While we could probably list dozens of attributes that a competent chief compliance officer SHOULD have, we have come up with 6 that they MUST have. An informal survey of CCOs revealed that the very the first attribute – a keen understanding of the regulatory landscape – has been the most difficult to master. 

  1. Have a keen understanding of the regulatory landscape (i.e., best practices, rule changes, SEC red flags, proposed rule changes).
  2. Have complete familiarity with the advisory firm’s compliance policies and procedures (including code of ethics and disaster recovery).
  3. Have detailed knowledge of the firm’s advisory business, client-base, operations and personnel.
  4. Have the ability to foster a culture of compliance.
  5. Have an understanding of how the firm uses technology and any resultant vulnerabilities.
  6. Have the skill-set to supervise all aspects of the firm’s compliance program, including the annual risk assessment, annual review and compliance testing.