Compliance RecruitMENT

Discreet Search & Selection by Former Compliance Officers

With over 2 decades of sourcing the best compliance & governance talent for our clients







Symes Collins is a specialist global search and selection consultancy, with a focus on senior compliance & governance recruitment across all business sectors. We are the sister company of Compliance Recruitment Solutions, the oldest and most trusted compliance recruitment agency.

We recruit on a global basis for a blue-chip client base from our offices in London.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can advance your compliance career or provide you with the recruitment solutions you need.


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Illustration of a web of people

You Benefit From Our Contact Base

  • The Symes Collins team maintain networks of contacts from their own time in the compliance industry, from 1988 and 1994 respectively, most of whom we are still in regular touch with and many of whom have become close friends since.
  • We also have contacts we got to know since we first entered recruitment, both as clients and candidates (Many of whom were recommended to us).
  • We have built up a broad general network through sponsoring and attending compliance conferences, as well as arranging and attending colleague and regulator reunions.
  • David also chairs and organises events for the London Chartered Accountants Compliance Group, which he co-founded in 1988. Recent meetings have included the now-Minister for City Regulation on regulatory reform and the former Attorney General on the Bribery Act.






Given the above points, we can move faster than any of our competitors as our research capabilities are second-to-none. Having known the compliance and governance market for over 20 years and followed people's careers for as long, we can normally identify the long list to start approaching within a day or two of appointment.

When it comes to choosing and presenting our shortlist, we are potentially discussing clients we have gotten to know better than one recent meeting (We have frequently known them for many years or met them in social situations). This gives us a far better understanding of their real persona, and thus their likely cultural and personal fit into both a department and a wider company.

Given the trust and long-term relationships we have developed, we are more likely to not only identify the relevant individuals faster but, if we genuinely believe the role is right for them, encourage them to put themselves up for selection and later to successfully negotiate with them at the offer stage.






Our Senior Management Backgrounds

Gary Collins

Following several years in the armed forces, Gary joined Ernst & Young (Now EY), where he managed the Audit and Compliance team regulated funds. After a successful three years with Ernst & Young he was headhunted to join the Asset Management division (Now Deutsche Morgan Grenfell) of Deutsche Bank, working in both UK and offshore risk and compliance for four years.

Gary transitioned into a compliance recruiter in 1999 and joined Compliance Recruitment Solutions shortly after. In 2007 he moved to Australia to set-up the APAC branch of the business returning to the UK in 2010 to help run the UK Business as well as set-up Symes Collins our Search & Selection arm which was launched in 2012 and he now runs.  Gary has successful filled senior Compliance, Risk and AML/Financial Crimes roles on 6 continents in over 30 cities in number of sectors including Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals, Media, Engineering and Manufacturing.  


David Symes

David began his career as an accountant in a City of London firm and later transitioned to Credit Agricole in the Audit field. Following the enactment of the first Financial Services Act in 1988, he joined the Garden Royal Exchange (A prominent FTSE 100 Insurance Group, now part of AXA) as the Deputy Head of Group Compliance. He played a crucial role in establishing their inaugural Compliance Department, as well as overseeing Fund Management and all regulated insurance activities.

He made a career shift to compliance recruiter in 1994 and subsequently founded Compliance Recruitment Solutions in 1996, while concurrently working as a consultant specialising in fund management compliance.

David has authored a number of technical articles of compliance across various sectors, with a particular focus on Financial Services. He has been a featured speaker on this subject at both UK and International conferences, and has made two guest appearances as a guest on LBC Radio to discuss these topics. Furthermore, he has served as the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants London Region in the past and continues to chair their Compliance Group.







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  • Anti Bribery & Corruption
  • Anti Money Laundering (including CDD/KYC)
  • Compliance (including Conduct Risk/ COBS)
  • Corporate Governance & Ethics
  • Data Privacy & Protection
  • Financial Crime (including Forensic & Fraud)
  • Internal Audit & Information Security
  • Prudential & Regulatory Reporting
  • Risk


  • Financial Services (Banking; Buy/Sell side; Insurance etc.)
  • Payment Services and broader Fintechs
  • Professional Services (Accountancy and Legal Practices etc.)
  • Non-Financial Services e.g. Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing, Mining, Publishing and Telecoms/Utilities

Types Of Organisation

  • Regulated Firms (or Start-ups)
  • Compliance Consultancies & Training Providers
  • Regulatory Bodies & Trade Associations