Well, the Boardroom has been empty now for too long so it’s time to get back in session. This meeting is officially called to order by Amy Lynch.
There is a true story that I don’t tell often enough. It’s the story of how my compliance career began over 20 years ago…
In the mid 1990s I was looking to move out of financial sales and into the operational side of the business. I was living in Maryland, home sick with the flu on a cold Monday morning in January when I thought I should check my old alum (Towson University) job-postings and see what they had to offer. As I was trolling through the (pre-internet) rudimentary Jobline listings, I heard an opening for an SEC Examiner in New York City. The job posting sounded very intriguing and they were looking for “outstanding scholars” so my academic background was most important. I met the academic qualifications of the position, so I said to myself, “What the heck, give it a shot, it could be fun to work in NYC!”
I called the number listed and the HR person said they were in the process of wrapping up interviews for the positions (there were originally several openings, but now just one left) and the job posting would close the next day. Basically, it was a now or never opportunity. I explained my situation and was told that if I could get to the New York office the next day for a 9 am interview, I would be considered for the opening.
I made the arrangements. At 3 am (yes, that’s right), dressed in my best business attire – and with lots of tissues for my runny nose – I got in the car for my four hour drive to New York. It also happened to be in the middle of a horrible ice storm. The roads were very slick and I was wondering if I would make it there alive!
But, alive, I did.
At 8:30 am I was waiting in the SEC lobby and no one was there. I thought they had forgotten about my interview or that no one was going to to show up because of the weather. A little after 9 am I was ushered into a conference room. I met with two senior Staff members (one Branch Chief and one Assistant Director) and they asked me the typical interview questions. We spent a lot of time talking about the frequent ice storms that year and how I managed to get to NY from MD, not just on time, but before most of the NY office staff. I thought perhaps that impressed them.
And, it did. I walked out of the New York office of the SEC that day with paperwork in hand to start the following month. I was told that HR would call me the next day to confirm everything. I had my doubts, it could not be that easy…
But, they did call and that was the start of my compliance career. I was fortunate enough to first learn my trade by examining the top Wall Street firms. Those firms and the SEC combined, were my best teachers. Today, I educate my consultants and clients based upon the firm foundation of knowledge I obtained during my SEC years. A knowledge that has grown and been nurtured over my successful compliance career.
On that icy, cold day in January, luck and determination met. Then, a compliance pro was born.