Dodd-Frank Caused a Compliance Hiring Boom

Few Wall Street professionals were thrilled about the implementation of Dodd-Frank and other forms of regulation. But it seems to have been a blessing for those who specialize in compliance.

“With Dodd-Frank, with the regulations that came out of that, and with the regulations that are coming out still, I’m seeing lots of hiring of CCOs and lots of other compliance officers in-house at funds and I think that trend will continue,” Zachary Ziliak, an attorney at Mayer Brown, told StreetID. “Dodd-Frank has been a jobs boon for compliance officers. Attorneys with regulatory experience — those are always in demand. Not more or less than before, I think, there is just always a need for that.”

Ziliak added that funds and banks could both use compliance officers “just to keep track of what these new regulations are.” He believes that while they may rely on outside counsel (to an extent), they will still need compliance officers or legal officers to handle any and all challenges that are encountered on a frequent basis.

And you don’t have to wait till 2013 to get a job. Ziliak said that the hiring has already begun.

“I think we’re already on that upswing,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a case where we’re waiting for something to pop. If you look at how many people are employed as compliance officers in the fund management industry now versus six months ago, versus 12 months ago, I think there is an uptick already. I think that will continue.”

While the jobs are coming in now, Ziliak warned that job seekers should not expect this to be a five-year trend. “I think it’s fairly short-term,” he explained. “I think that the first derivative will head toward zero before too long. But I think the jobs that are being created will stay.

“It won’t take many more months for the information of the need for compliance officers to percolate through the industry, so I think the hires are happening now and will continue. But before too long they’ll be hired, and there you go — the people stay. I don’t think those jobs will disappear. But I also don’t think there’s going to be a scenario where you see a five percent growth rate every year.”

This assumes that the number of funds is maintained, however. “If the number of funds goes up, then the number of [compliance] people needed goes up,” said Ziliak.

This is another area in which the JOBS Act could benefit Wall Street.

“For a fixed number of entities, we’ll soon saturate the number of legal officers and compliance officers required,” Ziliak added. “But all bets are off if the number of entities increases. If the JOBS Act succeeds in creating more small businesses — including in this sector — then you’ll see jobs moving in parallel to that.”

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