Consulting firm Alpha FMC has launched a dedicated Compliance practice. The new unit will be headed by Andrew Glessing, a former FCA manager, and run from the firm’s London office.
With over 160 employees and 50 associates, Alpha FMC is one of the larger consulting firms that specialises in the asset and wealth management industry. Since its inception in 2003, the consultancy has significantly grown its footprint, not just across regions – Alpha FMC currently has seven offices globally – but also in terms of functional and industry offerings. Alpha FMC’s service portfolio currently spans around ten service lines, with propositions ranging from strategic and advisory work to benchmarking services and execution related support.
In a bid to capitalise on growing demand in the area of compliance and regulation, the consulting firm has decided to add a new practice to its profile. Its newly formed Compliance Practice will provide clients with a variety of compliance offerings, including helping them with developing roadmaps to navigate regulation, translating regulations into change projects and implementing commercial, operational and customer service impacts. The new service line will not be built up from scratch but leverage Alpha FMC’s already exiting expertise in the field. Euan Fraser, CEO of Alpha FMC, explains: “Alpha already plays a central role in helping clients meet the expectations of the Regulator, particularly in relation to governance, systems and controls, risk management and the way in which firms deal with regulatory and business changes. Today’s announcement reflects the formal establishment of this capability as a stand-alone practice within Alpha."
To lead the unit the firm has hired Andrew Glessing, a professional with over 25 years’ experience in financial services and compliance consulting. Glessing joins Alpha FMC from compliance consultancy firm The Consulting Consortium where he was Managing Director of Advisory Services for three years. Prior to that, he spent seven years as manager at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) where he led teams supervising FSA/FCA-regulated asset and wealth managers, platforms, pension providers and outsourcing firms, as well as conducting numerous risk assessments and thematic reviews across these companies. Previously, Glessing worked as a freelance consultant and more than ten years in the financial services industry.
In his new role role, Glessing, from the firm’s base in London, has been tasked with building the Compliance Practice. He will bundle the firm’s existing capabilities and track record, and, going forward, both broaden and deepen them to meet growing market demand. The practice will initially comprise nine consultants – including Principal Mikko Ala-Ilomaki, who joined Alpha earlier this year. Ala-Ilomaki previously was at Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management and plays a senior role leading Compliance Rule Coding within the new practice and will report directly to Glessing.
“Alpha already has a strong track-record of supporting our clients with their compliance initiatives and Andrew and Mikko’s extensive experience will allow us to deepen our capabilities and provide a new range of services to our clients”, comments Fraser.
The move is part of the firm’s wider, ambitious growth plans for the coming years, says Fraser. In February this year Alpha FMC received a million pound funding from Dunedin, a mid-market private equity firm, valuing the company at £80 million. The business has more than trebled in size in the last 3 years, with profits increasing from £2.3 million to in excess of £8 million in 2016, and for the coming years the partner team eyes further growth. “The new practice is part of the plan to grow significantly in the coming years”, states Fraser, adding that geographic and sector expansion will serve as other main growth drivers.
Looking ahead, Glessing says he sees considerable growth opportunity in the market stating: “With high-profile regulatory directives such as MiFID II, MAD 2 and PRIPS underway, alongside the FCA’s asset management review in the UK, we are seeing an increased demand for compliance services from the asset and wealth management industry. At this time of significant change and closer regulatory scrutiny, Alpha is committed to supporting clients meet regulators’ developing expectations, and the standards of conduct they set for themselves.”