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Olivia Kendall-Martin

A&O Consulting, Manager

I joined in November 2019, and from day one I have been involved in some of the most interesting and varied projects. My role is focussed both on delivering high quality work for clients on a range of strategic regulatory issues, and on furthering the A&O Consulting business proposition so that it aligns closely to client needs. For me, the scope of the work, the energy of the team, and the direct exposure to leadership is a combination hard to beat.

I studied Law at the University of Leicester in 2011, which included a year’s study in Copenhagen. Throughout the course, I developed a particular interest in competition law and the use of concurrent powers between regulatory authorities. I was keen to be involved in shaping policy in the financial services sector, so after graduating, I was delighted to join the FCA graduate programme, where I spent five years in various supervisory, policy and strategy roles. 

Throughout my time at the FCA, I supervised a European investment bank within the wholesale banking team, participated in policy negotiations on the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, and was seconded to the Regulatory Risk and Strategy team at JP Morgan where I helped develop the conduct and culture strategy for the bank. It was all fulfilling work and prompted me to think more about the practical challenges that firms face when regulated.

In 2019, I had a strong desire to take a more client-facing role with a focus on strategic regulatory projects, so a move to A&O Consulting really appealed to me. I had heard very good things about the work opportunities and culture of A&O Consulting from ex-colleagues who had recently joined. The business concept of developing a seamless legal and consulting offering for clients also struck me as innovative and exciting.

Since joining, I have had great exposure to very senior ex-regulators, industry professionals and lawyers. This, in addition to the varied work across different sectors, means there are so many opportunities to learn and grow. I am able to gain insight into some of the practical challenges firms face when dealing with regulatory change and get a deeper understanding of how different firms operate. From the FCA, I learnt to understand the point of view of the regulator and its intention behind the policy statements and guidance that it publishes. Interpreting the ‘grey areas’ of regulatory rules and guidance in a practical sense is where A&O Consulting can really help clients, and a part of the role that I find extremely interesting.

A&O Consulting has the dynamism of a start-up with the support, expertise and resources of a global law firm. The best of both worlds to anyone looking to step into consulting for a career, and I am really glad I did.

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