The decline of legal and compliance as the top operational priority over the past decade was due to many factors. Here are two more.
3. Apprehension over SEC examinations subsided. Substantially. There’s nothing like the threat of a full on, inside out, upside down regulatory exam to keep everyone in line. But on an industry-wide basis, it never happened. There weren’t knocks on every firm’s door by teams of 6’4” square-jawed regulators with advanced degrees in data analytics and mental telepathy. Instead when examiners did show up, they were regular, smart professionals trying to do a conscientious job – sometimes finding things and sometimes not.
4. Compliance fatigue. People got tired of hearing about legal and compliance. The business team didn’t want legal and compliance telling them what to do, nor the cost center. Colleagues on the operational side maybe grew somewhat uncomfortable with the enhanced status of legal and compliance. Even legal and compliance teams got a bit weary of the routine. And regulators – after the intense period of implementing Dodd Frank – started looking beyond the private fund business. It was no longer the shiny new penny.