Episode 69: Meet James Smith - Part 2

On episode 69 of the CCO Buzz, we ask Sr. Compliance Consultant James Smith to tell us more about himself and his experience in the compliance industry.

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CCO Buzz: Hello, and welcome back to the CCO Buzz! On this episode, we’re lucky enough to be joined by James Smith, Sr. Compliance Consultant. Jim is here to tell us more about himself and his experience in the compliance industry.

Earlier last year, our listeners got a brief opportunity to learn about you, but I’m not sure they really understood exactly how much industry experience you have that stretches across Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers. Could you elaborate on your successes, experience and specialties in compliance?

James Smith: Yes, thank you. So, I have been in the compliance field now for over 30 years. And I’ve had the opportunity to work with broker-dealers, with investment advisors [and] I have also worked in corporate compliance and risk management, financial crime, AML, and cybersecurity. And I would say a couple things related to this. With compliance, you have to understand that you have the ability to learn something new, probably every day. That’s the beauty of compliance, it’s always changing. And so, you have to be flexible, you have to be adaptable, and you have to continually evaluate your compliance program. That’ probably the best success I think that I’ve seen.

Regarding compliments, and I always found this very interesting, I did have a sales person one time, after I provided compliance training to this sales person, he came up to me afterward and he said, you know you’re probably one of the best sales people that I’ve ever seen, because you made me interested in compliance. And so I took that as probably my best success, and obviously a great compliment.

CCO Buzz: Wow, well that’s great, and we’re lucky to have you on the Core Compliance team. As someone who does it all in regards to the Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser space, what is one tip you think all Compliance Officers should keep top of mind in regards to their compliance programs, and why?

James Smith: I somewhat made reference to this in the previous question, but, as a compliance professional, if you’re a CCO or a part of the team, you need to continually evaluate your compliance program. Is it meeting the needs of your business? Are you staying abreast of current regulatory requirements, regulatory change, pronouncements from the SEC, FINRA, [or] any other regulator? And you also need to understand the changes that occur in the business. So, if you’re offering a new product, if you’ve brought in different people, if you’re going to be partnering with another firm, you need to make sure that your compliance program meets the needs of the business, meets those changes, and is easily adaptable to make sure your controls are in place.

CCO Buzz: On your last episode of the CCO Buzz, you said compliance training and education have become a real passion piece for you. In your opinion, what does a comprehensive compliance training schedule include for firms?

James Smith: So related to compliance training, I think the best approach firms need to take is that training needs to be continuous. It shouldn’t be just a one shot at the middle of the year, or at the end of the year, covering a variety of topics. If you can, you should implement a program that’s ongoing. And I think the best way to approach that would be to create training materials that are very short [and] easy for your audience to understand. They can be compliance reminders, they could be a short email just as a reminder, or they could be even, if you have the technological capability, a short two-minute video. Some areas of focus would be:

  • Your current procedures;
  • Any kind of regulatory change;
  • Cybersecurity is probably number one on this list, and will continue [to be] as the business world evolves;
  • Your code of ethics and personal trading responsibilities for your employees and your other personnel;
  • Conflicts of interest is always a very big hot topic; and currently,
  • Issues related to Seniors and elder abuse.

CCO Buzz: Thank you so much for joining us Jim! We hope to have to back on the CCO Buzz again soon.

Well that’s it for this week’s episode. If you’d like additional information, please check out our website at www.corecls.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter @CoreCls. Thank you, and we hope you tune-in to next week’s episode of the CCO Buzz.

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