Preface to the First Edition(Or, How Not to be an Execution Officer)

Long ago, when the finance world appeared as weird and as unfamiliar to me as life on another planet, I applied for my first job in banking. I didn't know anything about broking or investments and found the interview a little daunting to say the least. Amidst all the confusion, what really stuck in my mind that day was my interviewer – someone with the curious job title of ‘Compliance Officer’. In my bewilderment I found that by the time I returned home, with quite uncanny perception many might still say, the personage of ‘Compliance Officer’ had become in my mind the ‘Execution Officer’. And a very sinister sounding person this seemed to be.

Fast forward a couple of months …

Amazingly I got the job (I wasn't even quite sure what it was at that first interview!) and started work as a junior on a team of stockbrokers. But some higher power had plans for me and a few months further down the line the firm was restructured. The broking team that I worked for was ‘demerged’ and became an entity in its own right. As that was a time when both regulator and regulated had a rather more cavalier attitude towards Compliance than they do today, I, as a financial services fresher, was informed that I was to be the new entity's very own ‘Execution Officer’.

By now, I had more of an idea of what Compliance was all about and I must admit that I was not too thrilled to have landed this role – it was not an area that sent even ...

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