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Alternative fund managers struggling to recruit compliance professionals

Alternative fund managers struggling to recruit compliance professionals

06 February, 2024

The Outlook 2024 report* from Ocorian, a market leader in administration services for funds, corporates, capital markets and private clients, shows a growing recruitment crisis is hitting alternative fund managers as they struggle to find compliance and legal professionals.

More than three out of four find it difficult to recruit compliance professionals

Ocorian’s international study among investment managers with private equity, venture capital and real estate funds found more than three out of four (77%) say their organisation finds it difficult to recruit the right people in their compliance and legal department.

They do not foresee the situation easing either – around 69% predict it will become harder to find the experienced and expert people they need with 37% forecasting recruitment will become much harder.

Increasing complexity of regulatory issues biggest roadblock

The alternative fund managers questioned say the increasing complexity of the regulatory issues their company faces around the world is the biggest roadblock to recruitment. However the rapidly increasing salaries commanded by compliance and legal professionals was ranked the second biggest issue out of four.

Growing competition for compliance and regulatory professionals was rated as the third biggest cause of recruitment issues while the increasingly global and international nature of the regulatory issues alternative fund managers face was cited as the fourth biggest issue.

Investment managers feel their compliance team is under-resourced

Nearly two out of three (63%) of investment managers questioned said their compliance department was under-resourced with 17% admitting it was very under-resourced. Around 28% believe they have the right level of resources in their compliance department while 7% claim to be over-resourced.

Study highlights the importance of regulation

The study highlighted the importance of regulation for the business and for individual board members with around half (49%) of fund managers questioned saying executive directors at their company are held very accountable for their actions.

Around 45% said executive directors are held relatively accountable while just 2% said executive directors were not held accountable for their or the organisation’s actions. Around 3% did not know about the issue.

Aron Brown, Head of Regulatory & Compliance at Ocorian said: “Alternative fund managers are facing issues on a wide range of fronts as they struggle to recruit compliance and regulatory staff with the expertise and experience their businesses need.

“On the one hand they need to address issues with increasing regulatory complexity while also addressing issues with growing competition for compliance staff which drives salaries and costs higher.”

"We are increasingly seeing growing demand from existing and new clients for support on regulatory and compliance issues as the growing complexity of their businesses increases their costs. That is driving more outsourcing to third parties like us as firms recognise the need to ensure they are compliant. “

Assisting with a broad range of compliance services Ocorian’s subsidiary compliance consultancy service, Newgate Compliance, delivers pragmatic and flexible solutions to help clients meet often complex, evolving and increasing regulatory obligations. The team led by industry experts and ex regulators helps clients with the submission of regulatory authorisation applications, provision of Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLROs), the implementation of compliance frameworks and governance structures, as well as regulatory and compliance training for employees.

*Ocorian commissioned independent research company PureProfile to conduct a global study of 301 senior executives. The survey was carried out among board directors at companies with annual turnover of more than $250 million, fund managers working in family offices, private equity, venture capital and real estate; and senior executives working in capital markets focused on  structured credit, CLOs, securitisation, mortgage-backed securities and asset- backed securities. Respondents to the survey, which was conducted in November 2023, were based in the UK, continental Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America and included 150 alternative fund managers