There is now an increased awareness with boards and senior management which has significantly impacted recruitment activity. From a candidate perspective, this has certainly increased the number of opportunities for high performers and threats for those not hitting the mark.

Recruitment Activity

In the context of the last 10 years, this is the most active we have seen the market.

Supply and demand is increasingly out of balance and significantly favours the candidate. We are seeing more activity at the $150K to $180K levels in comparison to the previous years at $120K to $150K. We are noticing new roles being created along with an upgrading of talent in the smaller to medium sized organisations and in the non-financial sectors. Additionally, there are more Chief Risk Officer roles being created. On the candidate side, they are more active, however there is a degree of caution in terms of who they align with. Our advice to candidates has been to NOT chase the $$$ but instead, “look to re-position”.

The opportunity to re-position

The current environment is throwing up opportunities and creating movement. Good candidates are reviewing their current situation which includes their role, environment, quality of leadership and how these align to their future goals. They are acutely aware of their employer’s “GRC” brand. Hiring managers have been put on notice in terms of leadership i.e. being able to “attract” and “retain” the best talent.
Below are some of the PUSH and PULL factors for high calibre candidates:
PUSH FACTORS – why candidates consider re-positioning
  • Moving away from dysfunctional risk and compliance functions
  • Increased recognition that overstaying could lead to the perception of being institutionalised
  • Lack of commitment to risk and compliance from the top
  • Uninspiring and indecisive leadership
  • Uncertainty in their environment for e.g. restructures
  • Remuneration – the market is paying a premium, however, candidates typically only receive incremental increases from their current employer
PULL FACTORS – what is attracting candidates
  • New challenge e.g. more responsibility and the opportunity to influence
  • Working for inspirational leaders
  • Being part of a business that is committed to risk and compliance
  • Broadening of experience (new products, businesses, etc.)
  • Remuneration growth
  • Flexibility and work life balance
Fundamentally, candidates are more aware of their return on effort (RoE).

Change is genuinely being driven from the top

Accountability is at the forefront!

This is driving “clear outcomes” and therefore an emphasis on candidates who deliver. Senior leadership teams and boards have raised the bar and there is a readiness to act. This is evident in their greater involvement in the candidate selection process.

There is a greater recognition of contracting as a potential career option. The contracting market has segmented into 2 categories;
  • the “professional contractor” and,
  • “in-betweeners” (candidates in-between jobs)

There is an increasing supply of professional contractors, however this is not meeting the high levels of demand. These candidates are typically of a higher quality as they consider contracting a career option. They value the flexibility, variety as well as the rate premium.

The supply of candidates in-between jobs has reduced as candidates are spending less time on the bench.


There are differing views on the 2-year outlook for the risk and compliance professions.

One view is that the current increased recruitment activity will lead to a downsizing in 2 years. The other view is that there has been an initial knee jerk reaction to the Royal Commission and there will be a significant second wave of change in the next 18 months to 3 years.

Some other predictions:

  • The cost of risk and compliance will continue to rise; for both, organisations as well as from a candidate remuneration perspective
  • There will be continued growth in the smaller financial services sectors and outside of financial services
  • Influencing skills and commercial acumen are the key attributes for success
  • There will be four categories of risk and compliance professionals;
    • The BIG company person
    • The Small to Midsize operator
    • The Contractor / Consultant
    • The All-Rounder
Our next report will go into more detail about each of these categories….stay tuned!
One thing is for certain, CHANGE is the only constant in risk and compliance.