19 February 2016
The financial crisis of 2008 is often cited as one of the most significant events in our recent economic history. Not only did it impact the American economy as a whole, but it also put substantial pressure on financial institutions to adjust their business practices. As a result, companies throughout the financial services sector have needed to utilize compliance professionals more proactively. While banks have had to endure the subsequent rise in anti-money laundering regulatory initiatives, hedge funds have also needed to regulate their trading procedures to be more compliant with industry standards. As a result, there has been a spike in the need for finance professionals with trade and compliance backgrounds. Michael Bennett, a Senior Staffing Manager who specializes in Finance and Accounting, has seen the gradual increase in the demand for trade surveillance specialists specifically from hedge fund clients. While this is a trend happening throughout the financial sector, keep reading to learn about the types of opportunities available, what employers are looking for in prospective candidates, and how a recruiter can increase your odds of landing a role. Trade surveillance roles are typically project-based Insider trading can encompass a variety of asset classes (i.e., equity, stocks, etc.), and as a result, hedge funds are building up their compliance programs to better detect and prevent non-compliant trade activities. As a result, these firms will typically need trade surveillance specialists for a variety of reasons. For example, while one hedge fund may need a trade surveillance specialist to cover for an employee on a leave of absence, another may only need an extra trade specialist to handle a seasonal uptick in workload. This is to say, an opportunity can arise at any point in time. “Since trading amongst hedge funds can occur after regular stock market trading hours, issues that may require the expertise of a trade surveillance specialist can arise overnight,” says Michael. Therefore, job seekers that are more flexible and open to project-based assignments will have the most success in finding a job in this space. “Once you’ve proven your skills over time, many of these opportunities can transition into a more permanent role.” Hedge funds are looking for a unique skill set If you are interested in pursuing these roles, it’s important to showcase the skills and experience that hiring managers are looking for in candidates. “Since trade surveillance specialists need to be able to hit the ground running quickly, hiring managers typically prefer candidates who have at least 5 to 10 years of relevant trade experience with demonstrated strength on the compliance side at a major firm or regulator,” says Michael. For example, having direct experience working on the equity trading side would be a great asset to highlight. Additionally, candidates should be able to provide regulatory or compliance advice in connection with specific trading markets (i.e., equity, stocks, etc.). Therefore, if you plan on standing out against competition throughout the interview process, it’s important to stay up-to-date on current regulatory developments, have a firm grasp on key rules and regulations impacting your line of securities, and be able to comfortably articulate the value you can add. Recruiters can help to get your foot in the door first While it can be tempting to start applying to a number of trade surveillance roles, it may prove difficult to find these types of roles on your own. “Since these roles are very time sensitive in nature, most companies won’t publish these positions on job boards,” notes Michael. “Instead, most hedge funds will opt to work with a specialized recruiter who can better supply qualified candidates in the most time-efficient manner,” says Michael. Overall, trade surveillance roles can be a very promising specialty area to pursue. Not only are these positions typically high paying, but they also present great opportunities for professional development, and will ultimately help you gain a better understanding of two critical areas within the finance industry.
19 February 2016
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
“We all make mistakes.” It’s a comforting notion we often hear when we’re being particularly hard on ourselves, but sometimes, we make big mistakes that warrant a bit of worrying—ones that could potentially affect our careers. When this happens, it’s easy to get down on ourselves, act out of desperation, and possibly irritate matters. But that’s the worst thing to do; instead, the best way to bounce back from a big career mistake is to take a step back, assess the situation, and only proceed once we have a handle on our emotions. Should you find yourself in a predicament—whether you disrupted an important meeting, missed a hard deadline, etc.—here are some basic do’s and don’ts to help you recover from your mistake and move on: Do take a breather. Immediately after the big “oops,” you may find yourself overwhelmed and ready to act immediately. Instead, give yourself some time to process what’s happened and analyze the situation; acting out of panic might cause you to make the situation worse or even create a new problem. In many cases, you may over-apologize or bring even more attention to the matter, two things you’d be best to avoid in the aftermath. Don’t make excuses. Even worse than over-apologizing or scrambling is to not apologize at all and fabricate reasons as to why it’s not your fault. If it was truly your mistake, accept it. Employers will usually know if you’re sincere and don’t take kindly to employees who can’t be honest. Do admit to your mistake. Not only should you avoid excuses, you should proactively admit to making the mistake you did—if possible, before others notice it. This will show that you’re willing to step up and accept any consequences that may come your way and won’t shrug them off onto any undeserving parties. Don’t try to avoid it. Just like making excuses, avoiding the mess and hoping nobody noticed it is only going to hurt you. If it’s a big enough problem for you to fret over, it’s often big enough that someone has noticed or will, and walking away in the midst of trouble will make you look bad. Do try to fix it, but accept that it might be too late. Your best bet is to show that you’re willing to genuinely try to fix the problem. However, if it’s unfixable, it’s time to move on and figure out how to deal with the repercussions. Don’t beat yourself up. Even if the issue was clearly avoidable, don’t deny yourself forgiveness or bash yourself over it. How are your coworkers and employers supposed to forgive you if you can’t forgive yourself? Do let your supervisor know how you’ll avoid it in the future. Not only should you figure this out for yourself, you should communicate it to whoever is in charge to make it known that you’re aware there’s an issue and that you won’t let it happen again. At the very least, you’ll be showing that you can have more foresight in the future and will be more mindful.