How Will Social Media Change the Role of the CCO in the Years Ahead?

It's no secret that the financial industry has grown more complicated in the recent past, given the development of derivatives and other increasingly exotic securities – coupled with the 2008 market crash. And it's likely that matters will grow more complex still in the years ahead, as the industry grapples with heavier regulation under the Dodd-Frank regimen and the implications of social media and other rapidly evolving technology.

So how does this change the lives of chief compliance officers (CCOs) at brokerages, banks, registered investment advisors (RIAs), and other financial practices? Clearly, demands on the CCO will grow apace, and industry observers say that employers will need to adapt.

“Today, you have the CFTC, the Fed, the SEC, FINRA,” Melissa Callison, vice president, communications compliance at Charles Schwab, tells me. “So if you're planning on behalf of your firm, because of the complexity in products and in regulations, you have to invest in that infrastructure.”

Compliance officers, you might say, have a new job description: crystal ball reader (see Figure 38.1).

“The key is that they have to be more risk identifiers than ever,” says Barbara Stettner, managing partner at the international law firm of Allen & Overy. “The expectation is that CCOs will have to look around the corner for the organization – Where is tech taking us, and what are the global risks the firm will be facing given the business line they're engaged in? They can't just be putting fires out anymore; now, it's about thinking ahead. I have this new tech, or a new generation that can't get off iPads, so how does that impact compliance and my role?”


FIGURE 38.1 CCO's New Job Description: Futurist

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