Compliance Officers and their counterparts in AML, FinCrime, Fraud and ABAC are a highly sought after bunch in the world of RegTech business. We have come to admire these perhaps ‘under-rated’ individuals, whose job it is to make sure their regulated company toes the line.
An Evening Standard article from 2016, ‘Confessions from the city: The Compliance Officer’ provides an anonymous account of what they have to withstand, and shines a light on the frustrations felt by these unsung heroes. Imagine a job where there is constant pressure from the regulator to carefully implement & monitor controls, intertwined with boardroom gymnastics and juggling staying competitive, profitable and compliant.
Here at Gungho, we have enormous respect for these individuals; they stick to the rules and safeguard their organisation against serious reputational and financial risk. The mind of a Compliance Officer is an oracle of international regulations, policy and procedures. Pretty serious stuff! Engaging with this audience at the right level can lead to a variety of interesting conversations, but getting to this point can often be tricky. Luckily you’re in the right place to learn how to get through on the phone and create the right conversation to uncover opportunities.
- Do Your Research
We don’t mean a quick Google search or LinkedIn stalk, we mean really know them as people. Get intimate with the world of Compliance, and what it means to carry the responsibilities. Understand what is on the radar for regulations, what is topical and what are the common Compliance challenges?
At Gungho, we all take our ACAMS Foundations; it’s useful to ‘know your onions’ when it comes to international compliance regulations & terminology. Having a good understanding of the latest EU AML Directive, OFAC regulation, the difference between FCPA, UKBA, Sapin II are some good examples of how to build credibility and trust. The better the connection with Compliance, the more likely they will share their current concerns with you and the more curious they will be in what you can do for them.
- Start with the Gatekeeper
Switchboards and PA’s will make or break you. Approach them with high regard and appreciation and they just might advise you who the best person is to speak within the Compliance team.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the first few seconds of a cold call will be critical to how the Compliance Officer responds and engages with you. It’s simple but easy to forget: start by speaking clearly and slow right down. Good elocution might seem old-fashioned, but enunciating your words helps set the tone of the call and ensures that you are understood by both the gatekeeper and the prospect.
- Become a Trusted Advisor
Compliance Officers are generally busy people who may find your interruption a frustration. Be open and acknowledge this is an unsolicited call. Never presume they will be interested in what you’ve got to say. Instead, check whether they are the right person to be speaking with and whether this conversation will be of interest. Don’t just dive right in with your pitch!
If you’ve done a good job in the first few seconds, then opening up the conversation should be uncomplicated. Build credibility with the person you are talking to; show that you understand the Compliance challenges which might be on the agenda. Share how your value proposition can go some way in resolving these challenges. Maximise their curiosity, listen and respond with open, articulate questions. With a bit of luck, the conversation will start to flow and you’ll secure their interest.
Here at Gungho, engaging with Compliance Officers has been part of our DNA since we began in 2007, helping World-Check launch their screening tool to financial institutions around the world. Since then, our team of Discovery Agents have built up decades of experience engaging with high-level decision-makers in Compliance, AML, Legal & Risk.
We are keen to share our experience and best practice with other RegTechs. If you’d like to learn more about our process or share your own tips, we’d love to hear from you!