Author: Michael Volkov

The Danger of Corporate Scandals – When CEOs and Senior Executives Circle the Wagons to Impugn a CCO

We all know the scenario. A corporate scandal breaks, heads will roll and criminal investigators have invaded a company to investigate and prosecute the CEO, senior executives and others. It is a toxic environment when this occurs, and not something you ever want to experience, especially as a legal and/or compliance professional. People can become dangerous when they feel threatened. Corporate leaders, with egos and...

Webinar: Managing Supply Chain Risks

June 6, 2017 12 PM EST Sign Up HERE Global companies face a variety of risks — anti-corruption, sanctions, export controls, antitrust and money laundering are just a few.  Many of these risks, if not all, can be present in the company’s supply chain. In response to this increasing set of risks and enforcement, global companies are integrating compliance strategies to manage its supply chain...

Corporate Shell Games and KYC Requirements

Anti-money laundering professionals are in for a rude awakening. Know Your Customer or KYC requirements are currently kicking up a notch, and will be even more dramatic when the new FinCEN beneficial ownership regulations become effective in 2018. Financial regulators have become much more sophisticated since the financial crash, and the industry should expect even greater regulatory demands. As financial scandals continue to pop up...

Wait a Minute – The FCPA Enforcement Sky Did Not Fall?

No matter what, I am an optimist. A pessimist’s worldview and lifestyle is really unattractive. I would always rather see the glass as half full. Too many in the professional world have confused negative perspectives and predictions as a way to demonstrate their own expertise. It is an unfortunate practice in today’s professional world that negativity has replaced unbiased expertise. Pessimists always argue that if...

Compliance and Financial Audits – Distinctions With Substance

Chief compliance officers and internal auditors are natural friends and allies. In the corporate governance world, they share many common interests. The natural partnership between compliance and audit reflects their substantive overlap of responsibilities. Internal auditors are guardians of a company’s internal controls, and ever since Sarbanes-Oxley, they have even greater responsibility for the accuracy of a company’s financial reporting system. A compliance program is...

What is the Real Risk of an FCPA Enforcement Action?

When speaking to clients or potential clients, the question of risk of enforcement is the moose on the table. Sometimes, the question gets asked and other times, the subject is never discussed. To be fair, it is not an easy question to answer because of the variables. When a company has to analyze whether to seek the benefits of the FCPA Pilot Program and agree...

The Revolution in Compliance Training – It is Not Just About Your ABCs

A CCO never feels like he or she has caught up on compliance program requirements. As soon as one new best practice is identified, a CCO blinks for a moment and then there is a new best practice for them to consider. In the training area, we have seen a rapid change over the last ten years. Years ago, compliance training was a check-the-box exercise...

Knowing Your Employees and Incident Management Systems

Chief compliance officers know the importance of trust, not just as a foundation of a global company’s compliance program, but in the context of knowing what company employees are doing out in the field. CCOs will always say they have a “feel” for what is going on at the company but when they are reminded of how little visibility they have into company operations around...

Compliance is Not “Rocket Science”

In the compliance arena, like in many others in life, we value simplicity. I have repeatedly stressed the importance of compliance initiatives that are relatively simple. Too often, lawyers and compliance professionals confuse complexity with efficacy. We can all spin together complex compliance controls that address every possible permutation of events, contingencies and possibilities. That is not the challenge. Compliance is a delicate balance between...

Yates, AG Sessions and Individual Criminal Prosecutions

In recent speeches, the Attorney General (here) and an Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General (here) in the Criminal Division reconfirmed DOJ’s support for enforcement of the FCPA. No one should be surprised by their respective statements. As I have said all along, the new administration will not make any significant changes in FCPA enforcement, except for tweaking the FCPA Pilot Program to increase possibilities for a...