Financial Industry Seeks Versatile Talent

Why Regulatory Expertise is a Must
The Rise of Finance Professionals with Regulatory Acumen

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March 2024

Amidst the current landscape of limited labor resources and financial constraints, it is crucial to be able to hire regulatory affairs experts who possess the expertise to interpret and apply the latest rules. For investment firms committed to delivering excellent service to clients, staying abreast of regulatory changes is more critical than ever. Technological advances, risk mitigation, and investor protection are just a few reasons the SEC periodically updates the rules. Therefore, all stakeholders, including investment professionals, general counsels, analysts, or financial planners, must understand the dynamics of the evolving regulatory landscape and acknowledge the significance of staying current with new rules to ensure compliance and mitigate risk.

Consider the ECOM Rule, a recent regulation in the financial sector enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This rule sets up compliance standards for electronic communications in the securities industry, covering diverse digital communication modes such as email, collaborative platforms, modern chat systems, and video marketing applications. All these channels are subject to the regulatory scrutiny and compliance requirements of both the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Notably, regulators have already acted against firms for not retaining records, even those on remote devices.

Another regulation in the spotlight is the SEC Marketing Rule 2021. This rule is a notable change in the regulatory framework that governs how investment advisers can promote their services and attract clients. The standard establishes new terms, conditions, and restrictions that affect how advisers interact with current and potential investors. To avoid possible sanctions and comply with the rule, advisers need marketing experts who know the new standards and can create effective and compliant messages that highlight their competitive advantage and performance. Marketing experts who understand the new SEC Marketing Rule 2021 should also be able to aid financial advisers in dealing with the complicated and changing environment of advertising and solicitation and ensure that their marketing materials are correct, honest, and not deceptive. They should also be able to take advantage of some of the benefits of the new rule, such as the use of testimonials and endorsements.

$0.65 per option3,4

charged by Fidelity and Schwab

$0.65 per option3,4

charged by Fidelity and Schwab

SEC investigations for compliance, legal actions, and fines in both these areas underscore the necessity for firms to prepare for potential regulatory audits. Proactively assessing compliance with various record-keeping and marketing rules is recommended to prevent breaches. Waiting for enforcement actions is unwise; hiring compliance experts beforehand is a more proactive approach. Such professionals can help prevent ECOM Rule and Marketing Rule 2021 violations from escalating into enforcement issues.

The demand for legal, compliance, and finance experts is high due to stiff competition for those with experience. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that employment of financial examiners is projected to grow 18% by 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Furthermore, there exists a skills gap within the finance industry. Exceptionally qualified candidates must possess keen analytical and critical thinking skills, demonstrating expertise in problem-solving. Essential soft skills are imperative, such as effectively communicating intricate regulatory policies and procedures to diverse stakeholders. Moreover, specialized skills are crucial, particularly in occupations within the banking, finance, capital, or regulatory sectors. Proficient professionals are pivotal in aiding a firm's adaptation to shifts in the financial and economic landscape while mitigating risks.

To sum up, recruiting employees proficient in finance and SEC compliance poses challenges, yet it represents a crucial investment in your organization's enduring success and resilience. JW Michaels understands this evolving regulatory environment and the need for strong legal and compliance personnel to guide you through it. Our connections with Fortune 100 firms, including investment management firms, hedge funds, private equity firms, asset management firms, commercial banks, and investment banks, supply us with a unique perspective and a deep understanding of recruitment needs in the financial sector.

If you are facing challenges in securing the right professionals for legal and compliance roles, we provide candidates well-versed in current best practices and with the essential skills to thrive in demanding positions. Our specialty lies in finding ideal candidates in the regulatory space who possess the tangible and intangible skills to succeed in demanding roles. Through our In-House Practice Groups, we work closely with you to understand your organization, grasp your challenges, recognize your strengths, and align candidates with your specific requirements. This collaborative approach ensures an all-encompassing consultative experience specifically tailored to your needs.

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