Compliance professionals work for private equity firms that are located throughout the United States and the world. Many U.S.-based firms are headquartered in major cities such as New York, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Compliance is a fast-growing field, and there are many additional opportunities for professionals in the health care, telecommunications, oil and gas extraction, banking, higher education, and pharmaceuticals industries, among many others, as well as with government agencies.
Many entry-level compliance professionals find their first jobs through their university’s career services office. Another excellent way to get your “foot in the door” is to participate in an internship or co-op at an alternative investment firm, a portfolio company of a PE firm, or a company in an industry that employs compliance professionals. Other job-search strategies include networking and employment and social media sites.
At a very large private equity firm, portfolio company, or other employer, the typical advancement path is from compliance analyst, to senior compliance analyst, compliance officer, compliance director, then chief compliance officer. Most PE firms don’t have these complex layers, and one individual handles all the compliance issues at the firm and its portfolio companies. In this instance, a chief compliance officer advances by receiving higher pay and more benefits, being offered an ownership stake in the firm, moving on to a larger firm with a larger compliance department, or by possibly even starting his or her own PE fund.
As a student, gain experience by volunteering or completing an internship at a private equity firm.
Be willing to relocate. It may open more opportunities.
Attend the PE/VC Finance & Compliance Forum (https://www.privateequityinternational.com/all-events/) to network, participate in continuing education opportunities, and to interview for jobs.
Visit https://www.investmentcouncil.org/private-equity-at-work/ to learn more about the field and watch the video, Private Equity at Work: What is Private Equity?