Deputy Compliance Officer
00:00:03 My name’s Ben Barnes and I work for Chaucer Syndicates as a Compliance Officer. Compliance is a kind of growth industry at the moment. Although we sit in our own department, we’re almost a service for every single department within the whole company, be that finance, be that actuarial, claims, underwriting, even other syndicates. So a small department, but we’re almost part of everyone’s department unofficially. We’re the ones who liaise with regulators and other kind of legal bodies, just to make sure that the company is complying with laws and regulations that they have to do to be able to trade.
00:00:47 The type of student I was at school was one who was probably quite bright, but I didn’t really apply myself as well as I could of. At that time I just wasn’t thinking of a career, and I wasn’t thinking you know if things like that would affect me. I think when I was very very young I made the stupid mistake of saying that I wanted to be a stunt man, which just meant that my older brothers just liked to throw me down the stairs and sort of you know give me practice like that so – I think that was probably the earliest career choice that I can remember making.
00:02:05 So I actually did far better at University than I did at A-Levels or GCSEs, which was ironic. But coming out of you know with an Ancient History degree, a lot of people couldn’t really see the relevance. So you – sometimes I did find a kind of wall of being able to get past that first stage, and that can be very frustrating. And very disheartening as well, because you think Crikey, you know, you’ve worked really hard to get this degree and it’s still not enough. But you’ve just got to persevere, and my philosophy has always been that things happen for a reason. For instance, a few months before I got – I had an interview with Chaucer, I got pretty much to the last selection stage for another London market insurance company, before they just decided at the last minute to give it to an internal applicant who’d come out of the blue. And that was really really frustrating, really, you know, just disheartening, because you’d already geared up to maybe going to a new job, in a new place. But the role that I would have had there, would not have been as expansive and as challenging as and, you know, as enjoyable as the role I got here. And you just really, I think – just try and stay positive, because things do happen for a reason. If you don’t get that job it’s because usually there’s something better to come along.
00:03:15 Well what I’m wearing on my wrist here is called a Kara, and it’s one of the symbols that Sikh people wear. And the reason I’m wearing this is that this was a gift from my wife’s family, who are Sikh, for when we got married, so I had a full Sikh wedding. I grew a beard, I learned how to tie a turban, and had a full Sikh ceremony in a Sikh temple. And it nerve wracking at the time because they’re usually quite big affairs, I think ours had a guest list of about six hundred people. But it was, you know, the best day of my life you know, absolutely – even though it was tiring, it was stressful leading up to it all the things, you know, that usually goes on with weddings, I really enjoyed it. And having given a speech to six hundred people, which I was extremely nervous about, I’ve almost got no fear in most aspects of my personal or even professional life when it comes to having to present or speak to people I think, d’you know what, if I can do that, I can do anything. And again I suppose that’s just my outlook -and, you know, generally my positive outlook on things.
Ben Barnes works in the financial services sector as a Compliance Officer at Chaucer Syndicates. “We’re the ones who liaise with regulators and other kind of legal bodies, just to make sure that the company is complying with laws and regulations that they have to do to be able to trade.” He has a degree in ancient history and had to work hard to find a good job afterwards. At one insurance company he was frustrated to be pipped to the post by an internal candidate. “But you’ve just got to persevere, and my philosophy has always been that things happen for a reason.” He got a much more challenging and expansive job at Chaucer in the end.
More information about Finance officers
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Oversees the recording and checking of daily financial transactions, the preparation of provisional balances and reconciliation of accounts;
- Prepares or arranges the preparation of financial reports for managers;
- Plans work schedules and assigns tasks to financial clerks;
- Coordinates the activities and resources of finance departments.
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