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George Spencer

October 1, 2021

Compliance Officers Are Being Hired To Handle Regulatory Concerns

As cryptocurrency businesses continue to face increased scrutiny from global regulators, one recruitment agency said there has been a surge in the hiring of compliance executives from crypto-related firms.

Per a Financial Times report, Hamlyn Williams, a global recruiter, said since the beginning of the year it has sourced 18 compliance officers for cryptocurrency firms, up from more than twice what was recorded last year.

Will Brown, the executive search lead for the recruiter, stated that over the past five months, the company has successfully recruited seven chief compliance officers (CCOs) for top fintech and cryptocurrency firms.

More Scrutiny

Notably, the majority of the searches usually come from new crypto-related firms that are seeking compliance executives to help simplify complex regulatory requirements to obtain the necessary licenses before they can fully commence operations.

Existing crypto firms have also joined the recruitment of compliance executives as regulatory scrutiny continues to surge.

Binance, for instance, has been on the receiving end of global regulators’ clampdown recently.

The exchange’s operations have been proscribed in different countries such as Singapore, Italy, and Australia, forcing the firm to hire the services of former U.S. treasury criminal investigator Greg Monahan last month.

“It almost becomes business-critical [for these firms] to have a compliance individual,” Brown said.

Potential candidates for these jobs are mostly required to have experience in financial crime compliance that meets SEC demands, anti-money laundering, and developing know-your-customer (KYC) programs.

Financial Experts Moving to Crypto

The executive search lead at Hamlyn Williams noted that most of the potential candidates who fill these positions are usually former regulators as well as retired bank executives.

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Over the years, the incentives associated with working as a compliance officer in a crypto firm has become so enticing with wages ranging from $250,000 to $450,000 a year.

This enticing remuneration is bringing the interest of active traditional financial employees to consider joining a crypto firm in search of compliance staff.

“A lot of people from banks want to move to crypto […] It’s interesting, and it shows a new challenge […] There is no legacy issue, there is a big opportunity to build a function from the ground up,” Brown added.

Recall that former SEC chairman Jay Clayton, who stepped down late last year, is one of the ex-regulators to join crypto-related companies.

In March, Clayton became one of three advisers at Bitcoin fund manager One River Digital Investments. His duty at the firm is to provide important regulatory advice to the Alan Howard backed $2.5 billion crypto fund.

Similarly, Clayton, who under his regime as SEC chairman rejected several ETF applications including from NYSE, Bitwise, and CBOE, was added as a member of cryptocurrency custody provider Fireblock’s board of directors.