House Issue 25, April 2017

WELCOME Issue 25 of House. Three key trends have dominated this month; a continuation of change at the upper echelons of the compliance population in Asia Pacific, another key change in the global leadership of a Wall Street giant and multiple moves within consulting and law firms as they anticipate a growth in regulatory enforcement and an increase in work.


MiFID II is creeping ever closer and it will be the largest overhaul of regulatory legislation in the European financial sector for more than a decade.

Many institutions are still working on understanding exactly what data needs to be reported and in what format. For many compliance functions, the issue is in understanding where the overlap in regulation occurs and how to then apply common standards in order to automate the process.

Due to the wide-ranging nature of MIFID II’s impact and the sheer volume of enquiries, regulators are struggling to provide clarity over the minutia of the regulation. In response, we have seen an increase in demand for regulatory compliance experts with experience dealing with the regulator. An ability to interpret the root nature of the legislation will be increasingly important to providing both market and operational efficiencies.

HK insurance regulator

The 26th June will signify the commencement date of the second phase of changes to Hong Kong’s insurance regulatory framework. This will bring into effect over 100 amendments to the Insurance Companies Ordinance, renamed Insurance Ordinance (IO), and the establishment of the Independent Insurance Authority (IIA) which will replace the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) and take on its regulatory functions.

The IO will significantly widen and enhance the scope of the IIA’s regulatory, investigatory and enforcement powers and enhance corporate governance requirements within the insurance industry. As a result, the hiring implications for both brokers and carriers has been a hot topic of conversation for Arion House, with compliance professionals showing an increasing interest in the insurance industry and the potential career opportunities it presents.

Since the announcement of the Amendment Ordinance in 2015, we have seen a steady stream of hiring rather than an immediate surge and we expect this trend to continue. However, given the uncertain nature of how some of these amendments will be implemented in practice, we expect insurance industry stakeholders to remain mindful of future changes and the potential need for larger regulatory functions.

Business managers replacing heads of compliance?

Roger Barbour has been announced as the new APAC Head of Compliance at JP Morgan. This is a very interesting appointment because whilst he has a very impressive CV, he has never run a compliance department and JP Morgan has one of the largest in the region. This is representative of a wider market trend; Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BNP Paribas have all recently filled senior positions within compliance and financial crime prevention from business management or first line of defence roles. The focus appears to be on people with significant business experience and longevity within the firm.

An ability to navigate complex organisations, manage upwards, downwards and, most importantly, externally, are now key attributes required of Managing Directors within compliance and financial crime departments,.These talents are often found from within.