Category: General

My New E-Book: The Revolution in Ethics and Compliance

I am pleased to announce the release of my new e-book: The Revolution in Ethics and Compliance.  You can download the book for free from JD Supra here. Versions are available in iBooks on any Mac device (iPad, iPhone or laptop) as well as in Kindle (on a Kindle device, or via Kindle app on iOS or Andriod.  If you want to read it on...

The Real Impact of Aggressive AML/BSA Enforcement

We all have read the AML/BSA enforcement headlines – big banks, big settlements in the hundreds of millions, monitors and overhauls of bank operations. We know all the players, all the enforcement agencies, and the news conferences to announce enforcement actions. Underneath these enforcement actions, there is a lot more to the story. Medium and small-sized banks, and other “financial institutions” are facing a very...

Top 5 Ethics and Compliance Trends for 2015

Ethics and compliance had a terrific year in 2014. The profession is growing in response to increased demand from businesses that are “slowly” embracing the importance of ethics and compliance. Whether or not there is a real commitment to ethics and compliance will depend on the old saying – “Put your money where your mouth is.” Compliance budgets are increasing – additional staff is being...

The Perils of Check-The-Box Training

The most important opportunity for a company to communicate an ethics and compliance message is training. The Board, senior executives, managers and employees are required to watch and hopefully interact with a training presentation. It is an important time to communicate a message and reinforce the message to  the audience. A Chief Compliance Officer has to recognize the importance of this opportunity and seize the...

The New Enforcement Threat – Sanctions Violations

To label the current enforcement environment as “tough” is a dramatic understatement.   I never understand why lawyers spend so much time touting the new, aggressive enforcement era as part of their marketing pitches – everyone knows we are in a tough environment, there is no need to remind everyone. Prosecutors have put together criminal and civil enforcement partnerships that are proactive and extremely successful. From...

Financial Institutions and a Lack of Ethics

If there is one industry that needs an ethics overhaul, it has to be the financial industry. The list of transgressions continues to grow – AML/sanctions, LIBOR, Foreign Exchange Currency Cartels and Market Manipulations, Mortgage-Backed Securities, Foreign Bribery – when will it stop? Look at a quick (and not exhaustive) list of bank settlements: Bank of America $16 billion (mortgage-back securities); JP Morgan $13 billion...

Choosing the Right Vendor Risk Management Software Solution

Traditionally, performing third party due diligence has been primarily a data gathering activity. Now, with access to abundant information sources, the activity—and the challenges—have evolved. How do you manage and efficiently analyze relevant information related to third party vendors? This will require a paradigm shift in how compliance professionals approach due diligence. Fortunately, technology is stepping in to help. Third party due diligence compliance solution...

The Alstom Case: Realities and Lessons Learned

The old expression goes – “Do not break your arm patting yourself on the back” – but maybe I might just extend my arm a little with the Alstom settlement. Last year I predicted that the Alstom case would eclipse Siemens as the most significant FCPA enforcement action (at least until Wal-Mart). I was close. The Alstom case settled “quickly” in FCPA terms because of...

Promoting Internal Compliance Communications

The Internet-Age has certainly brought us all “closer” together. Sometimes I long for the old days of rotary telephones, four television channels, and vinyl record players. We never knew how good we had it in those days. It is all too easy to send someone or everyone a message – tweets and posts are flying and everyone wants to be heard or read in one...

The Person of the Year — the Chief Ethics Officer

To bring some continuity to my blog, I try to start the New Year off by acknowledging the significant person for the past year. Over the last three years, I recognized the Chief Compliance Officer, the Whistleblower and the Prosecutor, respectively, as the person of the year. This year I am recognizing the Chief Ethics Officer as the Person of Year. Many companies have embraced...