CFOs should expect more change coming, says Standard Bank CIB's Suzette Els


“Allow compliance to participate in front line engagement to create a mutual understanding on key client challenges and pro-actively pick-up on key client challenges,” advises Suzette Els, Chief Compliance Officer for Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking. In this article, part of a series from Standard Bank specialists, Suzette talks about trends in the compliance space, how clients are being assisted with these, and what CFOs should expect.

What trends are you seeing in your area of expertise that finance leaders should be aware of?
"The key pertinent Compliance themes include a focus on culture and conduct; focused client risk management requirements; managing the expectation of sustainability and resilience; a focus on innovation and technological advances; and ensuring the right skill set to deliver insights execution with the ability to manage change and complexity."

How are you helping your clients with these challenges?
"We are engaging with regulators to understand their concerns and thoughts on future developments but also to share some high-level insights on day-to-day execution challenges and trends observed on the ground. We are also working to enable the proper culture and conduct of "Doing the Right Business the Right Way" by pro-actively thinking about, flagging and managing compliance trends observed."

"It is important to keep abreast of regulatory changes, ensuring the impact and risks are understood and managed, and similarly to connect the dots by enhancing control frameworks, training programmes and other compliance touch points. We try to share lessons learnt through both success stories as well problem scenarios."

"You need to involve compliance at all levels of decision-making to help and guide pro-actively as business partners, and ensure that you have the right level of staff to execute on this insights basis. You need to allow compliance to participate in frontline engagement to create a mutual understanding on key client challenges and pro-actively pick-up on key client challenges. It is also important to use data effectively and to align your execution with innovation drive and thinking."

"In a competitive talent environment, it is critical to make the most effective use of resources and to utilise top compliance skillsets for insight-related execution to drive development in your organisation and make compliance a true value-add."

What should CFOs expect over the next 12 to 18 months?
"More change. Simply complying with global industry, financial, and data protection regulation and standards is not enough. True insights as to what these mean in the context of your organisation is key to meet principle based regulation."

"CFOs should expect competition for talent deepening. An increased focus on strong expertise with the ability to manage change and complexity is key."

"CFOs should consistently focus on conduct as a priority both from a regulatory and a key stakeholder perspective. The need for key technological advances and a focus on data usage can be expected to continue."

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