How this chief compliance officer deepened his legal knowledge

To enhance his knowledge of the securities industry, Matthew Onyeaju enrolled in the Osgoode Professional LLM
Portrait of Matthew Onyeaju
Portrait of Matthew Onyeaju

Matthew Onyeaju

Chief compliance officer
Osgoode LLM: Securities Law, 2020

Matthew Onyeaju has a lot riding on his shoulders. As the chief compliance officer at a large independent investment dealer, he leads a team of more than 50 people that oversees 700 financial advisors. His overarching objective is to make sure those advisors, as well as the firm more broadly, abide by the myriad rules and regulations that govern the securities industry. This task requires a lot of experience. “Securities law is incredibly challenging,” says Onyeaju. “Many rules have an exception, and you’re constantly navigating grey areas.”

To navigate that complexity, the top compliance professionals are always looking to bolster their knowledge in the field. Onyeaju is no exception. In 2018, he enrolled in the securities law specialization of the Osgoode Professional LLM, a rigorous graduate program that he could complete on a part-time basis. The professors helped him step outside his daily work and examine the regulatory framework that shapes the world of finance. “Day to day, you’re not always taking the time to appreciate the evolution of legislation and why it’s happened,” he says. “I was able to think more deeply about the origins of law.” The program also gave Onyeaju new insights into how he can make the dense thicket of regulations comprehensible to advisors working in the trenches.

In August, Onyeaju completed the program. And, without hesitation, he would recommend it to anyone working in the securities field, including compliance professionals and lawyers. “It’s a great point on a resumé,” he says. “And just really invaluable.”

Fast facts about the Osgoode Professional LLM

1. Flexible: The program is designed for professionals. Evening and weekend classes let you earn a degree while working.

2. Specialized: Dive deep into one of 14 areas of specialization, including tax, securities, criminal, constitutional, business, and dispute resolution.

3. Rigorous: Throughout the program, you’ll complete detailed papers on a complex area of law, honing your legal writing and analytical skills.

Osgoode’s Professional LLM is designed with the working lawyer in mind. To learn more, visit the program’s website or call (416) 673-4670.

This is a story from our Winter 2020 Issue.