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Career Case Study: Compliance


Eoin O’Shea, Chief central compliance officer, Credit Suisse

Eoin holds a Bachelor of Law (BCL) degree from University College Cork in Ireland, and a Barrister-at-Law (BL) degree from The Honorable Society of King’s Inns in Dublin. He joined Credit Suisse in 1990.

“The role of chief central compliance officer is a careful balance of highly technical skills and creativity. I’m a trained lawyer and have been involved in a high number of regulatory matters that require extensive legal analysis, but I also oversee more than 400 people in our central compliance team. Fine-tuned people management skills are critical for my daily work, and it keeps my job interesting.

I joined Credit Suisse in 1990 as an in-house counsel for a new specialised derivatives subsidiary the bank was starting in the UK. This was really not the sort of opportunity you get offered every day, so I signed up quickly.
Subsequently, I became chief operating officer for the Asia-Pacific region and it was in this role that I was offered my current position.

My job today draws heavily on my legal, regulatory and transaction handling experience, but I also work with people, which is something I love. I manage a diverse group of people across many different geographies, time zones and cultures, and our aim is to provide high quality client service together with robust controls.

To work and progress in the compliance field, you need to be collaborative, action-oriented,
and have a structured thought process. I focus on solutions, but never compromise on issues of integrity or ethics, which I believe is paramount.

It’s also important to be honest about what you don’t know and ask questions whenever you need to.
Hard work and a positive attitude go a long way in your career, but it’s also critical to grasp opportunities when they present themselves.

Be prepared to work overseas for the right position – it increases your prospects and broadens your thinking.
Coupled with that, you need to be able to manage change – having a vision of what you hope to achieve with a change or transition is critical, but remember to be willing to listen to others and adapt to new situations.”

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