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Posted by Rebecca Ashmore on Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Spring Update - 30 Years in Governance


Halsey Keetch has had another eventful and busy year, as has the financial services industry in general. 2018 also happens to be the year of a pair of anniversaries: it has been thirty years since Nigel Halsey launched Halsey Consulting as a governance and controls-focused search firm, and three years since we rebranded the firm as Halsey Keetch, in April 2015.

Our company’s underlying purpose is to make a positive contribution to society by helping to strengthen our clients’ governance and controls functions, thereby improving the resilience of the financial industry as a whole. We look to the future with great excitement, and are focused on the potential that our company has to make a difference. At the same time, we sense and share some trepidation around the scale of the challenges that the financial industry, and the global economy in general, is facing.

The last twelve months, since the publication of the first edition, have been particularly eventful. We have witnessed the feverish undulations of the global political environment, as Britain wrestles with Brexit, and the business world has watched in fascination as one of their own, a billionaire entrepreneur, puts his own stamp on the highest political office in the most powerful nation in the world. Stock markets continue to make record highs based on an era of ‘cheap money’, which is now gradually ending, leading many to speculate on whether, and to what extent, this latest bubble might burst in 2018. Meanwhile, the rise, and fall of Bitcoin, in recent months, among other cryptocurrencies, has major implications for market stability, consumer protection, and competition, spanning all three aspects of the Financial Conduct Authority’s tripartite mission statement. The outcome of all of these issues is unclear; whatever happens, major considerations for governance and controls practitioners at the policy-setting, regulatory and industry-levels are being raised. Creativity, adaptability and tenacity have been essential for industry leaders in order to stay current; advising key stakeholders, and managing what is now commonly known as ‘emerging risk’, is and will continue to be vital.

Amongst all the uncertainty, the implications of regulatory change have been a dependable focus. Many, if not all, of our contacts, clients and candidates, have been focused on preparation for and implementation of the likes of MiFID II, the General Data Protection Regulation, and the Fourth Money Laundering Directive. As a data-driven business, we, too, are affected by the GPDR, and by cyber risk in general, and are investing in systems that will allow us to meet our obligations. A frequent topic of discussion is, what does the regulatory landscape look like after Brexit? The answer at this point, again, is unclear, although the UK has long been a pioneer in financial regulation, with the Bank of England and the FCA often the standard-setters when it comes to global best practice. Helping our clients to manage the shifting regulatory burden in future is a key driver of our business, and we see effective risk, compliance and audit functions as major facilitators of business success in years to come.

Furthermore, it is a full decade since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. After the last ten years, which have seen energetic growth and empowerment of governance and controls functions, as the wrongs of the past were exposed and dealt with, we now want to help the governance and controls functions to ‘come of age’. Thanks to our experience, we understand the challenges facing modern risk, compliance, audit and finance practitioners, and we are focused on using our expertise and position to make a positive difference.

We feel privileged to lead a firm that is recognised as a specialist in this dynamic, important field. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those contacts, and clients who have supported us since our founding, and also since 2015. Conversations with you are what drive our business forward, and we look forward to being in touch over 2018, whatever it may bring.

To see a copy of our recently published Activity Update, please click here

 

 

 

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