Although the compliance industry has been around for just a few years, it is one of the fastest growing professions. However, a large number of people still don’t know the roles of a compliance officer. To keep it short, a compliance officer ensures that certain set rules and regulations are followed. Contrary to what many people think, compliance officers do not make any rules or regulations. Their job is simply to ensure that existing rules are adhered to.
Usually compliance officers take charge of a compliance program and implement it. If they find any problem with compliance, they solve it and put measures in place to ensure it does not recur. Sometimes, they have to ensure that disciplinary action is taken against defaulters.
There are currently thousands of compliance officers even with the short notice of the profession’s arrival. Fired up by the tightening of regulations on businesses by federal and state authorities, the compliance industry, especially in such sectors as insurance, banking and gaming, is set for rapid growth. Although most corporate compliance officers are former accountants and legal practitioners, they still have to learn the ropes of the profession in the course of their work. Several universities, nevertheless, have taken the call to take compliance seriously and have introduced degree programs for students who want to pursue it as a full-time career.
What You Need To Be Compliance Officer
The rate of growth in the compliance industry is so enormous that the shortage of officers increases by the day. Therefore, there are good enough prospects in taking up a career as a compliance officer. However, it might be prudent to remember that compliance is a tough profession, keeping you always on your toes.
Although you don’t have to show your college degree in compliance, you need technical skills. Since you are likely to encounter different kinds of people from varying backgrounds and professions, you also need to possess people skills. Your effectiveness as a compliance officer will be determined by how successful you are in implementing the compliance programs and influencing others to obey the regulations. Thus, you need to command respect, especially from people at the top of establishments within your jurisdiction. Most importantly, you need to learn from the top cream in the profession.
One of the most successful compliance officers is Helane Morrison, the Chief Compliance Officer at Hall Capital Partners who doubles up as the Managing Director and General Counsel. Armed with a legal background, she worked with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a compliance program enforcer for three years before she rose to head the San Francisco District Office. The first woman to assume the position, Helane Morrison had formerly defended clients against the SEC during her practice in law.
However, Morrison’s success in the compliance industry is largely due to her deep passion for the profession. In a bid to create to create a fair business environment she has gone through tough battles with powerful opposing forces. She has, however, always emerged victorious at the end.
Morrison works with the Regional Parks Foundation as a board member. In addition, she is closely associated with the American Bar Association as a Hedge Fund Subcommittee member.