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Strong demand for niche compliance skill sets in Dublin

Compliance half year market update 2023

Hiring within compliance remained robust in the first half of 2023. Key areas of activity related to AML and financial crime, conduct risk, MiFID II, regulatory risk and data protection.

We speak to Jan McDonald, Principal Consultant for Risk & Compliance Robert Walters Ireland about the market trends, MiFID II, data protection and the hiring outlook for the compliance market during 2023.


The compliance market is particularly buoyant at the moment. We have seen an ever increasing appetite from both established entities looking to expand their compliance functions and also a great deal of interest from new entrants looking to move into the market. The candidate supply within Ireland remains tight and as a result there remains strong competition in the market for individuals with niche compliance experience.



"The 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive will finally be transposed into Irish law later this autumn and while some companies have been very proactive in impact assessments, the consensus has been very much to wait and see until the legislation comes out. However, there is a demand for AML compliance professionals coming from a purely second line of defence background. We have seen a greater demand for individuals with a background in Market Abuse, Sanctions, PEP’s and general AML policy. Non-regulated entities in the FinTech and Gaming industry for example, are also being covered under the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive and are expanding their compliance functions in order cater for their needs as a result."

Gain insight into the Risk & Compliance job market with the latest Salary Survey.


"The preparation for and introduction of MiFID II initially saw a healthy demand for project managers and senior professionals, where the key focus was on getting processes in place. There has been a shift of focus to junior and mid levels of compliance, as firms look to solidify their framework with compliance professionals who have an understanding of how this regulation affects the relevant business. We are seeing a growing demand from the asset/investment management space in particular, where there is a strong appetite to hire individuals with a MiFID II background from a compliance standpoint.

In regards to conduct risk, credit institutions, credit servicing and Insurance firms are now constantly in competition for conduct risk professionals. This area does have more openness in terms of hiring candidates from an insurance background into a banking environment for example. CPC, MCC, CCMA, and SME are the regulations that are sought after from a 2nd Line of Defence perspective."


"Data Protection has certainly taken the limelight in the first half of this year and has provided a new frontier for compliance professionals who want to focus on an alternative compliance angle. Alternatively, it could well serve as a new challenge outside of Financial Services for compliance professionals with practical data protection experience, as entities in the commerce space have now been captured under the legislation.

We are witnessing a move away from the GDPR project manager models, where managers got onsite quickly and established the framework, to a consolidation/growth phase, where data protection departments will expand to cater to the needs of the business. What this means is that we will see more advisory and point of escalation roles sitting underneath the Data Protection Officer."


"In relation to key areas of hiring in compliance, the areas above remain in high demand, across all levels. There is now a primary need for the compliance professional to be commercially aware, but not commercially focused. Particularly with senior hires, organisations look for individuals who want to ‘get under the bonnet’ of a business and have an appetite to gain a 360 view and tailor their advice in a practical, but watertight manner. Stakeholder engagement is absolutely key and as a result at interview stages organisations are looking for candidates to show a great deal of specific examples around their ability to build and maintain influence and strong relationships."


Our compliance division in recruits for permanent and interim compliance professionals in the following roles within asset/investment management (retail & institutional), private client- retail and HNW, investment banking, retail banking, fund administration, stockbroking, life & pensions, cross border life and non life, general insurance, reinsurance, professional services and private practice:

  •    Head of Compliance
  •    MLRO
  •    AML Manager
  •    Fraud Manager
  •    Senior Compliance Manager
  •    Compliance Officer
  •    Compliance Analyst
  •    AML/KYC Administrator
  •    Compliance Administrator 

For the more insight into the Risk & Compliance job market in Ireland, get in touch with our dedicated team here.

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