cally over the last decade, and thus so has the need for
What are the diversity issues when it comes to
taking advantage of opportunities in compliance?
Saint-Victor: It seems mainly an issue of lack of awareness among certain groups about compliance opportunities, which is why our focus has been on outreach
efforts among certain groups.
Does compliance require any special training?
Saint-Victor: It depends. Certain coverage areas require or prefer licenses, like the Series 24. Other areas
require a JD. But there are many positions that do not
require special training.
What’s being done as it relates to the diversity
pipeline for compliance?
Saint-Victor: Our legal and compliance
diversity & inclusion committee’s summer intern program provides diverse
college and law students with exposure to financial
services compliance and legal professions and seeks to
enhance future LCD diversity recruiting efforts.
We actually made some hires from college through
our summer intern program. Some schools like Ford-ham have developed curriculum to prepare students
right out of law school. Recently, we hosted a symposium that was attended by 80 law students. We introduced them to compliance, and it was well-received.
We don’t typically hire from law school, but we do
recognize supply and demand. Some can come in and
do a great job right after law school.
Is there a better path to get into compliance, directly
from law school, or is it more important to gain
other types of experience first?
Henry: It works either way. If you look at the compliance profession, it has evolved and is very different
from what it was 20 years ago. It wasn’t a clear career
path. Now people are seeing opportunities to really
grow and have meaningful engagement, especially
when you look at an industry like financial services.
People are coming directly into compliance and are
developing themselves. They are developing a skill set
Where should you go to learn more about
Henry: We don’t want to create the impression that
being a lawyer gives you more of an advantage over
people in compliance. We have people
who are accountants. There are people
working in compliance who never
went to law school. Right now, there is
definitely a slight bias for those with a
law degree. Recruiters want people who
We list opportunities on our firm’s
website. We want to increase diverse
representation. We are looking to work
more closely with organizations like
MCCA and post jobs on other sites
so people can become aware of the
opportunities. Recently, we had a career
and compliance symposium. We had
volunteers who were able to meet with
attendees. As a result of that outreach,
we hired about 10 people.
What’s appealing about this field to you?
Henry: There are a lot more opportunities to manage
people. The legal staff tends to be relatively leaner than
compliance. Even at the junior level, there are more
opportunities to manage. You are more ingrained with
the business to make sure it works, short-, intermedi-ate- and long-term. You tend to work on projects with a
lot more continuity, and you are seeing things come to
fruition. There is opportunity for it to be tested and to
improve the process. All of those elements can make it
a satisfying career. ■
DIANNE HAYES ( Hayesassociates@comcast.net.) is a freelance
writer/editor based in Maryland who specializes in diversity issues,
education and STEM.
If you look at the compliance profession,
it has evolved and is very different from
what it was 20 years ago.
— Michael Henry
NEW OPORTUNITIES FOR DIVERSITY IN THE COMPLIANCE PROFESSION