Heads of compliance from 20 UK leading asset managers were questioned about the quality of their departments revealing not only a current lack of appropriate qualifications, but a lack of confidence over future requirements, as 35% of respondents felt that their current compliance functions would fail to cope with future demands.
Of the firms surveyed, 95% believed regulatory demand was set to increase over the next 2-3 years as a result of the evolved watchdog, which PwC said suggested the situation would only get worse.
Amanda Rowland, partner and head of asset management regulation at the consultancy warned asset managers to act on their concerns.
She said: “What we are seeing is that there is an undersupply of suitably qualified resource within the compliance market. Asset managers need to respond to this, and fast.
“The changing regulatory landscape means the responsibilities placed on the compliance function are constantly increasing and firms will need to have access to a qualified pool of talent in order to meet these needs. Failing that, they need to consider a structure which enables them to perform their core essential role in the business, finding alternative solutions to cope with the remainder.”
She stressed firms needed to look at their compliance business model determine its core function within the organisation and focus their resources accordingly.
Outsourcing, ring-fencing services elsewhere within the asset manager and more internal training to improve the quality of compliance staff were all options that ought to be considered, she said.
“It is clear that there will continue to be a great deal of change over the next five years, and although the exact shape is yet to crystallise, compliance functions will need to work hard to align themselves for the future so they come out on top,” Rowland added.