Scots recruitment firm conquers New York

Malcolm Boyd, left, and his New York-based Scottish team

MJ Boyd Consulting, a Manhattan-based recruitment firm owned and run by Scots, has become one of the leading boutique recruitment firms for the financial sector in New York after only six years in business.

The firm, which specializes in financial compliance recruitment, recently landed a coveted spot in Inc 5000’s list fastest-growing US Companies.

Malcolm Boyd, the firm’s founder, grew up in Larbert, attended Glasgow University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1992 while working in Grant Thornton’s insolvency practice.

In 1994 he moved to New York with Grant Thornton and then spent several years working around the world as a financial executive with Colgate Palmolive.

However, it was while running a desk in the Wall Street office of Robert Half Management Resources, the provider of finance professionals, that Boyd anticipated the increased regulatory focus on banking compliance that would follow the global financial crisis.

To capitalize on this opportunity, he left to open his own firm, MJ Boyd Consulting, in December 2009.

“When the US Patriot Act was signed in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks, the banks came under regulatory pressure to ‘know their customers’ and improve their monitoring of transaction activity,” said Boyd.

“Consequently, many banks had to invest significant sums in hiring temporary resources to perform ‘look backs’ on their customers and investigate potential suspicious wire transactions, which led to an increased demand for experienced compliance professionals that could perform this work.

“The 2008 financial crisis only exacerbated the scrutiny on banking compliance departments and as long as the regulators continue to strongly enforce current anti-money laundering standards, the market should remain fairly buoyant for the foreseeable future.”

Much of the company’s growth in recent years has been driven by Alex Pole, an Edinburgh native who joined the firm in 2012.

Pole has developed the company’s reputation in the compliance field, becoming a certified anti-money laundering specialist and representing the firm at industry conferences and events.

“Malcolm is well known in the Scottish network in New York and makes it a point to be a connector for anyone moving from Scotland to New York,” said Pole.

“The best example I can give is from my own experience.

“When reaching out to the Scottish network over here, Malcolm was the first and only person to respond immediately regarding my search for a job in New York.

“He gave me a proper chance to ‘make’ it in NY, which is what every Scot wants a shot at,” said Alex, now a partner at the firm.

The Scottish connection was further strengthened with the arrival of Grant Hoskin, originally from Stenhousemuir, who joined the company in the summer of 2015.

The firm participates in Glasgow University’s student internship programme and will be hosting a Scottish student intern for the second time this summer.

With 2015 annual revenues exceeding $7 million, Boyd is proud of what his company, and his hard-working group of Scottish expats, have achieved.

“Our aim is to become recognized as the leading compliance recruitment firm in New York, by both our clients and candidates alike,” said Boyd.

“From a practical perspective, we’d like to continue growing our client and revenue base and add additional recruiters to our existing team in New York.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.