From what I can see, being a compliance officer these days, is no walk in the park. My research shows that compliance officers, hired to make sure traders adhere to the law, are themselves, currently facing increased scrutiny while on the job.
Much of the increased legal interest focused on compliance officers comes after several were found responsible for a multitude of mistakes, that occurred while working for their individual firms. At the moment, New York City’s primary financial regulator is seeking the power to charge compliance officers as criminals in certain cases. In 2015, three dozen high-level compliance officers abandoned their work. Many of them were overlooking attempts to prevent money laundering along with additional financial crimes, and feel unfairly persecuted. One of the results of the financial meltdown was that multiple banks hired compliance officers to identify internal issues, some of which have been the root cause of huge fines. On top of that, compliance officers served to help usher in a new era of banking surrounded by an increase in regulations. Chief compliance officers are now earning an upwards of two million dollars per year. Those focused specifically in policing money laundering are said to earn nearly six-hundred thousand dollars or more.
Now there are regulators in place attempting to monitor who compliance officers report to themselves. They are looking to ensure compliance officers aren’t overlooking bad bank decisions, and that penalties against officers intentionally avoiding looking into bad behavior are adhered to.
One compliance officer who appears to be making a difference, is a woman named Helane Morrison, the Chief Compliance Officer for Hall Capital Partners LLC, and member of the company’s Executive Committee. She became a part of the firm in 2007, and before that, she led the San Francisco Office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from 1999 until she left the firm to become a part of Hall Capital Partners LLC.
Morrison and her staff study of the records of investment advisors and brokerage firms, as well as enforce laws upon those cheating investors. Everything I’ve read suggests that it is hard workers like Helane Morrison who are maintaining order and integrity during changing times.