Meet MERJE is a series of interviews with members of the MERJE team discussing their experiences of recruiting in their specialist market.
Meet James Flood, a Senior Consultant based in our London office.
How long have you been at MERJE and what kind of roles do you recruit for?
Just coming up to two years in November. Prior to that I spent another two years within other recruitment businesses in London and Hertfordshire, and before that I was a police officer!
I look after Compliance and Financial Crime roles for a number of different Clients. Those could be Retail Banks, Payment Service Providers, Mortgage Providers, general insurance businesses and IFAs and I look after anything Management-level upwards, with a specific focus on the £60k to £120k market.
How has the market changed recently?
I think we’ve definitely seen a growth in the number of people moving into Compliance as it’s seen as quite an important function within businesses because of the resilience it offers and the additional regulation that has come in, like the Senior Management Regime (SMR). SMR affected accountability for members of staff within Compliance teams so they had to bolster that area to make sure the business is doing what it needs to be doing.
In addition to that I would say we’ve had other sorts of regulation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has led to an increase in demand for those sorts of team members.
I probably would say that salary hasn’t kept pace with demand. We have seen salaries stagnate over the last couple of years so Heads of Compliance and Senior Compliance Managers are still getting roughly the same amount they were getting three or four years ago even though there has been an increase in regulation and the demands put on those people.
We have seen Candidates shy away from positions that are holding control functions such as SMF16 and SMF17 roles. People are still going for them but are demanding a higher premium for the privilege of their experience.
What advice would you give job seekers in Compliance?
Keep an open mind about the role you apply for and what experience you can gain from going into a new role even if it’s not in your traditional area. Take on board further qualifications where you can, and stay updated with hot topics, such as SMR and GDPR, and also if you are in Payment Services you have PSD and PSD2 that have come out too.
So it’s constantly evolving – the biggest thing for you to do is to make sure you evolve as changes come through to understand the new regulations. And get that experience on your CV to put you in a much stronger position when applying for new roles.
I was drawn to MERJE from my last recruitment role because of their reputation in the market – certainly within the field I recruit in. They are very well known in Compliance. They are a good bunch of people that are honest and professional and know what they are talking about. I think the experience of our Candidates and Clients is probably some of the best in the country.
To contact James to discuss your recruitment or career needs in Compliance or AML, please call 0203 637 1608 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.