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Head of Compliance at Prodigy Finance
London, GB

Prodigy Finance is a platform that enables financing for international postgraduate students at the world’s best universities, whilst delivering competitive financial and social returns to alumni, institutional and private investors.

This borderless and innovative model enables education loan financing to students from across the globe, whilst using predicted post-degree affordability rather than present-day salary. Since 2007, Prodigy Finance has extended over US$500 million through the platform to fund over 12,000 students from over 150 countries.

Our team of over 160 (and growing) is already truly global. Our head office is in London with much of the team being based in beautiful Cape Town. We also have an office in New York plus team members based across Europe and Asia.

We are funded by some of the best, pre-eminent institutions in the world including Index Ventures, Balderton Capital, RMIH, Credit Suisse and Deutsc

Why this is an amazing opportunity

This role is perfect for an experienced Head of Compliance who wants to supercharge their career by experiencing first-hand what it is like to be part of an energetic, extremely fast growing company.

The sense of impact and reward will be huge.  You will help to build a product which makes a very real difference in the world. Be a part of delivering socially responsible financial services to the masses; make it possible for students from more than 150 countries to obtain the finance to fulfil their dream of studying at the world’s top universities and schools.

We are a small non-hierarchical team; this means that you are going to get exposure to all aspects of our business immediately.  You’ll gain as much accountability as you can handle and have a huge influence on scaling the company.

Our team is very international and very sociable; you will interact with the broader business on a regular basis. The position will be based in London.

One of our goals is to build one of the top FinTech teams and cultures anywhere in the world. This means putting a lot of time into ensuring we only hire people with exceptional potential and creating the best working environment possible. If you want to work somewhere where you're learning from some of the best brains in FinTech, this would be a good fit.

Why join Prodigy Finance

Be a part of a pioneering global growth company

Experience the excitement and learn from being part of an incredibly fast-growing young company. No kidding – exponential growth. Happening right now

Be pivotal in scaling the business by identifying smart solutions and partners with tech at the heart of it

Enjoy the agility and flexibility offered by a startup culture. A sociable, relaxed and friendly work environment (with a serious coffee culture where you can wear shorts to work)

We will help you make your mark. Make a real impact on the business and experience a steep learning curve with huge opportunities to grow and develop

Gain an inside perspective on the functioning of a venture-backed FinTech startup, backed by top VCs, learn day-to-day management and build functional expertise

Build a platform that helps to make a very real difference in the world

What you will do in the role                                               

As the Head of Compliance, you will be applying the UK regulatory standards required by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), together with an awareness of the regulatory environment in the many jurisdictions in which we operate across the world.  You will be exposed to various areas of the business in the UK and around the world and be at the forefront of fostering a high compliance culture within Prodigy Finance. This position which will see you taking responsibility for ensuring we meet with rigorous regulatory compliance standards, whilst maintaining and supporting our ambitious international growth plans.

Prodigy Finance comprises 2 distinct businesses which require different and specific compliance knowledge and practice:

A lending business (Prodigy Finance Limited) which extends student loans on behalf of debt investors

An investment distribution business (Prodigy Services Limited), an appointed representative of an external principal firm, that places bond investments to savvy, HNW individuals across Europe and very soon the USA 

Your responsibility is to ensure that both businesses have effective systems, procedures and controls for compliance with requirements and standards under the UK and other foreign regulatory systems as required such as the FCA handbook, MIFID 2, CCA.

Specific responsibilities include:

Compliance Officer Function (CF10)

Ensuring that the business has effective systems, procedures and controls for compliance with requirements and standards under the regulatory system, including risk management, financial promotions, client categorisation, anti-money laundering and data protection

Identifying gaps in compliance and address those by implementing systems, procedures and controls and working with business systems to implement them

Assisting with the compliance risk assessment process ensuring that the regulatory risks are appropriately identified and assessed

Providing internal training on regulatory topics in order for the business to keep abreast of regulatory issues and to enhance individual ownership of risk and fiduciary responsibilities

Maintaining effective relationships with the FCA, principal firms and other regulatory bodies ensuring rigorous compliance with ongoing reporting obligations

Maintenance of documented and effective compliance procedures consistent with internal standards, business goals and attitude to risk

Monitoring the performance of the Compliance Programme and related activities on a continuing basis, taking appropriate steps to improve its effectiveness

Providing reports on a regular basis, and as directed or requested, keep senior management informed of the operation and progress of compliance efforts

Implementing a compliance culture and effective company systems and controls to ensure regulatory compliance

MLRO Function (CF11)

Acting as the nominated Money Laundering Reporting Officer and discharging the duties in accordance with local regulatory and internal requirements and obligations

To conduct an annual risk assessment relating to financial crime and incorporate conclusions into current policies and requirements

To agree with management remediation plans for all incidence of non-compliance with policy/procedure and follow up implementation on a timely basis escalating to the Board as necessary

To make practical and acceptable recommendations where systems and procedures are in need of enhancing to counter the risk of financial crime

To draft the annual MLRO report for the Board

To review and investigate suspicious activity reports and submit reports as a Nominated Person, where needed, to the NCA

To maintain the Country Risk Profile that assesses potential territorial exposures to money laundering and terrorist financing

What you will be measured on

Your business analysis skills and ability to identify gaps in compliance and address those by implementing changes

Your ability to work with business systems to implement those identified systems, procedures and controls

The performance and effectiveness of the company’s compliance programme

Your implementation of a compliance culture and effective company systems and controls to ensure regulatory compliance

Your management and maximisation of the company’s regulatory compliance platform

Managing the relationship with the FCA and ensuring rigorous compliance with ongoing reporting obligations

Your success in developing an internal compliance awareness and culture

Managing and leading a high-performing Compliance team

What you need to be great at

Excellent and detailed knowledge of the UK financial services regulation with a global mind-set and ability to develop complex worldwide compliance programmes

Ability to continuously encourage high compliance awareness and buy-in from business

Strong regulatory and financial reporting skills

Ability to engage confidently with senior management, board and regulatory bodies

Innovative, strong decision making and problem solving ability

Implementing compliance policies, keeping up to date with changes and devising and implementing changes where necessary

Who we are looking for; track record must haves

Legal or business and compliance related degree or equivalent ideally supplemented by a CISI, ICA or ACAMS qualification

Experience working in a Compliance Management/Head of Compliance capacity at an international financial services, credit or payment organisation

Extensive background in regulatory compliance

Experience in the credit (lending) and investment (retail investor) business

Excellent knowledge of current and proposed laws in the UK/FCA credit and investment regulatory environment

Knowledge and experience of best practice compliance and governance frameworks, methodologies and emerging practice, compliance monitoring and risk assessments in the context of the UK financial services industry

Experience of communicating with regulators and assisting with regulatory enquiries and inspections

Prior experience managing a team with strong people leadership capabilities

Experience that would be nice to have (but we’ll trade off if everything else fits) 

Regulatory experience gained in a global financial services environment

Experience working in a tech-based environment, using technology to improve and scale up processes

The Prodigy Finance fit; attributes which run true in everyone at Team Prodigy

To be an A player at Prodigy Finance, you need to possess – in spades - the following attributes:

Innovative + Smart

Be curious enough to want to know more, think out the box, maybe even break the box, show initiative and be smart about it to find implementable, impactful solutions.

International + Accountable

Push yourself to be better every day. Work with others across the world, be resilient, add value and then hold yourself accountable. Encourage and celebrate each other.

Energetic + Fun

Sense of humour = survival. Bring energy and fun. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Work hard and find the time to play. We’re in this together.

Do you want to be our next Head of Compliance?  Here’s what to do now:

If this sounds exciting and you'd like to have an informal chat, get in touch below and tell us why you want to work at Prodigy Finance. 

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