Federal agencies are getting ready to hire thousands of finance pros to help implement the new financial reform bill's measures, which means that it's a great time for anyone who's considered a career in the public sector to make a move. Agencies across the spectrum are beefing up resources: CFPB, OCC, FDIC, CFTC and the SEC. At least 1,343 jobs are being created across two agencies over the next three years, with more to follow.
Related: How to Get a Job in Financial Regulation
Hiring at the CFPB
The creation of an entirely new agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), means new opportunities for finance pros of all stripes. The Bureau will create rules on checking accounts, mortgages and credit cards, and also enforce rules on lending practices. All big lenders, except the auto industry, will be affected by the new mandates. While it's too early to tell how many employees of the agency will simply transfer from other agencies, it's safe to assume that they'll contribute much of the hiring. There will still be room for new hires, however. Some of the agencies that will donate employees include the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS). Others, like the FDIC and SEC, don't require similar skill sets so mass employee migration from those watchdogs isn't anticipated.
Absorbing the OTS
The OTS was eliminated by the fin reg bill, which means it will transfer its resources and employees to other agencies and cease to exist in a year. About 1,000 employees will work to determine their next move, according to OTS spokesman William Ruberry, as they are guaranteed to be protected from "involuntary separation," or being fired as a result of the bill. Ruberry said that oversight of most of the OTS's functions will go to the OCC, while smaller chunks will go to the CFPB and an even smaller part to the FDIC. As such, many employees may head to the OCC, with a few heading to the CFPB.
A spokesman for the OCC wouldn't speculate on how many new employees the agency would need, but said it was expecting to absorb many from the OTS. After people transfer over, the agency will see if there are any "gaps in the coverage" and will hire accordingly.
Hiring at the FDIC
The FDIC has been growing since 2005 and that trajectory is likely to continue. Andrew Gray, an FDIC spokesman, said the agency has grown from 4,514 employees in 2005 to 7,465 employees as of June 21, 2010. (That number includes both permanent and non permanent employees -- some were hired on 2-3 year contracts.) There are 3,442 employees in the division of supervision and consumer protection as of July 6 and the agency is looking to bulk up in the resolution-process area. "We're looking for expertise in complex financial activities," Gray said. "We are receiving resolution authority for non-bank financial institutions, so we're looking for individuals with expertise in operations of those types of financial entities."
Hiring at the CFTC
Another agency that's looking to fill numerous positions is the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The CFTC will now be the top regulator of derivatives, and is busy writing rules to govern their trading. Chairman Gary Gensler highlighted the need for new staff and resources in a speech he gave two weeks ago, and with the funds the agency will receive in FY 2011, it looks like most of his wishes will be granted. Currently, the CFTC has about 600 employees. The agency said funding for FY 2011 would accommodate 944 employees. For FY 2012, funding will allow for 1,143 staffers. That means an increase of at least 500 employees over the next three years from current levels -- nearly doubling the size of the agency. Hiring managers will be looking for applicants in these areas: market oversight and analysis, clearing and intermediary oversight and risk management, and enforcement.
Hiring at the SEC
The SEC is also gearing up for an influx of finance pros. The agency is set to hire 800 people over an unspecified amount of time to help with its investigations into securities fraud. The agency plans to hire 374 employees in 2011, increasing staff levels to about 4,200 employees, or a 10% increase over current staff levels. The SEC is looking to boost its surveillance capabilities and will look for finance pros who will be able to learn its new surveillance technologies.
Hiring at the Top
Some offices still require directors. The CFPB and the OCC both need new heads (Elizabeth Warren is considered a major frontrunner for the first), and the Federal Reserve will have to fill the newly-created slot of Fed Vice Chairman of Supervision. The Office of Financial Research, a newly-established bureau that will monitor financial information and analyze potential risk to the system, also needs a leader.
Write to Julie Steinberg
Related: How to Get a Financial Regulation Job