Omar Managing Director, Global Investment Research Compliance Global Compliance division, New York
I work in Global Compliance at Goldman Sachs. I cover compliance for the Global Investment Research division. In this role, I have a wide variety of responsibilities. I spend a good deal of my time managing regulatory inquiries, training analysts, developing policies and procedures and responding to real-time inquiries such as personal securities trades, private investments and similar employee matters.
This firm is made up of entrepreneurs who see opportunities and take advantage of them — good ideas and fresh thinking are encouraged here.
I really enjoy thinking about how to manage risk for dynamic, cutting-edge businesses. The business I represent is run by creative thinkers. Seeing how they look at the world and helping them make sure the business operates the right way from a compliance perspective, is fascinating.
All of my tasks require that I collaborate with others, whether they are in the control areas (such as Legal and Compliance) or in the parts of the business that generate revenue. For each project, I have some of my own work each day, but I also spend a lot of time working with others.
The most challenging part of my job is handling a large number of responsibilities and getting my many tasks accomplished — I always have more to do than I can get done.
I am especially proud of the large projects I have been able to help complete. I have worked on several tasks that seemed unachievable when I started them, but which the team ended up completing. I am also amazed at how much I have learned in my relatively short time here.
I came to Goldman Sachs in an unusual way. After college, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa and then worked in journalism. I then went to law school. As a lawyer, I first practiced as a litigator at a large corporate law firm. I then moved to a small criminal law firm. I decided I no longer wanted to practice law as a trial lawyer. As I researched other fields I might enter, I took a job as a consultant at Goldman Sachs, in the Private Wealth Management legal department, and I loved it. An opportunity opened up in Merchant Banking Compliance, I applied, met a variety of people in Global Compliance and the business and took the job in October 2006. I moved to become the head of Global Investment Research Compliance in May 2010.
Goldman Sachs is a fast-moving, dynamic place filled with driven, intelligent, super-competent people. You notice it right away. The thing that surprised me most was how much I liked the people I worked with. That was a great surprise.
I am really surprised to find myself here, working in Global Compliance at Goldman Sachs. I never thought I’d be here. Perhaps more important, I never thought I’d be enjoying it so much. But I am. My job is engaging, exciting, and I learn new things every day. I couldn’t ask for more.
I’d recommend to anyone considering a career in finance to try the field and see how they like it. It’s much different working in finance than people outside the field think it is. It’s really fun — and a lot of people wouldn’t expect that.