Hedge Fund Compliance Professionals


Education and Training Requirements

High School

In high school, take classes that help you to develop your communication skills (English and speech), your business and financial knowledge (business, economics, accounting, mathematics), computer skills (computer science, database design and management, computer security), and knowledge of the world (social studies, history, foreign language). 

Postsecondary Education

You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, accounting, or pre-law to work in entry-level positions. Many hedge fund managers prefer to hire those with graduate degrees in law, business, finance, or accounting. Some colleges, such as Loyola University Chicago, offer master’s degree concentrations in compliance studies. The Regulatory Compliance Association’s College of Regulatory Compliance offers a law and master’s concentration in asset management practice, compliance, and regulation.


Some colleges—such as the University of South Florida—offer undergraduate and graduate certificates in compliance. Visit http://www.grad.usf.edu/programs/search_cert.php for more information.

Other Education or Training

The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics provides a variety of webinars that satisfy continuing-education requirements and help compliance professionals develop their skills. Recent webinars included The ABC’s of Professional Development for Compliance Practitioners and Update on Global Data Privacy Laws and Frameworks. The Regulatory Compliance Association, American Bankers Association, American Bar Association, and other organizations also offer continuing education classes. Contact these organizations for more information. 


Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Becoming certified helps you to stand out from the crowd—and it can potentially lead to higher pay and better advancement opportunities. Those who pass a certification exam, and meet prerequisites of having at least one year of compliance experience and completion of continuing education credits can earn the certified compliance and ethics professional credential from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics. The Regulatory Compliance Association offers the chartered regulatory counsel designation to those who demonstrate a mastery of compliance-related issues. The American Bankers Association provides the certified regulatory compliance manager credential to applicants who have a minimum of three years of industry experience, earn 80 continuing education credits, and pass an examination. Contact these organizations for more information. 

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

To be eligible for top-level positions, you’ll need five to 10 years of experience within an asset management environment (ideally with a compliance focus). Many hedge fund managers prefer to hire compliance professionals with law degrees. Some employers also seek executive-level candidates with regulatory experience at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Securities & Exchange Commission, or other regulatory bodies. Analysts must have prior experience (internship, co-op, work) within an asset management environment.

Successful compliance professionals have strong organizational, analytical skills; excellent judgment; high ethics; intellectual curiosity; the ability to meet tight deadlines; broad knowledge of hedge fund trading strategies; and a deep understanding of federal securities laws (e.g., Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Securities Act of 1933, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) and recent legislation (e.g., Dodd-Frank, etc.) that affect the HF industry. They also need top-notch communication and interpersonal skills because they work closely with managing partners and the investor relations and operations departments on various compliance initiatives.