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Global uncertainty tops list of concerns for compliance professionals, according to research from The Risk Advisory Group

Global uncertainty tops list of concerns for compliance professionals, according to research from The Risk Advisory Group

Ambiguity caused by geopolitical shocks such as Brexit and the US election are front of mind for the compliance industry as it plans for the future

These are the findings of new research from The Risk Advisory Group, which surveyed more than 150 compliance professionals across a range of global businesses to uncover their main concerns and priorities for the year ahead.  

Half of the respondents in this year’s Compliance Horizon survey, now in its second year, cited the threat of a recession as the biggest risk facing their business in the year ahead (53 per cent), with Brexit their second biggest concern. More than half of respondents (55 per cent) are still unsure about what it will mean for their business, but believe that a change in regulations or new regulations are the most likely implications for them. Worryingly 1 in 10 (13 per cent) fear that leaving Europe may adversely affect their ability to recruit the right talent. 

The US election also featured highly in compliance professionals’ responses, with a quarter (27 per cent) seeing it as one of the biggest threats facing their business in the year ahead, and a far greater number are concerned about the implications a Trump victory might have on the profession. When asked their views on the two Presidential frontrunners at the time, 4 out of 5 respondents (80.5 per cent) identified Donald Trump as the candidate who poses the greater threat to the compliance profession. 

Many articulated reasons for their view, with common themes including his express intention to deregulate the business sector and a lack of understanding of both international trading relationships and the rule of law.

Against this backdrop of unprecedented change and uncertainty, one of the challenges compliance professionals say they continue to face is lack of resource. 73% of the compliance professionals we spoke to think that their budgets will either be cut or stay the same in 2017.  48% said it would take an internal investigation to drive any increase. There is clearly a strong emphasis on doing more with the same or less in the next 12 months, which could explain why respondents said that their key priorities will be driving efficiencies in processes (cited by 51 per cent) and ensuring company-wide engagement and training (a priority for 49 per cent).

Commenting on the findings, Bill Waite, Group CEO of The Risk Advisory Group, said, “The UK’s decision to leave Europe and the US election result are clearly dominating compliance professionals’ thoughts right now. No one knows for sure what Brexit will mean or what impact Donald Trump’s policies will have.

“But in the face of great uncertainty, there is a sense that compliance professionals are holding their nerve, looking at how to ensure they are in the best position to adapt to new or changing regulations. For 25 per cent of the people we surveyed this means improving efficiencies – bolstering their internal defences so that they are prepared for the future, whatever it holds.”

The Risk Advisory Group has developed LUMA in response to the ever-increasing effort required by businesses to comply with regulations. LUMA creates a single point of control for third parties, allowing companies to collect information directly from them securely, streamline compliance processes and centralise data.

Register here to receive a full copy of the survey findings.


Contact details

Please contact Janine Maxwell or Harry Saunders for additional information, or to speak to an expert from The Risk Advisory Group. / 020 3697 4351


Notes to editors

About The Compliance Horizon

The Compliance Horizon is based on an online survey of 157 compliance professionals conducted by The Risk Advisory Group in October 2016. Respondents are from a broad cross-section of businesses in terms of size and sector and from all continents.  The report is available to download here:

About LUMA

LUMA is a secure, cloud-based third party compliance management platform that centralises compliance data, making it quicker and easier for businesses to make informed decisions to safeguard their reputation.

For more information please visit


About The Risk Advisory Group

The Risk Advisory Group is a leading independent global risk consultancy that helps businesses grow whilst protecting their people, their assets and their brands. By providing facts, intelligence and analysis, The Risk Advisory Group helps its clients negotiate complex and uncertain environments to choose the right opportunities, in the right markets, with the right partners.

The company was founded in 1997, employs 140 people and has offices in Washington DC, London, Moscow, Al Khobar, Dubai and Hong Kong. For more information please visit

Published: 15th November 2016
Categories: Press Releases