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Compliance, Risk & Financial Crime – Q1 2024 Update

Compliance, Risk & Financial Crime – Q1 2024 Update

Compliance, Risk & Financial Crime – Q1 2024 Update

Q1 witnessed a range of outcomes, with fluctuations in market activity. The beginning of the year was marked by unfilled hires from the end of 2023 giving a fast start to the year. As expected, the market was relatively quiet in the middle of Q1, but activity picked up towards the end of the quarter as bonuses were paid out.


The demand for regulatory compliance in Dublin led to increased hiring activity in the compliance market, as firms seek to replace outgoing heads of compliance in response to new market entrants. Companies are looking for PCF-12, PCF-39 holders and/or those with a PCF-52 licence and we’ve also seen a strong demand for senior compliance officers. Of our 23 opportunities in Q1, approximately 60-70% of roles were at a senior compliance officer, DP of regulatory compliance, and heads of functions.

Companies are looking for individuals to support the team, primarily in the asset management and ManCo space. We’ve also seen a steady demand for senior compliance officers in broader areas of insurance. Notably, attracting talent at these levels has proven challenging due to full employment in the market. Companies must align with candidate expectations in terms of employer branding, proposition, and career prospects to entice them to make the move. Salaries at the senior end of the market have remained consistent with 2023 levels. We recommend that firms broaden their candidate search to include individuals with skillsets applicable in different regulatory environments, thereby expanding their access to talent pools.


From a risk standpoint, the market has been relatively quiet, contrasting with the significant activity seen in operational and financial risk between 2022 and 2023. We believe that candidates are seemingly new to their roles, and teams and following discussions with Chief Risk Officers (CROs) and Heads of Risk, it appears that companies’ risk teams are generally well-equipped with resources. We did witness a slight demand in Q1 for financial risk professionals, primarily in the insurance sector with a number of significant re-insurance firms leading the hiring. However, with impending regulations and a heightened emphasis on third-party operational resilience, it is expected that hiring activity across operational risk will increase in Q2 and beyond. Notably, this quarter has seen approximately 25% of roles related to risk compared to 75% related to compliance.

Financial Crime

The financial crime sector within the payments industry has experienced significant activity, marked by the emergence of several new entrants to the market. We’ve seen activity in European operations again at the senior end with senior compliance hires, notably with an AML and financial crime background. Typically, positions are being opened in the market to augment resources, for those experienced professionals who can handle the substantial workload. We are noticing movement within the banking, payments, web3 and fintech sphere. Candidates can be flexible and navigate through these industries. There have been some notable large firms that have redundancy rounds, meaning many talented professionals are re-entering the market. We’ve seen a high volume of direct applicants in the financial crime space compared to general compliance and risk.

Advice to clients

As firms are looking to reduce their costs with the current economic environment, they are employing direct resourcing channels using direct job posts and utilising internal talent teams. Here are some key observations:

  • When firms choose the direct hiring method, they struggle to find suitable talent due to receiving fewer desirable responses from adverts.
  • Employee an agency in parallel who has expertise and a direct network. Agencies have access to passive candidates in the market and through conversation and relationships are willing to engage with us more than a company reaching out directly. This is especially relevant in the compliance and financial risk section of the market due to the technical requirements of the roles and desired experience.
  • Allow more time to hire if going the direct route. We’ve seen many examples clients that go direct and after a 4-6 week period then decide to use a specialist agency due to timing constraints and lack of desirable talent applying.
  • Be aware of nuances in the market. For International firms with Dublin operation, there is activity, but all requirements need to align for them to hire the right talent.
  • Most hiring activity is at the more senior end. Clear messaging to the market with full detailed briefs is imperative in order to prize talent out of their current positions.
  • SEAR and IAF is playing a significant factor in the market. Candidates are more aware than ever of their defined responsibilities and for roles that appear unclear, under resourced or wide ranging in duties are not being entertained at initial stages.


For guidance on the talent market across risk, compliance and financial crime to discuss resource planning on a permanent or interim basis please contact Director & Co-Founder, Andrew Murphy, on +353858205640 or

William McCoppin


William has experience across multiple markets, specialising in compliance and financial crime at the interim, mid-to-senior and executive level.