Reflections

Originally published | 5th May 2017

“If there is nothing but what we make in this world, brothers…let us make it good.” (Beta Ray Bill)

Most of you will read this quote and think “Who is Beta Ray Bill?”

A quick search, and a short explanation, and you will find that he is a Marvel Comic character who is linked to Thor.

So why am I using a quote to open my blog you might ask?

It’s rather elementary, dear reader. I am in the process of finishing up with one company and about to commence a new journey in my compliance career.

And in my final days with this company I have started thinking about what I have achieved in my time.

As always with my blog, I try and bring everything back to pop culture and especially comics. I was doing some searches the other day on quotes from superheroes to try and sum up my experience as a compliance manager.

Let’s start with the aforementioned quote. As a compliance manager, all you want to do is to make a difference in the company you are working for.  For me, I came into the current business almost five years ago and was essentially handed a blank canvas on which to develop a compliance framework that could assist their advisers to grow.  I believe my hard work set up the advisers to transition seamlessly into a new licensee with minimal issue.

To me, compliance is sort of like Thor’s mighty Mjolnir (his hammer). On the side of the hammer is the inscription “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor”.  It means that not everyone can pick up Mjolnir and expect to be Thor.  The same can be said about compliance.  It takes a special type of person, in my opinion, to be a good compliance manager.  I don’t have the power of Thor, how cool would that be, but I do feel that my experiences in life and my career means I am worthy of being a good compliance manager.

A good compliance manager needs to be able to show authorised representatives (advisers) how to adhere to the complex legislative framework whilst maintaining a commercial sense. They need to be the defence and prosecution within a licensee.  It is no good for a compliance manager, or compliance professional, to be a bulldog nipping at the feet of the advisers as you will lose their respect and that in turn means they are less likely to listen to your guidance.

“The door is more than it appears. It separates who you are from who you can be.  You do not have to walk through it….You can run.’  (Franklin Richards – of the Fantastic Four).

How many advisers out there think compliance is a barrier to advice? I have lost count of the number of advisers, and business development managers, who have said that to me.  But why do they think like that?  For me, it’s because the sales culture that surrounds advice sees compliance as the door.  As Franklin Richards (son of Reed Richards) said, it separates who you are from who you can be.  As an adviser, if all you ever see compliance as is a barrier, then you will find excuses for not complying, but if you see it as an aid, then you will be a more professional adviser.

If you don’t believe in the benefits of a good compliance manager, let me leave you with one final quote.

“Legend tells us on thing; history, another.  But, every now and then, we find something that belongs to both.” (Nick Fury).