Witad Awards 2022: Legal/compliance professional of the year—Tanuja Sharma, Citadel

Tanuja Sharma is no stranger to the world of compliance, with a career spanning nearly two decades in the field. In 2017, she joined Citadel, a multi-strategy hedge fund that manages over $43 billion in assets, as Emea head of algorithmic compliance, and in three short years she rose to the role of Emea chief compliance officer (CCO) in 2020.

Sharma’s role as CCO is both to lead the compliance team, which she built from the ground up, and to advise the firm on navigating the complex and diverse regulatory requirements across the UK and the EU.

Over the last year, she has spearheaded the compliance work for the migration of the firm’s transaction reporting database to a new proprietary platform. She and her compliance team worked alongside Citadel’s technology unit for the duration of the migration project, which helped to remove inefficiencies in the reporting processes and improve the hedge fund’s compliance capabilities.

“My role was to advise, it was to review, to check and to challenge what was being proposed, to provide interpretation on any new processes the tech team wanted to implement, ensure it was in line with the regulatory requirements, and then also test the output was still in line,” Sharma says.

A lot of the compliance work for the transaction reporting migration involved overseeing the logic of the new platform’s reporting engine, safeguarding that its reporting was both timely and accurate, and ensuring that adequate validation checks, in terms of data quality, are established to comply with an expansive list of regulations including Mifid II, Emir and SFTR. Prior to this implementation, its old transaction reporting engine was limited in its ability to deal with the growing volume of reporting data.

Sharma says the new system is scalable, includes more data quality checks and provides more metrics about Citadel’s reporting performance and processes. She adds that changes or improvements can also be easily made to the system, making it adaptable to the constantly changing regulatory landscape. This will become particularly useful in complying with UK regulatory divergence from the EU rulebook post-Brexit.

“We have a better operating model in terms of roles and responsibilities because of the new platform, so it’s easier to update for new regulations, as and when they come in,” she says.

Over the next 12 months, Sharma and her compliance unit will continue to partner with the tech team to enhance the platform’s functionality, particularly in terms of monitoring, testing, and querying the reporting data.

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