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2021 Compliance Salary Guide

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Our 2021 Compliance Salary Guide provides an overview of recruitment and remuneration for compliance professionals across the UK and Asia.

Compliance Salary Guide This year, we have gone one step further and partnered with The Pay Index resulting in the creation of one of the most in-depth salary guides on the market.

This includes reports on gender pay gaps, diversity, the impact of COVID and more.

To request your copy please fill out this form.




2020 saw compliance officers – for several years in rampant demand amongst peer institutions – broaden their scope of desired employers out of necessity to market conditions. However, we have also witnessed an increasingly flexible mindset within the industry to allow compliance officers to move between contrasting employers with a greater emphasis on dynamic skills and a more agnostic approach to product or service

Regional Perspectives

In Asia, we witnessed a prominent year for fintechs and virtual banks who continued to build out their internal control to support new products slated for launch in 2021 and 2022. Asia’s largest fintechs grew their control teams outside of the region’s fintech hub Hong Kong, hiring senior individuals to lead in-country compliance programs, particularly within Singapore.

Meanwhile, mainland China hedge funds and private asset funds made several mid to senior level hires. Overseas banks within the APAC region remained steady, typically only coming to market for replacement hires. Despite the challenging conditions, those moving between roles still typically commanded up to 20% in salary increases.

EMEA largely followed the pattern of recent years; with a redistribution of compliance headcount out of the UK and into mainland Europe, especially for those involved in capital markets. Growth hiring was most prevalent within alternative investments, with firms seeking to evolve beyond a state of overly lean headcount. Determined job seekers, particularly those of a senior variety, found available roles to be comparably limited, with VP hiring more prevalent. Finally, within the UK, we have seen an uptake in demand for roles based outside of London, allowing employers to access a wider pool of talent.

The United States held its status as the best-remunerated region for Compliance Officers. The supply-demand dynamic for skilled regulatory SMEs, particularly with front-office advisory capability, remained favorable to jobseekers despite the pandemic. There were however widespread bonus reductions, which in a total compensation-oriented labour market, is expected to fuel replacement hiring in 2021. Meanwhile, non-front office facing roles, for example, investigative roles within financial crime, continued to relocate from high-cost centers in New York, Boston and Chicago to other cities across the country.

The Future

Industry-wide, much has been said about addressing executive diversity challenges. It must be celebrated that several of the truly keynote Chief Compliance Officer appointments at the world’s leading financial institutions in 2020 were female. Our data indicates compliance to be one of the most gender-balanced areas within corporate functions, though it is yet to achieve that consistency at, or above, the MD level. Increased global awareness of diversity (across all varieties) has translated into robust recruitment processes and we, therefore, expect a more diverse compliance leadership community moving forward.