House Issue 47 - May 2019

Welcome issue 47 of House and whilst hiring into investment banks has remained a little quiet during Q2 after a busy Q1, we are starting to see some real demand from other sectors such as rating agencies, law firms and the corporate sector. Leanne Geale joining Nestlé continues the trend of large MNCs looking to bolster their compliance risk management programmes, Leanne was previously Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Royal Dutch Shell. The Consulting world in Asia continues to see lots of movement with Nick Robinson returning to Hong Kong from the Middle East to be a Partner with EY, Joseph Quiazon joining Exiger as a Managing Director and Xenia Chan joining EY from Goldman Sachs.

Rating Agencies boost their Asia Compliance teams

The big Rating Agencies are really trying to boost their presence in Asia Pacific with a particular focus on China. A consequence of this growth is the need to increase regulatory oversight. Moody’s have made a real statement in hiring Keith Stoddart, formerly APAC Head of Compliance and Operational Risk at UBS, showing their real commitment to having a leading compliance programme in the region. Standard & Poors and Fitch have also been looking to hire across Asia Pacific and we expect more announcements soon.

As the financial infrastructure across Asia Pacific starts to develop, they will need to have efficient rating agencies to stimulate investment. We anticipate this being a real area of growth for compliance officers and an opportunity to really be at the forefront of embryonic regulation in a growing sector.

Law Firms hiring Compliance Officers in Asia

Leading Law firms are hiring their first dedicated compliance officers in Asia in anticipation of new global regulation that will look at how law firms do their own due-diligence on potential clients and how they hold and, more importantly, transfer their clients’ money. Angie Gurung joined offshore law firm Mourant Ozannes based in Hong Kong 3 months ago from competitor Maples and we have seen several other global law firms look to enhance their regulatory oversight.

The Panama Papers really threw the spotlight on law firms and recent legislation in the UK dictates that law firms will come under similar scrutiny on sanctions and money laundering as wealth managers. As a result, we anticipate a real growth in the internal compliance and enhanced due diligence functions of law firms.

Corporates hiring in Asia

We conducted a search two years ago for a large corporate looking to hire a Head of Compliance for Asia and it was a real surprise at how few of the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 firms had dedicated compliance resource. This has definitely changed in the last 12 months as high profile corporate scandals have rocked the regulatory landscape within the corporate sector.

Walmart completely overhauled their global compliance function, promoting Daniel Trujillo to Global Head of Compliance and then hiring Bengti Tan in Shenzen as their new APAC Head of Compliance. Truijllo’s predecessor Jay Jorgenson appeared at the Korean e-commerce firm Coupang in a fascinating development. This month we have seen key hires at Facebook, Nestle and Pearson with more expected at both firms.

The recent high profile sanctions cases at Huawei and ZTE suggest that more and more Asian based corporates will be looking to hire from the FTSE 100 and the Fortune 500 and we can certainly expect these firms to continue to grow their regulatory teams.

Where to find staff from? Similar to the banking sector it seems that the large corporates are starting to build their compliance functions with lawyers, which is a natural move. The corporate sector is where many of the banks were 10 years ago and the primary function of compliance is to get through litigation or regulatory investigations. As the corporate compliance teams of the future grow, can we expect to see teams of a thousand strong compliance officers grow?


We still get regularly asked by our banking clients for interim resource to complement their permanent teams. As Investment Banking Compliance teams are getting smaller and financial crime teams are dealing with new challenges, we have consultants available to help you through your time of change.

Please contact Ian Morrison at for more information.