Episode 1: How to get into KYC

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This is the first episode in the Robert Walters ‘How To’ podcast series hosted by Tom Andrew, Manager within the Robert Walters Operations team. The episodes in this series will be punchy, short, sharp messages to candidates about the current job market within certain sectors.  

Joining Tom in this first episode is Lewis Roman, Senior Consultant within the Robert Walters Compliance division. Tom & Lewis discuss the KYC market, how you can get into it and what roles are in demand at the moment. Listen below to hear more. 

If you would like to get in contact with Lewis or Tom please find their contact details below:

Tom Andrew - Tom.Andrew@robertwalters.com
Lewis Roman - Lewis.Roman@robertwalters.com

 

Tom Andrew
Manager
Robert Walters

LinkedIn

 

Lewis Roman
Senior Consultant
Robert Walters

LinkedIn

 

Transcript:

Tom Andrew:
Welcome to the inaugural episode of the Robert Walters ‘How To’ podcast series hosted by Tom Andrew from the Robert Walters Operations team and with me is Lewis Roman, Senior Consultant from the Robert Walters Compliance division.

A little bit of an intro to what we're doing, is we're very much trying to be quite a punchy short, sharp message to our candidates. We want to engage with you guys as much as we possibly can so really value any feedback, interactions etc, please get in touch with myself or Lewis if you like what you hear. Quick intro for Lewis, you've been in the business for four years now?

Lewis Roman:
Just touching four years yeah, in January.

Tom Andrew:
Fantastic, and it's been a hell of a year for KYC.

Lewis Roman:
It’s been very good, very busy, probably one of busiest years really, over the last four years in my time at Robert Walters in relation to KYC.

Tom Andrew:
What we're going to just chat about a little bit is, Lewis has spent a lot of time in KYC this year in particular. There's been a huge volume through the roof, so what is KYC? for somebody who is in Ops I have no idea what you’re talking about as a compliance person. What is it?

Lewis Roman:
So the fundamentals, especially in terms of KYC essentially means know your customer, know your client. It's essentially a check that is a mandatory process of identifying and verifying the clients identity when opening a basic account and periodically over time.

In other words, banks must essentially make sure that the client or customer is who they say they are.

Tom Andrew:
This is obviously linked to a few of those less positive stories that we've heard about from some institutions which will remain nameless who potentially have fines, etc.

Lewis Roman:
There's a lot of banking institutions to, to mention but also I won’t out them as they’re on the news anyway. But, yes I mean essentially it comes down to the basic KYC checks which it just shows how important it is for banking institutions or any institution really to get those basic checks in order. Because you know years down the line, if it's not then they receive a very, very hefty fine which they would they would ideally like to avoid, but it happens.

Tom Andrew:
Absolutely, and it’s mainly, I know you do a lot of both perm and contract work, but it’s the contract side that’s the emphasis isn't it really?

Lewis Roman:
Yeah, there are a lot of high volume projects going on right now, especially within the consultancies, alongside the banks they've been hired within KYC for years now, trying to get their teams in place and have a good structure. I feel like a lot of banking institutions are trying to take this a lot more seriously now which is obviously good for us, because there is mass hiring involved. It’s a very saturated market, there's good candidates for that which is ideal.  

Tom Andrew:
So what does it take to be a good KYC person and how do you get into it?

Lewis Roman:
For KYC, it really isn't I’d say the hardest business area to get into but it's certainly a good business area, because you can certainly grow within it, within a rapid period. To get into it you don't necessarily have to go to university and be a Uni graduate. I think ideally what clients like to see from a beginner is certain qualifications, online courses there's an ICA  diploma that you can get into. They can be very helpful when starting off and trying to beef up your CV to make it a little more attractive in comparison to the competition.

Tom Andrew:
Okay, so it's not necessarily something you have to have 10 years’ experience in, you can use this quite nice entry point into different departments.

Lewis Roman:
Yeah one hundred percent, I think that is quite a key thing to say. Certainly an entry point into the world of financial crime. We see a lot of people who are very senior in financial crime actually start their career as a KYC analyst, in a junior position. Actually, there are quite a few consultancies that like to take on junior and Uni graduates, such, as companies like JDS Consultancies and others they tend to outsource their people into banks and they tend to touch on the KYC procedures, etc, so they actually get quite good experience from those guys.

Tom Andrew:
The next question here really is just about what it's like to be in that space once you're in, you're doing your checks, etc, who's your client base?, how do you progress in that role?, what does that career development look like in the long run?

Lewis Roman:
Yeah Certainly, I think a lot of the candidates that I work with, a lot of the more experienced candidates I work with you really see that growth through their CV. Even contractors you don't have to be a permanent candidate to really have a good career and career growth. Ideally start in an analyst position and from then on, you get more experience and you start going into the more quality assurance, quality checking. From there you get more experience into actually checking files and being that certain point of escalation. Then down the years, essentially, you will become you know KYC, SME so you know ‘subject matter expert’ in your field. Once you're out of that position you start to grow and learn a lot more areas outside of it so you're a much more rounded professional which makes you a little more appealing to different clientele.

Tom Andrew:
I suppose you’ve got the conversation down the line whether you want to stay in the consultancy side?

Lewis Roman:
Certainly, the consultancies are hiring in mass. The banks have been hiring quite a lot as well, but I think that they both go hand in hand, consultancy experience and banking experience in any consultancies tend to win projects from big banks, so they look for that type of background.

Tom Andrew:
We don't want to drone on and on about compliance, it would probably shorten the listener base, but what are you looking for this week? Lewis’ information is going to be at the bottom of this podcast so please do feel free to reach out if you are interested explore KYC further. What are you looking for? who you want to reach out to you?

Lewis Roman:
I mean at the moment working across all areas really in terms of experience from one to two years, junior level. Right down to the KYC SME level, so any type of experience within KYC, if you're looking to get into it please feel free to reach out as Tom mentioned. More than happy to have a conversation and help, let you know what we have available at the moment.

Tom Andrew:
Now, this is not just about listing off a bunch of jobs that we’re working with, we do want our consultants to really put themselves out there a little bit, get to know the candidate base that is out there. Robert Walters has always been getting to know the people we work with, so we want you guys to get to know us as well. It's probably going to be the most in depth question I’m going to ask today, but would you rather be a detective or pilot?

Lewis Roman:
It's very good question. I would actually have to say detective, because I think the things you would see and hear would be far more interesting than the pilot.

Tom Andrew:
There we have it, so that was just to wrap things up there, that was our first ever Robert Walters ‘How To’ podcast. Keep an eye out for them, there will be plenty more to come. Please hit subscribe share, like, every other form of social media coverage as socially acceptable that you can. To recap anyone KYC junior/senior, Lewis is your guy so get the detective on the case. Thanks for listening.

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