Recent blog articles
Reon Porter
Back to top

Looking to begin a career in Compliance, but not sure where to start? Throughout this blog post, we aim to guide you through multiple tips and suggestions into the world of Compliance.

What is Compliance?

Compliance is generally the act of obeying an order, rule, or request. When it comes to the Cayman Islands, this is following the acts, regulations, and guidance notes set out by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA).  

It’s a challenge that all businesses must take seriously, and ensuring a thorough understanding of corporate Compliance will protect their company, employees, and customers. Without it, corporations are left open to:

  • Hefty fines
  • Expensive breaches
  • Embarrassing scandals
  • Possible lawsuits
  • Company Dissolution

Throughout the world, businesses adhere to a wide range of regulations, laws, and standards put there to protect.  For this reason, the Compliance sector has grown exponentially and is now a lucrative career.

There are many different roles in Compliance in the Cayman Islands due to the sheer number of law firms, banks, administrators, funds, and financial planning companies. And with this, there are many clients with compliance needs from all over the world.

Why do you want to work in Compliance?

The easy answer is job security; Compliance is here to stay. Entry-level positions are available and heavily sought after, and once you are in, you can climb the corporate ladder.

There are often entry-level roles available, usually referred to as a Compliance Administrator but the opportunity to grow into different Compliance roles soon becomes apparent.

As a Compliance Administrator (or another entry-level role), your role would mainly involve onboarding the client’s Know Your Client (KYC) documents and monitoring the client’s transactions. 

Compliance requirements extend across the whole business, and so in time, you will find yourself gaining experience, flexibility, and understanding in different departments of your organization.

An example of a senior role would be acting as an Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer (AMLCO) or a Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) on numerous funds.  These roles involve daily sales functions and interacting with new clients to entice them to use the company’s services for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) & Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI).    These roles also involve documentation, policy, and procedure reviews while also testing KYC documents are collected correctly by the Administrators.  You would also be involved with attending and reporting at board meetings.  And on an annual basis conducting a risk assessment for all the entities you act for. 

As an AMLCO & MLRO’s you can expect to act as the point of contact with the Department of International Tax Cooperation (DITC) and complete required filings for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)/Common Reporting Standards (CRS), as well as any new compliance requirements put forward by CIMA.

Several key skills are transferable to a new career in Compliance: experience in financial services, communication, business knowledge, good judgment, quick decision making, pragmatism, and risk management are in demand across multiple roles.

Compliance is global, the opportunities are endless, and the increase in remuneration packages attracts more skilled professionals to seek a new career path.

Is it boring? No, the regulatory climate is constantly changing and developing rapidly.  Your activities will never become stagnant. Compliance is an exciting, expanding industry bursting with opportunity.

How do I start a job in Compliance?

Compliance is prevalent in Cayman, with most positions tending to be in the financial services and legal industries on island; as there are no specific degrees in the field of Compliance, a bachelor’s in criminal justice, finance, or business is beneficial. 

Work experience is valuable in gaining the knowledge to move into Compliance, and if you have an operations background, you could be highly prized for an internal transfer.  Exposure to operations and the intricacies of how a bank, finance firm, or general business works are invaluable skills when trying for a position in Compliance.

Interact with the Compliance team within your firm.  Ask those in junior positions how they made a move into Compliance.  Spending time with senior compliance executives can be the first step to building relationships and a great way to find out if there is anything in the pipeline and how to prepare for it.

For more information and support on moving into Compliance, visit the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) for current tools, training, and expertise.

There are opportunities to start a career in Compliance without a degree and receive on-the-job training within the firm. After initial probationary periods, some firms may offer to put you forward for ACAMS training. 

A formal Compliance qualification, like ACAMS, is becoming a vital requirement and can be seen in more job descriptions for Compliance roles.  Many firms would look for this certification or expect you to study for these certifications during your employment.  ACAMS offers entry-level training in Compliance with their Associate Level, followed by Specialist and Advanced Specialist programs.

If you are currently employed and looking to transfer into Compliance, ask your employer what school, program, or certification they recommend in your career progression.

What should you expect to earn in Compliance in Cayman?

Compliance Administrator US$50-60K 

Junior AML position with approx. 2-4 years experience with no Compliance qualifications

Compliance Officer US$70-115K

AML role with 4-6 years experience with Compliance certification (ACAMS)

Senior Compliance Officer US$95-120K                                   

6-8 years experience with Compliance qualifications (ACAMS) and possible experience in a DMLRO or MLRO role.

Compliance Manager US$110-$150K                                           

8+ years experience, including ACAMS qualification, having held an MLRO or AMLCO role.

Head (or Director) of Compliance US$145-$215K

10+ years experience holding all the above plus oversight and management of all AML & regulatory matters.

To learn more about Compliance as a Career, you can re-watch our recent ‘Ask the Experts’ series on The Importance of Regulatory Reporting & Investor Services in the Offshore World by our career partners Connect by Nova & Harneys Cayman.  Connect by Nova offers career services and can help you start your career journey in Compliance with their partnerships at specific firms.  

Are you currently employed in Compliance and interested in a move? Or looking to start your career in this lucrative sector? At Nova, we constantly look to place Compliance candidates in numerous roles.  Reach out to our team at Nova for more information on entry-level and senior positions in this field.  Email or call 1 345 623 1029 to arrange a confidential chat about your new or continuing career in Compliance.  



Share this blog article